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Sony Handycam NEX-VG10 image samples

While it produces solid video with good color and dynamic range, the VG10 should be better for the money.

Lori Grunin
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Lori Grunin
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1 of 7 Lori Grunin/CNET

General video quality

Overall, I was a bit disappointed with the VG10's video quality. It's good, but not a lot better than significantly cheaper camcorders. (frame grab)
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2 of 7 Lori Grunin/CNET

Low-light video

The low-light video looks pretty good, though this frame grab actually looks better than the video--there's a bit more color noise than you can see here.
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3 of 7 Lori Grunin/CNET

Color

For video, the VG10 renders relatively accurate, natural colors. (frame grabs)
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4 of 7 Lori Grunin/CNET

Video artifacts

Even at its best quality of 24Mbps--usually sufficient to adequately capture scenes like this--extremely busy, detailed scenes are susceptible to compression artifacts. While it's not nearly as noticeable while it's playing, it's still noticeable; plus, it affects editability of the footage. (frame grab)
34137491_SIC2_540.jpg
5 of 7 Lori Grunin/CNET

Bokeh, 18-200mm lens

Sony's E-mount lenses generally render nice out-of-focus elements. (frame grab from a slow slide into focus)
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6 of 7 Lori Grunin/CNET

Still photo quality

Though the VG10's photos tend to be highly saturated, they do look significantly better than most camcorder stills. That said, the stills don't seem as good as a cheaper dSLR. (still photo, 18-55mm lens, 1/100 sec, f5.6, AWB, pattern metering)
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7 of 7 Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET

Noise

The VG10 does have an excellent noise profile for a camcorder's stills; they look quite good up through ISO 800, and okay through ISO 1600. (still photos)
If you want to see more photo samples, here are the samples from my first outings with the camera.

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