Sony's latest Mini DV camcorders target pro market

Company sticks with tape for its latest prosumer cams

Sony has launched two new camcorders in Japan that go after both the professional and prosumer ends of the market.

The HDR-FX1000 certainly looks the business. At first glance, you would be forgiven for thinking that the camcorder is a professional model.

Taking a leaf out of Sony's FX7, the FX1000 is a high definition Mini DV Handycam camcorder that sports a separate mic and some nifty manual controls.

It's not quite encroaching on the FX7's territory, however, as Sony has done away with XLR mic inputs and DVCAM support.

Image-wise, however, the HDR-FX1000, uses a 3x CMOS sensor, on which you can record 1080p 24fps footage. All this is then recorded onto good ol' Mini DV.

In fact, the FX1000 is the first Handycam from Sony to shoot 4:3 1080p images.

Pro shooting

For those looking for a step up from the FX1000, then Sony's other camcorder release will definitely interest you.

The HVR-Z5U is a camera built for professional movie making. More robust than the FX1000, the HVR-Z5U has the features stripped from its bedfellow and a little more besides.

Coming complete with two XLR mic inputs, DVCAM and timecode support, the cam is ideal for outside broadcasts and the like. There's even the option of adding CompactFlash support.

There's no news if and when these cams will reach UK shores, but the cameras will be available in Japan, the HVR-Z5U (out in December) for around £2,900; and the FX1000 (out in November) circa £2,100.

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Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.