When faced with the word handycam, it's all too easy to drum up images of your dad producing well-intentioned but altogether amateur footage of birthdays, holidays and wedding etc. So with the launch of the Sony Handycam NEX-VG20E prejudice needs to be buried at least 6ft-under as it's one serious piece of kit.

Offering comprehensive manual controls, the NEX-VG20E is definitely one for the would-be videographer, allowing the full range of E-Mount lenses to be fitted.

Building on the firm footing that the older NEX-VG10E, the camcorder comes with a resolution of 16.1 effective megapixels, whilst thethe Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor should deliver some decent video image quality, with extremely low noise in low light. It also captures 16 megapixel still photos, with RAW format support for any post processing shenanigans.

Full HD video shooting in AVCHD format is now complemented by a choice of 50p and 25p (progressive) frame rate options. Footage shot at 25p can be enhanced with Cinema Tone Gamma and Cinema Tone Colour - both adding a little bit of cinema spice to your reel.

Dialogue and other sounds are captured by the precision Quad Capsule Spatial Array Microphone that now supports stereo and 5.1 channel surround. There’s a new audio level control, plus pro-style jacks for an external mic and monitoring headphones.

Chuck in Single-shot AF, Continuous AF, Direct Manual Focus and manual focus, along with 25 multi-point AF and continuous shooting speed of 6fps, it becomes apparent that the Sony Handycam NEX-VG20E should make for a very flexible piece of kit.

The Handycam will be officially launched in November 2011, no pricing at present.