updated 04:00 pm EST, Thu January 8, 2009
Sony camcorders at CES
Sony has announced a a variety of new camcorders, divided into hard drive-, flash- and DVD-based models. The hard drive models consist mainly of the HDR-XR520V, 500V, 200V and 100. Equipped with a CMOS sensor and a supplementary Memory Stick slot, each is capable of recording 1080p video and 12-megapixel stills; the 520V incorporates a 240GB hard drive, able to hold as much as 101 hours of video. The camera additionally includes a built-in GPS receiver for geotagging, and optical image stabilization.
The 500V lowers to 120GB of storage, but retains image stabilization. Both the 520V and 500V use a back-illuminated sensor, said to double the light sensitivity of existing Sony CMOS devices. The 200V loses this technology, along with stabilization, but still includes GPS and 120GB of storage. The 100 drops GPS and shrinks to an 80GB drive.
Three new standard-definition HDD camcorders have also been introduced: the DCR-SR87, 67 and 47. Each has 60x optical zoom, and like the HDR models can expand storage with Memory Sticks. The 87 and 67 have 80GB drives, while the 47 is limited to 60GB; the 87 sports an additional one-megapixel CCD imager, and the 47 will be sold in red, blue and silver colors.
Sony's new flash cameras revolve around the HDR-CX100, which includes 8GB of internal storage and a Memory Stick slot. It records 1080p video and four-megapixel stills, and sports a 10x optical-zoom lens. The DCR-SX60, 41 and 40 cameras are only standard-definition, but have 60x optical zoom and 16GB of flash in the case of the 60, and 4GB for the 40.
The company has only two new DVD camcorders, the DCR-DVD850 and 650. These again use 60x zoom, as well as a Memory Stick slot. The 850 benefits from an extra 16GB of internal flash, and a dubbing button, which lets users burn a DVD with content from internal or Memory Stick storage. The 850 is also the only one of the pair to have Dolby Digital 5.1 sound recording.
Both DVD models should go on sale in February, at costs of $430 and $300. The flash cameras are due in March, at prices between $270 and $600. They will be joined by the HDR-XR cameras, set to cost between $750 and $1,500; the DCR-SR devices will ship in February, and range between $400 and $500.