updated 07:30 am EDT, Thu June 19, 2008
Sony CX12 Camcorder
Sony on Thursday issued a relatively surprising mid-year Handycam update through the CX12, a new mid-range camera. The handheld is Sony's first to use smile detection and does so to give videographers a hands-off approach to taking photos alongside video; the camera can automatically snap 10-megapixel still photos when it sees smiles without having to interrupt video capture. Like recent Cyber-shots, the CX12 can also prioritize those shots to take photos only of smiling groups or of adults or children. The Handycam can even take these photos in standby mode.
The camera records full-sized 1920x1080 video in AVCHD format and uses Sony's Memory Stick Pro Duo cards as its sole storage medium; a 4GB card is included in the box. Sony touts relatively strong video quality with a 12X stabilized optical zoom lens and Dolby 5.1 surround recording, complete with zoomed audio to properly capture sound from distant subjects.
Sony packs the CX12 with a sync cradle and ships the camera in early August for $900.