updated 05:35 am EST, Thu January 6, 2011
Sony brings latest 2D and 3D camcorders to CES
For 2011 Sony has released an extensive list of new camcorders with a sizable range of feature content, ranging from 2D to 3D video capability, to models with built-in projectors, to models equipped with hard disk drive-based storage to models with flash memory storage. Pricing ranges from just over the $200 mark, to the $1,500 neighborhood for the HDR-TD10 3D HD flash memory Handycam camcorder.
Following Sony's presentation at CES yesterday, the electronics producer now has a new lineup of camcorders that could fill the shelf space of many retail stores single handedly. The diverse lineup ranges from ultra portable and budget friendly small 2D camcorders, to similar but 3D-capable models, to camcorders with built-in projectors, to a high-end model with full 3D HD capability and dual lenses.
The model most likely to garner attention is the flagship Sony HDR-TD10 3D high-definition flash memory camcorder which features the world's first "double full HD" 3D consumer camcorder. In other words, it's the first consumer grade camcorder to feature an integrated dual camera system that utilizes two Sony G lenses, two Exmor R CMOS sensors and two BIONZ processors. The result is the ability to record double full HD 1920x1080 video for 3D playback.
While 3D output is obviously intended for compatibility with 3D HDTVs that utilize glasses, 3D video viewed on the 3.5-inch wide 3D/2D "Xtra Fine" LCD with TruBlack technology can be done without needing 3D glasses. If shooting in 2D mode the camera features seven-megapixel image capturing capability. Zooming capability varies based on video type (2D or 3D), but tops out at 12x optical zoom in 2D, and just 10x optical zoom 3D.
Built-in storage comes in the form of 64 GB of internal flash memory, which allows for 60p/24p recording capability in 2D.
The HDR-TD10 3D HD camcorder will be available starting in April for around $1,500.
If high quality video is what you are after, but 3D video isn't quite on your list of requirements, then Sony would like you to take a look at the HDR-CX700V flash memory-based Handycam camcorder. This model lacks 3D support, but comes in just $200 lower than the new 3D capable model with a price of $1,300.
This camcorder shoots full 1920x1080 high-definition video at up to 24 Mbps and features a 12-megapixel still image capturing ability with a newly developed 16:9 ratio imager. Many features are shared with the flagship model, such as the Exmor-R CMOS sensor, 5.1 audio, as well as 10x optical zoom. However, storage is increased to 96 GB of flash memory.
Playback can be previewed via the 3.0-inch LCD screen, but there is also a built-in USB cable and software for easy computer or web upload. There is also a built-in GPS receiver with NAVTEQ maps for geo-tag content.
HDR-PJ30V and HDR-PJ50V
While Sony has revealed a total of 10 HDR series models, many of the models are quite similar with only minor feature changes in order to allow the products to hit different key price points. Aside from minor feature changes, a key element of variance between models is the use of either a hard disk drive or flash memory for storage.
The models with hard disk drives provide for considerably more storage than their flash memory counterparts, as seen with the HDR-PJ30V high-definition flash memory Handycam with just 32 GB of storage and a price tag of $950 compared to the HDR-PJ50V high-definition hard disk drive Handycam with a much larger 220 GB storage capacity for just $50 more at $1,000.
Aside from storage medium, both of these models otherwise share identical features, such as a built-in projector that is integrated into a flip-out 3.0-inch LCD screen that is capable of projecting images up to 60 inches, a built-in audio system with stereo speakers and an S-Master digital amplifier.
DCR series outlined
For those seeking a camcorder on a budget that forgoes HD recording capability but offers a sizable amount of optical zoom, the DCR-SX45, -SX65 and -SX85 should be considered. All three models are priced between $230 and $280 and feature the same minimum amount of optical zoom at 60x optical and 70x extended zoom Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens.
Other features across all three models include: SteadyShot with Active Mode, 3.0-inch touch panel LCD screen (230K), Dolby Digital stereo sound, built-in USB cable and software for web upload and quick charge and a video light, auto lens cover and power-on by opening the LCD.
The other difference between the three models is the amount of flash memory included, with the range-topping SC-85 coming with 16 GB of flash memory, followed by 4 GB and then no included card (support for Memory Stick PRO Duo or SD/SDHC media card) for the base SX-45 model.