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Sony launches compact HD camcorder

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Sony launches compact HD camcorder

High definition video recording takes another step towards mainstream with Sony’s latest HD video camcorder. With a price of $1700, the HDR-HC3 is about $300 cheaper than its predecessor HC1 at launch and slowly gets into the reach of video enthusiasts.

The new HDR-HC3 is about 26% smaller than its predecessor and is equipped with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens and Sony’s new ClearVid CMOS sensor. Users can shoot still images simultaneously with video recording. The resolution of the pictures is 2.3 megapixel in high definition mode (16:9 aspect ratio) and 1.7 megapixels in standard definition mode (4:3).

While high definition on the TV today offers a standard resolution of 720p (720 progressive lines) and is quickly heading towards 1080p, the HDR-HC3 records in 1080i – which has been the focus of an ongoing discussion, whether this standard can be considered “true” HD or not.

1080i stands for 1080 lines that are created through interlaced rendering. While in 1080p all 1080 lines are recorded and displayed in one batch, 1080i records first the 540 even-numbered lines of a frame, followed by a second step that captures the remaining 540 odd-numbered lines. The two sets are re-assembled when displayed on a high definition TV, which results in frames that can be fuzzier than a progressively rendered 1080p or even 720p sequence.

The HDR-HC3 will be hitting store shelves in April.

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