Skip to main content

NAB: Sony Expands HDV, XDCAM lineup

Sony HVR-Z5U camcorder At the 2009 NAB Show, Sony will highlight its full line of high-definition camcorders, including the XDCAM EX PMW-EX1 and PMW-EX3 camcorders, as well as the HVR-Z7U, HVR-S270U and other HDV camcorders.

Sony’s newest HDV camera—the HVR-Z5U ($4,950)—expands its lineup of high-definition video products designed to meet the needs of professional videographers.

The HVR-Z5U camcorder offers native 24p recording and other professional features—all for a suggested list price of less than $5,000—as well as tapeless recording capability through an optional CompactFlash adapter, the HVR-MRC1K ($940).

“Professionals need features like balanced audio, XLR inputs, timecode and more,” says Bob Ott, vice president of professional audio and video products at Sony Electronics. “They also need access to technical resources to help them with issues like integrating with nonlinear editing systems.”

Sony HVR-Z5U camcorder with HVR-MRC1K recording unit The camcorder uses three of Sony’s ClearVid 1/3-inch CMOS sensor chips, which are designed to provide high sensitivity, deep resolution, high-speed reading, low noise and a wider dynamic range. The CMOS sensors capture full HD 1920x1080 resolution, resulting in better picture quality when recorded onto Mini DV tape in the HDV format (1440 pixels x 1080 lines). Each of the three sensors is dedicated to one color—red, blue and green—for natural, more accurate color reproduction.

With a 45-degree rotated pixel layout, the ClearVid CMOS sensor system offers outstanding pixel surface area while maintaining high resolution. The camcorder’s Exmor technology features a unique column-parallel analog-to-digital conversion technique and dual noise canceling, resulting in digital signals with extremely low noise.

The technologies combine to allow the new camcorders to perform significantly better in low-light environments, with a sensitivity of 1.5 lux.

The HVR-Z5U uses Sony’s XtraFine LCD (3.2-inch, 921,000 dots) and XtraFine electronic viewfinder (0.45-inch, 1,227,000 dots) for high-resolution and high-contrast images with remarkable color reproduction.

Sony HVR-MRC1K recording unit The HVR-Z5U is Sony’s first professional camcorder to have a Sony G lens with a 29.5mm wide-end viewing angle, extra-low dispersion glass and 20x optical zoom. The fixed lens is optimized to complement the camera’s advanced image sensor and image-processing technology.

The HVR-Z5U camcorder also offers several features specifically designed for professional video production, such as progressive scan shooting at 1080/24p and 30p, DVCAM recording, timecode support and two XLR balanced audio inputs.

Professionals can record the native 24p/30p signal onto the videotape used in the camcorder or to CompactFlash cards—simultaneously or separately—with the optional HVR-MRC1K recording unit. This unit attaches directly to the back of the camcorder, eliminates the need for cables and automatically synchronizes with the recording action of the camcorder.

The recording unit can be directly attached to the new HVR-Z5U camera, as well as to Sony’s HVR-Z7U and HVR-S270U models. It will also work with other HDV camcorders using a supplied i.LINK (IEEE 1394) cable and shoe adapter.

The camcorder and the HVR-MRC1K adapter are compatible with Sony’s Professional 306x CompactFlash card. The recording times on an 8GB and 16GB CompactFlash card in HDV, DVCAM and DV format are approximately 36 and 72 minutes, respectively.

The HVR-Z5U camcorder and HVR-MRC1K recording unit are available now, for suggested list prices of $4,950 and $940, respectively.