Sony intros technology-leading HVR-ZIU camcorder: the world's first Professional HDV 1080i camera
November 10, 2004
by -- Sony of Canada
Sony of Canada Ltd., Canada's leading electronic
and computer products solutions provider for consumers and business, today introduced the world's first professional HDV 1080i camera -- the HVR-Z1U camcorder.
The Sony HVR-Z1U professional camcorder records and plays back high definition video with 1080 interlaced lines of resolution - the highest resolution (1440 pixels X 1080 lines).
"The HDTV market is rapidly expanding with Canadian consumer sales of HDTV capable sets continuing to strengthen, along with increased availability of Broadcast and specialty HD services, the professional market is now ready
to make a move into affordable HD production," said Brian Young, Strategic Marketing Manager, Content Creation Group, Broadcast Communication Solutions Group, Sony of Canada Ltd. "The introduction of the HVR-Z1U camcorder meets the ever-increasing expectations of a fast-growing segment of the market -- the professional producer."
The camcorder provides best-in-class video resolution, enhanced by Sony's new three-chip, one-megapixel Super HAD(TM) CCD's (charge-coupled devices).
These newly developed, native 16:9 ratio widescreen, 1/3 inch 1080i HD CCD's are a world's first and, when combined with Sony's newly developed 14 bit DXP (Digital Extended Processor) along with the advanced MPEG 2 real time HD
encoder, provide magnificent high quality HD recordings.
The HVR-Z1U also incorporates and advanced down converter circuit, which allows the camera to record directly in either the DVCAM or DV mode on tape or in the 1080i HDV MPEG codec. This means the user can choose either to create "super sampled" industry standard DV or DVCAM recordings that will playback in any DV or DVCAM device. Or, by recording in HDV mode and using the down
converter at the camera output, the user can create an HDV camera original recording and export a standard definition signal via Analogue or i.LINK connection for use in any other DV compatible device today. Or, the user can
work directly in native HDV, connecting with direct HDV MPEG transfer over i.LINK to compatible devices or even bridge to HD-SDI production devices with a variety of compatible third party devices now coming to market. This allows or easy migration of the users overall production strategy.
To meet the demands of the experienced user, the camcorder incorporates Carl Zeiss(R) Vario-Sonnar(R) T* optics, minimizing image warping while maximizing sharpness and contrast. The lens has a focal range from 32.5 mm to
390 mm, a 12X optical zoom and a multitude of zoom control mechanisms, including a non-perpetual zoom ring that allows for professional-like control.
Users also have the option to switch between the zoom ring, the zoom lever as well as a variable zoom control on the handle for greater shooting flexibility.
To capture even the smallest detail with clarity, the new HVR-Z1U model offers increased focusing control with expanded focus and peaking functions.
In the expanded focus mode, the camera's viewfinder and LCD (liquid crystal display) image is magnified up to four times its original size without any loss of resolution. The peaking function emphasizes the outline of objects
creating clear contrast and clarity in a scene.
The 3.5" SwivelScreen(TM) hybrid LCD offers 250,000 pixels -- the highest resolution of any consumer camcorder LCD -- for accurate viewing under bright lighting conditions. An innovative design change sees the LCD panel relocated
from the typical side body design to be more conveniently located towards the front of the unit. This allows it to be on the same eyelevel as the switchable
B/W - colour viewfinder with the same over all image resolution. This relocation also provides a greater degree of stabilization. While shooting, the user's elbow can be tucked into the body, providing additional support to this xceptionally well-balanced camera.
The advanced professional HVR-Z1U also hails another camera first in that it is the world's first "Handycam-style" worldwide operation camera, meaning the user can switch between, in the HDV record modes, either 1080 60i or 1080
50i operation and recording. Or, in the case of standard definition, DV and DVCAM modes, the camera can record in either the NTSC or PAL standard. This means the professional can shoot literally anywhere in the world and provide compatible high-quality content that can be played back locally. (* Note the camera does not do rate conversions from 60i to 50i or NTSC to PAL, it switches into that native scan operation)
The camcorder also features a wide-range stereo microphone, shotgun mount and two individually controlled XLR balanced audio inputs for superior audio performance. Because of its unique body design and well-placed microphone, wind noise is also minimized so videographers can capture the sound they want, not the noise they don't.
With the HVR-Z1U professional camcorder, the budding hobbyist as well as the seasoned professional videographer can make their video look like film.
The two available settings of Cinematone Gamma(TM) and Cineframe(TM) 24, 25 and 30 functions enable high quality picture processing to create video with a temporal feel, warmth and richness similar to a big screen movie.
Smooth, seamless, shot transitions are achieved using the Shot Transition(TM) function. With settings to control focus, zoom, iris, gain, shutter and white balance, focus can gradually be shifted from the front of the screen to a deeper subject, or vice versa, enabling an effortless transition in depth of field.
For creativity and control, the HVR-Z1U camcorder allows users to define their own default settings through the Picture Profile(TM) function. This function offers six different profiles that can be customized and taken advantage of, depending on the scene. Scenes may include a setting for filming
sunsets, another for filming people, and another for recording in black and white. And, for ultimate control, the iris, gain, white balance, shutter speed and focus can also be adjusted manually.
Additional features include:
- Versatile Timecode/Usebit Operation -- Timecode/Userbit Preset function is provided so any time can be selected as the starting timecode. Also, "DF" or "NDF," "Rec Run" or "Free Run" and "Regenerate" or "Preset" can be selected for the timecode operation.
TC can also be set via the infra-red remote control so multiple
camera's could be set at the same time; - Assignable Operation Buttons -- A total of six assign buttons are
prepared for HVR-Z1 series - AE Override, White Balance Shift for Outdoor, Hyper Gain, All Scan Mode, Back Light, Spot Light and Rec are available for the assignable menu;
- InfoLithium(R) Battery with AccuPower(TM) System - The battery can be charged at any time as the rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries minimize life shortening "memory effect." Sony's exclusive AccuPower meter conveniently indicates the remaining minutes of battery life on the
LCD or viewfinder display, allowing users to keep an accurate and constant reading of remaining battery power; - i.LINK Digital Video Interface - The i.LINK (IEEE 1394) DV interface
is a high speed, bi-directional digital video/audio communication between two devices equipped with a compatible i.LINK DV interface, including camcorders, digital VTRs and PCs; - Selectable Colour Bars; - Advanced Skintone Level Detail control; - Time Date Stamp recording;
- And, many other Professional Features.
The HVR-Z1U camcorder will be available in late January 2005 at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $7,250. It provides operation menus electable in either the English or French languages.
For more information on HDV as well as a list of supporters, visit www.hdv-info.org.
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