Sony Intros ‘SteadyShot’ Palm-Sized Camera

Broadcasters looking at hand-held cameras for their video journalists now have another option from Sony — a palm-sized HD camcorder with professional features and Sony’s proprietary Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization technology that takes the shakes out of images.

The new HXR-NX30U records at full 1920 x 1080 HD resolution using a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens (35mm equivalent :26.0mm -260mm). The camcorder’s 1/2.88-inch image sensor uses Sony’s Exmor R™ CMOS technology, which significantly enhances low-light performance, speeds image readout, reduces rolling shutter artifacts and enables a range of frame rates – 1080/60p, 1080/30p, 24p, 60i, 720/60p.

Sony is promising the camera in June with a list price of less than $2,500.

“This high-quality yet easy-to-use camcorder is an extremely versatile field production tool,” said Chiyoko Yannette, marketing manager at Sony Electronics’ Professional Solutions of America group, in a prepared statement.

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“It’s perfect for documentary makers, video journalists, educational establishments or corporate users, for shooting in many different situations where other stabilization equipment is not practical such as on-board a vehicle or in a crowd.”

Conventional image stabilization systems typically “float” an individual lens element with a motor drive to compensate for camera shake, Sony says. Balanced Optical SteadyShot™ combines the entire lens and image sensor assembly into one floating element that moves as a unit to reduce the shaking effect caused by normal motion during shooting.

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Using AVCHD recording, the camera has 96 gigabytes of internal memory (approximately 40 hours of HD content), with a slot that accepts either SD or Memory Stick media cards for additional recording capacity. A built-in video projector lets users play back images of up to 100 inches from a distance of about 16 feet (5m) on any flat surface. This feature is ideal for reviewing footage in the field or on a set, when a monitor is either not available or convenient to use.

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The HXR-NX30U also features a detachable XLR unit and professional-quality audio, record level control, the option of Linear PCM audio recording, time code, and the ability to reset time code on multiple NXCAMs via infrared remote control.


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