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If you're a pro video shooter or if you happen to have an extra $25,800 lying around, you'll certainly be interested in the new members of Sony's XDCAM HD family. Just announced today, the potent Sony PDW-F330K XDCAM HD digi-vid camcorder records on a Sony Professional Disc, which is the same type of 23GB blue laser disc that s used with Sony's current pro line of standard-definition XDCAMs, but not the same as Blu-ray or HD DVD. Pros will be delighted with the prospect of doing away with tape altogether, and they'll also like the way you can put two hours worth of HD on one of those discs. With its three 1.5-megapixel CCD sensors, this camcorder supports a variety of flavors of HD including the beloved 24p, that high-end variety of HD that s closest to the frame rate of film. In other words, this sucker can handle so many types of HD that even persnickety filmmakers will probably love it. Also along for the ride in this big intro is a slightly less tricked-out HD camcorder, and a couple of playback decks that can quickly pour a torrent of HD footage onto a digital video editing system.

This introduction sets up a huge battle royale between the two titans of professional HD field production, Sony with its blue laser discs, and Panasonic with its DVCPRO HD camcorders which use flash memory-based P2 cards to record their video. Which would you rather have? Blue laser discs or flash memory?

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