Digital HD Video Camera Recorder HVR-V1U
HDV1080i Format

From the outset, the HDV 1080i specification of the HDV* format has been developed to record stunning HD images with 1080 active scanning lines on DV-specification cassette tapes. It adopts the MPEG-2 compression format, using 8-bit digital component recording at approximately 25 Mb/s, which is the same data rate as the DVCAM/DV format, enabling a long recording time on compact DV cassettes. For example, more than 60 minutes of high-quality HD images can be recorded on a mini DV cassette. As with the DVCAM and DV formats, the HDV format allows an i.LINK connection to compatible nonlinear editors, enabling a cost-effective HD production system. The sheer volume of HDV 1080i professional and consumer equipment used around the world is a clear indication that HDV 1080i has become one of the most popular HD formats.

* Although not used in Sony HDV products, the HDV format also defines the HDV 720p specification, which features 720 effective scanning lines (progressive scanning system).


Basic Functions for Professionals

Recording, Playback and Down Conversion Formats

: Available  
: Either 1 or 2 or 3 connection is available.
When two or more cables are connected, the smaller number connection has a priority.
SQ=Sqeeze, EC=Edge Crop, LB=Letter Box
*1  Letterbox is not available from the i.LINK connector.
*2  Edge crop mode form the i.LINK connector will be available by a firmware upgrade. For details, please contact your nearest Sony office or authorized dealer.
2-channel XLR Audio Input

The HVR-V1U has two XLR audio input connectors for connecting professional microphones or for receiving external-line audio sources. Microphone power of approximately 48 V can be supplied for the external condenser microphone. INPUT 1 audio can be recorded either on CH1 only or on both CH1 and CH2 audio tracks.

Time Code Preset

The time code can be manually preset using any H/M/S/F (hours/minutes/seconds/frames) number to record desired tape-position information. The time code mode can be selected between REC RUN and FREE RUN. In addition to the time code, user bits can also be set and recorded.

Switchable Recording & Playback:
HDV1080i / DVCAM / DV

The HVR-V1U can switch between HDV1080i, DVCAM, and DV* recording, providing the full flexibility to record in either a standard or high-definition format according to different production needs.

* The HVR-V1U supports DV SP mode only; there is no support for DV LP mode.

Switchable Recording & Playback:   HDV1080i / DVCAM / DV

16:9 Widescreen Acquisition in DVCAM and DV Formats

When recording in DVCAM and DV formats, standard definition images can be captured in either 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio.

Down-conversion Playback Capabilities

The HVR-V1U has a built-in down-conversion capability, allowing 1080i recordings to be output as 480i signals. The 480i signals can be output from the i.LINK* connector. In addition, these signals can also be output from either the analog component, composite, or S-Video connectors. This allows 1080i recordings to be edited using nonlinear editing systems running DV editing software, and viewing the 1080i recording on an SD monitor.

When down-converting these signals, the aspect ratio displayed can be converted from 16:9 to 4:3. Display modes can be selected from Squeeze, Letterbox, or Edge crop. Down-conversion Playback Capabilities

* i.LINK is a trademark of Sony used only to designate that a product contains an IEEE 1394 connector.  Not all products with an i.LINK connector will necessarily communicate with each other.  For information on compatibility, operating conditions, and proper connection, please refer to the documentation supplied with any device with an i.LINK connector.  For information on devices that include an i.LINK connection, please contact your nearest Sony office.


Shooting Functions
Color Bar

You can choose from the following types of color bars. It is also possible to output a 1 kHz tone signal.Color Bar


The HVR-V1U provides a convenient function to store camera settings as CAMERA PROFILE data. It can store and recall 20 sets of such data – including menu settings, PICTURE PROFILE data and A or B white balances values– in its internal memory (sufficient for 2 sets) and Memory Stick Duo media. This is useful for sharing camera setting data among multiple cameras.

CAMERA PROFILE data can be attached as a file to e-mail and sent to other camera operators virtually anywhere in the world.*Camera Profile

* The CAMERA PROFILE data can only be used on the HVR-V1U and not with other camcorder models. It cannot be edited on a computer. The file must be stored in Memory Stick Duo using the below structure in order for the HVR-V1U to access it.

Camera Profile


Using the TC LINK function, the time code of the HVR-V1U can be synchronized with another camcorder such as a HVR-Z1U, a DSR-PD170, or a second HVR-V1U. By connecting the HVR-V1U to the other camcorder via an i.LINK cable and activating this function, the HVR-V1U’s time code generator will switch to free-run mode and reset its time code to that provided from the connected camcorder. Once the time code of the HVR-V1U is synchronized*, the i.LINK cable can be disconnected, and the next HVR-V1U that needs synchronized time code can be set up.

TC LINK is a convenient function when using the HVR-V1U in multi-camera operations, such as live-event recording and stage-shooting applications.

* The synchronization accuracy is within one frame. TC LINK
You can synchronize the time codes of multiple camcorders using the infrared remote control unit (RMT-841) supplied with the HVR-Z1U. Simple point the remote control unit at two or more camcorders – such as the HVR-Z1U, HVR-V1U, HVR-A1U and DSR-PD170 – that are set to Free Run and then press the Reset button. Upon reception of the infrared signal, each camcorder’s time code will be set to 00:00:00:00 simultaneously, and start to run in Free Run mode.

PB (Play Back) ZOOM

Using the playback zoom function, a selected area of the recorded HD image can be enlarged up to 5 times and played back on the LCD monitor and viewfinder, allowing operators to check them for certain details. These enlarged images can also be output in SD format via the i.LINK and analog connectors, allowing operators to cut out parts of the HD image and use them as SD material.


Up to six different picture-tonal settings can be saved and recalled as PICTURE PROFILE data (PP1~PP6) on the HVR-V1U. Operators can name each PP so they can be easily identified. Also, any PP can be assigned to an ASSIGN button. This allows operators to easily recall customized picture-tonal settings for particular shooting conditions, rather than having to readjust the camera for each shoot. Each PICTURE PROFILE holds the following information:


Black Compensation (STRETCH / COMPRESS)


You can choose the Knee point setting from Auto, High, Middle or Low, which determines the contrast in bright areas of the picture.


This changes the gamma curve in the dark areas of the picture.

Raises the gamma curve characteristics in dark areas to enhance contrast in those areas.

Controls the gamma curve characteristics to produce solid blacks.


Cinematone Gamma

This function emulates the picture tonal characteristic of cinematic film. It can be used in conjunction with the Knee Point and Black Compensation functions.

Creates a look similar as when a film-originated movie is viewed on television. The slope of the gamma curve in dark areas is suppressed, creating a deep black tone, while the mid-tone to highlight areas maintain detailed contrast.

Suppresses the dark areas even further, creating a deeper black reproduction.Cinematone Gamma


By activating this function, the HVR-V1U creates a color tone similar to conventional film.

To define the color tonal parameters, a color chart was shot using the most popular film stocks and the results were carefully analyzed by the colorists engaged in digital cinema productions. This has enabled the CINEMATONE COLOR function to reproduce film-like color tones when recordings are viewed on a TV screen. This function is especially effective when used in combination with CINEMATONE GAMMA.

A three-dimensional lookup table (3D LUT) – equivalent to that used for post-production color management – has been employed for processing the color data. Since partial coordinate conversion is applied within 3-dimensional color space, flexible adjustment of color depth and density is possible. The 3D-LUT produces impressive colors with real depth.
3D Look-Up Table

Interval Recording

Interval recording is a unique function that records signals at pre-determined intervals (more than 30 seconds) for pre-determined durations (more than 0.5 seconds). This is ideal for recording subjects over long periods, such as the movement of clouds or the blossoming of flowers.

Smooth Slow Rec

The Smooth Slow Rec* function enables slow-motion playback by capturing images at four times faster than the normal field rate (240 fields/s). For example, when setting the function to Fine mode, quad-speed images are captured for three seconds, stored in the built-in buffer memory, and then recorded to tape (in either HDV, DVCAM, or DV format) as slow-motion pictures lasting 12 seconds. The Smooth Slow Rec function also supports Standard and Low modes, which can record high-speed images for six and 12 seconds, respectively.

* When using the Smooth Slow Rec function, the resolution of the camera image decreases. For example, the resolution at Fine mode is 640 x 360 pixels. Also, audio recording is not available.
Still Image Recording

You can capture still images on Memory Stick Duo media by pressing the Photo button during video recording. Similarly, if the Photo button is pressed during playback of a prerecorded tape, you can capture any desired scene on the tape as a still image. This makes it easy to take advantage of unexpected shutter opportunities, saving them as still images.


The Shot Transition™ function allows for smooth automatic scene transitions. By programming a shot’s start and end settings (e.g., for zoom, focus, iris, gain, shutter speed, and white balance) and initiating this function, a smooth transition takes place over the duration of the shot by automatically calculating intermediate setting values. The Shot Transition can be triggered by the Start button during a recording, or it can be synchronized to the REC start button. It can also be triggered using an internal timer, helping to ensure you do not miss a shot. The transition progress can be monitored using the indicator displayed on the LCD monitor. Shot Transition is useful when complex camera settings are required during the scene transition – for example, when panning the camcorder from a distant subject to a close subject.

The ASSIGN buttons 1, 2 and 3 are used for the SHOT TRANSITION™ function.
Shot TransitionTM

Digital Extender
The HVR-V1U provides a 20x optical zoom function (equivalent to 37.4-748mm in 35mm film format, 16:9 mode). Adding greater convenience to this zoom function is its Digital Extender, which magnifies the image by approximately 1.5x. Combining the optical zoom with this Digital Extender achieves a stunning 30x zoom ratio with minimal picture degradation. The Digital Extender functions at every zoom position. Digital ExtenderDigital Extender

At the touch of the EXPANDED FOCUS button, the center of the image on the LCD monitor and viewfinder can be magnified to about twice the original size, making it easier to confirm focus settings during manual focusing. There are two types of Expanded Focus:

TYPE 1 (Color) The expanded image remains in color.
(Black & white)
The expanded image is displayed in black & white.



The Peaking function allows operators to easily adjust focus positions. It enhances the picture edges of the image, which are typical referenced to make focus adjustments, and colors them on the LCD monitor and viewfinder, making them more visible. The enhance levels can be selected from a choice of “HIGH”, “MIDDLE”, and “LOW”, and the picture edge color from “RED”, “WHITE”, and “YELLOW”.


The AF (Auto Focus) Assist function allows operators to make the AF function focus on the desired subject. This is useful, for example, when operators need to focus on subjects through a window. Operators can manually change the focus position using the focus ring, allowing the AF reference position to be shifted to a manually set position*.

* Since the auto focus function continues to activate, in certain situations the focus reference may shift back to its original position.
When the Macro function is set to On, manual focus adjustments can be difficult since the response of the focus ring becomes more delicate. This is especially notable when the lens zoom is set to its telephoto position. The HVR-V1U allows the lens macro function to be turned Off, facilitating focus adjustments. In contrast, to focus on objects closer then 80cm, the Macro function must be set to On.

Image brightness can be controlled with the EXPOSURE/IRIS DIAL using one of the following control modes:

EXPOSURE TYPE 1 Shutter speed is fixed and brightness is adjusted using the iris and gain.
EXPOSURE TYPE 2 Shutter speed and gain are fixed, and brightness is adjusted using the iris only. This mode should be selected when the operator wants to avoid noise that can result from raising the gain.
IRIS Brightness is adjusted by opening or closing the iris. Gain and shutter speed can also be set manually as require. This is the same manual control mode as used in the DSR-PD170 and HVR-Z1U.
AE SHIFT When auto exposure is used, you can slightly adjust the exposure between -7 (dark) and +7 (bright) and thus create a slightly brighter or darker picture.
White balance (Outdoor level) Adjustment
WB (White Balance) Shift
When white balance is set to the preset “Outdoor” level (approx. 5800K), it is possible to shift this setting by increments of approx. 500K. Range: -7 (to make the picture bluish) to +7 (to make the picture reddish)
ASSIGN Buttons
There are 6 ASSIGN buttons, to which the operator can assign frequently used functions.

In Camera mode, all six ASSIGN buttons can be used. In VTR mode, three ASSIGN buttons are available, the other three used for controlling the display of still photos.

The functions that can be assigned are as follows:


LAST SCN RVW (Last Scene Review)

By simply pressing an Assign button, you can have the HVR-V1U wind back the tape automatically to the start of the scene you have just shot and start playback. On completing playback, the point at which recording stopped is detected automatically and the HVR-V1U is ready to start recording again. This means you can easily check the last recorded scene without having to switch from Camera mode to VTR mode.


The following markers can be displayed on the LCD and in the viewfinder:
[Center / Aspect(4:3, 13:9, 14:9, 15:9) / Safety Zone(80%, 90%) / Guide Frame]

* 14:9 and 15:9 aspect markers and 90% safety zone marker are available in only the ALLSCAN MODE



The All Scan Mode displays all effective scanning lines in the screen. It is useful to check pictures for web applications. This function can easily be recalled at the touch of an Assign Button.ALLSCAN MODE


The Hyper Gain function boosts the gain level up to approx. +36 dB. This makes it possible to shoot in extremely low-light conditions, for example, when shooting wild animals in their natural habitat at night.HYPER GAIN


Displays or hides the text/icon indicators inside the LCD monitor and viewfinder.
Camera data display/Audio level display
Camera data display/Audio level display
During auto exposure shooting or manual shooting, you can display the iris, gain and shutter speed values in the LCD/VF You can also display the audio level during both manual and auto volume control.

At the touch of the STATUS CHECK button, located on the side of the camcorder, the current status of the following camera settings is displayed:

[Audio setup / Output signal setup / Functions assigned to the Assign buttons / Camera setup / Picture Profile / External Device*]

* ”External Device” is only displayed when the HVR-DR60 is connected.

Status Check

Selectable Focus Display

Focus positions can be displayed on the LCD monitor and viewfinder in either feet (ft) or meters (m).

Selectable Shutter Speed Display
Selectable Shutter Speed Display

In addition to seconds, the shutter speed can be displayed in rotation angle, as with film cameras.