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Sonys XDCAM HD is Weapon of Choice for “Speargun Hunter”

To capture the life of an ocean speargun hunter, filmmaker and director of photography Robin D. Berg shot “Speargun Hunter” for the Outdoor Channel on Sony’s new XDCAM HD Professional Disc System.

After rigorous testing, Berg decided on the XDCAM HD PDW-F350, which he would use to shoot all of the above-water footage for the Outdoor Channel’s “Speargun Hunter” series, challenging the camera to withstand saltwater spray, tight quarters, and wave-tossed seas.

Berg’s favorite XDCAM HD features include the flip-out LCD monitor, the blue-laser random access feature that allows instant thumbnail viewing access to the images on site and the cost-effective, tapeless workflow, which enables storage of up to 65 minutes of HD on a $30 disc.

Berg’s intense three-month production schedule took him, his production crew, and expert speargun hunters Sheri Daye and Chad Palan to the waters of Puerto Vallarta, Key West and Treasure Coast, Fla.

World record spearfisherman and underwater photographer Terry Maas shot the production’s dramatic underwater footage with Sony’s HVR-Z1U Digital HD Video Camera Recorder (the Z1), encased within Light and Motion’s Bluefin Underwater housing. Using the Z1, Maas captured Palan and Daye’s underwater adventures — all accomplished using only their highly developed breath-hold skills. Highlights include Daye’s close encounter with a shark and her successful struggle to capture a world record Yellowfin Tuna.

Berg condensed highlights of the season’s 13 episodes into an hour-long documentary that will air on the Outdoor Channel in January of 2007. The production took “Best Documentary” honors at the Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival in September.

Berg, president of Berg Entertainment International Inc. and director of more than 400 episodes of broadcast television, plans to make XDCAM HD his primary camera for upcoming ocean adventure programming. The Outdoor Channel is also making similar plans.

Three of Sony’s XDCAM HD products are now available for purchase: the PDW-F350 camcorder for $25,000, the PDW-F330 camcorder for $16,800 and the PDW-F70 deck for $15,990.