Sony Unveils New AVCHD Camcorder Technology
Posted Nov 18, 2009

Sony Electronics is introducing a new family of professional video products that supports the AVCHD format. Designed to bring the benefits of seamless and easy-to-use solid-state production capabilities to professionals and "pro-sumers," the new NXCAM family delivers an ideal combination of image quality and performance.

The first model in this series will be a professional camcorder featuring Sony's ExmorTM CMOS sensor with ClearVid array, to deliver full high-definition resolution and low light sensitivity with low noise. The camcorder will record AVCHD up to 24Mbps, delivering 1920x1080 high definition images with both interlace and progressive modes along with native 1080/24P, 720/60p and MPEG-2 SD recording. The camcorder will include both HD-SDI and HDMI outputs, as well as two-channel linear PCM audio capabilities.

"Building on our success with file-based solid-state technology, the time is right to bring to market a memory-based camcorder using the latest AVCHD technology with low-cost memory cards," said Tatsuro Kurachi, group marketing manager, Sony Electronics' Broadcast and Professional Audio/Video Group. "Coupled with the latest innovations in lens and sensor design, this new family will offer outstanding picture performance for professional applications such as event videography, commercial or corporate video production."

AVCHD technology has been widely adopted in Sony's consumer camcorder line. In the professional market, Sony has already introduced one AVCHD-based model: the compact point-of-view (POV) camera and solid-state recorder combination, model HXR-MC1.

According to Sony, AVCHD is a highly efficient long-GOP codec based on MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Long-GOP image compression, a member of the MPEG family of codecs. This approach is consistent with Sony's current line-up of MPEG professional camcorders, including the HDVTM, XDCAM® HD optical and XDCAM EXTM series.

"The real world of broadcast and professional video production is not simply black and white," said Kurachi. "Different solutions are required for different applications."

The new NXCAM model also shares the G lens used in Sony's HVR-Z5U professional camcorder. The camcorder will also use Memory Stick Pro DuoTM recording media along with an optional 128GB Flash Memory Unit for Hybrid Recording. This module can be easily removed and simply powered through a computer's USB connection, to make file downloading or editing easier and faster. The camcorder will also capture GPS data and record broadcast-quality.

The new NXCAM professional camcorder will be available in early 2010, with suggested list pricing to be announced.