Sony DCR-VX1000

Stephen Yagielowicz
When Sony's DCRVX1000 prosumer camcorder was introduced in 1995 for around $1,000, it offered unparalleled picture clarity with its digital video (DV) format. DV provides up to double the horizontal resolution and triple the component color sampling of VHS, resulting in bright, sharp, colorful images.

The VX1000's time-base correction eliminates the "jitters" inherent to some degree in all tape recording. Each CCD (charged couple device) of the unit's three-CCD imaging system has 410,000 pixels for what was, in the 1990s, first-rate picture quality. The VX1000's Adaptive Frame Interpolation (AFI) process enhances picture quality by smoothing the hated "jaggies" (stair-step image edges).

Drop-frame time code ensures precision editing with both editing software and standalone non-linear systems. Other features include a rechargeable lithium-Ion battery, an "Intelligent Accessory Shoe," manual control for proper exposure and a focus ring providing precise manual focusing.

All of that state-of-the-1990s technology is enclosed in a rugged magnesium alloy chassis. Sony's patented PCM Digital Stereo Audio provides a then-incredible, and still considerable, 96dB of dynamic range. The 180,000-pixel color viewfinder with its 400 lines of horizontal resolution gives the user a clear look at what is being recorded, while the camera's Super Steadyshot image stabilization ensures smooth results.

The DCR-VX2000, introduced in 2000, added a number of important enhancements, but amateurs and professionals alike are still using the VX1000 today. There are several user groups on the Internet where owners of this breakthrough camcorder swap tips, discuss home repairs and share videos. A dozen years after its introduction, the Sony DCR-VX1000 has gone from being merely popular to being truly prized.