21st Jan 2006

Sony DCR-VX2000 Digital Camcorder

Sony DCR-VX2000 replaces VX1000 and is aimed for those looking to use it professionally or semi-professionally. The VX2000 uses a new, 1/3-inch three-chip CCD imaging system that records up to 530 lines of horizontal resolution and delivers outstanding digital video quality.

New HAD CCD imagers have 450,000 pixels each (420,000 effective pixels) and have been optimised for digital video recording. The Super HAD progressive scan CCD technology used in the VX2000 offers an excellent signal-to-noise ratio that is double that of the VX1000. The result is a sharper well defined picture exhibiting natural, lifelike colour reproduction across a broad range of shooting conditions.

The camcorder also works exceptionally well in low light thanks to the high sensitivity of the HAD CCDs.
Sony DCR-VX2000 Camcorder
DCR-VX2000 features extremaly sharp 2.5″ LCD Screen with 200,000 pixels. Color LCD monitor swivels 270 degrees and viewing at any angle provides excellent viewing clarity with the improved resolution, and even goes into the “mirror mode” where the subjects can see themselves.

Precision Color Viewfinder with 180,000 pixels provides a clear, full color view of Video subjects with up to 400 lines of resolution.

With the LCD screen out a number of secondary controls are exposed in the well were the screen is otherwise stored. Inside the LCD screen compartment are the controls for an excellent 20-scene assembly edit function the zebra stripe function.

VX2000 includes a manual zoom ring as well as a manual focus ring. However, the manual zoom, like the focus ring, activates a servo-motor and does not have the positive feel of a real lens adjustment ring.

The focus remained pin sharp right through the zoom range. Auto focus on the VX2000 is very fast, locking-on without difficulty even in low light situations.

New 58mm aspherical glass lens offers an adequate optical zoom range of 12x (f6 – 72mm) which converts to 43mm – 520mm on a 35mm SLR lens. The digital zoom offers 48x only. The aspherical lens deployed on the VX2000 minimises edge distortion and ensures a sharper picture edge-to-edge.

The controls – Gain, White Balance and Shutter Speed are located on the rear panel next to the battery that makes for easy access and adjustments while recording. Like most Sony camcorders, once most manual settings are activated they are adjusted via a thumbwheel, which in this case is just under the buttons. Manual exposure has its own access button and thumbwheel on the side of the camcorder.

Exposure settings are displayed on the screen in F-stops and dB (if manual gain is activated).

Progressive Scan CCDs capture a complete frame of video rather than interlacing two separate fields to produce a video frame. This high performance system eliminates the stair stepping effect that can be seen in standard interlaced systems when capturing still images. The images will be sharp and clear with excellent definition.

Also on the VX2000 is a two-stage neutral density filter. ND filters are used to compensate where contrast levels may be high such as in bright artificial lighting situations or in direct sunlight. To set exposure accurately there are two zebra pattern overlays – 100% and 70% – which help balance even the most difficult lit scenes. VX1000 has only stage ND filter.

One of the main VX2000 upgrades over its predecessor is the audio. The new built-in microphone is now a two capsule, instead of the VX1000’s four capsule model. The mic delivers excellent stereo sound with an excellent dynamic range and a robust clarity for an on-camera mic. Regardind audio dubbing, the VX2000 offers slightly different implementations of the regular 12-bit and 16-bit recording options. It lays down 16-bit audio on two tracks, or 12-bit on two tracks and in both cases leaves two free tracks for audio dubbing.

Like many Sony camcorders, the VX2000 has a built-in Memory Stick slot. The camcorder captures stills onto tape or the Memory Stick at a resolution of 640 x 480 (VGA). The VX2000 does shoot in Progressive Scan mode which allows you to pull individual frames of non-interlaced still images from the captured video. The stills are of high quality considering the 640 x 480 resolution.

There is also a Memory Stick reader with a USB connection. This provides easy access and relatively fast image downloads to a USB-enabled PC.

Like other Sony models, the DCR-VX2000 converts analog video and audio input into DV output through its i.LINK port on the fly – there’s no need to engage Record first or put the camcorder into Record Pause to achieve this. The camcorder’s TBC ensures that all input and output video signals are stable. This directly enhances the camcorder’s dubbing and record-out quality.

Conclusion

Sony has delivered the best camcorder for intermediate videomaker who is ready to do editing and make small movies. DCR-VX2000’s performance in virtually all lighting conditions can be described only as impressive.

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