Sony Introduces New High-Def HandyCams

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Electronics giant Sony has introduced three new HandyCam high-definition camcorders, and it’s safe to say the days of bulky, awkward camcorders are in the past. All three cameras sport 2.7-inch LCD screens, Sony’s ClearVid CMOS sensor technology, Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T optics, and Sony’s x.v.Color technology; they record using the AVCHD format (based on MPEG-4 AVC/H.264. the systems feature a one-touch burn button for creating a quick DVD using a PC and bundled software, and sport USB 2.0 connectivity for editing and backup.

The HDR-CX7 weighs in at just 15 ounces with battery, and can record almost 3 hours of high-definition 1080 video on an 8 GB Memory Stick Pro card in LP mode. If that’s not enough recording time for you, you’ll just have to buy more Memory Sticks: one secret of the CX7’s svelte figure is that it doesn’t offer an internal hard drive. The CX7’s sensor captures video at three megapixels and can manage still images at 6 megapixels. Expect to see it at retailers in June for about $1,200.

Bulking up (a little), the HDR-SR7 offers a similar set of specs to the CX7, but adds a 60 GB hard drive to record up to 22 hours of “full HD 1080” video—it’ll also be available in June, with a retail price around $1,400. If that’s a little spendy, the HDR-SR5 steps down to a 40 GB hard drive which can handle up to 15 hours of video and a sensor which captures 2 megapixel video and 4 megapixel stills; expect its price tag to be around $1,100 when it goes on sale in June. Both models with hard drives use Sony’s HDD Smart Protection technology to help prevent data loss.

“Camcorder users are quickly embracing non-linear camcorder formats, such as hard disk drive and flash media, because they make it easy for anyone to view and access footage quickly,” said Linda Vuolo, Sony Electronics’ director of camcorder marketing in a statement. “Our models offer the added advantages of superior high-definition picture quality. With the widest range of consumer high-def models, we can satisfy the needs of virtually everyone.”

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