In an era when even the least expensive prosumer camcorder touts the latest flavor of high-definition 24p, it's easy to forget that as recently as 2000, aspiring to--much less achieving--the cinema-like imagery of 24 frames per second on HD video was the exclusive domain of George Lucas, busy pushing the envelope on his Star Wars prequels. The camera he used, the first of its kind, was Sony's CineAlta HDW-F900, and the number of prestigious widescreen and television productions it went on to shoot ultimately won it a 2004 Primetime Emmy for Engineering. If you wanted to achieve the rich look of 35mm film on video, at dramatically reduced costs, shooting HDCAM on the HDW-F900 was the only game in town.
HDCAM's reputation as the go-to HD production format for top quality programming was built on the shoulders of the HDW-F900. And now Sony's HDW-F900R (the 'R' stands for "refined") continues that tradition. It's a smaller, lighter, more versatile version of the workhorse F900, incorporating such refinements as two built-in HD-SDI outputs, hyper gamma capability, reduced power consumption, and (with optional boards): image inversion, slow shutter, picture cache, interval recording, and downconversion with 2-3 pulldown.
On top of the F900's original, industry-standard features and large 2/3" sensors, these refinements provide the greater flexibility and creative control that professional shooters have been asking for. And in terms of image quality and accessories, the F900R remains fully compatible with its predecessor--no modifications are needed for existing third-party items.
The HDW-F900R, like the F900, continues to excel at what it does best: capturing high-end, film-like imagery that meets the most rigorous broadcast standards. And it does so with the ease and control of shooting 35mm--without film's higher cost. That's something the most tricked-out prosumer minicam can only dream about.