News Production & Post

Sony HDCAM boosted by CineAlta features

19 April 2007

Looking to capitalise on the continuing popularity of its HDCAM format, Sony has launched at NAB a replacement for the HDW-750P camcorder armed with key features transferred from the ‘top end’ CineAlta-branded HDW-F900R, writes George Jarrett.

“It is quite a significant launch for us because the mid-range 750P has been our main selling HDCAM camcorder, accounting for 70-75% of sales,” said HDCAM product manager Peter Sykes. “If you look at the migration from SD to HD, and how much content is now shot on HD in the European market, the 750P has been a very significant product.”

Don’t look at the scanning rates or the chip set for any major changes. The new camcorder is 1080/25p and 1080/50i switchable, and it has 2/3-inch FIT sensors giving the expected 2.2Mpixel resolution. The key performance boosts hang on the A/D side and the ‘filmic’ potential of the unit.

“The A/D conversion has been increased from 10-bit to 12-bit, and we’ve taken on board one of the really nice features of the F900; the HyperGamma characteristics that give users a better, filmic type of look,” said Sykes. “These were designed with a lot of input from the European market, so we know the importance of the final look of any material.”

There are four selectable HyperGamma options and a look at the back of the camcorder reveals that there are a few other F900R favourites as well. “We added two XLRs for digital audio (carrying two AES/EBU digital channel pairs), and we have added a second HD-SDI output option,” said Sykes. “We can also fit in an option for down-conversions, and there is the new HDCF-C35W LCD HD colour viewfinder launching at NAB.”

The HDW-790P, sitting above the ‘interlace only’ HDW-730, makes its world debut at NAB this week, in Sony’s European lounge. It weighs about 5.4 kg when fully armed, and ships from June.

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