I’m so witty.
Sony announced an overwhelming quantity of new cameras at NAB. Here’s my quick rundown, but if you want the full list check out the excellent article from dvuser.co.uk.
Remember when XDCam meant “MXF wrapped MPEG-ish video stored to a rewriteable optical disc”? Yeah… those were the days. Now we get the XDcam EX, a camera which writes to expresscard/34 solid state storage. In reality, it looks like an excellent camera – while the lens isn’t removable, it does have proper manual features, with physical aperture adjustment. Nice.
In terms of the disc-based XDCam products, the big news was 4:2:2 HD on dual-layer discs. That’s a big deal, as it moves XDCamHD from “HDV on a Disc” to something a bit more professional. There are also two new decks, the F75 and one yet-to-be-named which support the new dual-layer discs. Finally, they brought out the PDW-U1, a firewire-attached drive for use with NLE workstations. Rumor is that it’ll street at around $3000, which would make it a pretty nice choice for an xdcam workflow.
Finally, in the HDV space, Sony showed a DSR-250 replacement which supports large-format cassettes to provide up to 276 minutes of HDV record time. I’m sure it’ll be nice, but unless you need that kind of runtime there are probably better options on the market for the near-$10k pricetag.
Finally, DVUser.co.uk has the officially Sony powerpoint on all these products. It will be very interesting to see how XDCam HD at 4:2:2 compares to HDCam at 3:1:1 (but with less compression).