Were you aware of 'entry level professional' camcorders? No, neither was I.
Well, the 'HVR-HD1000U' will put those doubts (if not those linguistic concerns) to bed and brings support for both HD and standard definition DV formats to the table.
In essence this means in DV mode the unit can work exclusively as a DV camcorder, allowing users to maintain their current DV workflow without disruption. When needed however, the camcorder can then switch to high-definition mode - nifty. (Sony claims the HD1000U will manage approximately 60 minutes of HD video on a 6mm cassette).
Behind this functionality, the camcorder goes about its business using a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonner T* 10x optical zoom lens, a 1/2.9-inch Sony ClearVid CMOS sensor system and offers a Super SteadyShot image stabilisation mode. 6.1MP stills are also on the menu, while stills up to 4.6MP can be captured even while the camcorder is recording HD video.
All the usual connectivity is present too with HDMI, i.LINK, USB and a Memory Stick Duo slot all in there while Sony bundles an external stereo microphone (ECM-PS1) with it. Finally, battery life is around the 10 hour mark if you use the optional NP-F970 battery.
'Entry level professionals' (I'm still confused) can pick up the HD1000U in December for just $1,900 RRP. Whether this applies to 'Professional Amateurs' is less clear...