Sony introduces new models range from high-end HD to miniDVD for tape and disc. LAS VEGAS -- Sony announced 16 new camcorders here this week, introducing models priced as low as $280 and climbing up to a $1400 top-of-the-line high-definition model.
The new camcorder line includes hard disk drive models, high-definition (HD) offerings, and new DVD and mini-DVD handycam models. Sony also brings premium features like the addition of optical image stabilization producing clear, blur-free photos and smooth, crisp video to its entry-level camcorders. New features on high-end models like automatic slow shutter speed have been introduced to help deliver better low-light video quality. Sony says the camcorders, shown first at the Consumer Electronics Show here, will be available in March.
Blu-ray Support: Most notable were HD camcorders able to capture video at 1080i-resolution. None of Sony's HD offerings was priced below $1000; the cheapest is HDR-UX5 AVCHD HD Handycam, which costs $1100. This camcorder records directly to DVDs and can play back discs on Blue-ray Disc players.
On the high end of the HD spectrum is Sony's HDR-HC7 HDV, for $1400. This model shoots full HD 1080 video and six-megapixel stills. New hard-drive-based models are the 30GB DCR-SR42, priced at $600; 30GB DCR-SR62 ($650); 40GB DCR-SR200 ($850); 40GB DCR-SR300 ($1000); and 60GB DCR-SR82 ($750). Each of these camcorders uses standard definition. The 60GB model boasts 41 hours of recording time and a 25X optical zoom lens.
At the low end of the crop of miniDVD disc camcorders is the $450 DCR-DVD108. This model has a 40X optical zoom lens and is compatible with dual layer DVD+R discs capable of storing nearly two hours of video.