Sony Unveils Two High-def Camcorders

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Sony has unveiled a couple of DV-tape based, high-definition camcorders that will be going on sale in the next couple of months.

The HDR-FX1000 is aimed at the high-end consumer market, with the HVR-Z5J at the professional market. The former will hit Japan in November, the latter in December, and should be heading to other regions but precise international launch timing wasn't announced.

Both cameras share the same look and feel as many other Sony camcorders in the same portion of the market including the distinctive LCD (liquid crystal display) panel placement next to the microphone above the main camera body.

They have Sony G-series lenses with 20X optical zoom in front of 3-CMOS optical pick-up sensors and Sony's Exmor image processing chip.

The HVR-Z5J comes with some additional features for professional users. There are, for example, XLR audio inputs and the camera can handle the DVCAM format in addition to DV/HDV. It is also compatible with both the PAL and NTSC color systems.

A solid-state memory recorder can be added to the HVR-Z5J and the camera configured to either record to the memory only or to both tape and memory. It's also possible to record, for example, to tape in HDV and to the memory unit in DVCAM. Recording video directly to a solid-state device means it can be imported and edited much faster than from tape and so is an advantage in situations where time is important, such as news coverage.

The memory recorder can also connect to other HDV camcorders using a standard IEEE1394 cable.

The HDR-FX1000 will go on sale in Japan on Nov. 10 and will cost around ¥400,000 (US$3,700). The HVR-Z5J will be available from early December for ¥554,400 and the HVR-MRC1K memory recording unit will hit the shelves later this month and cost ¥98,490.

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