Sony has announced the "world's smallest and lightest" high-definition consumer camcorder with full HD resolution based on HDV 1080i. The compact HDR-HC1 Handycam camcorder delivers high-definition picture quality and lighting detail on both video and digital still images.
This camcorder's introduction is in response to the growing demand for HDTV. With more broadcasters transmitting high-definition content, the demand for HD has been steadily increasing. In fact, the Consumer Electronics Association estimates that nearly 15 million HDTV sets will be in US households by the end of 2005.
High-definition recording requires fast image processing speeds to ensure a clear, detailed picture, with virtually no loss of picture data. The new HDR-HC1 model features Sony's CMOS imaging sensor technology, designed to deliver faster image processing speeds for richer colors, more vivid detail, and significantly less glare from reflected light. Weighing only about 1-1/2 pounds, the model packs in a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens, which further enhances image clarity and richness, even when shooting in low light.
The combination of the unit's CMOS imaging sensor and Sony's Enhanced Imaging Processor technology enables it to capture moving and still images with smoother movements and clearer pictures. These combined technologies also play a key role in this little wonder's compact body design. Because the CMOS sensor consumes less power, the camcorder can be powered with a smaller battery like the model's supplied InfoLithium M battery, which delivers about 90 minutes of continuous recording (depending on recording mode), according to Sony. Sony also designed a circuitry board layout that conforms to the size of the lens and body.
For quick framing and easy image sharing, the camcorder has a 2.7-inch wide hybrid, touch-panel LCD screen to access menu options. You can switch between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios (in DV mode) to see exactly how your content will be viewed on television. Other convenient features include fully automatic controls, a built-in microphone for audio quality, an intelligent pop-up flash, and Super SteadyShot image stabilization.
The camcorder also captures 2.8-megapixel digital still images, which can be stored directly on Memory Stick PRO Duo media for transfer to PCs and other devices.
The HDR-HC1 offers a full complement of manual controls, including a 10X optical and 120X digital zoom, zoom ring, zebra pattern, and spot focus. White balance, shutter speed and focus can all be adjusted manually. The Cinematic mode allows you to record video with a film-like appearance, while the Shot Transition feature allows you to go even further in creating interesting cinematic effects. You can also record your own high definition video in total darkness with Sony's Super NightShot(R) Plus Infrared System, which adds the greatest amount of range and detail to your images in low- to no-light conditions.
Additional features include:
- InfoLithium Battery with AccuPower System -- Lithium-Ion batteries minimize the life shortening "memory effect" and can be charged at any time. Sony's exclusive AccuPower meter conveniently indicates the remaining minutes of battery life on the LCD or viewfinder display, so you can keep an accurate and constant reading of remaining battery power.
- i.LINK Digital Video Interface -- The i.LINK (IEEE 1394) DV interface enables high speed, bi-directional digital video/audio communication between two devices equipped with a compatible i.LINK DV interface, including camcorders, professional digital video recorders, and PCs.
- PictBridge Compatibility -- Printing one or many images is easy with the HDR-HC1 Handycam camcorder, which is PictBridge-compatible. Connect the camcorder to a PictBridge-enabled printer, such as Sony's new PictureStation DPP-FP50, and printing is as simple as pressing the print button. The HDR-HC1 Handycam camcorder will be available in July. Optional accessories will include a full line of accessories, including custom cases, lights, lenses, microphones, Stamina batteries, chargers and cables.
The HDR-HC1 Handycam camcorder will be available in July for "about $2,000," according to Sony. Additional accessories will include a full line of accessories, including custom cases, lights, lenses, microphones, Stamina batteries, chargers, and cables.