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Sony Debuts Affordable HD Camcorders


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Sony introduced two affordable high-definition camcorders on Wednesday, the first to record in full 1080i resolution. One model will allow for direct recording to three-inch DVD discs, while the other includes a 30GB hard drive permitting video storage and in-camcorder and PC editing.

In addition, the video cameras record in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, which would provide a truer-to-life sound reproduction on playback. An optional Bluetooth wireless microphone enables the recording of center-channel sound up to 100 feet away.

In addition, each mode includes an HDMI output, allowing for the easy connection to HDTV televisions for playback. Discs can be played back on any DVD player, as the disc-recording model has the capability to record in the original MPEG-2 DVD format.

"With more families adopting high-definition televisions and acquiring HD content, we want to give them a variety of ways to enjoy their home video in the same high quality," Sony marketing director Linda Vuolo said. "Our HD camcorder line offers people greater functionality and more choice to make high-def video creation fun and easy."

Both models include the capability to transfer data from the camcorder to PC, and record in the AVCHD camcorder recording format, based on the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec that allows for more power efficient and compact HD camcorders.

Additional features include a four-megapixel still capture mode, a dual mode that allows for full motion HD video recording and 2.3 megapixel still capture, smooth slow record which allows the user to record in slow motion, and a 3.5 inch LCD viewscreen.

The hard drive based model, the HDR-UX1, will debut in September at a price of $1,400 USD, while the DVD-recording model, the HDR-SR1, will arrive in October at a price of $1,500 USD. Sony said a full line of accessories would also be made available at that time.
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