updated 01:40 pm EDT, Tue July 17, 2007
Sony GC1 Video Camera
Sony this afternoon surprised the market by launching the GC1. Described as the Net-sharing Cam, the device represents the company's first camcorder with the budget features and software for web-only video. The fixed-lens camera can record either VGA-level video or capture 5-megapixel still shots with flash assist; the addition of new Picture Motion Browser software now lets a computer prepare and upload the GC1's video directly to web hosts rather than rely on manual uploads through sometimes cumbersome websites.
The camera separates itself from other Internet-oriented cameras through a unique design and a large, swiveling 2.4-inch preview LCD that helps compose shots; it also records to Sony's Memory Stick Duo format, making it easier to watch the resulting clips on a PlayStation 3 or PSP directly from the card itself. Sony hopes to ship the camera in September for $200 and will accept preorders beginning on Thursday.