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Sony Expands XDCAM EX Line with EX3 Camcorder and Support

At NAB, Sony announced the expansion of its XDCAM EX line with the PMW-EX3 camcorder, PMW-EX30 deck and PHU-60K professional hard-disk unit. Sony also unveiled a prototype 32GB version of the SxS PRO solid-state memory card. The three XDCAM EX products are expected to be available in the third quarter of this year. The PMW-EX3 will have a suggested list price of less than $13,000, while the PMW-EX30 will sell for about $6,000. Pricing is yet to be announced for the PHU-60K hard disk.

“These new products significantly upgrade solid-state production while continuing the series’ heritage of ExpressCard technology—the new standard of PC card interface,” said Bob Ott, vice president of professional and optical products for Sony Electronics. “Now, users have access to an enhanced workflow and greater functionality, plus all the benefits of the original XDCAM EX camcorder, including superb full HD 1920×1080 image quality without spatial offsetting.”

The PMW-EX3 camcorder features similar functionality to the PMW-EX1 but offers an interchangeable lens system.

The PMW-EX3 camcorder features genlock and timecode in/out for multi-camera operation. For use in a studio configuration, model RM-B150/B750 remote controllers will adjust basic camera parameters such as gain, iris, white balance, pedestal and gamma through the 8-pin remote connector on the PMW-EX3 camcorder.

The PMW-EX30 model is Sony’s first solid-state memory recorder/player. The 1080i/720p-switchable unit has an HDMI digital connection for use with an external monitor. It has HD-SDI in/out, making it ideal for recording live HD content and dubbing to other formats. The deck can also be used as an SxS PRO card reader/writer and for feeding content to existing HD and/or SD nonlinear editing systems.

Specifically designed for use with XDCAM EX camcorders, the PHU-60K hard-disk unit is a 1.8-inch, 60GB external storage unit with a USB 2.0 interface. Users can achieve approximate recording times of 200 minutes in 35Mb/s HQ (high-quality) mode and 260 minutes in 25Mb/s SP (standard play) mode.

When attached to a camcorder, the hard-disk unit functions just like an SxS PRO card, with thumbnail views available on the LCD panel of the PMW-EX1 or PMW-EX3 camcorders or PMW-EX30 deck.

Sony’s CyberCapture technology allows clips to be recorded at a stable transfer speed, leading to fewer frame drops under challenging conditions such as extreme temperatures or vibrations and shock.

A new “dumping” system is used to protect the HDD from a 1.5-meter drop, and buffer memory is used to allow recording immediately after powering on. Also, a salvage function enables restoration of content damaged by battery/cable disconnection or accidental powering down during recording.

A 3-D G sensor and the buffer memory allow for stable recording. When the G sensor detects that the unit is being dropped, the head of the HDD is immediately parked to protect the HDD. The content is temporarily stored in the buffer memory and then restored in the HDD when it is operating again. Approximately 12 hours of continuous operation are possible on a BP-U30 battery.

32GB SxS PRO Memory Card
Sony plans to introduce a 32GB SxS PRO memory card later this year. One 32GB SxS PRO memory card will record 100 minutes of full HD 1920×1080 video at 35Mb/s and 140 minutes of 1440×1080 video at 25Mb/s. Pricing will be announced at a later date.

Clip Browser Version 2.0
The Clip Browser software that ships with each XDCAM EX camcorder at no additional charge is expected to be upgraded to version 2.0 this summer. Enhancements will include the capability to use XDCAM EX content within a DV editing workflow.

Optional plug-in software separately under development for Clip Browser 2.0 will export XDCAM EX files on SxS memory cards to Professional Media discs, allowing XDCAM HD optical disc products to seamlessly interoperate with content shot by the XDCAM EX camcorder.

Other optional plug-in software under development for Clip Browser 2.0 will enable XDCAM EX files to be viewed on a range of portable consumer devices or to be uploaded to video sharing web sites.

Nonlinear editors can deliver higher-quality footage and accelerate the post production process by editing XDCAM EX files natively. Major NLE vendors have solutions that support a true file-based workflow with XDCAM EX files without the need for transcoding. Adobe is announcing native support for XDCAM EX through its Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 video editing and production software. Also, this summer, Avid’s nonlinear editing systems are expected to fully support 35Mb/s HQ (high quality) mode at 1920×1080/60i and 1280×720/60p.

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