updated 05:30 pm EDT, Mon April 20, 2009
Sony intros pro HD cameras
At the NAB show currently taking place in Las Vegas, Sony has introduced three professional camcorders meant to lower the price of entry into professional-grade HD video production, including the SRW-9000 HDCAM SR, PDW-F800 CineAlta and HSC-300. The one-piece design of the SRW-9000 makes it portable, and the camera is being touted as the next generation of digital 24P technology. The camcorder uses 2/3-inch CCDs with an 14-bit A/D converter and digital signal processing to capture images at up to 1080p60. It can perform 4:2:2 10-bit recording at several frame rates, including film-standard 24 or a more European-friendly 25.
Optional cards add greater performance and extra features to the SRW-9000, with the HKSR-9001 board adding a dual-link HD-SDI output and an extra AUX input port that allows connecting to an external audio multiplexing device. A picture cache board, the HKSR-9002, gives the camcorder variable speed recording capability, called SR Motion by Sony, from 1 to 60fps. This also allows the unit to continuously record three seconds of video when in standby mode. The optional HKSR-9003 RGB 4:4:4 processing board gives the camcorder full bandwidth digital 4:4:4 RGB recording and output capability. An S-LOG Gamma essentially creates a digital negative, letting users edit their images in post-production.
The PDW-F800 CineAlta camcorder, meant for movies and TV episodes, uses 2/3-inch Power HAD FX progressive CCDs and offers MPEG 4:2:2 codec recording, with a native frame rate of 23.98P in 1080 mode and standard multi-format recording functionality. This enables it to record in MPEG IMX, DVCAM and 4:2:0 HD formats. Up to 95 minutes at 50Mbps of HD content can be recorded to the 50GB dual-layer Sony Professional Disc. Users can convert between HD and SD resolutions, as well as cross-convert during playback between 1080i and 720p.
Another new feature is the PDW-F800's ability to change the frame rate recording for slow and quick motion capabilities, known as "over-cranking" and "under-cranking." This allows directors to add effects and a unique look to their production.
Rounding out the trio is the Sony HSC-300 Studio Camera, which features a 2/3-inch Power HAD FX CCD with 2.2 million pixels. The one-piece camera has 1080p and 720p modes and is meant for filming TV broadcasts and creating live content. Like the others, the HSC-300 is compatible with Sony's large lens adaptors, viewfinders and build-up kits.
The SRW-9000 HDCAM SR camcorder should be launched in December, with prices yet to be determined. The PDW-F800 camcorder is due to ship in June, priced at $41,990. No pricing or release dates are known about the HSC-300.
SRW-9000 HDCAM SR
HSC-300 Studio Camera