Sony Australia today announced a new HD camcorder that will use interchangeable lenses. The yet-to-be-named prototype records video in the AVCHD format and will incorporate key technologies from Sony’s new interchangeable-lens compact stills camera range — the NEX-5 and NEX-3.
The camcorder will be powered by a 14.2-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor (the same chip found in the NEX-3 and NEX-5). Sony stated that the Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor will provide richer tonal gradation and less image noise than previous sensors.
The new camcorder will be fully compatible with the E-mount interchangeable lenses developed for the NEX-3 and NEX-5 cameras. The E-mount range includes wide-angle, macro and fisheye lenses, all of which can be mounted to the front of the camcorder. Interchangeable Alpha lenses from Sony’s existing DSLR range will also be supported via an optional mount adaptor.
Sony did not announce whether the new camcorder would incorporate the NEX-3 and NEX-5’s 3D panoramic capabilities. We also don’t know whether it will adopt Sony’s touchscreen handycam interface.
To our knowledge, this is the first consumer-level HD camcorder to offer interchangeable lenses. (Indeed, such systems are rare in the high-end prosumer market too.) Provided the video quality stacks up, this could be the must-have camcorder for indie-filmmakers and serious videographers.
At present, no release date has been set for this product. A Sony spokesperson confirmed that the protoype concept "won’t be available for some time."
Pictured: Sony AVCHD camcorder with interchangeable lens protoype