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Mark Peters : January 9th 2004 - 13:57 CET

Sony USA introduces new line camcorders


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SonyToday Sony USA introduces six new Handycam MiniDV camcorder models for the American based market. Sony has redesigned three of its MiniDV models, the DCR-HC20, DCR-HC30 and DCR-HC40, averaging 25 percent less in volume over last years' models. By adopting touch-screen technology for access to the camcorders menu system and incorporating a built-in lens cover, these models are not only ultra portable but are ergonomically sound. In addition to changing their look, Sony has advanced some of the special Handycam camcorder features for all its MiniDV camcorders. One in particular is the new NightShot Plus system that allows for recording in darkness while delivering more natural colour to video.
Sony USA introduces new line camcordersAll of Sony's 2004 camcorders will have a new Easy Handycam operation button on the outside of them. When pressed, the button resets the camcorder's settings to automatic mode and adjusts the LCD display to show only the essential icons like power and tape length, while enlarging the icons for better viewing.

Another way camcorder users can share life in motion is by enabling the USB Streaming feature, which turns the camcorder into a web cam. It can stream live and recorded video via a USB connection and video conferencing software such as the Microsoft NetMeeting application.

Starting the line-up, the DCR-HC20 model has the aforementioned feature package as well as a 2.5-inch SwivelScreen hybrid LCD display with a start/stop record button on the LCD frame in addition to Carl Zeiss optics. The DCR-HC30 camcorder is next in line and adds a Memory Stick DUO slot for still image and MPEG1 capture up to the capacity of the media, plus an active 3D-menu system that uses bit-map technology for animation and special effects to enhance user-friendliness.

The DCR-HC40 model incorporates a 1 Megapixel imager to capture video and digital still images with crisp definition. The DCR-HC65 unit sports a 3.5-inch SwivelScreen hybrid LCD display. By adding a 2 Megapixel imager to the DCR-HC85 camcorder, it not only delivers 1600 x 1200 digital still images but also increases the video quality up to 530 lines of horizontal video resolution. The unit also offers the advanced multi-layer coating of a Carl Zeiss T* lens, and in combination with 2 Megapixel technology, the result is more vivid and richer colour in video and pictures. In addition, the model offers enhanced but simple to use digital still image features, including intelligent pop-up flash and manual sharpness settings.

Rounding out the camcorder line, is the DCR-PC109 model offering a similar set of features as the DCR-HC40 model but boosting convenience with the supplied Handycam Station.

Like a cell phone or handheld cradle, the Handycam Station charges the camcorder and connects it to a TV or PC, while keeping it easily accessible. The Handycam Station comes fully loaded with all the necessary inputs, including S-Video and an audio/video terminal for hooking it up to playback video on a TV. It also has a USB 1.1 port and an i.LINK (IEEE-1394) interface for connection to compatible PCs. And when not at home, users can take advantage of both the power and the A/V connections that have been incorporated directly into the unit.

These models will be available on the American based market around February-April 2004.




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