Given that we're living in the Age of YouTube, it's becoming pretty much standard practice for up-and-coming musicians to post videos of their jam sessions or live performances online. And while the affordability of HD video cameras/phones may mean that the visuals in those videos look nice, music is first and foremost an auditory art-form. That's why Sony is introducing a new musical-performance-specific camcorder, known appropriately enough as the HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder.
The MV-1 records audio in either uncompressed Linear PCM or internet-friendly AAC format, via a tunable 120-degree X-Y stereo microphone. Recording levels can be manually controlled, and a line-in port allows for direct feeds. Audio quality is monitored either via user-supplied headphones, or using the camera's built-in speaker.
Video is captured by a wide-angle 120-degree lens – to ensure that all band members get in the shot – at a resolution of either 1080p or 750p (both at 30 fps). A back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor is claimed to capture sharp images even in dimly-lit clubs, and the option of manual exposure control will keep the iris from closing down every time a stage light comes on.
Footage is recorded to a Micro SD card or a Memory Stick Micro, in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format. Shots are monitored or reviewed using a 2.7-inch LCD screen, which can also be used to check and adjust audio input levels. Additionally, the camera can be remotely operated using a Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device – this could come in particularly handy in cramped venues, where a videographer would be in peoples' way if they stayed with the camera.
The user's mobile device can also be utilized to post footage online, via Sony's free PlayMemories Mobile app.
The Sony HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder will be available as of December, at a price of US$299.99. Footage shot with it can be seen (and heard) below.