Sony's New Full-Frame Video Camera Makes Waves

The new full frame VG900 and its smaller-sensor sibling, the VG30, were announced today. Alongside Sony's other announcements, the VG900 is now the third camera to use the a99 DSLR's 24-megapixel sensor (the other being the compact RX1)...

At the same 24p, 60p, and 60i frame rates that the a99 can capture, the VG900 can capture incredible footage, fast and slow, with an amazing amount of depth of field, thanks to its 35mm frame. Built around the E-mount, the camera can also accept APS-C-coverage lenses and will automatically crop down to accommodate the new coverage while keeping the same 1080p resolution. A digital 2x zoom also helps when you're in a tight spot without sacrificing your resolution output.

The VG30, apart from downsizing to an APS-C sensor, is largely the same camera.

You can find the VG900 for a quite reasonable $3200 at an unknown release date or the VG30 for $1800 in November. A new 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 OSS lens will be bundled as a kit for a $400 savings over buying the camera and lens separately, too.

Of note, the VG900 is compatible with many of the same accessories as the a99 DSLR (and other Sony Alpha DSLRs). It also has an Alpha-mount converter so you can use the same lenses you currently enjoy using on your Sony DSLRs. This kind of interchangeability is what I've always wanted to see -- it's the future. Sony's been in the dumps in terms of its stock; and I'll bet this thinking will really help them turn around. They've certainly upped the game.

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Adam's picture

This is conjecture, but looking at the photographs, that 18-200mm does seem fatty (compare it too the hand holding it in the last photo. I don't think there'll be too much of a problem, as there can't be that many lenses (if any) that are that wide so close to the mount. So my guess is that you'll be safe...

Luke Zwanziger's picture

The exclusion of a XLR port and apparent lack of shoe for external accessories is a problem for any serious consideration from an indie film maker. While capturing audio off source is an option, the mobility option for a doc or on the fly low budget probably doesn't want to deal with that. I doubt the on-board mic can provide the quality that my current RODE shotgun can.  While the image is no doubt better than my camera, at that price point I might be hard pressed not to just go the route of the Black Magic CC and forgo the handheld option.

Adam's picture

There will be an adapter available to allow for XLR input -- the same one, in fact, that will be available for the a99. Dolby 5.1 surround is supported in the system, too, so you can record just about anything you'd ever need to.

psyrex's picture

I shot a wedding using an older cam from the same line: the VG10. I had a Tascam DR-40 getting ambient, a H4n with wireless lavs hooked to it, a Rode Videomic on a 5D mark III, and the VG10 on a tall tripod just getting the wide angle shot.

Believe it or not, the ceremony portion of the documentary cut mostly just used the audio from the VG10 as it actually was that great! Granted, part of the decision to go with that audio track was based on my laziness to not level all the various sources of audio, but it really was a great audio track, including all of the audience reaction sounds.

Joel Devereux's picture

Sony are starting to get there appeal back after all these years.. this really sounds brilliance

Jordan Drake's picture

I filmed a video preview of this camera with some sample footage.  You can find it here: