Sony has just announced the new PDW-F800 XDCAM Camcorder, and you’ll be able to get your hands on it at the Abel booth at NAB. This camera is basically a PDW-700 camera with some upgrades that many of our customers have been asking for. The list of new features that come standard with the camera include: 24p recording, variable frame rate recording (over-crank & under-crank), user gamma modes, dual-optical filters (ND and Color Correction), and SD recording modes. They have also added the ability to record proxy video data directly to a USB memory stick, so your editor can start working immediately with these files.
Now, if you own the PDW-700 don’t dismay, an optional 24p recording board will be available in June and the SD record modes are already available for purchase. The F800 will ship with these features and be priced accordingly. Looking at the specs I can see that Sony has taken feedback from the production community and added features that make the camera very versatile. When Sony puts the ‘F’ in front of the product code (ie: the F900R or F23) they are aiming a product at a film community. And with 24P, variable frame rate recording, and custom gamma curves, this camera should fit nicely into a commercial production environment.
Sony also announced the PDW-F1600 Deck. This is similar to the PDW-HD1500 deck but adds some new features as well. Again don’t worry if you already own the PDW-HD1500 deck, the discs from both the PDW-700 and PDW-F800 will work in the the HD1500. What they have added is pretty interesting though. First, they added insert/assemble editing capability which allows users to work with it more like tape. Secondly, it sounds like they added a web interface for viewing clips on the disc or browsing data written to the disc. This function should really open up the door for using the XDCAM disc as a data archive for all tapeless media. Just add the F1600 to your network and you can read, write, and browse any ProDisc. Lastly, and on that same note, they have added a dual-optical pickup for faster data transfer.