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Sony Unveils New HDV Camcorder With 24p Capture For Professional Videographers


New Model Features Three ClearVid CMOS Sensor Technology; Complemented by 60 GB Hard-disk Recording Unit for Integration with NLE Systems

PARK RIDGE, N.J., Sept. 19, 2006 -- Sony is expanding its line-up of HDV™ products for professionals with the HVR-V1U HDV compact camcorder.

The new model delivers true 24P progressive scan capture, and uses three of Sony’s ClearVid CMOS Sensor™ chips combined with Sony’s Enhanced Imaging Processor™ technology to provide greater sensitivity, higher resolution, lower noise and a wider dynamic range.

The professional camcorder enables simultaneous or “hybrid” recording to both an attachable hard-disk recording unit (model HVR-DR60), which is optional, and to the videotape used in the camcorder.

Together, the new camcorder and hard-disk recording unit join Sony’s comprehensive range of HDV production systems. By the end of this month, the company expects to have shipped about 91,000 units of professional HDV products worldwide, since introducing the format in January 2005.

“Our entire family of professional HDV products is based on the concept of offering options for customers,” said Bob Ott, vice president of marketing for Sony Electronics’ optical and network systems group. “This new camcorder and hard-disk recording unit deliver full production flexibility, and the HVR-V1U camcorder’s ability to capture true 24P images will appeal to any video professional desiring a ‘film-look’ for their work or for cinematographers working on tight budgets who still need high quality.”

Unlike “progressive-look” pictures interpolated from interlace scan camera systems, the HVR-V1U camcorder’s 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor system natively captures progressive images at 24P, 30P or 60P, while maintaining full 1080 HDV resolution. Footage shot using the progressive scan feature can be played back on any of Sony’s HDV professional camcorders and VTRs, and be easily edited with compatible non-linear editing systems.

The new ClearVid CMOS Sensor combined with Sony’s Enhanced Imaging Processor technology deliver higher sensitivity and higher resolution. According to Ott, the EIP technology achieves wide dynamic range through the use of a unique algorithm that separates image data into its texture patterns and brightness components. The technology allows the camera’s sensor to produce natural and rich tones for both light and dark areas of an image.

The EIP technology also enables the high-speed processing required for capturing high-definition video and still images at extremely high levels of gradation and image reproduction.

The combination of the ClearVid CMOS Sensor and the EIP technologies also result in a feature called “smooth slow rec. (recording).” Due to the speed of the camcorder’s signal processing, video images can be captured at very high speeds, up to 240 fields per second, allowing very fast movements to be recorded in precise detail without creating artifacts or signal degradation.

The new hard-disk recording unit is a 1.8-inch drive with a 60 GB capacity and offering up to 4.5 hours of recording time in either the HDV or DVCAM/DV mode. The unit features Smart Protection, which is combined with a built-in “shock absorber” that automatically protects it at a force of up to three Gs. When the sensor detects that the unit is being dropped, it immediately turns the power off and retracts the head to help prevent damage to the media.

The new hard-disk recording unit also has a cache recording, or buffer memory, function, allowing up to 14 seconds of video and audio signals to be continuously buffered in the memory while the camera is in stand-by mode. When the operator presses “record” that content is captured and then recording can continue in real time.

The camcorder features a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar® T* Lens with Extra-low Dispersion Glass and a 20x optical zoom lens with F2.8 at the telephoto end for greater light sensitivity and long-range image acquisition for maximum shooting flexibility.

A Digital Extender feature also enables the telephoto focal length to be extended by approximately 1.5 times to a maximum of 1100mm at 35mm conversion.

Additional features of the HVR-V1U camcorder include:

* A timecode preset function
* A TC Link to synchronize time codes
* Two XLR microphone inputs for independent sound recording
* A Camera Profile feature to adjust the camera settings of multiple cameras for multi-camera operations using MemoryStick Duo™ media
* A 3.5-inch (viewable area, measured diagonally) Clear Photo LCD plus™ viewing screen

New accessories, which will be introduced later this year, include:

* HVL-LBP LED battery video light, which is powered by Sony’s infoLITHIUM® “L” Series battery (NP-F970/F770)
* VCL-HG0862K – a wide conversion lens (exclusive for the HVR-V1U) that features a “bayonet joint” for easy attachment
* SH-L35WBP LCD Hood (exclusive to the HVR-V1U)

Professional Media Optimized for HDV Applications

Complementing the new devices is Sony’s highest-quality 6mm HDV videotape, DigitalMaster™, which the company recommends for professional HDV applications. These 63-minute cassettes (model PHDVM63DM) use Sony’s Advanced Metal Evaporated II Technology and its dual-active magnetic layers.

The advanced AME II manufacturing process employs Hyper Evaticle IV magnetic grains, improved lubricants, and a refined Diamond-Like Carbon layer. DigitalMaster tape exhibits greater packing density of magnetic grains, higher retentivity, higher output and lower noise. The result is a more robust tape with 65 percent fewer dropouts and 90 percent fewer errors.

The HVR-V1U camcorder and HVR-DR60 hard-disk recording unit are expected to be available in December at suggested list prices of $4,800 and $1,800, respectively.


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