Sony offers AVCHD camcorder for ENG

Sony Electronics has introduced a new camcorder, as part of its NXCAM family of products that uses the AVCHD compression format and three enhanced 1/3in CMOS sensors. The solid-state recording camera is ideal for low-cost ENG and other professional video applications, although Sony is also targeting prosumers as well as event videography, and commercial or corporate video production.

The first model in the series is a handheld camcorder, set to be available in January, and features Sony’s Exmor CMOS sensor with ClearVid array. It delivers full HD resolution and low light sensitivity with low noise. The camera is a replacement for the company’s HVR-Z5U tape-based camcorder.

The camcorder records in the AVCHD format at up to 24Mb/s, delivering 1920x1080 images with both interlace and progressive modes along with native 1080/24p, 720/60p and MPEG-2 SD recording. AVCHD is a highly efficient long-GOP codec based on MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 long-GOP image compression.

The camcorder includes both HD-SDI and HDMI outputs, as well as two-channel linear PCM audio capabilities.

Tatsuro Kurachi, group marketing manager, Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Professional Audio/Video Group, said that the time is right to bring to market a memory-based camcorder using the latest AVCHD technology with low-cost memory cards.

The new NXCAM model shares the G lens used in Sony’s HVR-Z5U. The new camcorder will also use Memory Stick Pro Duo recording media along with an optional 128GB Flash Memory Unit for hybrid recording. This module can be easily removed and simply powered through a computer’s USB connection, to make file downloading or editing easier and faster. The camcorder will also capture GPS data and record broadcast-quality content.

Developed via a joint partnership between Panasonic and Sony, AVCHD technology has been widely adopted in both company’s consumer camcorder line. In the professional market, Sony has already introduced one AVCHD-based model: the compact point-of-view camera and solid-state recorder combination, model HXR-MC1.