Sony HDW-790 HDCAM High Definition Camcorder

B&H # SOHDW790 MFR # HDW790
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Product Highlights

  • 2/3" Power HAD CCDs
  • 1080p
  • 12-Bit A/D Converter
  • Slow Shutter
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You Pay: $57,959.95

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The Sony HDW-790 is a professional camcorder designed to record the flagship HDCAM high definition format. From its introduction, HDCAM has been used for a broad range of high-definition productions, including dramas, documentaries, and news. Due to its stunning picture quality and exceptional mobility and durability, HDCAM camcorders have become an industry standard for HD acquisition. Now Sony has evolved the well-accepted HDW-750 Series to the new HDW-790 Series, offering camcorders with a variety of enhanced features.

Power HAD CCDs
The HDW-790 is equipped with field-proven three 2/3" type HD Power HAD CCDs Inheriting Sony HAD sensor technology and on-chip lens structure of the latest Power HAD sensors, the CCDs provide an outstanding sensitivity of F10 (at 2000 lx, 3200K), a high signal-to-noise ratio of 54 dB (typical), and a remarkably low vertical smear level of -135 dB. In addition, these advanced Power HAD CCD sensors bring a wide dynamic range of 600% in interlace mode and 460% in progressive mode*, allowing users to capture high-contrast scenes.
12-Bit A/D Conversion
The HDW-790 incorporates a high-integrity 12-bit A/D conversion circuit, which allows high-quality images captured by the Power HAD CCD to be processed with great precision. This high-resolution A/D converter faithfully reproduces the contrast of both mid-to-dark tones and bright areas of the image. These outstanding images are then processed by powerful, high-speed, Advanced Digital Signal Processing (ADSP) which enables highly sophisticated image controls such as the TruEye process, multi-matrix correction, and adaptive highlight control for producing in-camera effects.
HDCAM Format
The HDW-790 camcorder adopts the proven HDCAM format to record 1920 x 1080 resolution, high-definition component digital signals. The HDCAM format uses an extremely intelligent compression scheme with a high video bit rate of 140 Mb/s (data rate on tape of 185 Mb/s.) This allows the format to provide superb picture quality onto a highly robust and cost-effective 1/2-inch tape, with a design inherited from the Betacam Series.
Multi Matrix Technology
Multi Matrix technology creates many opportunities for cinematographers to put their own creative stamp on the footage they shoot. The technology allows the user to select a specific color in the image and manipulate its hue. The hue can be adjusted up to 22.5 degrees. This all happens in-camera with no post-production necessary.
TruEye Knee Saturation Control
Possibly the most amazing feature of the camera is TruEye. TruEye improves the camera's ability to handle various levels of highlights within one shot. This can be very useful for instances such as shooting outdoor scenery while being confined indoors. Cameras traditionally have to choose to compensate for one or the other. This produces either blown out highlights to the brightly lit areas of the image or a dimly lit frame, depending on what part of the image the camera decides to calibrate. TruEye identifies differences within the image and compensates intelligently, according to the specific light situation of each part of the frame. The resultant image is one that can be just as vibrant indoors as out, simultaneously!
Memory Stick Data Storage
The HDW-790 has a Memory Stick drive, which can be used to store scene specific data. This data can include camera options, scene, and take. The data can then be retrieved and automatically sent back to the camera. This can be critical when trying to match footage something previously shot in the same location
Infinitely Adjustable
The HDW-790 has a wide array of adjustable image controls that translate into stunningly accurate images. The Auto-Tracing White Balance is useful in situations where one must quickly move between indoor and outdoor (natural and unnatural) lighting situations. Color temperature control can be used to choose between images that appear cooler with more bluish tones, or warmer with more reddish ones. Lastly, gamma curve adjustment can be performed in camera and will provide a wide range of tonal choices across the entire image.
Selectable Gamma Curves
Offering a wide variety of gamma curves allows users to flexibly handle contrast, and give a specific "look" to an image. HyperGamma is a sophisticated gamma-setting function that allows maximum use of the wide dynamic range characteristic of the Power HAD CCD.
Long Recording Time
Utilizing the HDCAM format's high-density recording capability and compression technology, the HDW-790 provides a maximum of 40 minutes of recording in 1080/59.94i mode.
High Quality Audio
The camera can record and playback high-quality, four-channel 20 bits/48 kHz digital audio. Users can freely select the audio input signal for each channel, choosing from the front microphone and additional wired or wireless microphones.
Compact Design
Designed to be compact, lightweight, and ergonomically well balanced, providing a high level of mobility and comfort in various shooting situations. It weighs approximately 5.4kg (11.8 lbs) including the viewfinder, microphone, BCT-40HD Tape, and BP-GL95 Battery Pack.
Adjustable Shoulder Pad
The position of the camera's shoulder pad can be adjusted either forwards or backwards without using a screwdriver. Operators can always attain a comfortable and well-balanced camera position, even when the camcorder is docked with a range of lenses.
Dual HD-SDI Outputs
The camera is capable of outputting two HD-SDI signals simultaneously. This offers great convenience, enabling multiple people to monitor shootings with connected HD monitors, and allowing the HD signal to be fed to additional HD equipment.
Dual Optical Filters
The HDW-790 comes equipped with dual optical filters for Color Correction (CC) and Neutral Density (ND) for flexible color and exposure control. In addition, the camcorder is equipped with an electronic Color Correction function, which gives operators the choice of correcting color temperature optically or electronically, according to their needs.
Versatile Audio Connection
The HDW-790 is equipped with a range of audio interfaces; an analog 5-pin XLR connector for stereo audio output, two 3-pin XLR connectors with selectable MIC/Line level input, and the front microphone input. The two 3-pin XLR connectors can also be switched to accept four channels of AES/EBU digital audio input.
Assignable Functions
The camera's assignable buttons make it easy to gain access to functions that are most important to you.
Variable Black Gamma
The Variable Black Gamma function of the HDW-790 allows for fine adjustment of tonal reproduction in the shadow area. This feature can help to bring out details from the dark parts of a picture, without affecting mid-tones, while maintaining the absolute black level. It is particularly helpful for dark scenes when the black has to stay black, but there is a requirement to pull out more details.
Turbo Gain
The built-in Turbo Gain function on the HDW-790 enables camera gain to be boosted up to +42 dB.

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Image Device 3-Chip 2/3" Type IT CCD
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 54 dB
Horizontal Resolution 1000 TV Lines
Sensitivity F10.0 (2000 lux, 89.9% reflectance)
Minimum Illumination 0.0024 lux with F1.4, +42 dB Gain
Vertical Smear -135 dB
Signal System HDCAM
Built-in Filters ND
1: Clear
2: 1/4
3: 1/16
4: 1/64
LCD Monitor Optional
Speaker No
Viewfinder No
Microphone Included
Scan Matching Not Specified By Manufacturer
Memory Card Slot Yes, Memory Stick
Shutter Speed 59.94i: 1/100, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000
50i: 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000
Gain Selection -3, 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42 dB
Tape Format HDCAM
Tape Speed 59.94i: 96.7 mm/s
50i: 80.6 mm/s
Maximum Recording Time 59.94i: 40 min
50i: 48 min
Audio Dynamic Range >85 dB
Audio Signal Format HDCAM
Audio Frequency Response 20 Hz to 20 kHz, +0.5 dB/-1.0 dB
Signal to Noise Ratio Not Specified By Manufacturer
Input and Output Connectors Genlock Video: BNC (x1 Input)
Timecode: BNC (x1 Input, Output)
Audio CH1/CH2: XLR 3-pin (x2 Input, Female)
Microphone (Stereo): XLR 5-pin (x1 Input, Female)
Test: BNC (x1 Output)
VBS/SDI: BNC (x2 Output)
HD-SDI: BNC (x2 Output)
Audio Output: XLR 5-pin (Male)
Earphone: Mini Jack
Lens: 12-pin
Remote: 8-pin
Light: 2-pin
DC input: XLR 4-pin (Male)
DC output: 4-pin (for wireless microphone receiver)
Power Requirements 12VDC, +5V/-1V
Power Consumption 34W
Operating Temperature 32-104°F (0-40°C)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 13.6 x 10.6 x 5" (34.5 x 26.9 x 12.7cm)
Weight 11.8 lbs (5.4kg)
Sony HDW-790 HDCAM High Definition Camcorder
  • Operation Manual
  • Shoulder Strap
  • XLR Connector Cover
  • Stereo Microphone
  • 3-Year Warranty
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