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Sony Handycam® NEX-VG10

Interchangeable lens HD camcorder

5 Reviews

Item # 158NEXVG10

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Our take on the Sony Handycam® NEX-VG10

Change lenses on your camcorder? You sure can.
Using the right lens for the job can make the difference between run-of-the-mill home movies and sparkling footage that's ready for primetime. Sony's NEX-VG10 interchangeable lens camcorder opens up a world of creative options — you'll be amazed at the level of artistry you can achieve by using specialized lenses. This pro-style camcorder captures effortlessly beautiful HD video on optional memory cards for convenient storage.

Change lenses on your camcorder? You sure can.
Using the right lens for the job can make the difference between run-of-the-mill home movies and sparkling footage that's ready for primetime. Sony's NEX-VG10 interchangeable lens camcorder opens up a world of creative options — you'll be amazed at the level of artistry you can achieve by using specialized lenses. This pro-style camcorder captures effortlessly beautiful HD video on optional memory cards for convenient storage.

Get started with the included zoom lens
Use the included lens to record bright, crisp HD video in everyday situations. You can also use it to zoom in close to your subject — it's especially helpful when you plan on capturing sports games or dance recitals from way back in the stands. The NEX-VG10 is compatible with NEX lenses — perfect if you've already got an NEX digital camera. Pick up an extra lens or two, and you can have fun changing your lenses to meet different shooting situations, like portrait photography or low-light shooting.

The brains of a DSLR...
This versatile camcorder has an image sensor that's similar in size to those found in Sony's full-sized Alpha DSLRs. With roughly 19 times the surface area of the sensors in conventional cams, it makes capturing gorgeous, cinematic video in just about any setting a breeze. The 25-point autofocus locks on fast to moving subjects, like children playing or bicyclists passing by, even if they're not located in the center of your frame.

... the body of a camcorder
If you've ever used your DSLR to record video, then you already know that the footage is gorgeous, but the video controls can be challenging. The 'VG10 has both an electronic viewfinder and a 3" LCD to help you compose your shots, as well as an easy-to-grip top handle so you record videos like the pros. It also has a full range of manual controls, but simplifies them into just a few "hot keys" and an easy turn-and-click control wheel. It lets you quickly fine tune your video to your liking, without getting lost in menu settings.

Sound, lights, action!
This cam's high-quality stereo microphone sits above the body, and contains four separate, precisely placed microphone "capsules." This configuration adds more realistic sound to your videos with better front-side directivity and stereo separation than you'd get with a standard internal microphone. The 'VG10 also has two accessory shoes, so you can add your own mic for even more detailed sound, or an external light for more even lighting in your videos. A high-speed USB output lets you quickly transfer your video to your computer for editing and storage. When you're ready to play back your footage, hook the cam up to your HDTV using the HDMI output to watch it in all its detailed, colorful glory.

    Storage and Formats:
    • records high-def video with a resolution up to 1920 x 1080i
    • stores AVCHD video files onto optional Memory Stick® PRO Duo™ or SDHC™ memory cards
      • optional 32GB memory card holds approximately 3 hours of HD video at the highest quality setting
    • 9.08-megapixel (effective) Exmor™ APS HD CMOS image sensor with Anti-Dust technology
    • RGB primary color filter for superb color reproduction
    • snaps 14-megapixel still photos
    • compatible with interchangeable Sony NEX lenses
    • includes 18-200mm NEX lens with 11X optical zoom
    • also compatible with Sony Alpha and Konica Minolta A-mount lenses via an optional adapter (manual focus only)
    • 3" swiveling LCD display, plus separate viewfinder
    • optical SteadyShot® image stabilization with Active Mode compensates for a wide degree of camera shake
    • 25-point autofocus quickly snaps subjects into focus, even when they're off-center
    • full manual control with simple turn-and-click control wheel
    • stereo microphone contains four precisely placed microphone capsules for better front-side directivity and stereo separation
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • dual accessory shoes let you add your own mic, an external video light, and more
    • microphone and headphone jacks
    • hi-speed USB port (cable included)
    • mini HDMI output for viewing footage on an HDTV (HDMI cable not included)
    • 3-7/8"W x 5-1/16"H x 10-1/8"D (with supplied lens)
    • weight: 2 lbs. 12 oz. with battery and lens
    • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    I really thought the camera was a great purchase. It has a phenomenal color balance and great overall ease of use.

    Brian J, Kansas City, MO

    What's in the Box:

    • Digital HD video camera recorder
    • SEL18200 E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS lens (attached)
    • Lens cap (installed)
    • ALC-SH109 Lens hood
    • Large rubber eyecup
    • NP-FV70 Lithium-Ion battery (6.8V/1960mAh)
    • BC-VH1 Battery charger (8.4V/0.28A)
    • Body cap/Lens rear cap
    • AC-PW10AM AC adapter with attached 65" DC output cord (DC output: 7.6V/3.0A)
    • 62" AC cord
    • 62" USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and Mini-B 2.0 on the other end)
    • Microphone windscreen
    • Software/Handycam Handbook on CD-ROM
    • Operating Guide (Eng/Span/Fren)
    • Warranty sheet
    • Online registration sheet
    • Lenses and Accessories brochure
    • Notes on compatibility of AVCHD disc
    • Accessories supplied sheet
    • Precautions sheet
    • Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 offer sheet

    Sony Handycam® NEX-VG10 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (5 Reviews)

    Great Camera!

    Brian J from Kansas City, MO on 10/19/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I really thought the camera was a great purchase. It has a phenomenal color balance and great overall ease of use.

    Pros: Amazing features and a great out of the box lens. Depth of field was surprisingly great.

    Cons: No Mac softwrare. Had to buy a converter software to grab the video.

    Sony NEX-VG10 hybrid camcorder

    devideo from Charlottesville, VA on 10/10/2012

    the specs for this hybrid still camera/HD camcorder are impressive: 14.2 lg.format APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor (much better than reg.camcorders single 1/3" or 1/4" sensors) it can also take 14mp stills (JPEG only) it sports an excellent 18-200mm E-mount interchangeable lens (approx. 7x optical zoom w/optical image stabilization) one of its very best features is a quad-capsule spatial array stereo mic that records outstanding audio (no manual control however) it has a 921k 3" LCD (great indoors, impossible to see outdoors) it shoots 1920x1080 HD @ 24Mbps AVCHD codec but this user was not impressed with the image quality (especially in low light, very grainy) ergonomically, a bit front heavy with long lens, not too heavy (approx. 3 lbs with everything) the camera uses memory stick PRO DUO (or) inexpensive SDHC cards (approx.90min on 16gb card)no overheating issues like other has a large handle on top which makes it easy to hold & shoot from unusual angles/has mic & headphone input(very important) there are issues with the auto-focus (seems to drift at times/ in & out) HDMI out ...issues have been resolved with NEX-VG20, VG30



    Incredible camera

    Bill S from NY, NY on 3/13/2011

    I haven't had any problems with this camera. It shoots incredible quality video in very low light situations. I've never used a camera/camcorder with the ability to shoot in low light situations without the need for external light sources. The still shots are also incredible. My only complaint with this camera is the size. The lens is larger than the camera body itself, which really isn't the camera's fault. This is a prosumer camera and has a no nonsense set of controllable features. It also works well with my Mac computer, seamlessly with Iphoto and Imovie, so you don't need the software that comes with the camera. Although you may want to upgrade the software to FCP from Imovie. I highly recommend this camera if price isn't an issue.



    Crutchfield Service and Support

    JoeC from Harrisburg, PA on 11/7/2010

    Amazing. I bought the Sony NEX VG10 from Crutchfield. After I experienced some problems with the camera, I posted a review here describing the problem. I received a call from Crutchfield the next day asking me if I would like to return the camera for a full refund. Crutchfield would even pay the shipping. Now that's what I call GREAT CUSTOMER SUPPORT & SERVICE! I highly recommend Crutchfield. They really do stand behind the products they sell. You can buy with confidence here. And now, a few words about the Sony NEX 10. Great image quality. Just beautiful. Lens has great range and is very sharp. But, the kit lens can wiggle in its mount which can cause the lens to lose electronic contact with the body, and that shuts down auto-focus and f-stop control. My other complaint is that the baseplate (tripod mount) is really flimsy. Other than that, it's a great camera that can produce professional looking HD video.



    Really Good and Really Bad

    JoeC from Harrisburg, PA on 10/17/2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Image quality is great with nice depth of field control and a real film feeling. But the autofocus is awful. Camera seems to get stuck and is not aware that the image is totally out of ficus. It doesn't search. It just freezes no matter where I point it. Sometimes I have to zoom in and out several times to get the autofocus to finally figure out that the image is not focused. Note that it doesn't search. It just doesn't do anything. I'm seriously considering returning the camera. It's either broken, or, if this is the way it functions, unacceptable. I'd be better off with a DSLR.




    Hands-on research

    Product Research

    General Features
    Recording Features
    Playback Features
    Battery Information
    Inputs and Outputs Notes
    Software And Computer Information

    General Features

    Interchangeable Lenses: The Sony NEX-VG10 Digital HD Video Camera Recorder employs the E-mount system for interchangeable lenses developed by Sony. The camcorder comes with an 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 11x optical zoom lens (SEL18200). Using the LA-EA1 Mount Adapter (158LAEA1, sold separately), you can attach an α-series lens with an A-mount to the camcorder.

    Note: The NEX-VG10 does not have a powered zoom control, so zooming with the supplied lens is done by turning the zoom ring on the barrel of the lens.

    3.0" LCD Screen: The NEX-VG10 features a 16:9 wide-screen 3.0" Xtra Fine LCD monitor with TruBlack technology to increase brightness and contrast. The high resolution 921,600-dot (1920 x 480) LCD screen rotates up to 180 degrees for multiple viewing angles providing sharp and detailed images for monitoring or playback. The LCD also features adjustable brightness level.

    0.45" Color Viewfinder: The NEX-VG10 also features an 0.45" color LCD viewfinder (1,152,000 dots) that lets you record and review video and still images when the LCD display is closed. The viewfinder can swivel upward for shooting at difficult angles. A diopter adjustment lets you set the viewfinder to your eyesight.

    Recording Media: The NEX-VG10 features a memory card slot that will accept Memory Stick PRO Duo (Mark2) and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, as well as SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards of Class 4 or higher. Memory Stick PRO Duo media of up to 32 GB and SD cards of up to 64 GB are confirmed to work with this camcorder.

    Image Sensor: The camcorder has a 23.4mm x 15.6mm (APS-C size) Exmor HD CMOS sensor. It is the same sensor format that Sony builds into the standard size α-series DSLRs, and has approximately 19.5 times the surface area of conventional camcorders. The sensor has 14.6-million total pixels, and 9.08-million effective pixels for 16:9 video and 14.2-million effective pixels for 3:2 still images.

    Dual Accessory Shoes: The NEX-VG10 has two top-mounted accessory shoes, an Alpha Shoe (hot) and a Universal Cold Shoe for mounting a self-powered video light, external flash, or a microphone.

    Quad Capsule Spatial Array Microphone: The camcorder features a high-quality Quad Capsule Spatial Array stereo microphone. It has four precision placed microphone capsules to provide exceptional front-side directivity and stereo separation. There is also a stereo 3.5mm microphone input for adding an external mic if desired.

    Recording Features

    Video Recording: The camcorder records High Definition video using AVCHD format (MPEG-4 AVC / H.264). Audio is recorded in 2-channel Dolby Digital (48 kHz, 16-bit). The camcorder gives you three recording options:

    • FX: 1920 x 1080 (16:9) 24 Mbps
    • FH: 1920 x 1080 (16:9) 17 Mbps
    • HQ: 1444 x 1080 (4:3) 9 Mbps

    Recording Time: The following table indicates the estimated amount of recording time in minutes for HD and SD movies on a memory card:

    Rec Mode 2 GB 4 GB 8 GB 16 GB 32 GB
    FX 24 Mbps
    1920 x 1080
    10 min 20 min 40 min 90 min 180 min
    FH 17 Mbps
    1920 x 1080
    10 min 25 min 55 min 115 min 235 min
    HQ 9 Mbps
    1444 x 1080
    25 min 55 min 115 min 235 min 470 min

    Still Image Recording: The NEX-VG10 records still images in 3:2 (best for 4 x 6 prints) and 16:9 (best for viewing on an HDTV) aspect ratios. The available image sizes are as follows:

    3:2 Aspect Ratio 16:9 Aspect Ratio
    14M: 4592 x 3056 12M: 4592 x 2576
    7.4M: 3344 x 2224 6.3M: 3344 x 1872
    3.5M: 2288 x 1520 2.9M: 2288 x 1280

    Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization: The camcorder features Optical SteadyShot lens shift-type image stabilization with Standard and Active Modes. The Active Mode allows the NEX-VG10 to compensate for greater degrees of camera shake than the standard mode to deliver a stunning level of image smoothness.

    Shooting Modes: The camera allows you to select from the following Shooting Modes:

    • Program Auto: allows you to customize settings, except for exposure (shutter speed and aperture)
    • Hand-held Twilight: shoots night scenes with less noise and blur without using a tripod (for still images only)
    • Anti-motion Blur: reduces the camera shake when shooting a slightly dark indoor scene or a telephoto
    • Manual Exposure: allows you to adjust the aperture and shutter speed manually
    • Shutter Priority: lets you adjust the shutter speed to express the movement of the subject while the camera sets the aperture.
    • Aperture Priority: lets you adjust the range in focus, or defocuses the background, while the camera sets the shutter speed.

    Focus Modes: The Sony NEX-VG10 allows you to choose between Auto Focus, Direct Manual Focus or Manual Focus. Direct Manual Focus can be used only for recording still images, and allows you to focus manually make fine focus adjustments after focusing automatically.

    AutoFocus Area: When using auto focus, you can select the focusing area as follows:

    • Multi: The camcorder determines which of the 25 AF areas is used in focusing. When you press the Photo button halfway in still image recording mode, a green frame is displayed around the area that is in focus.
    • Center: The camcorder uses the AF area in the center of the frame.
    • Flexible Spot: You can move the focusing area to another part of the frame to focus on a small subject or a narrow area.

    ISO: You can set the ISO speed automatically (ISO Auto), or manually to one the following values: ISO 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, or 12,800. Setting the ISO speed higher results in reduced image blur in dark locations or of moving subjects, but increases noise.

    Gain: In Movie mode, you can set the gain (exposure) automatically, or manually select a gain setting to reduce image blur in dimly lit places or when recording moving subjects. You can set the gain to 0dB, 3dB, 6dB, 9dB, 12dB, 15dB, 18dB, 21dB, 24dB, or 27dB. The larger the number, the higher the noise level.

    White Balance Adjustment: You can adjust and fix the white balance according to the lighting conditions of the recording environment. The white balance settings include: Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Color Temperature/Filter, Custom, and Custom Setup.

    Dynamic Range Settings: In the Still Image mode, the camcorder gives you two options for correcting the brightness and contrast:

    • Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO): The image is divided into small areas and the contrast of light and shadow between the subject and background are analyzed and adjusted to produce optimal brightness and gradation. You can choose from five levels of DRO effects.
    • Auto High Dynamic Range (Auto HDR): The camcorder shoots three images with different exposures, and overlays the bright area of the under-exposed image and the dark area of the over-exposed image to create an image with rich gradation. You can choose the exposure differences from 1.0EV to 6.0EV.

    Lens Hood: The NEX-VG10 comes with a lens hood to protect the lens and help prevent excess light from entering the lens from the side.

    Playback Features

    Image Index: The Sony NEX-VG10 displays six thumbnail images per page for all recorded movies and still images on the Index screen on the LCD monitor. You can select the file you want by pressing the control dial.

    Playback Menu: The Playback menu gives you the following options:

    • Delete: Delete unwanted movies and still images to free up space on the memory card (except for protected movies and images)
    • Select: Select a Movie or Still Image to play back
    • Image Index: Lets you choose to display 6 or 12 still images or movie thumbnails in the Index Screen.
    • Protect: Select movies and still images for protection against accidental deletion.
    • Slide Show: The still images on the memory card can be played back in slide show fashion. You can set the interval to 1, 3, 5, 10, or 30 seconds. Turning on the repeat mode allows the images to play back in a continuous loop.
    • Enlarge: Enlarge the selected still image to check focus. The image size determines the scaling range: Large images can be enlarged from 1.1x to 13x, Medium images from 1.1x to 10x, and Small images can be enlarged from 1.1x to 6.7x.
    • Display Contents: You can vary the amount of information that appears in the display:
      • Display Info: shows basic shooting information
      • Histogram: displays the luminance distribution graphically, in addition to the recording condition
      • No Display Info: No information is shown in the display

    Playback Operations: When viewing movies, you can pause, fast-forward, fast-reverse, slow-forward, slow-reverse, and adjust the sound volume.

    Battery Information

    InfoLithium Battery: The unit comes with an NP-FV70 InfoLithium (Lithium-ion) battery (6.8V / 1960mAh minimum / 2060 mAh typical). A larger capacity battery is available for this camcorder: NP-FV100 (3700mAh minimum, 3900 mAh typical). The NP-FV30 or NP-FV50 battery packs cannot be used with this camcorder. The InfoLithium system exchanges data about its actual power consumption with the camcorder for a more accurate estimate of recording time available.

    Battery Life: The approximate recording, playback, and charging times for the supplied and optional batteries is as follows:

    Battery Recording Playback Charging
    Continuous Typical Full Charge Normal Charge
    145 min 90 min 295 min 550 min 490 min
    315 min 195 min 625 min 960 min 900 min

    Note: Typical recording time shows the time when you repeat recording start/stop, turning the power on/off.

    Charging: The battery can only be charged detached from the camera, using the supplied BC-VH1 battery charger. To operate the camcorder using household current, you can use the supplied AC-PW10AM AC adapter. You cannot charge the battery attached to the camcorder using the AC adapter.

    Inputs and Outputs Notes

    HDMI Output: The Sony NEX-VG10 has a mini-HDMI jack (Type C) to output video and audio to an HDMI-equipped HDTV. A mini-HDMI cable, such as the Sony VMC-15MHC (158VMC15MH--1.5 meters) or VMC-30MHC (158VMC30MH--3 meters) is needed. No HDMI cable is supplied.

    USB Port: The camcorder has a mini-B Version 2.0 Hi-Speed USB port for connecting to a PC via the supplied USB cable. Connecting the camcorder to a PC via USB allows you to download videos and still images from the inserted memory cards.

    Microphone Input: The camcorder features a 3.5mm minijack stereo microphone input for adding an external microphone for advanced audio recording.

    Headphone Output: The camcorder features a 3.5mm minijack headphone output for connecting a pair of headphones for listening to audio/video playback.

    DC In Jack: The DC In Jack is for use with the supplied AC-PW10AM AC adapter. This connection allows you to operate the camera on household current, but does not charge the battery.

    Software And Computer Information

    Creating a Disc: You can save movies onto a disc using the supplied Picture Motion Browser (PMB):

    • Blu-ray Disc: You can create a Blu-ray Disc from AVCHD format movies imported to a computer using the PMB software. It can be played back on most Blu-ray Disc playback devices, including the PlayStation 3.
    • DVD: You can save High Definition or Standard Definition movies on a DVD:
      • AVCHD (High Definition) Disc: You can create an AVCHD disc from AVCHD format movies imported to a computer using the PMB software. It can be played back on AVCHD format playback devices, including Sony Blu-ray Disc Players and the PlayStation 3.
      • Standard Definition DVD: You can create a standard definition image quality DVD from AVCHD format movies imported to a computer using PMB software. It can be played back on most ordinary DVD playback devices.

    Computer Requirements: Picture Motion Browser software is for Windows users only and is not compatible with Macintosh computers. To use the software, your computer should have the following minimum requirements:

    Operating System
    • Windows XP SP3 (64-bit and Starter editions not supported)
    • Windows Vista SP2 (Starter edition not supported)
    • Windows 7
    • Intel Core Duo 1.66 GHz or faster
    • Intel Core 2 Duo 1.66 GHz or faster
    • (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz or faster to process FX 24M/FH 17M movies)
    • Intel Pentium III 1 GHz or faster is sufficient to:
      • import movies/still images to the computer
      • create a Blu-ray or AVCHD disc
      • copy a disc
    Software DirectX 9.0c or later
    • Windows XP: 512 MB or more (1 GB or more is recommended)
    • Windows Vista/Windows 7: 1GB or more
    Hard Disk Space Disk volume required for installation: Approximately 500 MB
    (10 GB or more may be necessary when creating an AVCHD disc; 50 GB maximum may be necessary when creating a Blu-ray Disc.)
    Display Minimum 1,204 x 768 dots
    • High Speed USB 2.0 port
    • Blu-ray Disc/DVD burner
    • CD-ROM drive is necessary for installation
    • Either NTFS or exFAT file system is recommended as the hard disk file system

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.