Sony VG10 Study Guide

UHM Media Lab Director: Don Kozono

2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B Director’s Phone: 956-3358






This Study Guide was created to help students prepare for the SONY VG10 Camcorder

Certification exam, which is necessary to reserve and use the SONY VG10, specifically for classroom purposes. This Study Guide provides all essential information on the proper handling and use of the SONY VG10, including an explanation of contents, procedures to demonstrate, and required features and techniques to know.



1. Never force anything! If something you are attempting to do requires any amount of

excessive force, STOP and review your methods.

2. Never over tighten! This may cause the stripping of threads. The use of excessive force

which can damage the equipment.

3. Never leave the camera equipment unattended! Camera and other video equipment

are prime targets for theft.

4. Never leave the camera equipment exposed to any heat source! e.g. - in the trunk

of a vehicle. Excessive heat will cause camera parts to melt.

5. Never take the Media Lab equipment to the beach or near shorelines!

e.g. - where sand and salt air/spray can contact the equipment. Sand and salt air/spray

can clog and damage the sensitive equipment and leads to corrosion.

6. Never use equipment in “risky” situations/environments**! e.g. - any type of airborne

devices or locations including airplanes, helicopters, skateboards, motorcycles, rollerblades,

etc., night time shoots in low lit and/or unsafe areas, and “remote” areas which require

transport of equipment over rough terrain.

7. Never touch or attempt to clean the lens! There is a high probability of scratching

and permanently damaging the lens without the proper cleaning materials. Only use a

clean microfiber cloth at the lab.

8. Never aim the viewfinder or the LCD screen directly at a strong light source! This will

cause permanent damage to the viewfinder/LCD screen. (e.g.- the sun, very bright light, or its

reflection from an object.)



Recite the eight “Safety Principles” of the Media Lab.


Identify all 15 items included in a Media Lab SONY VG10 camcorder package

SONY VG10 Camcorder

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UHM Media Lab

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SONY VG10 Study Guide

Sony VG10 Camcorder

Media Lab Study Guide


Updated 5/20/08

UHM Media Lab

FRONT DESK: 956-3355



SONY VG10 Study Guide


Proper handling of the tripod (to avoid costly damage):

a. Never lean a collapsed tripod against a wall, lay it on the floor.

b. Always open tripod legs by pulling all 3 legs outward at the same time.

c. Never attempt to pan or tilt the head with the pan and tilt locks tightened down.


Memorize and identify the following Tripod Parts:

1. Tripod head

2. Tilt lock

3. Pan lock

4. Pan handle

5A. Camera Plate lock

5B. Camera Plate release button

6. Bubble level

7. Camera Head Lock

8. Leg extensions

9. Leg extension lock

10. Spreaders

11. Spreader lock (for collapsed tripod)

12. Camera Plate (remains

attached to the camera)

Sony VG10 Camcorder

Media Lab Study Guide


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UHM Media Lab

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SONY VG10 Study Guide

Complete the following Camera related demonstrations:

A. Demonstrate how to properly extend the tripod legs.

Unlock the spreader lock (11) holding the tripod legs together. Unlock the leg extension locks (9). Extend legs and re-lock.

B. Demonstrate how spread the tripod legs and adjust the head so that the head is level.

Drop one leg to the ground and pull on the other 2 legs out so that they open evenly. Level the tripod head by loosening the head lock (7) and adusting the position until the bubble in the level indicator (6) is in the center. Retighten the head lock.

C. Demonstrate how to mount the camera on the tripod.

Before mounting the camera to the tripod, make sure that the tilt lock (2) and pan lock (3) are locked and all leg extensions are secured so that the tripod does not move or collapse when mounting the camcorder. After mounting the camera to the tripod, be sure to loosen the pan lock (3) in order to avoid accidentally knocking the tripod over.

D. Demonstrate safety procedure.

Always double check tripod stability prior to mounting the camcorder.

IMPORTANT NOTE: To avoid potential accidents with tipping the tripod over, never leave the camcorder unattended, especially when tripod head (tilt lock) is in an unlocked position.

ALWAYS BE AWARE OF THE STATUS OF THE TRIPOD! To avoid damage to the tripod head, never force a pan or tilt when the tripod head is in a locked position. This will cause permanent damage to the tripod head!

Identify all parts of the SONY VG10 Camcorder Unit

Sony VG10 Camcorder

Media Lab Study Guide


Updated 5/20/08

UHM Media Lab

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SONY VG10 Study Guide

Setting Up the SONY VG10 Camcorder Unit

A. Demonstrate how to safely mount and remove the SONY

VG10 Camcorder unit from the tripod.

Lock the tripod head with the pan and tilt locks. Slide the camera plate onto the tripod head until the camera plate release button

(5B) clicks. Adjust the camera position for best balance and lightly tighten the camera plate lock (5A). To remove, loose the camera plate lock (5A) and slide the camera to one end of the head. Press the release button (5B) to slide the camera all the way off the tripod head. Re-mount the camera.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Pan Lock should be unlocked after the camera is secured to the tripod head to prevent the accidental tipping over of the tripod if the pan handle is pushed.

B. Demonstrate removing and attaching the camera lens

To remove, push the lens release button, turn the lens counter clockwise, and pull the lens off. To attach, line up the white dots on the lens and the camera, push the lens onto the camera and turn clockwise until it clicks and locks into place.

NOTE: Do not remove the lens in a dusty or windy environment. Never touch the camera sensor or the back element of the lens when the lens is removed. Put a lens cap on the lens and body cap on the camera if they are to remain unattached.

C. Demonstrate the 2 ways to power the camera: with a battery and then with the AC

Power Adapter and OPTIONAL Power Strip and Extension Cord.

To install a battery, insert the battery pack with the arrow mark on the battery pack facing up. Insert the battery pack into the back of the camera and slide it up until it is locks into place with a "click" sound. Turn on the camera by pushing in the green release button on the power switch and rotating the switch up to the “ON” position. To remove the battery, first turn the camera off, push the battery release “BATT” forward, slide the battery pack down and pull out the back of the camera.

CAUTION: Always turn off the camera before disconnecting power. If the power is removed during recording or playback, the recording will be corrupted and mayl be lost. Also, the camcorder is normally set to shut off after being in “standby-mode” longer than 5 minutes to save the battery.

To power the camera from an AC outlet, begin by working from the wall-outlet to the camera. First plug an extension cord into the outlet. Plug the power strip into the extension cord. Make sure the power strip is turned off. Connect the AC adapter cable to the power strip. Plug the DC cable into the DC slot located on the camera handgrip, marked “DC IN”. Turn on the power strip first and then turn on the camera.

D. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using AC vs. battery power.

The advantages of using battery power are: increased mobility and the ability to shoot in the field. Disadvantages are: Possible loss of power during a critical shot. The advantages of using AC power are: Continuous power supply. Disadvantages are: Lack of mobility, possible electrical ground interference.

Sony VG10 Camcorder

Media Lab Study Guide


Updated 5/20/08

UHM Media Lab

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SONY VG10 Study Guide

Set camera to “movie” mode for video recording

Turn on the camera and push the MODE button on the back of the hand grip to switch between “movie” and “still image” (photos) mode.

Choose “movie” mode.

LCD Monitor / Viewfinder / Display icons

A. Open the LCD Monitor to view the video

• Pull the back edge of the LCD Monitorl away from the camera, rotate the monitor for the best viewing angle. Avoid letting direct sunlight shine on it.

• Press “DISP” to display camera settings and information. Press it again to include the histogram. Press it again to eliminate the display. Press again to show settings.

B. Adjust the viewfinder

• Push the “FINDER/LCD” button on the operation panel to use the viewfinder (or close the LCD Monitor)

NOTE: The viewfinder and LCD monitor may not be used at the same time, only one or the other

• Tilt the viewfinder up

Locate the lever under the viewfinder. Move the lever back and forth until icons in the viewfinder are sharp and in focus.


A. Point out the camera microphone and the mic jack to the SONY VG10 camcorder.

An external microphone may be plugged into the camera using a mini-plug connector

NOTE: There are no audio controls to adjust the audio levels on the VG10, only the choice to turn the audio recording on or off. Also, the Media Lab does not have stereo mini-plug cable adapters to plug in XLR microphones.

B. Attach the headphones.

The headphone jack is located under a rubber cap on the hand grip. Use headphones with a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack. The headphones volume can be set in the menu under



A. Identify the Operation Panel and explain what each of the buttons do

1. MENU: Calls up the camera’s menu system or goes back to previous screen

2. DISP: Displays camera information or turns it off; also doubles as the “up” cursor in the menu system or playback mode and some camera settings mode

3. PLAY: Changes camera mode to playback of video and photos, switches back to camera record mode from playback

4. WB (WHITE BALANCE): Displays white balance setting and choices; also doubles as “left” cursor

5. CONTROL DIAL: Rotating the dial changes camera settings, menu selections, playback selections, and other setting depending on the mode. The dial is also a button and pushing it in sets the setting or selection (confirms

Sony VG10 Camcorder

Media Lab Study Guide


Updated 5/20/08

UHM Media Lab

FRONT DESK: 956-3355


SONY VG10 Study Guide


the change). The button serves as a PLAY/PAUSE button in Playback mode

6. GAIN: Displays gain setting and choices; also doubles as “right” cursor and serves as the FAST FORWARD button in Playback mode

7. FOCUS: Displays focus setting and choices

NOTE: DMF refers to a setting for the still

Photo mode

8. +/-: In camera mode, this button allows changes to be made in exposure compensation for automatic exposure settings. It also double as a “down” cursor and it returns to the image list from the playing of videos or photos in the Playback mode.

9. FINDER/LCD: This button changes viewing from the LCD Monitor to the eyepiece viewfinder

NOTE: Only one may be on at any time

A. Demonstrate adjusting the lens focal length

(zooming the lens)

• Rotate the zoom ring (14) on the lens.

• Point out the zoom lock which keeps the lens from zooming when it is tilted up or down or being transported.

B. Demonstrate how to manually adjust the “focus” and explain what indicators are displayed in the viewfinder.

• Press FOCUS button (7) on the Operation Panel, turn the Control Dial (5) to select a setting

• Select “MF” for manual focusing or “AF” for automatic focusing (DMF for still image capture)

• A “MF” or “AF” icon appears in the viewfinder or LCD screen. “MF” indicates that you are in manual focus mode

• Zoom all the way in on your subject

• Use the viewfinder, not the LCD screen

• Rotate the focus ring (15) on the lens to focus the subject

• Zoom out for the desired composition

Sony VG10 Camcorder

Media Lab Study Guide


Updated 5/20/08

UHM Media Lab SONY VG10 Study Guide

FRONT DESK: 956-3355


C. Demonstrate adjusting the GAIN and where the setting is indicated

• To change gain settings, push in on the GAIN button (6) and turn the Control Dial (5) so the gain setting is at “0db” for best video quality.

• Increase the gain in low light situations.

• Gain increases the camera’s sensativity in low light, however it also increases the noise or grain, which may be seen in the dark areas of the picture. Use with caution.

• The “AUTO” gain setting allows the camera to guess the exposure setting by adjusting the gain level and increases when the light levels are too low for the maximum aperture of the lens and standard shutter speed.

D. Demonstrate adjusting the WHITE BALANCE and where the setting is indicated

• Press the WHT BAL button (4) on the Operation Panel

• Rotate the Control Dial (5) to choose the appropriate icon for the lighting circumstances

• Or choose Custom Setup and set the white balance manually by the following method

• Place a white object where your subject is. Focus on the white object, filling 80% or more of the screen

• Press and release the Control Dial (5)

• A message appears on screen “Press shutter button… “

• Press the PHOTO button on top of the hand grip to adjust the white balance and save it to memory

• Press the MENU button (1) if you want to cancel the adjustment

• Re-white balance whenever the lighting conditions change

E. Demonstrate adjusting the SHUTTER SPEED and where the setting is indicated

• To control the shutter speed, press the Control Dial button (5) and rotate the thumb wheel and choose either “S” or “M”

• “S” allows you to set the shutter speed and automatically sets the aperature

• “M” allows you to set the shutter speed and aperture manually

• “A” allow you to set the aperture and automatically sets the shutter speed

• Under normal conditions, the shutter speed is set to “1/60”

See the SONY VG10 Operating Guide for available settings in each exposure mode (p. 32)

Demonstrate and explain how to set the exposure manually

• Set “M” as the camera mode

• Set GAIN to 0 and set SHUTTER SPEED to 60

• Press the COMP/IMAGE LIST button to switch between setting the shutter speed and the aperature. The one which is yellow is the one that can be adjusted by turning the Control Dial (5) up or down.

• Choose aperature and rotate the wheel to adjust the exposure in F stops

• Use the Histogram to help gauge the correct exposure


A. Inserting and removing an SD memory card

• Open the memory card cover beneath the Operation Panel

• Insert an SD card into the slot with the notch to the right (and the contacts on the bottom). Push in until it stops and stays in.

• Remove the SD card by pushing in the card and releasing. The card will come out a short ways. Pull the card the rest of the way out.

• Re-insert to continue

Sony VG10 Camcorder

Media Lab Study Guide


Updated 5/20/08

UHM Media Lab

FRONT DESK: 956-3355


B. Demonstrate how to record

SONY VG10 Study Guide

• Turn the camera power on

• If the SD card is new, a message may appear “Image Database File not found.

Create?” Press the Control Dial button (5)

• Set camera mode to “movie”

• Check exposure setting and focus and frame (compose) your shot

• Push and release the START/STOP button

• Record 5 - 10 seconds and depress the button again to stop recording

• Record 3 or more scenes

C. Demonstrate how to playback what you have recorded

• Press the PLAYBACK button (3) on the Operation Panel

• Use the Control Dial or cursor buttons to select (highlights selection in a yellow box) the first scene to play back

• Push the Control Dial button (5) to start playing the video. Push it again to pause the video. Play it again and push the right cursor (6) to fast forward the video (or turn the Control

Dial down). Push the left cursor (4) to reverse the video playback (or turn the Control Dial up). For Slow-

forward and Slow-reverse see p. 33

of the Operating Guide

• Push the bottom cursor (8) to return to the video selections (index screen)

M. Demonstrate how to delete a scene or scenes

In Playback mode, select a scene to be deleted

Press the FOCUS button (7) on the Operation Panel

When you see the message “Delete this image?” press the Control Dial button (5) and the scene will be deleted. Push the MENU button (1) to cancel deleting.

Multiple scenes may be deleted by using the MENU system and choosing {Playback] >

[Delete] > [Multiple Movies]. Then select the scenes you want deleted one at a time and push the Control Dial button. A small trash can will appear in the corner. When you have chosen all the scenes that you want deleted, press the FOCUS button (7) and you will be asked “Delete images?” Push the Control Dial button (5) to delete them.

Sony VG10 Camcorder

Media Lab Study Guide


Updated 5/20/08

UHM Media Lab SONY VG10 Study Guide

FRONT DESK: 956-3355


“Striking” or packing up the SONY VG10 Camcorder Unit and


A. Demonstrate how to “strike” the SONY VG10 Camcorder unit.

• Turn off power on the camera

• Reverse lens hood and attach lens cap

• Remove SD memory card and store safely

• Turn off AC power, disconnect AC power adapter

• All items must be neatly packed in their proper location

• All cables must be properly coiled (“over/under”)

B. Demonstrate how to “strike” the ACEBIL tripod.

• Tripod legs should be retracted and locked

• Head lock should be locked

• Pan handle rotated down and tightened down into position along tripod legs.

• Pan and tilt locks should be unlocked (this prevents possible damage to tripod head while transporting)

• Lock spreaders and put in camera bag

For more information about the VG10, consult the Operating Guide online at:

or review the Operating Guide included with the camera.


1. How long will the batteries last?

A SONY NP-FV70 battery will last about 90 minutes and an NP-FV100 about 3 hours.

2. How long does it take to charge a battery?

It takes about 4 hours to fully charge a FV70 and 15 hours to charge an FV100.

3. How many minutes of video can be recorded on an SD memory card?

See the Operating Guide, page 40 for all estimated recording times. Example: a 4 GB card will record about 20 minutes at the FX recording mode and about 25 minutes at the FH recording mode


1. Before starting your “shoot,” reset your scene/clip number so that it starts at #1

2. Record in FX mode (24Mbps) for best quality or FH mode (17 Mbps) for good quality with longer recording times

Sony VG10 Camcorder

Media Lab Study Guide


Updated 5/20/08

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