ITV News is hoping to widen the scope of its news coverage by equipping reporters with full camera and editing kits.

The broadcaster has signed a deal for 68 lightweight Sony HVR-Z5E cameras to be delivered in June, as well as microphones, lights, tripods, batteries and Avid-equipped laptops. All equipment will be supplied by dealers Visual Impact and Top Teks

Paul Stevenson, director of technical operations and technology for news at ITV, said: “The diverse and reactive nature of field reporting means that versatile and lightweight kit is essential for our reporters. The Z5 rollout provides our news teams with unobtrusive acquisition capability.”

The hybrid Z5 cameras can record to either tape or solid-state memory and are designed to deal with the high volume of shooting that news teams could face on any given day.

ITV News has also deployed a number of HVR-Z7Es, which offer interchangeable lenses.

Operational and set-up training is being provided at a central ITV facility in Birmingham.

The deal was revealed at last week's Broadcast Video Expo, where Sony also announced that Calumet has been appointed to the status of Sony specialist dealer.

The digital photographic and imaging equipment supplier has taken on Sony's hybrid HDV and EX solid-state camcorders and will target public-sector videographers and professional video clients.