Sony announces interchangeable lens, DSLR-like HD camcorder

Sony new DSLR-like HD camcorder

Sony announced on May 11, 2010 the development of a completely new HD camcorder (read the full press release).

Essential characteristics are:

  • Interchangeable lenses, compatible with the “E-mount” interchangeable lenses developed for the NEX-5 and NEX-3 still cameras. For those, see the announcement and previews at DPReview – Sony NEX mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras previewed,
  • Compatibility with α DSLR lenses via a mount adaptor,
  • APS HD CMOS sensor, that should bring the same image quality as the current crop of video DSLRs from Canon, Nikon…

Any question or comment on this article? Come over discuss it on our HD camcorders forums!

With these two combined announcements, Sony is introducing brand new exciting options in the market: a DSLR sensor in a true camcorder form factor (we shall see how that fits in one’s hand though), and DSLR-like still cameras in a compact form factor.

As Matthew Jeppsen said (Who will Get The Cheese?), DSLR enthusiasts have been enjoying unprecedented benefits for such a low price: high sensitivity and low noise, filmic depth-of-field, high dynamic range, interchangeable lenses. The drawbacks however have been very strong too: intense aliasing, rolling-shutter artifacts, imperfect recording codec, short record times, bad audio, and an awkward DSLR form factor that won’t hold comfortably.

It will be very exciting to see if Sony manages to overcome these issues in this new product. And also, despite the low depth-of-field that makes focusing so difficult to achieve, can Sony manage to make this a product that ordinary prosumers / hobbyists can truly enjoy carrying around and travel with – or instead will that be again basically a tool for indie film makers only like the current video DSLRs.

Product availability expected for Fall 2010.

Please install Adobe Flash Player to view this video.