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Sony Shoots for Pro MiniDV Market with Long-Awaited DCR-VX210
Posted Oct 14, 2003 - June 2005 Issue Print Version     Page 1of 2 next »

The professional videography scene got a major shot in the arm in early October when Sony announced its new 3-CCD camcorder, the DCR-VX2100 MiniDV HandyCam. The VX2100 succeeds the popular VX2000, which defined the pro MiniDV category with its May 2000 release. Meanwhile, with the insurgence of competing models such as Panasonic's AG-DVX100 and Canon's GL2, fans of the VX2000 have long awaited Sony's counter-move.

Slated for December shipping with an MSRP of $3000 (the VX2000 currently lists on the Sony Web site for $2999, although it's widely available for closer to $2000), the VX2100 adds several significant enhancements, including improved optics and audio and Sony's proprietary Advanced HAD progressive scan CCD technology.

Advanced HAD, available in several of Sony's newer camcorders, is designed to improve minimum illumination, allowing the VX2100 to achieve better results in low-light conditions without the use of infrared technology. By increasing the CCD's sensitivity to light, Sony promises clearer, brighter video and better color reproduction, with less loss in quality due to dimly lit shooting environments.

The VX2100 also has a 58-millimeter aspherical lens and a two-position neutral density filter. The aspherical lens, according to Sony, minimizes the distortions that usually occur around the edges of video shot by a standard spherical lens, while the neutral density filter compensates for varying lighting situations such as studio lights or direct sunlight. The camera also boasts a new lens hood and a built-in lens cap.

Sony is also emphasizing audio enhancements with this model, with PCM Digital Stereo Audio in 12 and 16-bit audio modes. The 16-bit mode promises high-quality stereo sound, while the 12-bit Audio Dub mode records digital video in two stereo tracks for the simple addition of background music or voice-over to the video. The new camcorder also improves on its predecessor's audio features in terms of user control, an area in which the VX2000 was beginning to seem a bit long in the tooth compared to the competition. According to Sony, audio quality for manual recording has been improved by roughly 6dB, thanks to enhancements to the audio process circuit.

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