Blurring the line between consumer and professional video cameras Sony has created the HVR-Z1U camcorder. It adheres to the HDV Consortium’s specifications for 1080i recording on popular DV mini cassettes. This camera represents the widest array of professional features within a new standard of miniaturization. The HDV video standard will provide about double the resolution of the old standard DV formats.
In contrast with consumer cameras, this pro model HVR-Z1U offers many special functions that the professional operator will immediately appreciate. Just as an example, the HVR-Z1U will keep track of the hours of operation the camera endures. Another example of the pro camera’s greater abilities is that it records and plays in DVCAM, consumer DV (SP mode), and the HDV formats. You may also use the LCD screen simultaneously with the viewfinder, a function not found in the consumer model.
The design of the camera is aimed directly at the filmmaker, the most modern event video producers and even widescreen news shooters. Because it records in high definition and standard definition modes it can be used in a variety of production scenarios that may change from client to client or evolve over time. It is NTSC and PAL system compatible as well.
- High Definition and Standard Definition, and Film-Looks
- The HVR-Z1U is Sony’s first attempt at a mini-sized camcorder for the newest high definition monitors. The camera records in 16:9 widescreen with native widescreen chips. It will output component video in 1080i, 480i and 480p formats. In fact it will output 60 frame, 50 frame, 30 frame and 25 frame standards. An additional function is HD to SD down conversion. Another feature of the camera is the CineFrame Mode that replicates the look of film production. The mode has 30 frame, 25 frame and 24 frame modes that utilize a 3:2 pull down conversion. Additionally the camera has the ability to down-convert HD captured video to standard definition video for viewing on a SD monitor or for systems that require SD video.
- High Quality Lens
- High resolution video starts with the finest glass lens appropriate to the camera. The HVR-Z1U has a Carl Zeiss designed lens, a world leader in optical technology. With the most advanced glass composition and the most efficient anti-reflective coatings this HDV camera captures the sharpest most detailed pictures in the most compact design available.
- World-Wide Compatibility
- The HDV camcorder is both NTSC and PAL and 50i/60i systems compatible which is a first for the pro-sumer 3-CCD camera market. This allows the industrial and event videographer to satisfy clients almost anywhere in the civilized world. The high-def formats are inherently universal being digital algorithmic constructions.
- Color Correction for Special Effects
- This very advanced feature allows the user to adjust color of a target subject without affection the color of the remainder of the scene. As a fascinating special effect one object may show color while the remaining scene is black and white. In fact 2 target colors may be chosen and controlled for color phase, color gain and other parameters.
- One-Touch Custom Set-Ups
- The HVR-Z1U has 6 buttons for your special custom setting memories and menu selections. A single button push will set the camera to your specific outdoor, fluorescent or color correction selected options. Menu items like REC REVIEW, Back-Light, Spot-Light features may be selected to one of the assignable buttons.
- Viewfinder and LCD Monitor Features
- Essentially all functions viewable through the viewfinder will be displayed on the 3.3-inch LCD screen- and both can be used simultaneously. Safety markers for 4:3 can be generated on a widescreen image for use with the Edge Crop function. The widescreen marker can be displayed on 4:3 recordings. All markers may be selected simultaneously. Zoom ratio display may be shown as a bar graph or in numerical readout as menu selected. Of course all supplemental viewfinder information may be turned off completely as well.
- Color Bars and Hours Metering
- The HVR-Z1U has 2 sets of color bars for accurate color representation. Full SMPTE bars and standard bars may be selected through menu settings. Diagnostic metering has been available on large professional camera from the very beginning of ENG shooting. This little camera is the first to address this requirement in a small camera. Operation, Drum Run, Tape Run and Threading hours are all available for maintenance purposes.