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Sony's New High-End F23 HD Camera

December 19, 2006

Just as Canon's new HV10 consumer HD-camcorder marked the trend toward 1920 x 1080 as the high-definition format, Sony's new F23 video camera ratifies that format at the high-end. Coming to a theater near you.

The F23, which won't be available until the spring, is part of Sony's CineAlta line, and incorporates significant new features that users of its HDC-F950 asked for.

The F23 images only at 1920 x 1080 full-specification HD. It supports frame rates of 24, 30, and 60 fps (23.98, 29.97, and 59.94)--all progressive, as well as 60i and the European 25 and 50 fps.

It uses three 2.2 megabit 2/3-inch type progressive CCD imagers and a 14-bit A/D converter.

Designed to entice the film cinematographer to switch to digital, the F23 will accept common film camera accessories. It is also capable of variable frame rate shooting, as for "undercranking" (to speed up motion) and "overcranking" for slow-motion effects.

Sony's SRW-1 digital tape recorder can be attached directly to the top or tail of the F23, yielding a complete package without the need for extra cables.

Sony's director of marketing for professional content creation products put it this way: "Developed for cinematographers, this system will offer the technical and mechanical flexibility they need, as well as a compact and rugged design to withstand the challenging conditions often encountered on location."

It's what the big boys play with. No price announced, but if you have to ask ...