Dan Chung at dslrnewshooter.com has good things to say about the newest Sony camcorder with a large DSLR sensor.
While the Sony NEX-EA50EH may not have the best model name, it does offer some surprising features at a remarkable price.
You get a power zoom lens, XLR microphone inputs, a shoulder rest and a sensor large enough to shoot decently shallow depth of field video all for around $4,500. The sensor is an APS-C sized – same as a Canon T3i – so the images should be great.
It takes lenses with a Sony E-mount. There’s a growing number of high quality lenses for this mount and good adapter that will allow you to use many older lenses. Right now there’s only one lens with power-zoom, the E PZ 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS SELP18200. (What is it with these names?)
So, is this the camera for you?
Sony targets wedding videographers and documentary shooters in their promo video. They also show a music video shoot to show off the two high quality XLR inputs. Except the music video is a solo cellist and most of the shots are not from the camera with the mics plugged in. (I’m betting this came from the same guys who thought these product names were a good idea.)
I think there will be a market for this camera – it’s a lot less than the other two cameras in this Sony family and it should make beautiful video. That’s always a good combination.
Oh yeah, you can shoot clips longer than 12 minutes – that should be useful for lots of people.
Let me know what you think – leave a comment below.
Here’s a Sony promo video shot with the camcorder:
Présentation du Sony NEX-EA50 from Focus Numerique on Vimeo.
Preliminary Information from the Sony website:
The NEX-EA50EH is a professional NXCAM Camcorder with a large format Exmor™ APS-C HD CMOS sensor and interchangeable E-mount lens system providing exceptional creative freedom when shooting both Full HD movies and high-quality still photos. It is supplied with the newly developedSEL18200PZ18-200mm Power Zoom E-mount lens providingauto focus, continuous variable iris and Optical Steady Shot™ image stabilization with Active Mode, making it ideal for shooting moving images. Film-makerscan achieve a constant zoom speed and smooth slow zoom, both of which can bedifficult to accomplish with manual zoom lenses.
An innovative design with an extendible shoulder-pad allows you to switch between handheld and shoulder-mount operation as required, with no need for additional accessories. This product comes with the full PrimeSupport package. That’s fast, hassle-free repairs, a helpline offering expert technical advice, and a free loan unit while yours is repaired. Plus the peace of mind that Sony is looking after your equipment – and your business.
The NEX-EA50EH is planned to be available from Sony Professional Solutions Specialists in October.
Full HD recording
Full 1920 x 1080 AVCHD 2.0 Recording with 60/50Hz selection (50p/25p/50i or 60p/30p/24p/60i) NOTE: * *60p/i means 59.94p/i. 30p and 24p mean 29.97p and 23.98p, respectively.
Large Format Sensor for creative expression
Large Format APS-C HD CMOS Sensor for high quality, creative moving images and shallow depth of field control. The large format Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor gives the user creative freedom when shooting Full HD movies and high-quality still photos.
Unique design for versatile shooting options
The unique design of the NEX-EA50EH further adds to the camcorder’s versatility. When the shoulder pad is extended, the camcorder can be balanced on the shoulder giving added stability for longer shooting times. Alternatively, when the shoulder pad is returned to its original position, the camcorder becomes compact enough to use in various handheld styles, allowing users to capture a wide variety of shots.
Interchangeable E-mount lens System
The NEX-EA50EH incorporates the Sony E-mount interchangeable lens system, which enables auto focus, auto exposure and stabilisation during shooting. With its short flange back distance, it is possible to attach both established A-mount lenses via the LA-EA2 lens mount adapter, and an unrivalled choice of other brands lenses using third-party adapters.
Newly developed powered zoom lens
The NEX-EA50EH camcorder comes with the newly developed Power Zoom E-mount lens E PZ 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS SELP18200. It features auto focus, continuous variable iris and Optical Steady Shot image stabilisation with Active Mode, making it ideal for shooting moving images. It is electronically controlled by both the zoom rocker lever on the camcorder grip and top handle. Film-makers can achieve a constant zoom speed and smooth, slow zoom, both of which can be difficult to accomplish with manual zoom lenses. In addition, using fixed focal length lenses users can simulate a zoom effect using the smart digital zoom function, ensuring fast-paced shots are never missed.
Part of the professional NXCAM camcorder range
The NEX-EA50EH features a range of professional functions usually associated with NXCAM camcorders, such as 2-channel XLR audio, Linear PCM audio, time code, user bit and built-in GPS.
16.1 megapixel still image capture
By capturing 16.1 megapixel still pictures with RAW format support, the camcorder offers higher picture quality and rich post-processing capabilities. In addition, the NEX-EA50EH has a built-in mechanical shutter to eliminate shutter-induced blur during long exposures while capturing still pictures.
A variety of recording media options
Sony’s HXR-FMU128 flash memory unit can dock directly to the camcorder for recording an immediate backup. The camcorder is compatible with the new Mirroring Memory Stick (MS-PX64/32/16) which is the world’s first memory card featuring a “Mirroring” function. This enables the card to deliver high reliability and data security through a dual recording (mirroring) function. This new professional memory card will be available in 3 different capacities: 16GB; 32GB and 64GB.
Sony’s new NEX-EA50EH definitely has some appeal for the HDSLR user and camcorder user in that it merges both the larger sensor with the traditional camcorder form. For the HDSLR user, it’s going to be great because they won’t have an awkward form-factor to deal with (i.e. camera support, file recording limitations, etc.). The die-hard camcorder user will find the lack of power-zooms with larger zoom ranges an obstacle for the run-and-gun ENG demands of more zoom.
For those ENG / broadcast users they may want to look at Sony’s new PMW-200 with the 1/2″ chips and higher recording rates. But overall, the NEX-EA50EH packs a lot of punch I think and the pricepoint at around $4K (+/-) makes it hard to not look at as a possibility for a large user-base.
I agree – this camera joins several others in this category – not a DSLR, not a camcorder, some of each and better than either for some users.
It’s going to be interesting seeing how it all shakes out!
Thanks for your comment –
As I understand it, there are no ND filters; a small issue, but something to consider. We don’t know yet if the HDMI out is full screen to hook up to an external recorder. This does seem to be a nice blend of ENG & DSLR. One has to wonder if any short cuts were taken w/ the imager/electonics. Also, this camera feels like an updated version will be right around the corner after user feedback.
I agree Jim – this does seem to be a nice blend of ENG and DSLR. I think that Sony is willing to experiment with a variety of price points, quality and functions to see what works.
Mostly, they like giving people lots of ways to justify buying Sony lenses! Though you can get adapters to fit Canon and Nikon lenses.
The reviews I see mostly point out that this camera feels and shoots much better than expected for the price. And that’s always a good position.
Thanks for stopping by, let me know if you get your hands on one of these.