Sony recently announced three AVCHD high-definition (HD) camcorders, the HDR-CX7, HDR-SR7 and HDR-SR5.
According to Sony, its new Handycam HDR-CX7 model is the world's smallest and lightest AVCHD high-definition camcorder and can record nearly three hours of full HD 1080 video on an 8GB Memory Stick Pro Duo media card (LP mode). The HDR-CX7 weighs just 15-ounces with the supplied battery, noted Sony.
Sony's new HDR-SR7 AVCHD high-definition camcorder can record more than 22 hours of full HD 1080 video on its built-in 60GB hard disk drive, while the HDR-SR5 model's 40GB hard drive can hold more than 15 hours of footage (LP modes). In addition to long recording times, these two models offer compactness and Sony's HDD Smart Protection system to safeguard against data loss as well as easy connection to PCs via USB, noted Sony.
The new camcorders debut enhanced functions for easy browsing and searching on their high-resolution, 2.7-inch Clear Photo LCD Plus screens. Users can swiftly find scenes via the new film roll button to view footage as a film roll index, which displays multiple scenes as thumbnails within a single movie file. Sony also integrated new face index technology so users can also access specific scenes by familiar faces.
For more advanced searching on a compatible PC, users can use the camcorders' bundled Picture Motion Browser software to access the highlight index. It incorporates a search engine for voices and colors as well as faces so people can quickly get to the scenes they want to watch. All three models incorporate Sony's ClearVid CMOS sensor technology.
The HDR-CX7 and HDR-SR7 models utilize Sony's 3-megapixel sensor for full HD 1080 video and 6-megapixel digital still photos. They are also equipped with Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization to produce smooth video results, as well as virtually blur-free photos. The HDR-SR5 model integrates a 2-megapixel sensor for full HD 1080 video and produces a 4-megapixel photo.
Additionally, all models benefit from Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T optics for increased contrast and true-to-life color saturation.
The new models support the AVCHD camcorder recording format based on the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video compression and Dolby digital audio. In addition to high-quality video, the camcorders have built-in Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound recording.
The models' supplied Handycam Stations include a One Touch Disc Burn button for easy DVD creation using a PC and the bundled software. These stations now feature HD component output for instant connection to a compatible HDTV set when the camcorders are cradled.
High-definition content recorded on standard DVDs can be played back on compatible Blu-ray Disc devices, PlayStation 3 (PS3) and standard DVD drives on compatible PCs with the models' bundled software. The next-generation Sony DVDirect recorder will also be compatible with these camcorders for HD video transfer to standard, 5.25-inch DVDs. The HDR-CX7 unit's Memory Stick PRO Duo or Memory Stick PRO HG media cards, featuring high data transfer rates, can also be played back directly on compatible PCs and PS3 by a system software update scheduled in the summer of 2007.
The HDR-SR5, HDR-CX7 and HDR-SR7 camcorders will ship in June for about US$1,100, US$1,200 and US$1,400, respectively, with an array of optional accessories. All will be available at Sony's online store, in Sony Style retail stores, and at authorized dealers throughout the US.
The Sony HDR-CX7 HD camcorder