Video interview: Sony’s NEX EA50 demonstrated

By site editor Dan Chung:

Sony graciously gave me plenty of time to play around with the new NEX EA50 at the BIRTV show in Beijing. Check out the video interview below. Thanks to Shan Shan Wang and Sun Shaoguang for filming this.

BIRTV 2012 – Sony NEX EA50 large sensor video camera from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

Please note that in China the camera will be available in two configurations – the cheaper one not having the power zoom lens. This may not be the case in other regions.

The camera feels very light in the hand and despite the lack of built in neutral density filter I foresee this being a very popular camera for a certain type of news or event shooter. It removes many of the inconveniences of DSLR shooting at a much lower price than before – adding in XLR audio and removing the need for DSLR style rigs. The shoulder pad is well designed and threaded on the top side when extended – opening up the possibility to add third party accessories or counterweights.

Frame grab from 25P EA50 AVCHD footage transcoded to ProRes 422. Gain is at +9db, Picture Profile 3 (click to view at 100%)
Frame grab from 25P EA50 AVCHD footage transcoded to ProRes 422. Gain is at +18db, Picture Profile 3
Same shot captured externally on a Atomos Ninja 2 using HDMI - shows slight increase in detail (overlays left on for indentification purposes)

My initial impressions of the image quality from pre-production samples was positive. If you pixel peep there is some false colour evident but stair-stepping seemed well controlled. Certainly it is better than the NEX5n which has a similar sized sensor. Noise was evident at higher gain settings but it was not terrible. I also hooked up a Atomos Ninja 2 recorder which seemed to work well. More testing is required before any concrete conclusions can be drawn.

Documentary DP Sun Shaoguang tries the NEX EA50
The NEX EA50 sensor

One accessory I might want to add is an external EVF or monitor as the Sony supplied LCD loupe is a little on the long side – forcing the camera to be placed further forward from your shoulder than I would otherwise like.

The Sony power zoom lens with switches for zooming, zoom speed and zoom lock
The EA50 has a LANC controller port and regular Sony L type batteries

I’m hoping to get more time with this camera in the coming weeks.

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