As you might remember from yesterday's announcement-packed day, we already talked about a couple of new camcorders by Sony, all of which, however, target some more or less specific market segments
or provide new features
not encountered in the case of other similar devices manufactured by the Japanese company. However, Sony also brought to the market a couple of more or less “standard” products in the Handycam series, all of which are ready to tackle the consumer market in the spring of 2010.
Before breaking down the whole lineup (and trust us, this is going to take a while, since we're talking about a fairly large number of products), we're going to point out some of the new features these things have been equipped with. So, all of the Full HD-capable video recorders will sport the back-illuminated “Exmor R” CMOS sensor, which brings about higher sensitivity and reduced image noise. Moreover, some of the new camcorders in the lineup also include a wide angle G lens that captures approximately 2x larger shooting area than previous models and fuses advanced optics with low dispersion aspheric glass elements for accurate color reproduction and sharp, detailed images while a six-blade aperture produces circular “bokeh” defocus effects for creative shooting possibilities.
Other improved features are the Optical Steady Shot image stabilization with Active Mode, which has been enhanced by expanding the 3-Way Shake Canceling feature across the full zoom range, from wide to telephoto end. The new camcorders from Sony also incorporate high-speed BIONZ imaging processors to create new features like Golf Shot and Intelligent Auto (iAuto), while also offering advanced functions such as Face Touch, an embedded GPS module, Highlight Playback and 60p Output, just to give you a few examples.
Sony will offer a couple of interesting entry-level HD camcorder
options in both hard drive (HDR-XR150) and flash memory (HDR-CX150 and HDR-CX110) formats. The HDR-XR150 features a 120GB hard drive for up to 50 hours of HD video (LP mode), while the HDR-CX150 has 16GB of embedded flash memory for up to six hours of HD video (LP mode), and the HDR-CX110 allows for customizable capacity with the purchase of a memory card.
All of these models are able to record videos at full 1920 x 1080 high-definition resolution at up to 24Mbps as well as 3.1-megapixel still photos, and come equipped with Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 25X optical zoom lens, plus 2.7-inch displays.
Sony will also offer the HDR-XR350V, with a 160GB hard drive; HDR-CX350V, with 32GB of flash memory; and HDR-CX300, with 16GB of flash memory. These HD camcorders pack a wide angle G lens (29.8mm for video and 27.4mm for still images), Optical Steady Shot image stabilization with Active Mode from Wide to Telephoto, Golf Shot, 12X optical zoom and embedded GPS (except for the HDR-CX300).
Representing Sony’s top-of-the-line camcorders
, Sony will deliver the HDR-XR550V with a 240GB hard drive for up to 101 hours of HD video (LP mode) and the HDR-CX550V with 64 GB of embedded flash memory for up to 26 hours of HD video (LP mode). Other features provided by this family of camcorders include the aforementioned Wide angle G lens, an assignable dial for manual control (Iris/Shutter/Exposure/WB/Focus), a Color Electronic View Finder and 3.5-inch (measured diagonally) LCD display with TruBlack technology (921K resolution).
The HDR-XR550V, HDR-CX550V, HDR-XR350V, HDR-CX350V and HDR-CX300 will be available in late February for about $1400, $1300, $1000, $900, and $800, respectively, while the HDR-XR150, HDR-CX150, and HDR-CX110 are scheduled to arrive in late January for about $700, $550, and $500, respectively.
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