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The HDW700A
High Definition
CamCorder

The HDW700A uses a 2/3 inch image format,  which maintains a lens compatibility with Digital BETACAM (DVW700),  BETACAM SX (DNW7, 9, 9WS , 90 and 90WS) and most other Sony,  hand held,  2/3 inch cameras. There is a good selection of new High Definition lenses available from Canon,  Fujinon, and Angenieux. The High Definition lenses are recommended for the best quality High Definition picture.  In a pinch, you can use one of the broad range of Standard Definition,  high quality lenses to capture an acceptable High Definition picture. Be aware, when using a Standard Definition lens, that you will have a 15% reduction in resolution and at the wide end of the zoom range, you may have noticeable chromatic abberations that appear as possible registration errors, or white shading errors.

The camera uses the HyperHAD CCD which, according to Sony, gives you very low noise and a wide dynamic range.  The camera is able to capture great looking images within a wide range of scene illumination. It's sensitivity is F 8.0 at 2000Lux, with a signal to noise ratio of 54 dB, unweighted, measured over the camera's 30 MHz bandwidth. (If you think of the 10 MHz bandwidth of your 800 line,  4 x 3 ratio camera,  and it's signal to noise ratio,  The HDW700A's 54 dB is quite impressive.)

The whole thing weighs roughly 17 lbs. with a Lithium battery,  cassette,  viewfinder and a light weight lens. It only takes about 40W of power to run the unit and it's compatible with NiCad, Lithium-ion and Anton Bauer batteries.

You can use the BSC-1 setup chips to store your personal setups for this camera; but remember, once you have used them in The HDW700A, they are not compatible with DVW700, BVWD600 or any of the DNW series.

If you have a HD field monitor, or studio type monitor, you can view color output from this camera/recorder through the analog outputs at the rear of the unit. The output signals are selectable for various types of HD outputs.

At this time these newer HD camcorder units are now being shipped as 1080 line, interlace scanning.  From what we have seen of these cameras, we can tell you the picture is stunning! (We could see it snowing on a 20inch monitor, and it looked almost three dimensional.) Also according to Sony, in the future,  you can upgrade your HDW700 to the 1080 line image sensors. We will notify you here, as soon as we know when the upgrade becomes available. Rumor has it that the 1080 line sensor set will be available in both interlace and progressive scan. And Sony introduced their 24 frame, segmented / progressive scan version of this HD camcorder.  We hear that an actual production model may be available between now and the fall of 1999.

Remember this is an Analog camera, not a digital camera. But, it does have a digital recorder on it. The analog camera section, is one of the reasons the set up cards can't be traded with DVW700 cameras or the SX series of cameras. At this time, we have not seen any special set up tables for this camera, nor any special set ups from users. This camera sets up quite differently than other cameras, as there are not any high definition vectorscopes, you use a combination of a HD waveform and a properly set up HD monitor. The waveform will get you the correct gamma and clip settings, while you use the monitor to set the color. We recommend the McBeth chart for setting up this camera. It's collection of colors are more extensive than the DSC SMPTE chart, and the McBeth chart includes flesh tones. Though in a pinch, the DSC SMPTE chart is just fine for setting up true SMPTE color standards.

In our opinions, this is a great combination of a standard sized cam/corder, with a High Definition picture. Don't scoff at the camera being analog; at this time, I don't believe you will find any truely digital high definition cameras. (The clock speeds would be tremendous and the sampling rate outrageous.) The digital recording section, in spite of any compression schemes, makes a picture that is, visually, as good as the old digital one inch high definition pictures. If you are serious about your pictures, and you shoot high end production, you should take a serious look at this great combination of recorder and camera. We can attest to it's picture quality, as one of our clients recently purchased a unit. The footage he brought back with him was absolutely wonderful.  From what we understand, you will be able to see his footage too, once it is released as part of a skiing film. We will tell you more about The HDW700A And our clients images as the information becomes available.

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