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Sony DCR-VX2000 DV cam

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Sony presents the DCR-VX2000 DV camcorder as successor to the DCR-VX1000

In the fast-moving electronics business, only very few products become established as classics. One specimen with a very strong claim to this status is the DCR-VX1000, Sony's first digital camcorder designed to play mini-DV cassettes. Premiered at the International Broadcast Fair in the summer of 1995 and a practically unchanged stalwart of the product range ever since, the DCR-VX1000 is still regarded as a milestone in the history of video recording. Hundreds of thousands of units have been sold - the camcorder's picture quality and functionality are a delight to amateur video enthusiasts and semi-professional users alike. Professionals are also eager to use the VX1000 when they need an especially lightweight, handy and rugged camera.

In unveiling its successor, the DCR-VX2000, Sony is proving that accomplished products can be refined. The development engineers focused on uncompromising picture and sound quality for the new model, whose differences from the predecessor are apparent only at second glance. The video camera's proven and functional design has been largely retained. The lens system with 12x zoom is new, as are the 3-chip camera block and integration of the Memory Stick storage medium. An especially prominent new feature is the hinged LC display with a picture diagonal of 6.35 cm. With a detail resolution of 200,640 pixels, the user remains fully in the picture even in difficult situations, typically when filming above head height or close to the ground. The display also serves as a convenient and immediate picture monitor and as a control interface for several camera functions. The 1.14 cm LCD viewfinder with an impressive 180,000 pixels is new as well. Thanks to DV, S-Video and video I/Os, the DCR-VX2000 doubles up as a digital video recorder with integral analog/digital signal conversion.

Lens & camera

The camera block consists of three CCD image devices with 450,000/400,000 pixels (gross/net) each. As regards signal processing, high priority was attached to high resolution (approx. 520 lines) and minimal picture noise. With a minimum illumination of 2 lux, the DCR-VX2000 copes easily with poor light conditions. Smear effects, such as occur when filming light objects against a dark background, have been more or less entirely eliminated. The camera part and signal processing attributes are ideally matched to the zoom lens that was developed specifically for the DCR-VX2000. It offers 12x optical zoom for manual focusing, precisely variable speed control with a focal length range of 43.2 - 518.4 mm (35 mm equivalent), and an f number of 1:1.6 - 2.4. A 24x or 48x digital zoom option is available when required. The optical picture stabilizing function called Super Steady Shot reliably counters camera shake when shooting with a large focal length. Focus can be adjusted automatically or manually. Besides the built-in ND filter, the 58 mm thread allows the use of other filters and supplementary lenses.

Camera & photo functions

For optimal results in a variety of filming situations, the user has a choice of three automatic exposures. The shutter speed is selected manually or in the AE mode with increments between 1/3rd and 1/10,000th second. A zebra pattern is superimposed in the viewfinder as a means of controlling the correct exposure. Five cross-fading effects (black, overlap, wipe, monotone, random dot) and several picture effects allow creative elements to be integrated while recording. The 16:9 full mode adjusts the output for compliance with modern cinema-format television sets. Integration of Sony's compact storage medium, the Memory Stick, provides additional creative options, including the blue box effect. This camcorder can also shoot digital stills (640 x 480 JPEG) and transfer the pictures quickly and conveniently to a PC. The drive of the DCR-VX2000 is very precise, offering both time-lapse (30 seconds and 1, 5, or 10 minutes) and single-frame recording (0.5, 1, 1.5 or 2 seconds).

Audio & ports

The studio-like picture quality is complemented by outstanding PCM stereo sound recording with a resolution of 12 (32 kHz) or 16 bits (48 kHz). The recording level is controlled either automatically or manually. Integration of a microphone input allows films to be dubbed in the camera (12 bits/32 kHz), and a built-in mini-speaker is provided for immediate monitoring purposes. The inputs/outputs range from DV (i.LINK/IEEE 1394/95) to S-Video, Video and Audio. Also included are a powered microphone input (mini-jack/2.5 - 3 Volt), Lanc connector, headphone output, and an intelligent accessory shoe.

Accessories & dimensions

The camera is supplied complete with an AC-L10 mains adapter/charger and NP-F330 lithium ion battery. All the other batteries in the InfoLITHIUM L series can be used as well. Thanks to Stamina technology, the VX2000 offers up to 9 hours of continuous recording with the optional NP-F960 battery. Also included in the delivery scope are the RMT-811 remote commander, a 4 MB Memory Stick, PictureGear 3.2 Lite still picture processing software, an AV cable, shoulder strap and lens cap. The USB adapter (including driver software) is a new attribute for fast and convenient transfer of image data from Memory Stick to PC. The DCR-VX2000 measures 115 x 145 x 342 mm and weighs about 1,400 grams without a tape and battery.

Available: June 2000

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