Skip to main content

Sony offers hybrid HDV/Compact Flash camcorder

The new HVR-S270U shoulder-mount camcorder offers a 24p/30p native progressive record mode as well as a progressive HDV stream output from the camera’s iLink connector. Captured images are recorded as 60i through a 2:3 pulldown process. There’s also an HD-SDI/SD-SDI output that can include time code and embedded audio, and four channels of audio (four XLR input connectors, two in front and two on the back of the camera).

The new equipment, which also includes a handheld camera (HVR-Z7U) and a source deck (HVR-M35U) that all support HDV (25Mb/s) and DV recording and playback, will be available in February.

The HVR-S270U uses standard-sized 6mm cassettes, which provide four-and-a-half hours of HDV/DV record time or three hours of DVCAM recording. MiniDV tape is still an option.

The camcorder also records to a detachable Compact Flash recording unit that snaps on the side of the camera. The unit provides 72 minutes of record time on a 16GB card. It also serves as a backup record device, which stores data at the same time images are recorded onto videotape, and can extend the run time of a shooter. Using the camera’s relay mode, the solid-state memory begins recording immediately after the tape has run out. Images go into a 15-second buffer during the exchange, so no frames are lost in the process. This unit also allows a shooter to record SD to tape and HD images to Compact Flash media (or vice versa) simultaneously.

The new HDV deck features native progressive recording capability. It supports both standard- and mini-sized DV cassettes and 1080i 60/50/24p/30p and 25p recording and playback. DVCAM and DV playback are supported via 60i and 50i. Playback of the 720p format is available as an option. It includes a 2.7in LCD monitor and built-in speaker. There’s also downconversion playback from HD to SD.

Both cameras feature three 1/3in Clearvid CMOS HD sensors with Exmor Technology, which, according to Sony, offer increased sensitivity for low light conditions (to 1.5 lux) and result in high-quality imagery.

The new HVR-S270U camera comes with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens (12x optical zoom and focal length of 32mm to 384mm, with both auto and manual focus functionality). An optional lens adapter and 12-pin lens connector on the camcorders enable use of 1/2in and 2/3in lenses with a separate HD lens attachment.

For more information, visit