This year’s Handycam® line-up showcases a matchless array of Sony imaging innovation.
The new HD Handycam® range features several leading-edge technologies originally developed for Sony for its Alpha range of digital SLR cameras. Sony’s unique sensor, lens and image processing know-how are combined to deliver unprecedented HD picture quality - whether you’re shooting video or stills.
For the first time, range-topping AVCHD HDD Handycam® models (HDR-XR520VE/500VE) feature a super-sensitive Exmor R CMOS sensor. Developed exclusively by Sony, this radically new design adopts a unique ‘back illuminated’ cell structure. The sensor has been re-engineered so photo-sensitive areas receive maximum illumination, unobscured by a grid of fine metal wires that partially blocks the pathway of incoming light in conventional designs.
This ‘flipped’ sensor layout increases the amount of illumination reaching the photo detector. Dramatically boosting overall efficiency, Exmor R CMOS Sensor approximately 2x increase in sensitivity compared with conventional models. This ensures brilliant, low noise-images, even in low light.
This innovative sensor structure is coupled with on-chip analogue to digital (A/D) conversion, minimising the pathway of analogue signals that are more susceptible to noise than digital data. On-chip A/D conversion thus reduces picture noise further for superb low-light performance, whether you’re shooting indoors or night scenes. Other features of this advanced Exmor R CMOS sensor include a unique ClearVid array pixel layout: this allows very high resolution still recording up to to a maximum 12 effective megapixels.
Also making its debut on top-flight AVCHD HDD Handycam® models is Sony’s new G lens. Complementing the new Exmor R CMOS sensor’s superb imaging performance, this premium lens expands creative shooting possibilities.
Its advanced optical design includes low-dispersion aspheric glass elements for crisp, clear images with reduced chromatic aberration, especially at telephoto settings. Image contrast is stunning from corner to corner, while a 6-blade iris produces beautifully circular ‘bokeh’ defocus effects with point light sources.
Developed originally for the Alpha digital SLR range of cameras, the high-speed BIONZ imaging processor in HD Handycam® models handles massive amounts of high-resolution data from the Exmor R CMOS sensor with ease. This contributes directly to the extraordinary picture quality, quick response time and smart shooting features that characterise this year’s High Definition Handycam® range.
After shooting, Memory Stick™ Handycam® users can enjoy blazingly-fast data transfers from Handycam® to PC. Available in high-capacity 16GB (from March 2009) as well as 8GB and 4GB, Memory Stick™ PRO-HG HX achieves 20MB/s (read) and 15MB/s (write) transfer speeds: that’s more than 3x the performance of Memory Stick™ PRO DUO, and significantly faster than direct USB connection from the camcorder’s internal memory to PC. In practice, this allows transfer of a 110 min Full HD video file (approx. 15 GB) from Handycam® to a PC in less than 15 minutes (using PRO-HG HX and supplied USB adaptor for connection to PC).