Sony's first European deliveries of the new HVR Z1E HDV Professional Camcorder will commence February 2005, with over 40 additional benefits (compared with the HDR-FX1E consumer version) for professional users.
Joining the existing DVCAM range, the HVR-Z1E offers users a migration path from Standard Definition whilst retaining the qualities of the popular DVCAM range such as ease of use and i-LINK (IEEE1394) connectivity.
Designed for the professional user, the HVR-Z1E incorporates a number of significant features over consumer oriented products and includes:
- Switchable recording and playback of HDV, DV, and DVCAM formats, providing the professional user with the flexibility to choose the format that suits the need of their production.
- 50/60Hz (PAL/NTSC) switchable recording and playback
- 2-channel balanced audio XLR inputs, with independent adjustment of input levels for each audio channel
- Color and B/W switchable viewfinder
- Simultaneous operation of both LCD panel and viewfinder, giving professional users the opportunity to focus shots accurately via the viewfinder while simultaneously framing images via the fold-out LCD panel.
In addition to the professional HDV camcorder, Sony will also introduce a compact Video Tape Recorder - the HVR-M10E. Like the camcorder, the VTR supports the recording and playback of DV, DVCAM, and HDV formats, and incorporates a 16 x 9 colour LCD viewing screen. The compact VTR also benefits from both mains power and battery operation.
Emphasizing the format's suitability for what Sony classifies as low-cost HD migration, both the HVR-Z1E and the HVR-M10E feature HD/SD switchable operation (offering full 1080i resolution), plus on-board down-conversion to output SD or HD signals. For even greater production flexibility, the professional camcorder also supports switchable 50/60Hz PAL/NTSC recording and playback.
The HDV format has gained the support of leading software developers including Adobe, Apple, Avid, Canopus, Pinnacle Systems, Sobey, Sony Pictures Digital Networks and Ulead. The HVR-Z1E and HVR-M10E are aimed at professional videographers, documentary makers and feature film makers working to tight budgets, HDV is also an attractive option for mainstream broadcasters and corporate programme makers needing to acquire HD content in restricted or hard-to-reach locations and HDV also serves as an ideal source for contributing HD content into an HDCAM production environment.
The camera is anticipated to be priced around SRP €5,500 (approx $7,200 USD) in EU countries.