The DSR 390 is a logical step upwards in quality and features from such prosumer camcorders as the PD150 or Canon XL1. The DSR 390 has the advantage of being based on three 1/2" Power HAD CCDs whereas the prosumer camcorders are, at best, based around 1/3" chips. The difference this makes can be summarised in two words: picture quality. The DSR 390 offers 800 lines of resolution; the Canon XL1, for example, can only offer 600.
In addition, the DSR 390 is based on the design concept of a "reduced" broadcast camcorder whereas the design of the prosumer cameras starts at a consumer level that is then "beefed-up" for the professional market. In other words, the DSR 390 has the look and feel and features of a broadcast camcorder; the prosumer camcorders feel as though their "professional" features are add-ons.
This design difference enables the DSR 390 to offer such advantages as:
- the physical dimensions to take long-format DVCAM tapes for loads up to 184 minutes
- a large, industrial-quality Canon lens
- room on the camera body for audio controls and high-quality metering
- a heft and weight that is easy on the shoulder yet substantial enough for a steady image
- a host of electronic features such as Skin Detail Tracking, ClearScan, HyperGain, etc.
Finally, the size and design concept of the DSR 390 makes it compatible with many camera and lens accessories intended for broadcast cameras; these include three-stage matteboxes, remote zoom controls, etc.
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