Product Spotlight: Sony DSR-DU1

Nov 11, 2002  •  Post A Comment

What it does: The DU1, a digital video recording device, is a small, portable hard-disk recorder that attaches to a Sony camcorder. It’s about the size of a camera battery and allows the user to capture and store video on a hard disk rather than on tape. It attaches to the camera through i.LINK, which is Sony’s version of firewire. The device records the video and stores the time code as well as shot markers on the hard disk. The user then takes the i.LINK connection and plugs that into a laptop or other computer to start editing immediately from the hard disk using Adobe’s Premiere nonlinear editing software. “This basically allows you to shoot on disk,” said Craig Yanagi, senior manager of corporate marketing, responsible for the DVCAM product line for Sony.
Features and benefits: The DU1 is currently designed to work immediately with Adobe’s editing software without any transfer time. Other software suites work with DU1 but require the user to transfer at twice the transfer rate. Other industry-leading editing software companies are developing software to work with the DU1.
Once their products are refined for the DU1, editing will be immediate, as it is with Adobe. “The immediate benefit is that you can connect directly to the computer and edit right away, so it cuts down on time of transferring on a hard drive,” Mr. Yanagi said. The DU1 has three hours of recording capacity, which is equivalent to the longest DVCAM cassette. The disk unit makes it possible for photographers to use a hand-held camera with a battery-size attachment rather than a large traditional camera, Mr. Yanagi said.
Target market: Users of the DVCAM format are potential users of the DU1, Mr. Yanagi said. There are 310,000 units of DVCAM product on the market worldwide, he said. “Most DVCAM users who are looking to upgrade their work flow will be interested in this product,” he said. DVCAM users include CNN, Oxygen and Hearst-Argyle.
Availability: The DU1 started shipping in late October.
Cost: The product lists at $2,250.