Sony PDW-700 XDCAM HD422 Camcorder

The PDW-700 captures stunning HD images. It features three 2/3-inch progressive Power HAD FX CCDs at 1920 x 1080 resolution. 14-bit A/D conversion and advanced digital signal processing are also used to ensure the highest picture quality. It records at a data rate of up to 50Mb/s using an MPEG-2 4:2:2P@HL compression technology called MPEG HD422.

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Sony PDW-700 XDCAM HD422 Camcorder


2/3-inch-type Three HD Power HAD FX CCDs

The PDW-700 is equipped with three 2/3-inch-type 2.2-megapixel full HD progressive CCDs, which are also used in the well-proven HDC-1500 HD Camera from Sony. Based on Sony’s Power HAD FX sensor technology and the latest on-chip lens structure, this type of CCD offers a high sensitivity of F11 at 59.94 Hz (F12 at 50 Hz) and an excellent signal-to-noise ratio of 59 dB in Noise Suppression (NS) mode, which helps to reduce the high-frequency noise elements of video signals using Sony’s advanced digital processing technology.

Wide Choice of Video Formats: Interlace and Progressive

The PDW-700 offers a wide choice of video formats for both frame rates and scanning mode. They include 59.94i, 50i, 29.97P, and 25P in a resolution of 1920 x 1080, and 59.94P and 50P in 1280 x 720. A recording and playback capability in 23.98P is also available using optional software*.

*PDW-700 requires the CBKZ-FC02 software planned to be available in summer 2009. PDW-HD1500 requires the PDBK-F1500 software planned to be available in summer 2009

Supported Recording Formats – HD/SD and Interlace/Progressive

One of the big appeals of the PDW-700 is its highly flexible multi-format recording capability. Users can select a recording format from HD (MPEG HD422 and MPEG HD) and SD (MPEG IMX* and DVCAM*), in a variety of frame frequencies (as shown in the table on page 4).

*Requires optional CBKZ-MD01 software.

14-bit A/D Conversion

The PDW-700 incorporates a high-performance 14-bit A/D converter that enables images captured by the high-performance CCDs to be processed with maximum precision. In particular, this high-resolution A/D conversion allows the gradation in mid-to-dark-tone areas of the picture to be faithfully reproduced. Thanks to the 14-bit A/D converter, pre-knee signal compression in highlighted areas can be eliminated, and the camera can clearly reproduce a high-luminance subject at a 600% dynamic range.

State-of-the-art DSP LSI

The newly developed DSP (Digital Signal Processing) LSI is the heart of the image-processing device for the PDW-700 camcorder. In conjunction with the 14-bit A/D converter, it reproduces images captured by the CCD at maximum quality. In addition, white balance, white shading, and flare are digitally corrected, allowing for stable image correction. What’s more, the PDW-700 provides a NS (Noise Suppression) mode to reduce high-frequency noise elements in a video signal using Sony’s advanced digital processing technology.

High-quality 4 Channel 24-bit Audio Recording

The PDW-700 records uncompressed four-channel, 24-bit audio. It is also equipped with a range of audio interfaces.

Well-balanced Compact Body

The PDW-700 is designed to be very compact and ergonomically well balanced, providing a high level of mobility and comfort in various shooting situations. It weighs only 6.0 kg (13 lb 4 oz) including the HDVF-20A viewfinder, the ECM-680S microphone, the PFD50DLA disc and the BP-GL95 battery pack.

Shock and Dust-resistant Disc Drive

To minimise errors caused by shock or dust entering the disc drive, the PDW-700 has several unique ways of providing operational resistance to such factors. The disc drive entrance is concealed by two lids, helping to prevent any dust from entering the drive. In addition, four rubber dampers are used to hold the disc drive block in place and to absorb shocks that would otherwise go into the disc drive.


Two types of optional viewfinders are available for users: the HDVF-20A and HDVF-200 2.0-inch** monochrome viewfinders and the HDVF-C35W 3.5-inch** colour viewfinder.

**Viewable area measured diagonally.

Wide Choice of Optional Microphones

The PDW-700 is compatible with a variety of microphones. Three shotgun-type microphones, ECM-680S/678/674, are available as options. Moreover, it is equipped with a slot to accommodate the DWR-S01D** digital wireless microphone receiver, which provides two-channel audio with stable and secure transmission tolerant to interference waves. The WRR-855 Series microphone receiver can also be used within this slot.

*No microphone is supplied with the PDW-700
**The digital wireless microphone system is not available in some countries where prohibited by radio law

3.5-inch* LCD

A large, easy-to-view, colour LCD screen on the PDW-700 camcorder’s side panel enables operators to instantly review recorded footage, as well as access the camera’s set-up menus and view status indications such as four-channel audio meters, and the remaining time available on the disc and battery. It also enables advanced operations such as Thumbnail Search and Scene Selection.

*Viewable area, measured diagonally

Slow Shutter*

The shutter speed of the PDW-700 is selectable down to a 16-frame period (in 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and 16-frame periods). During such a long frame period, electrical charges accumulate on the CCDs which dramatically increase sensitivity. This helps camera operators to shoot in extremely dark environments. The Slow Shutter function also allows operators to use shutter speeds longer than the frame rate, and to intentionally blur images when shooting a moving object, for increased shooting creativity.

*Only the even numbers of frame settings are available in 720 mode

Interval Recording*

The PDW-700 offers an Interval Recording function which intermittently records signals at pre-determined intervals. This is convenient for shooting over long periods of time, and also when creating pictures with special effects of extremely quick motion.

*Requires a software upgrade available in autumn 2008

Picture Cache Recording

The PDW-700 offers a Picture Cache Recording function that is especially useful during ENG applications. Up to 30 seconds of audio and video signals are buffered into the camcorder’s memory before the Rec start button is even pressed (when in Standby mode). This means that everything that happened 30 seconds before the Rec start button was pressed will still be recorded onto the disc.

What’s more, this function works even before the disc is inserted in the drive – thereby helping to prevent the loss of any unexpected, yet important events. The caching period can be adjusted by menu setting. This camcorder cache memory also allows users to exchange the discs while recording. By removing a disc from the drive and inserting a new disc within 30 seconds, video, audio, and time code can be recorded seamlessly onto the new disc.


The PDW-700 camcorder has a Live

DVB-ASI Video Stream: For Field and Satellite Transmission

The PDW-700 with the HDCA-702* MPEG TS Adaptor provides a MPEG Transport Stream output capability via a DVB-ASI connector. The HDCA-702 encodes signals to MPEG TS and output via its DVB-ASI connector, concurrently with the PDW-700 recording onto disc. The bit rate is selectable from 17.5 Mb/s to 43 Mb/s, which is suitable for material transmissions using microwave and satellite modulators.

*Planned to be available in summer 2008

Smooth Gain Control

A wide choice of gain and its easy-to-use control system is one remarkable feature of the PDW-700 camcorder. By setting the gain to the assignable switches, the user can easily access the desired gain. And the transition to each gain value is extremely smooth thus eliminating undesirable abrupt changes to the overall image.

Optical ND Filters and Electrical CC Filters

The PDW-700 camcorder comes equipped with optical ND (Neutral Density) filters and electrical CC (Colour Correction) filters. The optical ND filter is controlled via a built-in ND filter wheel — Clear, 1/4ND, 1/16ND/, and 1/64ND. And with the electrical CC filter, the user can easily obtain the desired colour temperature by setting the mode – 3200K/4300K/5600K/6300K – on a camcorder-assignable switch.

The user can select the four values cyclically or choose one preset value. Another usage of the CC filter function is the colour temperature setting which can be instantly set to the required level with an absolute value 3200K, 4300K, 5600K, or 6300K. This is also available via an assignable switch. This is useful when a sudden change happens in the shooting environment and a quick and direct setting is required.

Digital Extender*

The Digital Extender function of the PDW-700 enables images to be digitally doubled in size. Unlike lens extenders, the Digital Extender function performs this capability without any loss of image sensitivity, which is often referred to as the F-drop phenomenon.

*Use of the Digital Extender function reduces image resolution by half. Requires a software upgrade planned to be available in autumn 2008

Focus Magnification*

At the touch of a button, the center of the screen on the viewfinder of the PDW-700 camcorder can be magnified to about twice the size, making it easier to confirm focus settings during manual focusing.

*Requires a software upgrade planned to be available in autumn 2008

Pool-feed Operation

For pool-feed operations, the optional CBK-HD01* and CBK-SC02* boards provide HD- and SD-SDI inputs, and SD composite input respectively.

*Planned to be available in autumn 2008

Trigger REC Function

The PDW-700 camcorder has the Trigger REC function that enables synchronised recording with PDW-HD1500 and PDW-F75 XDCAM decks or HDCAM™ portable decks connected via the HD-SDI interface – a convenient feature for backup recording.

Sony PDW-700 XDCAM HD422 Camcorder



Mass Approx 9 lb 8 oz (body) / 6.0 kg (with VF, Mic, Disc, BP-GL95 battery)

Mass: Approx 4.3 kg (body) /13 lb 4 oz (with VF, Mic, Disc, BP-GL95 battery)

Dimensions (W x H x D) *[1] 5 x 10 5/8 x 13 1/8 inches (excluding protrusions, body only) / *[1]: 124 x 269 x 332 mm (excluding protrusions, body only)

Power Requirements  DC 12 V +5.0 V/-1.0 V

Power Consumption Approx. 44 W (while recording, with viewfinder, color LCD on, manual lens, microphone) Approx. 40 W (while recording, without options, color LCD on)

Operating Temperature  -5°C to +40°C / 23°F to 104°F

Storage Temperature -4°F to +140°F / -20°C to +60°C

Humidity 10% to 90% (relative humidity)

Continuous Operating Time Approx. 120 min with BP-GL95 battery

Recording Format (Video) 

  • MPEG IMX (CBR, 50/40/30 Mbps)
  • MPEG HD422 (CBR: 50 Mbps)
  • MPEG HD:
  • DVCAM (CBR, 25 Mbps)
  • SP mode (CBR, 25 Mbps),
  • LP mode (VBR, 18 Mbps max.) (playback only)
  • HQ mode (VBR, 35 Mbps max.)

Recording Format (Audio)

  • MPEG IMX: 4 ch/24 bits/48 kHz or 4 ch/16 bits/48 kHz
  • MPEG HD422: 4 ch/24 bits/48 kHz
  • MPEG HD: 4 ch/16 bits/48 kHz
  • DVCAM: 4 ch/16 bits/48 kHz

Recording Format (Proxy Video)  MPEG-4

Recording Format (Proxy Audio)  A-law (4 ch/8 bits/8 kHz)

Recording/Playback Time (MPEG HD422) 50 Mbps: Approx. 95 min (PFD50DLA), Approx. 43 min (PFD23A)

Recording/Playback Time (MPEG HD)

  • 35 Mbps, 4-ch audio: More than 145 min (PFD50DLA), More than 65 min (PFD23A)
  • 35 Mbps, 2-ch audio (playback only): More than 150 min (PFD50DLA), More than 68 min (PFD23A)
  • 25 Mbps, 4-ch audio: Approx. 190 min (PFD50DLA), Approx. 85 min (PFD23A)
  • 25 Mbps, 2-ch audio (playback only): Approx. 200 min (PFD50DLA), Approx. 90 min (PFD23A)
  • 18 Mbps, 4-ch audio (playback only): More than 248 min (PFD50DLA), More than 112 min (PFD23A)
  • 18 Mbps, 2-ch audio (playback only): More than 265 min (PFD50DLA), More than 122 min (PFD23A)

Recording/Playback Time (MPEG IMX) 

  • With CBKZ-MD01
  • 50 Mbps: Approx. 100 min (PFD50DLA), Approx. 45 min (PFD23A)
  • 40 Mbps: Approx. 120 min (PFD50DLA), Approx. 55 min (PFD23A)
  • 30 Mbps: Approx. 150 min (PFD50DLA), Approx. 68 min (PFD23A)

Recording/Playback Time (DVCAM) 

  • With CBKZ-MD01
  • 25 Mbps: Approx. 185 min (PFD50DLA), Approx. 85 min (PFD23A)

Lens Mount 2/3-inch type 48 bayonet mount


Genlock Input  BNC (x1), 1.0 Vp-p, 75 Ω (The genlock output connector is used for composite output when the optional CBK-SC02 is used.)

Timecode Input BNC (x1), 0.5 Vp-p to 18 Vp-p, 10 kΩ

SDI Input

  • With CBK-HD01, BNC (x1)
  • SD-SDI: SMPTE 259M (w/embedded audio)
  • HD-SDI: SMPTE 292M (w/embedded audio)
  • HD/SD switchable;

Audio Input  CH-1/CH-2: XLR-type 3-pin (female) (x2), Line/Mic/Mic +48V/AES/EBU selectable

Mic Input XLR-type 5-pin (female, stereo) (x1)

Test Output

  • SD: composite (character on/off)
  • HD: Y
  • BNC (x1), switchable;

SDI Output 

  • SD-SDI: SMPTE 259M (with embedded audio)
  • SD-SDI: SMPTE 259M (with embedded audio)
  • HD-SDI: SMPTE 292M (with embedded audio)
  • HD-SDI: SMPTE 292M (with embedded audio)
  • BNC (x2)
  • 2 (HD/SD switchable, character on/off);
  • 1 (HD/SD switchable);

Audio Output CH-1/CH-2: XLR-type 5-pin (male, stereo) (x1)

Timecode Output BNC (x1), 1.0 Vp-p, 75 Ω

Earphone Output Mini-jack (x2); front: monaural, rear: stereo/monaural

Speaker Output  Monaural

DC Input  XLR-type 4-pin (male) (x1), 11 V to 17 V

DC Output 4-pin (x1) (for wireless microphone receiver), 11 V to 17 V DC (MAX 0.5 A)

Lens 12-pin

Remote 8-pin

Light 2-pin, DC 12 V, max. 50 W

Camera Adaptor 50-pin (x1)

i.LINK IEEE 1394, 6-pin (x1), File Access Mode (AVC(DV) interface is not supported.)

Memory Stick (x1) for camera setup files

Ethernet RJ-45 (x1), 100BASE-TX: IEEE 802.3u, 10BASE-T: IEEE 802.3

USB (x1 for version-up)

Audio Performance

Frequency Response 20 Hz to 20 kHz, +0.5 dB/-1.0 dB

Dynamic Range More than 93 dB

Distortion Less than 0.08% (at 1 kHz, reference level)

Crosstalk Less than -70 dB (at 1 kHz, reference level)

Wow and Flutter Below measurable limit

Headroom 12/16/18/20 dB (selectable)

Camera Section

Imager 3-chip 2/3-type HD Power HAD FX CCDs

Effective Picture Elements 1920 (H) x 1080 (V)

Optical System F1.4 prism system

Built-in Optical Filters 1: Clear, 2: 1/4ND, 3: 1/16ND, 4: 1/64ND

Shutter Speed (Time)

  • 25p: 1/33, 1/50, 1/100, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000, ECS (ECS: Extended Clear Scan), SLS[SLS: Slow Shutter]
  • 59.94i: 1/100, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000. 1/2000, ECS (ECS: Extended Clear Scan), SLS[SLS: Slow Shutter]
  • 59.94i: 1/100, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000. 1/2000, ECS (ECS: Extended Clear Scan), SLS [F_WH0009]

Shutter Speed (Slow Shutter (SLS) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 16-frame accumulation (Only even number of frame setting is available in 720p mode. Slow shutter can not function with the digital extender.)

Sensitivity (2000 lx, 89.9% reflectance)  59.94i: F11 / 50i: F12 (typical)

Minimum Illumination Approx. 0.016 lx (F1.4 lens, +42 dB, with 16-frame accumulation)

White Balance  Preset (3200K), Memory A, Memory B/ATW

Gain Selection  -6, -3, 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42 dB

Smear Level  -135 dB (typical)

S/N Ratio 59 dB (54 dB w/o NS)

Horizontal Resolution 1,000 TV lines or more (1920 x 1080i mode)

Registration Less than 0.02%

Modulation Depth 45% or more at 27.5 MHz (typical)


Viewfinder Option

Other Equipment

Built-in LCD Monitor 3.5-inch type color LCD monitor (Viewable area measured diagonally.)

Sony PDW-700 XDCAM HD422 Camcorder