August 20th, 2012

Sony Strikes Again With A Large Sensor Camcorder With A Servo-Controlled Zoom Lens & New Memory Sticks With Mirroring Capability

Posted By Neil Matsumoto

The Sony NEX-EA50UH is the first camcorder to feature both servo-controlled zoom lens capability and an APS-C image sensor

Sony has been keeping me very busy as of late. A few weeks ago, they announced a new update to the very popular EX1 – the PMW-200, a 4:2:2 50Mbps handheld XDCAM camcorder.  A few months back, I reviewed the NEX-FS100U, a full HD camcorder with a Super35mm-sized sensor with an E-mount and just a few days ago, I filed my review of the NEX-FS700U –  Sony’s flagship NEX camcorder that shoots full HD, as well as up to 960-fps and soon to be 4K files. Although both the FS100U and FS700U are terrific motion picture camera systems, one of the biggest knocks against the two systems are their awkward ergonomics. Because of their boxy build and the LCD/viewfinder situated in the middle of the camera, it’s almost impossible to do any handheld work with the camera without a 3rd party handheld rig and separate EVF. Also, if you’re doing documentary style work, with current E-mount lenses, you cannot perform any controlled zooms. These factors pretty much eliminate the two systems from the ENG category.

Well, Sony might have come up with a great solution. The newest camera in the growing NXCAM lineup is the NEX-EA50UH – the first professional camera system that features a servo-controlled zoom lens and an APS-C image sensor. The Exmor APS-C HD CMOS sensor can capture 1080 progressive and interlace recording (50p/25p/50i or 60p/30p/24p/60i) with low noise and high sensitivity in low light shooting much like the FS100U and FS700U. You can also capture 16.1-megapixel still photos and the camera has a built-in mechanical shutter for high-speed still capture.

Because it’s in the NXCAM line, the EA50UH has an E-mount and you can also use the LA-EA2 lens mount adapter to use with Sony A-mount lenses, as well as 3rd party adapters for use with Canon EF lenses.

The biggest news is that the EA50UH comes with a newly designed Power Zoom E-mount lens E PZ 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 OSS SELP18200 that features auto focus, continuous variable iris and Optical Steady Shot image stabilization and Active Mode. The lens can be operated electronically by the zoom rocker lever on the grip, the lens itself, and via LANC remote controllers. You can also do a quick 2x digital zoom function on fixed lenses to simulate a zoom effect.

I think the biggest appeal for many shooters will be the EA50UH’s body design, which will allow booth tripod and handheld work without obtaining a separate camera rigs. At last, there is now a large sensor camcorder that you can comfortably balance on your shoulder instead of putting all of the weight on your arms and wrists.

The NEX-EA50UH will be released in October at an MSRP of less than $4,500.

Sony's new PX Series recording media is the industry’s first professional memory card with a mirroring function

Sony is also introducing PX Series (MS-PX), which are the first memory cards with a mirroring function. Offering high reliability and data security, the mirroring function splits the MS-PX card into two sections to enable recording to both sections. If content on one area is corrupted, the content on the other area will be secure. The cards will be available in 16, 32 and 64GB capacities. Pricing is unknown at this time. Sony is also providing a free File Rescue Software that can recover files that may have been accidentally deleted.

Keep ‘em coming Sony!

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