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<Press Release>
The press releases on this website are provided for historical reference purposes only. Please note that certain information may have changed since the date of release.

July 30, 1998

Sony Announces High-Quality Interlaced/ Progressive Format
3-CCD Digital Handycam Camcorder [DCR-TRV900]


Tokyo, Japan- Sony Corporation today announced plans to launch a Digital Handycam Camcorder (model DCR-TRV900) equipped with a 3-CCD chip camera system that uses three 380,000 pixel CCDs to capture high-quality images in true fidelity color.

The DCR-TRV900 is the first 3-CCD camcorder targeted at the consumer market that is capable of switching between the interlaced(1) and progressive(2) recording formats. By taking video footage in either the interlaced format or progressive format and still pictures in progressive format, the camcorder is capable of providing high-resolution images with greatest flexibility ever made available to consumers.

Using the 3.5-inch floppy disk adapter, which is included as a standard accessory, or a Memory StickTM PC card kit (sold separately), the camcorder can transfer digital still pictures recorded from its digital cassette tape to either a 3.5-inch floppy disk or a Memory StickTM IC memory card.

ModelIntroduction DateMSRPInitial Production
Digital Handycam Camcorder
w/LCD Monitor[DCR-TRV900]
Sept. 10,1998300,000 yen5,000 units

According to statistics compiled by the Electronics Industry Association of Japan (EIAJ), sales of consumer video camcorders in Japan totaled approximately 1,380,000 units in 1997. Sony estimates that digital camcorders, first introduced on the Japanese market in Fall 1995, accounted for some 900,000 units of this total.

Meanwhile, the market for digital still cameras, whose images can be easily loaded into personal computers, has been expanding rapidly. Sony estimates that annual sales of digital still cameras in Japan reached 500,000 units in 1996, grew to around 1 million units in 1997, and should reach between 1.2 and 1.3 million units in 1998. These statistics indicate that a strong demand has developed for video camcorders that can also take high-quality still pictures.

The DCR-TRV900 digital camcorder uses a 3-CCD system that captures each of the three primary colors of light (RGB) separately, resulting in the reproduction of color-balanced, high-quality images. While the CCD camera system is capturing images, its data output can be switched at will between the interlaced and progressive formats. This allows the camcorder to take both video footage and still pictures in the most suitable format for each purpose. For example, the interlaced format can be selected for taking video footage in the NTSC broadcast format standard. Alternatively, the progressive format can be used to reproduce a clearer image of each individual frame when taking still pictures that will be uploaded into a PC.

Additionally, the camcorder incorporates Super SteadyShot image stabilization, which helps stabilize the picture if the camcorder is accidentally moved during the filming process. Moreover, by virtue of its power-efficient design, the DCR-TRV900 digital Handycam Camcorder draws only 4.1W of power, making it possible to achieve over 8 hours of continuous recording(3) when used with Sony's NP-F950 Lithium Ion battery pack (sold separately).

Furthermore, the camcorder incorporates both a high-resolution 3.5-inch 184,000 dot precision LCD monitor and a 180,000 dot viewfinder. The LCD monitor rotates to allow footage to be taken from various angles, and use of the easy-to-view precision viewfinder makes taking video footage comfortable and easy.

Finally, the DCR-TRV900 digital camcorder is equipped with a memory card slot(4) that can also be fitted with a 3.5-inch floppy disk(5) adapter accessory that allows users to record their favorite scenes and still frames for easy upload into personal computers(6). The DCR-TRV900 can also use Memory StickTM IC memory cards to store still images for transfer to PCs.

Interlaced format reads-out alternating fields of the image. Each field consists of either the odd or even numbered lines of the pixels comprising the image.
Progressive format reads-out an entire frame, or all of the pixels comprising an image, at once.
Figure represents recording time when the LCD monitor is turned "off" and the viewfinder is used.
The memory slot supports the ATA PC card format.
Floppy disk recording format: MS-DOS, 512 bytes X 18 sectors, 1.44MB standard
Images are saved using the JPEG compression format

Recommended Systems:
PC/AT compatible:Microsoft®Windows®W3.1, Windows®W95,
Windows®WNT3.51 or later
Macintosh Mac OS:System 7.5 or later
PC9821 Series:PC98NX Series or later

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures and computer entertainment operations make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $51 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1998, and it employs 173,000 people worldwide.

Sony's Home Page URL:


1) 3-CCD camera system can switch between interlaced and progressive formats
The 3-CCD camera system uses three 380,000 pixel CCD imagers that can capture color-balanced, high-quality images. The camera can capture video footage in interlaced format and switch to progressive format when taking still pictures.

2) Super SteadyShot
Super SteadyShot helps correct the blur caused by movement of the camcorder during filming, allowing the camcorder to capture stable images with almost no loss in image quality or distorted "stair-step" borders.

3) Over 8 Hours Continuous Recording With Optional Stamina Battery Pack
Due to the camcorder's energy-efficient design, it consumes only 4.6W of electrical power. This makes it possible to record video footage continuously for over 8 hours when using the optional NP-F950 Lithium Ion battery pack (sold separately), which fits inside the body of the camcorder.

Battery TypeContinuous Recording Time / (Actual Footage Length)
Model NumberUsing the ViewfinderUsing the LCD Monitor
NP-F550150 min. / (75 min.)120 min / (65 min.)
NP-F750315 min. / (165 min.)250 min. / (140 min.)
NP-F950485 min. / (255 min.)375 min. / (210 min.)

4) Memory Slot Facilities
The DCR-TRV900 camcorder is equipped with an memory card slot that conforms with the ATA specification standard. The card slot can be fitted with a 3.5-inch floppy disk adapter, which comes as a standard accessory, or a Memory StickTM PC card kit (sold separately) that allows users to transfer their favorite still frames onto a floppy disk Memory StickTM IC memory card for easy upload to PCs. Finally, the DCR-TRV900 offers three different recording modes- super fine, fine, and standard-, allowing the user to choose the mode best suited to each purpose.

Recording ModeFloppy Disk
(# of Photos)
Memory Stick
(# of Photos)
CompressionScreen Size
Super Fine7 to 84MB: 19 to 23
8MB: 38 to 45
Fine14 to 164MB: 38 to 45
8MB: 77 to 89
Standard23 to 274MB: 63 to 75
8MB: 127 to 150
5)High Resolution Viewfinder and LCD Monitors
The camcorder incorporates both a high-resolution 3.5-inch 184,000 dot precision LCD monitor and a 180,000 dot viewfinder. The LCD monitor rotates to allow footage to be taken from various angles, and use of the easy-to-view precision viewfinder makes taking video footage comfortable and easy.

6) DV Synchro Edit Function For High-Quality Editing
Scenes can be dubbed automatically through a single IN/OUT connector using the DV Synchro Edit function. Additionally, video images and still pictures can be transferred from the camcorder over a single i.LINK cable to other appliances such as digital video players or PCs if those appliances are equipped with an i.LINK interface.

7) Various Digital Still Camera Functions
The camcorder has a high speed serial photography function that allows it to take a series of digital still photos- one every 0.8 seconds- and a multi-panel photo function that captures 9 frames- taken one every 0.3 seconds- on separate panels within a single picture. The DCR-TRV900 is equipped with many features commonly found in digital still cameras, and it is well-suited for sports photography and other such applications.

8) Supports Various Production Effects
The camcorder is equipped with various modes of production effects for use when taking still pictures and video footage. Among these effects are 5 "digital effect" modes- including still mode and flash mode- and 6 "picture effect" modes- including negative exposure and sepia. Four of the digital effects modes (still, flash, luminescence, and trails) and four of the picture effects modes (negative art, sepia, monotone, and solaria) can also be used to create production effects on the footage at the time it is played back.

9) Other Special Features
(1) An analog terminal for use in re-recording existing 8mm tapes in digital format.
(2) A sturdy and lightweight magnesium alloy die-cast body
(3) A 12X optical mach zoom (48X digital zoom)
(4) Optional manual control of settings, smooth manual focus ring
(5) The "recording time remaining" feature displays the recording time possible under the current battery charge on the camcorder's LCD monitor.
(6) A Laser AVLink for simple, cordless playback
(7) A "voice-over" function that allows narration or background music to be added to video footage taken earlier.

Memory StickTM is a trademark of Sony Corporation
Microsoft® and Windows® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation
Macintosh Mac OS is a trademark of Apple Computer Inc.
Other product names and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies.
Optional Accessories (Sold Separately):
Accessory Kit [ACCKIT-IF90] :Sept. 10, 1998; 36,000 yen (MSRP)
(Includes: Rechargeable battery pack [NP-F950], AC Charger [AC-V700],
connection cord [DK-215], AV cordless IR receiver [IFT-R10],
AC adapter for IFT-R10, AV cable, cleaning kit)
Carrying Case [LCH-TRV900]:Sept. 10, 1998; 20,000 yen(MSRP)
Memory Stick/ PC Card Kit [MSAKIT-PC4A]:Sept. 10, 1998; 11,000 yen (MSRP)
Memory Stick[MSA-4A] (4MB)
[MSA-8A] (8MB)
Sept. 10, 1998; 3,300 yen (MSRP)
Sept. 10, 1998; 4,400 yen (MSRP)
i.LINK Cables[VMC-IL4415] 4 pin ->4 pinAug. 1, 1998; 4,500 yen (MSRP)
[VMC-IL4435] 4 pin ->4 pinAug. 1, 1998; 4,500 yen (MSRP)
[VMC-IL4615] 4 pin ->6 pinSept. 10, 1998; 4,500 yen (MSRP)
[VMC-IL4635] 4 pin ->6 pinSept. 10, 1998; 4,500 yen (MSRP)

Main Specifications of the DCR-TRV900:

Format StandardDV format (Consumer Digital VCR SD Standard)
Cassette Storage MediumMini DV cassette
Video Recording FormatDigital component recording
Video Sampling Frequency
and Bit Size
Brightness signal13.5 MHz, 8 bit
R-Y Signal3.375 MHz, 8 bit
B-Y Signal3.375 MHz, 8 bit
Audio Recording Format2 rotating heads
- 12 bit 32 kHz (Stereo 1, Stereo 2)
- 16 bit 48 kHz
Image StabilizationSuper SteadyShot (active lens format)
CCD Imagers380,000 pixel CCD (340,00 effective pixels) X 3
Lens SpecificationsF1.6-2.8 f=4.3-51.6mm
(interchangeable 35mm lens f=41.3-496mm)
Filter Diameter52mm
Zoom PowerOptical 12X, Digital 48X
Shutter Speed1/4 to 1/10000 Variable (dial)
Min. Subject Illumination8 lux
Viewfinder0.55 inch, 180,000 Dot Color
LCD Monitor3.5 inch, 184,000 Dot
Battery SystemLithium Ion (supports InfoLithium)
Electrical VoltageAC adapter: 8.4V Battery Pack: 7.2V
Power Consumption4.1W (using viewfinder) /5.2W (using LCD monitor)
Maximum Outer Dim.93X103X193mm (Width X Height X Length)
Camcorder Body Weightabout 880g
Total Weightabout 1kg when using NP-F550 battery pack
about 1.1kg when using NP-F750 battery pack
about 1.2g when using NP-F950 battery pack

Inquiries from potential customers should be directed to:
Sony Corporation Customer Service Center
Tokyo: 03-5448-3311
Nagoya: 052-232-2611
Osaka: 06-539-5111