Sony Unveils New Line of Features-Packed Handycam Camcorders

Sony

– Sony unveiled a lineup of Handycam camcorders that make it easy to capture your precious memories in high-quality full HD video and still photography.

Topping Sony’s industry-leading high definition lineup are the video enthusiast-level consumer camcorders, HDR-PJ760V and HDR-CX760V, which capture full HD 24p and 60p recording with 24.1-megapixel still images. A new standout feature is the world’s first Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization which controls the entire optical path, including the image sensor, as one floating unit to improve image stabilization by up to 13 times more stable than its predecessor (when both models are in the standard mode).

Sony

Balanced Optical SteadyShot stabilization advantages apply to the full zoom range from wide to telephoto, making it much easier to shoot crisp blur-free images in a range of challenging situations. Other new features include Wide Angle (26.0mm) Carl Zeiss Lens, tilting Electronic View Finder, and 17x extended digital zoom.

Sony

Creating a new standard in video creation and playback, the Handycam camcorders with a built-in video projector expand to a family of five this year. The ultimate theater experience comes alive with a unique compact, LED-based projector built into the flip-out LCD panel and the camcorder can now project video and images with up to twice the brightness (compared with the previous model) at up to 100″ diagonal onto walls, ceilings, or other flat surfaces. Select models offer a high sensitivity microphone and premium audio with an advanced sound processor to realize Closer Voice and Auto Wind Noise Reduction.

Sony

Along with hallmark Handycam features like Exmor R CMOS image sensor, the high-end camcorder borrows from Sony’s professional products to provide advanced features such as Manual Control (Iris/Shutter/Exposure/White Balance), CinemaTone Gamma and CinemaTone Color presets, Expanded Focus, Zebra and Peaking settings for more precise video expressions.

Sony

To further the mobile theater experience, the new Handycam camcorder projector models with an Active Interface Shoe can house the RDP-CA1 portable speaker for 360-degree “Circle Sound Technology.” The surround sound is extremely realistic and a useful tool for viewing videos in a group setting.

The full camcorder lineup, along with Alpha DSLR cameras, is also compatible with other new optional accessories like the LED adopted Battery Video Light (model HVL-LE1) that realizes more nuanced lighting when shooting videos (some models require VCT-55LH bracket sold separately). Equipped with up to 60 pieces of high brightness powered LED elements, the video light can accommodate variable lighting angles, vertical or horizontal, and brightness as well as a color conversion filter and diffuser. A multi-purpose “Multipod,” VCT-MP1, combines the portability of a monopod with the added versatility for stable long-hour shooting.

Coupling the Multipod with a support case, mini tripod and other accessories, it can achieve various shooting needs. “We’re constantly pushing the limits on how conventional camcorders can perform and this lineup builds nicely upon what you’ve seen from us in the past,” said Hidenori Toyoda, director of the camcorder business at Sony Electronics. “Consumers have been really excited about our projector models so we wanted to see that grow, while stepping up the features in all of our Handycam camcorders as we continue to innovate and lead in the category.”

After breaking ground with the world’s first “Double Full HD” 3D consumer camcorder, Sony has returned with a feature-rich 3D product in the HDR-TD20V camcorder. Once again the camcorder employs an integrated dual lens system, which includes two of each key component – double Sony Wide Angle G Lenses, double Exmor R CMOS image sensors, and double BIONZ image processors, but this time in a much smaller package. The HDR-TD20V is 2/3 the size of its predecessor weighing only 1.02 lbs and measuring 2.5″ x 2.875″ x 5.25″ (H x W x D), making it the world’s smallest and lightest Full HD 3D camcorder. Its improved 3D depth adjustment delivers natural 3D images, while the camcorder’s optimum distance between each lens delivers very realistic stereoscopic effect.

The dual recording system allows 3D content to be captured in 1920×1080 full HD resolution and viewed on the device’s built-in glasses-free 3.5-inch Xtra Fine LCD 3D touch screen or with 3D active glasses on 3D-capable HDTVs, as well as in full HD 2D on non-3D displays. Features new to the camcorder include geotagging with built-in GPS receiver & NAVTEQ maps, 10x optical zoom in 2D/3D with 12x extended digital zoom in 3D and 17x extended digital zoom in 2D, Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode, and manual setting controls, among others.

With sleek, compact designs and a refined level of optical performance, Sony continues to introduce best-in-class features that set Handycam camcorders apart from the competition.

The following new technologies will be integrated among select models in the lineup:

Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization – controls the entire optical path as one floating unit to improve image stabilization by up to 13 times better than its predecessor (when both models are in the standard mode)

By Pixel Super Resolution – creating higher pixel count in still images by referencing hundreds of samples in database to generate pixels close to reality

Closer Voice – Utilizing Face Detection, which detects people in a scene, and its advanced audio processing to suppress unwanted noise and capture human voices with maximum clarity

Auto Wind Noise Reduction – iAUTO intelligently detects wind noise based on wind strength while employing a new algorithm to broaden the range of noise reduced

Extended Zoom – improved BIONZ processor for up to 20 percent more powerful digital zooming capability Built-in USB cable – convenient USB cable built into camcorder strap for easy content transfer and quick charge

GPS w/ Enhanced NAVTEQ Maps – Built-in GPS for geotagging with embedded NAVTEQ Maps for detailed maps that will display street-level shooting locations

The following carry-forward technologies will be integrated across the entire lineup:

Full HD Video – 1920 x 1080 high-definition video recording at up to 24Mbps, the highest bit-rate offered by the AVCHD format

Exmor R CMOS sensor – back-illuminated sensor for stunning low light performance

Dual Record – allows for simultaneous capture of video and still images

Large LCD – display for easy viewing and touch operation (except HDR-CX190)

iAUTO – automatic selection of optimal camcorder settings in different environments

Tracking Focus – extension of Face Detection to choose an object by touching LCD and have the focus follow selected object (except HDR-CX190)

Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization with Active Mode – compensates for greater degrees of camera shake to deliver smooth video from wide angle to full telephoto in CX260V models and above

Wide angle lens – offers a broader perspective to capture everything in the shot; 26.0mm in PJ/CX700V series, 26.8mm in PJ/CX580V, and 29.8 mm for PJ/CX/XR260V models

Sony continues to offer superior engineering in its HD models and is adding a new Entry HD camcorder segment at an attractive price with four models, a Step-Up HD category with three models, Mid HD options with two models, four High End HD models, and a Double Full HD 3D camcorder.

HDR-CX190: Full HD, 5.3-megapixels, Exmor R® CMOS sensor and 30x Extended Digital Zoom – about $300

HDR-CX200: With touch panel and HDMI cable – about $340

HDR-CX210: With 8GB flash memory – about $370 (in black, blue, red, and silver)

HDR-PJ200: With built-in projector, large speakers (0GB) – about $440

HDR-CX260V: 16GB flash memory, 8.9-megapixels, wide angle 29.8mm, Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, Closer Voice, Auto Wind Noise Reduction, 55x Extended Digital Zoom, and mic jack – about $550 (in black, white, & Bordeaux brown)

HDR-XR260V: With 160GB hard disk drive memory – about $700

HDR-PJ260V: With built-in projector, stereo speaker and 5.1 ch mic – about $650

HDR-CX580V: 32 GB flash memory, 20.4-megapixels, wide angle 26.8mm, 3.0″ XtraFine LCD display (921K), Cinema Tone (gamma/color) and Zebra/Peaking – about $800

HDR-PJ580V: With built-in projector – about $900

High End HD

HDR-PJ710V: 32GB flash memory, 24.1-megapixels, wide angle 26.0mm, Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, 26.0mm Wide Carl Zeiss lens, and built-in projector – about $1300

HDR-CX760V: With 96GB flash memory, 24.1-megapixels, and Electronic Viewfinder – about $1500

HDR-PJ760V: With built-in projector – about $1600

Double Full HD 3D

HDR-TD20V: 64GB flash memory and 20.4-megapixels, with 3D/2D video capture – about $1500

Accessories

DP-CA1: portable speaker for 360-degree “Circle Sound Technology” – about $70

HVL-LE1: LED adopted Battery Video Light for more nuanced lighting – about $250

VCT-MP1: “multi-pod” for stable long-hour shooting – about $250

All of Sony’s camcorders can record video and still images directly to Memory Stick PRO Duo media, Secure Digital (SD), or SDHC media card (all sold separately) in addition to embedded memory. A built-in USB cable is featured across the line for easy web upload and quick charge, as well as Highlight Playback which creates movies out of your videos with transitions.

New to this year’s portfolio is the PlayMemories Online service, a Sony network service available in Spring 2012 that allows users to view their content from various devices such as a smartphone, tablet, PC, and TV at anytime. Simply upload all photos and videos to PlayMemories Online cloud service, and enjoy viewing them virtually anywhere, anytime.

Handycam camcorders are compatible with both PC and Mac computers. Mac users can transfer AVCHD content and edit video clips in HD quality using iMovie software. For PC users, the PlayMemories Home software allows viewing, editing, organizing, and uploading images to many major video and photo sharing Web sites.

Also featured on all models, the Direct Copy feature provides automatic content transfer from Handycam camcorders, without a PC, to Sony’s new 500 GB external hard drive optimized for use with Sony products (available on presale for about $142). Direct Copy also lets you copy footage directly to any brand of external hard disk drive (USB2.0; under2TB) via a USB cable (VMC-UAM1; sold separately except HDR-TD20V), when connected to AC power, for PC-free back-up and archiving. Video stored on the external HDD can be played back through the camcorder for viewing on a compatible TV.

The new high definition camcorder lineup and their accessories will be available in March, starting off at only about $300.

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