March 6
Sony Releases New Digital Camcorder Lineup
Still and motion features with wireless transmission

by David Nagel
Senior producer

Sony Electronics has released a new slate of digital camcorders, including high-end and consumer models. On the high-end side, the company introduced the DCR-VX2000 Digital Video Handycam camcorder, a three-chip CCD camera for professional users. It includes a 2.5" plasma LCD monitor with a 200,000 pixel resolution and digital still photography capability with Memory Stick media. The camera's color viewfinder offers a 180,000 pixel resolution.

The company says the DCR-VX2000 offers improved picture quality features over its predecessor, the DCR-VX1000, and the option to capture still images either direct to Memory Stick media or from a single frame of video footage. Still images are saved in 640 x 480 image size, which can be saved to Memory Stick media and transferred to a desktop through a USB adapter.

The DCR-VX2000 is equipped with a three-chip CCD imaging system that records up to 530 lines of horizontal resolution. The new CCD imagers contain 380,000 pixels each and have been optimized for digital video recording. The camera now includes a 58 mm aspherical lens and a two-position neutral density filter for reducing image distortion near the edges of the video capture. The DCR-VX2000 also features PCM Digital Stereo Audio in 12- and 16-bit audio modes. Other features include:

  • Built-in color bar generator;
  • 16:9 wide screen recording;
  • 12x optical and 48x digital zoom;
  • Up to eight hours of operation with the optional NP-F960 InfoLithium battery;
  • Choice of automatic or manual control for all aspects of exposure, shutter and depth of field;
  • Several pre-programmed background digital effects available for on-the-go taping options, including Still, Flash Motion, Luminance Key, Trail and Old Movie;
  • Drop frame time code;
  • FireWire port.

The DCR-VX2000 DV camcorder will be available in May and is expected to sell for about $3,000. The camera comes with a 4 MB Memory Stick. Additional Memory Sticks are available in 8 MB ($30), 16 MB ($50), 32 MB ($80) and 64 MB ($140).

Sony also introduced a new consumer camcorder lineup that supports the Mini-DV format. The lineup includes the DCR-TRV20, which features a mega-pixel CCD, color viewfinder and a 3.5" color LCD monitor. It can record record 520 lines of horizontal resolution and capture still images at 1152 x 864 pixels. Other cameras in the lineup include the DCR-TRV6 and the DCR-TRV11. Al the new models include:

  • Super LaserLink connection (up to 26 feet);
  • Super NightShot infrared system with automatic slow-shutter control;
  • FireWire;
  • And image stabilization.

The cameras are expected to ship in April. The DCR-TRV20 will go for $1,700, while the DCR-TRV6 and the DCR-TRV11 will sell for $1,100 and $1,300 respectively.

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