(PARK RIDGE, N.J., Feb. 23, 2006) Sony is improving on the production community's camcorder of choice - its own HDW-F900 - with the premiere of the new HDW-F900R model.
The original HDW-F900 model, part of Sony's CineAlta™ line, ushered in an era of 24P television production and helped to drive the conversion from 35mm film to digital video formats. Nearly all television prime-time sit-coms are now shot on the system, as well as the majority of episodic dramas. The new HDW-F900R is designed as a replacement to this model, offering a number of enhancements.
This new camcorder features a more compact and lighter chassis, HD-SDI outputs and new accessory boards for slow shutter, image inversion and down conversion with 3:2 pull-down. The HDW-F900R model can also take advantage of the optional video cache feature of Sony's HDW-730/750 camcorder series, giving this new camcorder even more production flexibility.
The new camcorder features three 2.2 megapixel CCDs, 12-bit DSP, and has the same optical axis as its predecessor model with virtually identical image-making capabilities.
"This camcorder was designed to work seamlessly with the previous generation of equipment," said Rob Willox, director of content creation for Sony Electronics' Broadcast and Production Systems Division. "The goal was to refine the camera, making it lighter while offering the modern HD interfaces that are now common to the production community but were not available at the inception of the CineAlta line."
For example, monitoring is now digital instead of Y/Pb/Pr, eliminating the need for adapters or other terminal gear used for HD-SDI monitoring. The new HDW-F900R model also incorporates a completely lead-free solder design.
The HDW-F900R can record four channels of AES/EBU digital audio without the use of the HDCA-901 camera adapter, and it can also record four channels of simultaneous analog audio.
There are two new option boards for the HDW-F900R. The HKDW-902R is a down-converter that enables 3:2 pull-down for on-set standard-definition monitoring and allows the unit to be used in 4:3 squeezed, letterbox or crop modes for SD viewing. The HKDW-905R is a slow-shutter/image inversion board that allows the use of image-inverting lenses such as ultra-telescopic lenses from Panavision, the Canon Anamorphic Lens Adaptor or Cinema lenses with 2/3-inch adapters.
The HDW-F900R is complemented by media that is co-engineered and designed to offer optimum system performance. Sony's BCT-HD Series HDCAM digital high definition videocassettes incorporate Sony's advanced metal tape technology to enable high density HD recording capable of capturing recording wavelengths of 0.49um and achieving recording times of up to 50 minutes for the small-size cassette, and 155 minutes for the large-size cassette (both in 24P mode).
The HDW-F900R is planned to be available in July, at a suggested list price of $79,900. The two option boards are both scheduled to be available in August at suggested list prices of $4,750 (HKDW-902R) and $2,600 (HKDW-905R).