Tonight I went to the DV Expo West and a special invite only Sony party afterwards.
The whole point of the party thing was to go over the features of the new Sony HDV camera. Not the consumer one that is out now, but the "prosumer" version that is coming out in Feb 05.
All I can say is I WANT ONE NOW.
The image quality is amazing. 1440x1080 resolution and it shoots 1080/60i, 1080i/50i(PAL), NTSC DV(60i,30p, 24p) and PAL DV(50i,25p)
Plus you can shoot 60 minutes of any format on to a normal mini DV tape, plus you can shoot all in HDV mode, then capture as HDV or DV, the camera will down convert the video on its own while capturing.
XLR audio and a ridiculous amount of features that are so well thought out that it suprised me that Sony was actually putting them on such a inexpensive camera. Focus assist, programmable buttons and menus, programmable "auto transitions" that allow you to program in timed rack focus and zoom/focus combos. Sony has annoyed me up until now because they would shortchange the consumer/prosumer cameras as to avoid competing with their higher end models, but I think the DVX100 and the JVC 720p camera have opened their eyes.
With Vegas running the cineform codec, you will be able to edit realtime with true 1080i realtime output to a HDTV monitor.
The Canon XL2 and the DVX100a cameras were seriously ignored at the expo, but there were lines to see the Sony HVR-Z1U. Its gonna run about $5000. But thanks to my "connections" with the Sony distibutor I will be able to get one for about $3600!