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Comment: Body has a few marks - LCD is excellent and camera functions perfectly. Ships same day as payment. Includes camera, shotgun microphone, 2 batteries, battery charger, av cable, usb cable, lens hood, 1 new tape, and hand strap. - 90 DAY WARRANTY - 30 DAY RETURN PERIOD -
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Sony HVR-V1U 3-CMOS 1080i Professional HDV Camcorder with 20x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

by Sony
16 customer reviews
| 8 answered questions

Price: $2,934.49 & FREE Shipping
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  • Dual XLR audio inputs with variable control and supplied shotgun microphone
  • 3.5-inch widescreen Clear Photo plus LCD display
  • 3 ClearVid CMOS sensor system , 4:2:2 color used by Sony Enhanced Image Processor
  • 1080/24P scanning with 2:3 pull-down recording
  • 20x Carl Zeiss Vario-Zonnar T lens with extra-low dispersion glass , 1.5x digital extender
  • 1080/24P scanning with 2:3 pull-down recording
  • 3 ClearVid CMOS sensor system; 4:2:2 color used by Sony Enhanced Image Processor
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2 new from $2,934.49 8 used from $854.00

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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

The compact professional camcorders manufactured by Sony have introduced a new level of mobility for ENG and documentary-making worldwide with their superb quality and compact dimensions. These camcorders have dramatically revolutionized the traditional methods of capturing video footage. With the new Sony HVR-V1U camcorder, now you can enjoy the same mobility with the breathtaking beauty of 1080/24P shooting, and have the freedom to create video material with much greater creativity and visual impact. The HVR-V1U will pave the way into a new world of HD video productions.

From the Manufacturer

Manufacturer Description The compact professional camcorders manufactured by Sony have introduced a new level of mobility for ENG and documentary-making worldwide with their superb quality and compact dimensions. These camcorders have dramatically revolutionized the traditional methods of capturing video footage. With the new Sony HVR-V1U camcorder, now you can enjoy the same mobility with the breathtaking beauty of 1080/24P shooting, and have the freedom to create video material with much greater creativity and visual impact. The HVR-V1U will pave the way into a new world of HD video productions.


Sony highlights

How it’s done Our professional HDV products offer exceptional quality - only made possible by Sony’s cutting-edge technical expertise. Our world-class semiconductor manufacturing technologies have enabled the development of a new CMOS sensor that offers the image quality to satisfy the most demanding professionals. Employing a 3-chip system, the 3 ClearVid CMOS sensor offers high-resolution images with rich and natural colors.

Coupled with advanced technology such as the Sony Enhanced Imaging Processor and a high-quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens, the full power of this imaging system is realized in the HVR-V1U camcorder.

"Ready-to-edit" with the HVR-DR60 hard disk recording unit Video professionals can be confronted with tight production schedules, and balancing time with creativity can become a dilemma. The Sony HVR-DR60 frees you from such dilemmas by allowing instant editing of your video footage.

The HVR-DR60 offers a unique hybrid concept, in which video material can be recorded to the hard disk and the camcorder tape simultaneously with time code synchronized. Simply connect the HVR-DR60 to a PC running compatible nonlinear editing software. The computer will immediately recognize the recorded data files for a dramatic improvement in editing efficiency. With the HVR-DR60 hard disc unit, the time-consuming digitizing process is a thing of the past.

Another huge appeal of this Hybrid configuration is its improved efficiency in archiving operations. With your source footage available on tape and hard drive, you can immediately store the source tape in your video library without making copies to other media. Your work footage is already there on the HVR-DR60 hard disk. Further more, the HVR-DR60 has been developed by Sony as a perfect companion for the HVR-V1U. Sony’s HDV product lineup has been further expanded, giving you the freedom to be even more productive.

Offering HD quality in a compact, lightweight, and mobile design

Sony highlights


1080/24p -- progressive shooting The HVR-V1U camcorder provides 1080/24p acquisition with 2:3 pull-down recording - compatible with existing Sony professional HDV equipment.

The 24p scan signals are recorded on tape as 60i signals through means of 2:3 pull-down. Similarly, a 30p scan signal is recorded as a 60i signal by dividing each frame into two fields. This allows your 24p and 30p scan footage to be played back or fed to an editing suite using the thousands of units of Sony HDV equipment already in use throughout the world.

Leading manufacturers are scheduled to release nonlinear editing software compatible with this 24p scan mode. These nonlinear software will be able to detect the 2:3 sequence and remove the 2:3 properly. This way, the editor will be able to create a 24p project, edit precisely at 24fps (23.98 progressive frames per second) throughout the process, and output the final master as:

  • A sequence of still images at 24 fps, for film out
  • A 23.98 YUV (uncompressed) HD file, for output to CineAlta products
  • A 23.98 SD MPEG2 file, for the highest quality DVD mastering possible
  • A 60i HDV file (2:3 added back in), for creating an HDV edit master
  • A 60i YUV (2:3 added back in, uncompressed) HD or SD file, for outputting to Digital Betacam or HDCAM for broadcast

    Sony highlights

    High-resolution 1080 progressive scan Thanks to the 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor and Enhanced Imaging Processor technology, the HVR-V1U supports 24p (progressive) scan, the frame rate of film and 30p (progressive) scan modes, in addition to typical 60i. The signals generated by the 3 ClearVid CMOS sensor are processed in the progressive domain as 1920 x 1080p signals, allowing high-resolution progressive footage to be captured.


    Enhanced imaging processor This special imaging processor in the HVR-V1U has been developed to bring out the full power of the 3 ClearVid CMOS sensor by handling the video signal output in 1920x1080p and 4:2:2 color space. Its unique signal processing separates the image data into its texture and brightness components and processes these independently. This makes it possible to reproduce images with a high level of clarity, from the very darkest to brightest areas of the image.

    The signals from the four surrounding photodiodes are used to reproduce one more signal with the Enhanced Imaging Processor technology.

    Sony highlights

    Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with extra-low dispersion glass The HVR-V1U camcorder is equipped with a high-quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens. Featuring a 62mm filter diameter, this lens offers a multilayer coating, extra-low dispersion glass, aspherical glass and excellent spectral characteristics that result in reduction of chromatic aberration.

    Sony highlights

    20x optical lens and wide conversion lens The HVR-V1U camcorder’s built-in 20x optical zoom lens enables long-range shots of sports events or wild animals with the stunning visual impact of HD images. Moreover, the digital extender increases the zoom ratio to approximately 30x. The optional VCL-HG0868K 0.8x wide conversion lens uses the bayonet mount system for instant attachment or detachment. Combining these lens features, you can effortlessly capture close-up or wide-angle shots as your video production requires.

    3 ClearVid CMOS sensor The ClearVid CMOS sensor has been developed using the most advanced technologies in the semiconductor industry. Thanks to the unique grid arrangement of the photo diode sensors, in which each is rotated by 45 degrees, sensor resolution has been optimized while maximizing the photosensitive surface area. Combining this imaging system with its associated Enhanced Imaging Processor technology, has enabled the use of a sophisticated interpolation scheme original to Sony and entirely different from conventional spatial offset techniques.

    The 3 ClearVid CMOS sensor system is the core element enabling the 1920x1080p video signals. Also, unlike CCD sensors, there is no vertical smear when shooting high-intensity subjects, which further reduces shooting condition constraints.

    Wide dynamic range Features like shadowed faces and overbright hair are clear and natural-looking. Even with mixed dark and bright areas in the same shot, the whole picture appears natural thanks to the wide dynamic range.

    With HVR-DR60 (not included)

    Sony highlights

    Small size and perfect balance The HVR-DR60 hard disk drive measures just 79 x 44 x 100 millimeters (W x H x L) in size, and weighs only 227 grams (excluding battery). Using the supplied shoe adapter, the unit can be mounted on the cold shoe of the camcorder. Also, by use of the optional bracket VCT-1BP, it can be mounted on the rear of the camcorder, where it will not affect the mobility of the compact camcorder.

    HDD Smart Protection Three advanced technologies are used for reliable recording performance of the HVR-DR60:

    • Rubber shock absorbers hold the HDD unit in place, preventing external shock being transmitted when the HVR-DR60 chassis is subject to impact.
    • A 3G sensor detects gravitational acceleration in three dimensions, so however the HVR-DR60 may be oriented, the sensor can detect if it has been dropped -- in which case power to the HDD is shut off and the recording heads are retracted from the disk platters, pausing read/write operations. This protects the HDD from being damaged when the unit is accidentally dropped and subject to strong impact.
    • The third feature is a buffer memory, capable of storing approximately 14 seconds of video and audio footage. Recordings are made by first writing the data to the buffer, and then writing the buffer data to the disk platters. Consequently, if the 3G sensor temporarily interrupts disk writes, video footage is not lost.

    The HVR-DR60: An ideal companion for the HVR-V1U

    Sony highlights

    The HVR-DR60 hard disk drive can be used with existing HDV/DVCAM camcorders equipped with an i.LINK interface such as the HVR-Z1U, HVR-A1U and DSR-PD170P. However, use with the HVR-V1U offers unique features only available in this combination.

    Checking the operational status on the HVR-V1U On the LCD and VF of the HVR-V1U, you can easily check the operational status of the HVR-DR60 (connection, rec status, battery level, remaining recording time, recording folder name, etc.). This keeps you aware of both the camcorder and hard drive status without taking your eyes away from what you’re shooting.

    Tapeless recording with the HVR-V1U The HVR-DR60 hard disk drive can synchronize with the record command that is outputted from the camcorder. The HVR-V1U differs from its predecessor in that it can send a record signal with out the presence of a tape inserted. Thus tape-less, "Hybrid recording" is possible by connecting the HVR-V1U with the DVR-DR60.

    Maximizing the efficiency of non-linear editing

    Sony highlights

    Via a simple i.LINK connection, the HVR-DR60 Hard Disk Recording Unit allows recording of a compatible HDV1080i stream from an HDV camcorder, or a DV stream from a DVCAM camcorder. The 1.8-inch internal HDD offers a large capacity of 60GB, which translates into an impressive approximately 270 minutes (4.5 hours) for both HDV and DVCAM recordings.

    The HDV1080i stream is recorded as native HDV files (.M2T), while DV stream is recorded as AVI files (.AVI :DV Type1).

    When connected to a PC, the HVR-DR60 is recognized as a standard external drive, so you can immediately access and edit the recorded footage just as any typical video file. This saves the time previously required for digitizing material from the tape to PC -- time that could otherwise be spent for more creative and productive editing tasks.

    Many NLE programs will be able to access files and control the HVR-DR60 hard disk drive via the i.LINK connector. With compatible programs, the HVR-DR60 hard disk drive will behave as a VTR, but with a random access file structure which will allow immediate access to clips on the disk.

    Sony highlights

    Using the hybrid recording function of the HVR-V1U camcorder, in which video and audio material is recorded simultaneously to the hard disk and tape, you can be assured that you won’t lose an important shot. In the rare case that either the tape device or hard disk fails, you will always have a backup.

    The hybrid function also facilitates archiving operations of your all-important source footage -- which in most cases do not allow for reshoots. After a shoot, immediately archive your source tape and use the HVR-DR60 material as your work footage. Unlike camcorders using low-capacity recording media, there is no need to invest the time and effort in copying the original data to a separate high-capacity medium. Just reformat the HVR-DR60 and you are ready to go on your next assignment.

    Same batteries that power your camcorder

    The last thing you want to worry about on location is using different types of batteries. With the HVR-DR60 hard disc drive you can use the same InfoLithium L Series batteries that are used for the HVR-V1U, HVR-Z1U and DSR-PD170 camcorders. Using the smallest capacity NP-F570 battery, the HVR-DR60 operating time is approximately 270 minutes (4.5 hours), and with a high-capacity NP-F970 unit, this increases to approximately 810 minutes (13.5 hours). Long operating hours are possible with the batteries that Sony HDV users already have at hand.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 6 x 9 inches ; 7 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000IF8NNS
  • Item model number: HVR-V1U
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,105 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at June 17, 2003

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 93 people found the following review helpful By snowleopard on November 27, 2007
I have had the chance to use this camera a few times, plus compare it to some other HD cameras out there in it's price range, and came away impressed by a few aspects, and more knowing about a few others to consider.

All in all this is a great little HD camera that takes great pictures right out of the box. It handles really nice, has a true microphone that comes with it, and the lens is great on it with it's 20x ratio. It's slow-motion, though at quality a little less than SD, looks fantastic and is great fun to play with. The camera's low light capability is not as good as the Canon XH-A1 in the same price range, or the Panasonic HVX200 (another $2k+), or as good as the older Sony Z1 (which doesn't shoot 24fps). Looking back, the Sony PD170, which was the low-light standard is about 2 stops better in very low light. But the V1u's low light performance is almost one of taste. The camera tends to give a little more fine grain in such low light, kind of like film in some ways. My guess is that this "effect" is pleasing to some people, who don't view it's low-light grainy issues as a problem. Test for yourself before buying. The display and viewfinder are very nice too. Very sharp, with great readout info, including histograms, making sure every shot is properly exposed. The camera also has a really nice automatic gain control. Much better than the Canons in it's price group. Nice focusing features too.

The camera is also part of a larger packaged idea - it doesn't come with, but works perfectly with a portable hard drive (HVR-DR60) that allows you go HDMI out, for much less compressed picture (though most people will think going to tape looks fine) and those files can be dragged and dropped right onto your computer - no more capturing! The LED light is really cool too.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By DVDzRule on January 2, 2008
Verified Purchase
I bought my HVR-V1U and have had it a week now. I am very impressed with the quality of video with very good light. In low light the quality of this video camera is poor. But after doing hours and hours of research I decided on this model for a few reasons.

1) Size - This camcorder is about the same size as a VX-2000 with the same feel and pretty much the same layout.
2) 24p - This camcorder can shoot film in true 24p which is great if you want to give your video that "Film look"
3) XLR - This camcorder has 2 XLR inputs to put real good microphones on it if you want and comes with a $230 microphone.
4) HDMI - This model has an HDMI out so I can quickly and easily with one cord connect it to my HDTV. The Sony HDR-FX1 doesn't have this.

I think the slow motion feature is pretty cool to experiment with. But the quality is low and of course there is no sound when you do this.
Everything on the camcorder is made very well. No cheap buttons or parts.

Disadvantages: It has a 62mm lens. The bigger the lens usually the better the low light quality since the lens can let in more light. The battery that comes with it is ok, but you definately should buy the biggest battery you can get. My extended battery lasts around 490 minutes record time or about 690 minutes on playback mode.

The extended warranty Amazon offers on this model for 4 years is only $199.99. That is a really good price for a camcorder this expensive.

Bottom line: If you want all the features of this model but want the best low light recordings possible, then purchase the Sony HVR-Z1U camcorder which is another $600 or so. The XLR is worth it because sound is usually the weakest link when watching any video recorded on a camcorder.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David Esrati on November 12, 2007
Verified Purchase
I got burned on my VX-1000 with its 32K stunted audio, no firewire in and no manual zoom. The PDX-10 that followed was great- except for still missing a manual zoom. I looked really hard at the first HDV cameras- and decided to wait, and V1U was well worth it.
Bought the Sony HD- and am totally amazed at how much faster my edit process is. The picture quality is phenomenal- but, we've mostly used standard DV since clients are quite ready to pay for HD.
If you've shot with a PD-170 you'll find the form factor very familiar. Still not in love with the way Sony sets white balance- it's not really totally intuitive- but, overall- this is the best camera I've worked with. Friends who've borrowed it are gaga- and they are used to shooting with Sony pro cameras. As always- audio is the most difficult part of shooting with a prosumer camera- and the handle mounted dials are a bit tough to manipulate while shooting- but, all that aside- this camera is amazing.
Also picked up Sony's LED light- it amazes me every time I use it- great light- no heat- and forever battery life.
One thing about all the accessories- there isn't a really good solution to mount HD, Light, Wireless receiver to this small frame. We've bought a bracket off e-bay that makes it easy to mount at least the HD and wireless box to the camera- when the light is on- and the battery for the light has to be on the extension cable. Still- very hand holdable.
Only thing I miss from the VX-1000 was my Century .55x plus fisheye reversible lens- haven't seen anything like it for 16x9 aspect ratios.
If you've shot with Sony in the past- this is the camera for you.
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