Sony has expanded its XDcam HD422 product family with a new 24p camcorder that offers variable frame-rate recording for under- and over-cranking.

Designed for film, TV and news production, the new PDW-F800 CineAlta camcorder - and its sister deck the PDW-F1600 - offer both a frame rate of 23.98P natively in 1080 mode and multi-format recording.

They also provide multi-format (1080i/720P) recording, as well as HD/SD conversion and cross-conversion during playback between 1080i and 720P.

“The HD422 version of XDCAM technology responded to customers' requests for features like 50Mbps recording and 2/3-inch CCDs,” said Wayne Zuchowski, group marketing manager for XDCAM products at Sony Electronics. “These newest products offer cinematographers, broadcasters and video professionals an expanded toolkit of digital production options.”

Users can record HD content (approximately 95 minutes at 50 Mbps) to the dual-layer 50GB version of Sony's optical Professional Disc media, model PFD50DLA. The camera and deck can also handle content on PFD-23A single layer discs.

The PDW-F800 features variable frame rate recording for slow and quick motion capabilities, has three 2/3-inch Power HAD FX progressive CCDs and includes an image inverter allowing the camera to be used with cinema lens adaptors.

The deck can be used for file-based recording in studio and field operations. A Gigabit Ethernet data drive can write flash memory file formats from any codec onto the optical disc media with files then viewable using a web browser, transferred over IT networks and easily archived and accessed by multiple people simultaneously.

The PDW-F800 camcorder and PDW-F1600 deck are both expected to be available in June at suggested list prices of $41,990 and $27,990 respectively.