Image © David Kilpatrick.
Sony's commitment to video comes after it introduced two new compact interchangeable lens cameras - the NEX and NEX5. Read our full report here. The NEX5 includes a 1080p HD video mode, a first in a Sony interchangeable lens camera. Speaking at a press event this week, Paul Genge, Sony UK's technical sales manager, says that the new Alpha cameras will have similar video features as the NEX5. "Video is in the next generation of DSLR cameras," says Genge. "The Alpha system will continue, NEX is a sub-brand of Alpha. The DSLR system will continue to receive the same level of investment it has up to now."
BJP's contributor David Kilpatrick was able to get his hands on the NX5 to test its video capabilities. He had this to say: "I have been able to test the continuous focusing during video provided by the NEX5, and it reacts fast enough without hunting to refocus as a shot is panned across near to far subjects. It is not necessary to touch the shutter release, and the way NEX handles video is to start filming immediately the Movie shutter release is pressed - no second press is required. It is best to set focus first with first pressure on the main shutter release, but once video is initiated, as long as C-AF mode is set the NEX will focus on moving subjects or changes of subject distance silently during the take."
The introduction of video in a still camera comes months after Sony said the technology wasn't ready for DSLRs. "We're not convinced by the technology," Genge said in August 2009. "The quality is not as good as it should be for a Sony introduction, especially considering Sony's experience in the camcorder market," he added. "We're not quite there yet." (BJP, 02 September 2009).
With the introduction of video in the NEX5, Sony seems to have overcome its reservations. Further proof that it is the case is Sony's announcement that it will produce a new kind of hybrid camera, with the release of Sony HandyCam camcorder sporting an APS-C sensor. The camera, which will be released in October 2010 will use the same sensor as NEX's 14.2 megapixel chip. However, it will be shaped as a video camera and accept A and E mount lenses to produce greater cinematic effects.
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