Alec Shapiro, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' broadcast and production systems division says the new XDCAM line-up rounds out Sony's range of HD production tools, filling the niche between Sony's entry-level and high-end formats.
The new XDCAM HD camcorders - models PDW-F330 and PDW-F350 - both offer true 24p recording in SD or HD, interval recording, and slow shutter. The PDW-F350 additionally offers true variable frame rate recording capabilities for fast- and slow-motion recording.
The PDW-F350 enables variable frame rate recording at a range of frame rates from 4fps to 60fps in one-frame increments. The camera also enables true 24p, 25p and 30p image capture, without any additional conversion required.
The XDCAM HD products offer the flexibility of recording 1080i video in three data recording rates: 25 Mbps, 35 Mbps and 18 Mbps. The system records high definition content to Sony's single-layer media using an HD MPEG-2 Long GOP video compression codec.
Both camcorders use three half-inch CCD 1.5 megapixel imagers. A variety of lenses will be available, with Canon and Fujinon already announcing support.
The PDW-F70 and PDW-F30 decks enable high-speed data transfer between compatible nonlinear devices. Both decks up-convert XDCAM standard definition content recorded in the DVCAM format to 1080i high definition at output, and all XDCAM HD camcorders and decks can down-convert HD material to standard definition in anamorphic, letterboxed or 4:3 formats.
The 23.3GB Professional Disc media is based on blue-laser technology and records approximately 120 minutes or more of HD content at 18 Mbps or 85 minutes of SD DVCAM at 25 Mps. The re-writable media costs approximately $30 and offers as many as 10,000 read/write cycles in ideal conditions, based on Sony's testing.
The XDCAM HD line will be available in March and will be marketed as part of Sony's CineAlta family of cinematic, broadcast and professional production systems. The PDW-F350 camcorder is priced at $25,800 and the PDW-F330 is $16,800. The PDW-F70 recording deck is $15,990, while the PDW-F30 player (available in June) is $9,500.