Analog to Digital Conversion and Digital Signal Processing
The GY-DV550U is a 3 CCD camcorder with newly developed processing power to capture lifelike colors and tones and has the sensitivity to reproduce very delicate details in both bright conditions and dark ones. The 12-bit analog to digital converter (ADC) relays the digital information to the 14-bit DSP. The digital signal processor brings out the natural details, eliminate spot noise, and accurately reproduce dark areas and restore color information in shadows and highlights.
The low light capability of the GY-DV550U in inherent in its sensitive CCDs and DSP. Going even further into the shadows is the LOLUX mode. Taking unused sensitivity from surrounding picture elements (pixels), the camcorder is capable of extreme low light level recording without the usual amount of degradation from intense gain-up. In addition, color balance and saturation remain consistent giving great results in the worst conditions.
Once upon a time, customizing picture looks were for video engineers with test equipment and little screwdrivers. Now shooters want to have the ability to change overall appearance characteristics with a simple menu option. Among the options are the Black Stretch / Compress feature. Stretching out the blacks reduces general contrast and increases details in the darkest areas. Compressing the blacks gives a harder, less detailed, more contrast video look.
Exposure priority has been programmed to the center and the lower areas of the viewfinder. The multi-zone iris retains exposure settings even if a brighter or darker subject moves into the picture.
26 Pin Interface
The GY-DV550U has a 26-pin connector on the back end of the camera. In a studio configuration, a camera control unit would be connected to fine tune the cameras video output. A good choice for a CCU would be the RM-P210U. Another convenience of the 26-pin video interface is connecting component with a Betacam SP VTR (or any component device) for backup recording in the field.
Gen-lock and Composite Video-In
To meet increasing demands for a digital camcorder that can be easily incorporated into a complex production system, the GY-DV550U has a Gen-lock feature that includes a Sub Carrier lock to insure high-resolution pictures. The Gen-lock BNC connector operates as a composite video input, adding something simple but extremely useful.
2 Color Tally Lamp
Green tally for Preview, Red tally for Program. Or just shut the light off completely. The GY-DV550U is ready for multi-camera studio production if you are.
Full Auto Shooting Mode
When time consuming rehearsals or pre-shoot set up times are not convenient, the Full Auto Shooting feature can help you get that once in a lifetime shot. Activating the Full Auto Shooting sets the camera to the Auto Iris mode even if the lens in set to manual. Automatic Video Level Control is also activated along with Extended Electronic Iris and Full Auto White which provides both variable gain and variable shutter. Shoot continuously from a dark area to a bright area without changing gain, iris or neutral density filters.
Scan Match Feature
Industrial shooters are very often asked to videotape computer monitors. With the Variable Scan function, the images will be clean and still, without picture roll or a raster bar or flicker that demonstrates the monitors refresh rate. Scan rates from 60.5 Hz to2,084.6 Hz can be dialed in for professional results.
Like a true professional ENG camera, the GY-DV550U has 2 balanced audio inputs. The audio section is fully equipped with line-level / Mic level switchability. The operator may also turn on Phantom power (48 volts) for special microphones that do not supply their own power.
Basic control using a PC is also available via the RS-232 port. Now the camcorder can be used as a player / feeder within a computer controlled linear editing system in addition to its fine acquisition capabilities.
i.Link (IEEE-1394) FireWire
Most people using the GY-DV550U camcorder are editing with computers in a non-linear environment. Having the Firewire port (technically called IEEE-1394) lets the user play back tapes and output the video digitally, transferring each bit of binary code (zeros and ones) exactly the way it was put down to tape. Transferring this way from tape to tape is called cloning. It reproduces exactly the original signal. Transferring this way to a dedicated computer facilitates very high quality, multi-generation reproductions and an easy, flexible, low cost start to the editing process.
Super Scene Finder Feature
Exclusively, the Super Scene Finder lets you log scenes (in-point / out point) and mark scenes good or no good for quicker batch capturing. And the scene log data is written directly onto the tape eliminating the need for the more expensive IC Chip tapes. In addition, scene data from the last 3 cassettes is held in the camcorders memory allowing the data to be added to the cassette at a later time.