Get on YouTube with Sony Net-Sharing Cam

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The revolution may not be televised, but it might turn out to be available in short amateur clips via the Internet: Sony is joining the rush of consumer electronics manufacturers looking to cash in on the user-generated Internet video phenomena with its new Net-Sharing Cam. The new five ounce camera can snap 5 megapixel still photos, or capture VGA video at 30 frames per second (QVGA video at 15 frames per second)—and then seamlessly format the video for sharing on sites like YouTube, Sony’s Crackle (nee Grouper), or even users’ own Web sites or blogs.

“People who upload videos frequently are looking for solutions to easily get their personal content online in a few simple steps, so we developed the Net-Sharing Cam to be intuitive,” said Kelly Davis, Sony Electronics’ director of product marketing, in a release. “It can be used as an everyday communication device, which can also be personalized to quickly share short video clips and photos online.”

The Net-Sharing Cam shoots in MPEG-4 format, stores video to Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick Duo Pro media, and offers a “sharemark” button so users can easily tag videos and photos they want to upload to the Internet a they shoot. The camera is pre-loaded with Sony’s PMB Portable software: when users connect the camera to a “compatible” PC (Windows XP Home and XP Pro: Vista support isn’t specified), the software automatically recognizes tagged videos and photos. USers can then publish the video and photo directly using pre-programmed menu buttons. Users who want a more-fully featured application can run the Picture Motion Browser on their computer, enabling them to view, edit, and store their footage, and use the Net-Sharing Cam as a live Webcam.

The Net-Sharing Cam features a swivel-out 2.4-inch LCD, USB 2.0 connectivity (no FireWire/iLink), a rechargeable lithium ion battery (which offers about 90 minutes of use), a white LED flash, electronic image stabilization, and a 4× digital zoom. The unit should be available in September for about $200.

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