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Sony has followed on from its original world-first high definition video camera (FX1) with a new model (FX7) targeted at the enthusiastic consumer and semi-professional market.

The company predicts HD TV sales to reach 600 000 in Australia by the end of the year, with 18 percent of Australians owning a high-definition ready set by this time. Accordingly, Sony believes many of these consumers will wish to take to advantage of their TV capabilities by shooting in HD as well.

Professional cinematographer, Pieter de Vries is impressed with the result: “This camera is aimed at the space where consumer meets professional, but I actually think it will be very popular with professionals, such as wedding photographers. With correct use, you could even use it alongside a broadcast quality $250 000 camera, as the features and Carl Zeiss lens are all there.”  

The new camcorder is about 30 percent lighter and smaller than its older brother, and lets you shoot in high-definition using the HDV 1080i format. It features the ClearVid CMOS sensor (as opposed to CCD), which offers several advantages according to Sony and Pieter, such as removing vertical smearing (the flashy glare when you shoot something shiny or at the sun), lower power consumption and a dynamic colour range.

The camera also allows you to shoot in slow mo and take still pictures at the same time as shooting video. The latter is one of the features which failed to impress the professional de Vries, but, according to Sony’s Paul Colley, is something that consumers have been requesting for some time. The FX7 can shoot 1.2 megapixel images while filming or during playback and 5 megapixel images when not recording.

Connectivity options are generous on the FX7 – with HDMI in addition to memory stick, USB, component, AV out and link. This means you can plug your HD TV directly into the camera via HDMI for instant big screen HD playback.

“The advent of digital video cameras was a wake up call for me – I have been shooting in HD for five or six years. I think once people get used to shooting with the detail that HD affords, it will get better and better,” de Vries added.

RRP: $5499

See: www.sony.com.au

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