Sony has become the first company to launch a digital camcorder with interchangeable lenses aimed at the non-professional market.

The Sony Handycam NEX-VG10E is a Full HD camcorder with a 14.2Mp stills camera. The camcorder has a standard E-Mount identical to those fitted on digital SLR cameras and can accept a wide range of lenses.

Announcing the Handycam NEX-VG10E, Sony said "It's the first consumer camcorder that offers the same breadth of creative expression enjoyed by DSLR photographers".

At the heart of the device is the 14.2Mp Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and BIONZ processor. Sony says the APS-C-sized sensor is 19 times larger than a standard sensor and results in a particularly shallow depth of field. Cameras such as the Leica X1 and Samsung NX10 we reviewed last issue sport the same type of sensor.

Images captured on the Sony camcorder are recorded in the AVCHD format that Sony pioneered along with Panasonic at a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The Handycan has a 3in LCD with a 921k dot-resolution of 921k dot. Sony supplies an E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS lens as part of the standard setup. This has an 11x optical zoom and built-in image stabilisation. A copy of Sony Vegas Studio video-editing software is offered as a free download to registered owners.

Additional lenses  and a Shotgun Microphone will also be available for the SonyHandycam NEX-VG10E.

The camcorder is set to go onsale in the UK from October. Pricing has yet to be announced.

Sony NEX-VG10E camcorder with optional Shotgun Microphone attached


Sony will offer a selection of lenses for use with the Handycam NEX-VG10E camcorder, attachable via a standard E-Mount fitting