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Sony unveils three-chip HDR-FX7 HD video camera

updated 09:45 am EDT, Thu September 7, 2006

Sony HDR-FX7 Video Camera

Despite the steady increase in availability of cameras, HDV remains in its early stages: technologies which have existed for years in standard-definition digital video are only now arriving in HD form. One of these is three-chip sensor technology, which Sony is introducing today through its HDR-FX7 prosumer video camera. The new 1080i-capable model features Sony's ClearVID CMOS sensor, which uses three chips to improve transfer rates and visual quality when combined with an enhanced imaging processor. These improvements allow for such special features as burst shooting, which can play back six seconds of footage in 24 FPS slow-motion, and taking 1.2-megapixel still shots during live video capture. A three-chip sensor also improves power consumption, according to Sony: up to 8 hours of recording time is possible with an optional high-capacity battery. The camera uses a 37.4-748mm lens with a 20X optical zoom and a digital extension feature that promises 30X total zoom without degrading the picture. Shipping in October, the HDR-FX7 will be available for pre-order from the SonyStyle HandyCam site on September 8th for $3,500. Click through for a larger photo.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. divergent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2006


    Research, maybe?

    This camera does not introduce '3-chip sensor technology' to HDV - Canon, JVC and Sony all make 3-CCD HDV cameras which have been on the market for over a year. The innovative aspect of this camera is that it uses 3 CMOS chips rather than 3 CCDs. Whether that proves to be an advantage or not remains to be seen - Sony's single CMOS HDV cameras have certainly been impressive (compared to single CCD cameras) but they tend to perform poorly in low light conditions and they exhibit strange motion artifacts in some situations due to the way data is read from the CMOS.

    The HDR-FX7 is basically an attempt by Sony to compete with Canon's new camera - the XH-A1 - which is due to ship this month, likely with better image quality and features than Sony's previous 3-CCD HDV cameras, the HVR-Z1 and HDR-FX1. Unfortunately, it looks as if the Canon will still be a significantly better camera than the new Sony, but will only cost a few hundred more.

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