New release prosumer level cameras of today boast features even more impressive than those found on professional cameras of just a few years ago – and at a fraction of the cost. Sony’s new HDRAX2000 prosumer video camera is a case in point, and it's one of the first professional video cameras that records using the AVCHD format.

Aimed at the high-end semi-professional videographer the HDRAX2000 is capable of capturing broadcast quality full 1920x1080/60i HD video at up to 24Mbps. It also features progressive scan at 1080/24p and 25p for that film-quality motion. It is equipped with a 20x, 29.5mm to 590mm G-Series lens, incorporating extra-low dispersion glass and compound aspherical elements.

A new Active Mode feature is designed to improve on existing Optical SteadyShot image stabilization by allowing the camera lens to shift over a greater range of motion, allowing the camcorder to compensate for a greater degree of camera shake.

The HDRAX2000 uses three 1/3" Exmor CMOS Sensors to improve the color reproduction of video recordings and offer better performance in low light environments with minimum illumination of 1.5 lux. The vast amount of pixel data captured by the sensors is processed by an Enhanced Imaging Processor that is up to the task of handling video data in 1920 x 1080p with 4:2:2 color sampling.

Noise reduction is accomplished via the camera’s column-parallel analog-to-digital conversion technique and grid arrangement of the photo diodes, which are designed to provide high sensitivity, deep resolution, high-speed reading, and a wider dynamic range. A 3.2-inch 16:9 Xtra Fine LCD touch screen (921K) and Xtra Fine LCD electronic viewfinder (1,226k) helps ensure what you see is what you get.

Video is recorded directly to Memory Stick PRO Duo or SD/SDHC thanks to the camera’s dual-use card slots – a definite plus over some of Sony’s more expensive camcorders that force users to stick with Sony’s proprietary format.

On the audio front the HDRAX2000 records two-channel Dolby Digital sound and sports dual XLR 3-pin audio jacks providing +48V phantom power to external microphones. Additionally, the grounded connection allows insertion/removal of connectors in live equipment without picking up external signals.

The Sony HDRAX2000 includes HDMI mini, component and USB 2.0 connections. It measures 173 x 187 x 342mm (WxHxD) (6.8 x 7.4 x 13.5-inches) and weighs approx. 2.1kg (4.6lb). It will be available next month carrying a MSRP of US$3,499.

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