Sony HDW-730S HDCAM Camcorder

by Sony
Sony HDW-730S HDCAM Camcorder
HD camcorder, offering 2.2 million pixels per colour, HDCAM recording and is switchable between 50i and 59.94i operation.

Capture High Definition pictures on a Standard Definition budget

The case for shooting programme content in High Definition has never been so compelling. The cost, speed and quality advantages of HD over film for prestige productions are well documented. Now the economics of HD production for mainstream television production have been transformed making HD acquisition accessible to those working on SD budgets.

A key component of this transformation is the HDW-730S HDCAM camcorder. The HDW-730S features 3 x 2.2 million-pixel IT CCDs and Advanced Digital Signal Processing (ADSP). The camcorder is switchable between 1080/50i and 1080/59.94i operation, opening up significant possibilities for international co-production or distribution of content.

It is an extremely compact and lightweight design, with a robust and reliable construction. A signal-to-noise ratio of 54 dB and a minimum illumination of 0.31 lux are significant benefits for producers capturing footage in often less-than-ideal lighting conditions. The HDW-730S outputs HD-SDI as standard, while an optional down converter allows simultaneous direct output of SD-SDI or analogue composite video. Camera setup data can be stored in a "Memory Stick". An optional picture cache board can capture pictures and sound in advance of pressing the record button.

Whether you're post producing in Standard Definition and want to maximise image quality up-front, or remaining in HD for post production, the HDW-730S redefines HD acquisition as the choice that's practical and affordable for mainstream programme making today.


HAD sensor technology

The HDW-730S inherits Sony HAD sensor technology and the on-chip lens structure of the Power HAD sensor, an imaging device based on the 1920 x 1080 CIF (Common Interchange Format). Three 2/3-inch IT CCDs each with 2.2 million-pixels provide excellent imaging quality.

Ultimate sensitivity

The HDW-730S has a sensitivity of f10 at 2000 Lux. When fitted with an optional HKDW-705 Slow Shutter board, the camcorder can expose an image over a 64 frame duration. This dramatically increases sensitivity and allows pictures to be shot at a minimum illumination of 0.003 Lux. This allows camera operators to shoot images in extremely dark environments.

The Slow Shutter board also allows motion blur to be used as a creative tool during acquisition.

Long record duration onto HDCAM cassettes

The HDW-730S records up to 48 minutes onto a small HDCAM tape when recording 1080/50i (record duration is 40 minutes at 1080/60i). This exceeds the record duration of many standard definition camcorders.

Rugged and ergonomic design

The design of the HDW-730S is based on years of Sony experience in camera design and provides a high level of mobility and balance to minimise fatigue in all shooting conditions. Combined with the viewfinder, battery, cassette and microphone, the total weight is only 5.3 Kg.

Extended battery life

You can record for up to 135 minutes when using the latest BP-GL95 Info Li-Ion battery. This meets the critical need for a long operating time. The battery also communicates with the camcorder to provide exact remaining capacity.

Always ready to capture an image

The HDW-730S can be fitted with an optional HKDW-703 Picture Cache Board. With picture caching, up to 8 seconds of audio and video are buffered into memory before the Rec button is pressed. When recording is activated, the buffer contents are recorded onto tape. The risk of missing important scenes is significantly reduced.

Auto Trace White

Auto Trace White (ATW) is a feature that automatically adjusts the white balance as lighting conditions change. This is ideal when shooting in rapidly changing lighting conditions (for example, when moving from an indoor to an outdoor location). Conventional Auto White Balance is also available.

TruEye processing

TrueEye virtually eliminates hue distortion, especially in extreme lighting conditions. TrueEye processes video data in a similar way to the human eye - processing brightness, hue and saturation. This significantly improves the reproduction of natural skin tones.

Neutral Density optical filter wheel

The HDW-730S is equipped with a single optical filter wheel. You can choose from the following Neutral Density (ND) settings: CLEAR, 1/4ND, 1/16ND and 1/64ND.

Mono microphone

The HDW-730S is supplied with an ultra-directional mono microphone as standard. Connection to the camcorder is via a 3-pin XLR connector.

Slot-in wireless receiver

You can slot a Sony wireless receiver directly into the chassis of the HDW-730S. This adds wireless receiver functionality without compromising the compact ergonomic design of the camcorder. A Sony WRR-855A/B can be used.

Programmable menu system

You can customise the menu system of the camcorder, by copying and pasting menu items to your personal menu page. These settings can be stored on a Memory Stick.


Mass: Approx. 5.3 kg (11lb. 11oz) with cassette, BP-GL95 battery, viewfinder and microphone
Power requirement: DC 12V (+5.0 V/-1.0 V)
Power consumption: 33 W (With 12 V power supply, REC mode, without viewfinder)
Operating temperature: 0 oC to +40oC (+32oF to +104 oF)
Storage temperature: -20 oC to +60 oC (-4oF to +140 oF)
Operating humidity: 25% to 80% (Relative humidity)
Continuous operating time: Approx. 135 min (With BP-GL95)

In the Box

Sony HDW-730S Operation manual (1)


Compatible Products