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Thursday
Apr022009

Sony Unveils TG5 Camcorder with Magnetic Lens Attachment!

tg51

Please forgive me blowing my own trumpet here - I may be delusional, but I believe that my Blog may have affected a Sony product revision.

I am a big fan of the Sony TG3/TG1 - shortly after I got one of the first cameras in the UK, I decided that it needed a wide angle lens option, however without a screw thread mounting there was no easy way to attach one.

I made a post about my attempts to attach a magnetic lens to the camera in June 2008. This post has been read many thousands of times, the majority of views coming from links in forums from Japan and Hong Kong.

Well today Sony unveilled the revised TG5 camera at the end of their promo video (click the link)  they show a magnetic lens in a cradle being attached to the camera.  I like to think that my little blog had something to do with their decision to offer this option - it can't just be co-incidence can it?

tg5-lens2 Sony's TG5 Lens

my-tg3-lens My TG3 Lens

The Sony wide angle lens is the  VCL-HGE07TB and unfortunately its only designed for the TG5, not the earlier model.

I like the look of the new TG5. The TG1/TG3 was a perfect camera for me and the TG5 doesn't make any radical changes, just a few revisions. Here's what I've spotted besides it's headline GPS tagging feature.

Its thinner (just) and the corners have been rounded off. The power button appears to have gone - presumably opening and closing the screen are the only ways to toggle power now. It appears to have '16gb of built in memory' or does that mean it comes with a 16GB stick? The zoom control has been changed, hopefully it reduces wobble -   the jog wheel is a full circle now rather than being spring loaded.

tg5-rear11hdrtg3-rear1

The Operating System/menus seem completely different and the touchscreen seems more responsive.

The HDMI port has been removed from the camera and now exists on the cradle only.

I think they missed an opportunity by not upping the Still Image resolution, its only 4 megapixel. The stills on my TG3 are pretty poor. It would be nice not to have to carry around a still camera as well any more.

The changes aren't significant enough to make me upgrade - but if for some reason my TG3 broke, I would go and get the new model without a second thought.

Sony, if you are reading this (v.unlikely) and you did add the Magnetic lens because of user feedback initiated by this blog - Thanks for listening.

UPDATE - Euro model is called the TG7 - Sony press release

LINK TO MY 2008 POST ABOUT MY HDR-TG1 /HDR-TG3 MAGNETIC LENS.

SEE VITAL AND IMPORTANT UPDATE ABOUT USING THE LENS ON A TG1 OR TG3 HERE

Oh and its not magnetic after all - all will be revealed if you click to see the updated info in the link above.

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Reader Comments (15)

I think you've got everything to do with Sony's fix. I first spotted your idea on YouTube and haven't seen anyone else blogging or making a video with this idea for the TG1/TG3. Sony should give you a residual.

I'm planning to make your modification on my TG1 before my next vacation in about a month.

April 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrico

Thanks for your comment - makes me feel like I'm not the only one here.

I recently had to send my TG3 off for repair (the photo button stopped working). I therefore had to peel off the magnetic mounting ring.

When the camera was returned I had to order a new lens just to get another mounting ring. Unfortunately the new ring wasn't as sticky as the first and quickly peeled off with the lens. I'm now on the lookout for a strong double sided adhesive material that can be removed if required (I'm a bit reluctant to use superglue for rather obvious reasons).

Why am I telling you this.... well just make sure your ring is stuck properly because it's a one shot deal.

April 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

Interesting!

I agree with your comments about not needing to upgrade though as they have seem to have stripped the new model of features (5:1 Dolby/HDMI port etc).
Also, apart from the placing of microphone on top of unit, which seems to have moved forward, the unit looks identical-you sure this new attachment won't be backward compatible? Or has it been confirmed officially?
Regards.
Cos.

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCos

I've only deduced that it wont work from looking at the lens accessories page for the TG7 http://www.sony.co.uk/product/cac-lenses---filters/vcl-hge07tb then clicking on 'Compatible Products' - the TG7 is the only model shown. The same site still lists the TG3 and no lenses are shown under it's accessories http://www.sony.co.uk/product/cam-high-definition-on-memory-stick/hdr-tg3e#pageType=Accessories

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

Stay positive! I reckon it's gonna fit-no more glue!

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCos

Be sure to let me know if you manage to try one out.

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

Techmoan,

My TG3E also has the issue with Photo button not working anymore. Did yours also stop working all of a sudden. I took my camera on a trip and I remember something coming up on the screen that I somehow discarded it and didn't read it and immediately thereaftermt he Photo button stopped working. Did you also experience something like this ? What kind of repairs did you have to go through ?

Thanks

May 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAtul

I never really noticed when it stopped working. I only used it for a couple of photos when I first got it. It was probably months later when I tried it again and I found it did nothing.
I decided to get the repair done because my camera was coming up to its 1yr anniversary when its warranty would expire and I thought this might be a way to get a brand new camera (my LCD screen has a couple of blemishes - so a new camera for no outlay would be welcomed).
In reality it was a lot more trouble than it was worth. I contacted Sony - who told me to contact the Retailer who told me to contact Sony. In the end I got the details of the repair company that Sony use for all their camcorders. I had to pack it up with a letter and then a courier turned up and took it away.
Three weeks later the camera returned - it was the same one I sent off - but it was working again. I took one picture to test it and that's the only photo I've taken since getting it back. If you can live without the photo function (like me) then its a lot of hassle for not much return. If it's vital then you might as well get it done if you are still in the warranty period.

May 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

I rang Sonystyles help number and asked if the new magnetic lens for TG7/5 would be backward compatible with TG3. They spoke to a technician who said it would be, I double checked and told them their website indicated otherwise, but they insisted it would be fine. Have ordered one, will arrive in 5 days, will post back if works or if technician was talking crap.

Cheers,

Cos

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCos

That's brave of you Cos. I really look forward to hearing how you get on. I'm crossing my fingers for you - and I'll go out and get one myself if it works.
Good luck.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

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