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CES 2014: Sony Unveils Range of New Handycam Camcorders


CES 2014: Sony Unveils Range of New Handycam Camcorders

New models deliver big sensors, high bit-rate recording, improved SteadyShot™ and brighter projectors for better, smoother, steadier output

LAS VEGAS (CES BOOTH #14200), Jan. 6, 2014 – Sony Electronics is expanding its Handycam® line of camcorders with seven new models that make it even easier to capture and preserve irreplaceable memories in sharp full HD video with detailed still images. The new models range from entry level to high end, with stand-out features, including powerful new processing, Balanced Optical SteadyShot™ for smoother video, brighter built-in projection, advanced audio, simple wireless sharing and remote control via Wi-Fi™ and NFC.

Flagship Full HD Handycam

Heading the 2014 line is Sony’s HDR-CX900 model, one of the first Handycam camcorders equipped with a large image sensor for pro-style performance in a compact body. The new camcorder features a 1.0-type, 14.2 effective megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor with an impressive wide angle 29mm ZEISS® Vario Sonnar T* Lens to deliver the ultimate combination of performance and versatility for shooting in full HD with high quality still images. Far larger than the sensor in conventional consumer camcorders, the 1.0” type Exmor R CMOS sensor engages to produce high quality images even in low-light situations.

The fixed ZEISS Vario Sonnar T* 12x Optical Zoom Lens offers superb clarity and resolving power, and marries a wide aperture with a seven-bladed iris diaphragm to allow easy creation of professional-looking videos and photos with smooth, defocused backgrounds. Together with the big image sensor, two built-in ND filters which offer three modes cut light levels entering the camera for movie footage with pro-style ‘bokeh,’ or aesthetic defocus effects without having to change aperture setting – even in bright outdoor sunshine.

For video enthusiasts seeking more creative expression, the CX900 camcorder can also record Full HD video at 50 Mbps using the new XAVC S codec, a consumer friendly format based on the XAVC codec developed for 4K/HD and professional use. Similar to pro cameras, this lets ambitious movie-makers reveal the full emotion and detail in every scene, even with fast camera pans. As an extra refinement, high frame rate recording at 120 fps captures each nuance of fast-moving action for beautifully smooth slow-motion replays. A bright, high-contrast OLED electronic viewfinder makes framing shots easier with a wide angle view, and a comfortably-placed lens ring and manual dial enables full control of focus, zoom, exposure, gain/ISO and shutter speed.

“Sony is the undisputed leader in this category, and we are constantly innovating to deliver value to consumers.” said Patrick Huang, director of the camcorder business at Sony Electronics. “The new CX900 camcorder carries on our legacy of balancing compact size and high-performance imaging, and the entire family of Handycam products capture uncompromised Full HD video and detailed stills that other camcorders, cameras, and smartphones just can’t match.”

Unparalleled Video Capture

Each of the new models in the line uses the new BIONZ X engine for a significant increase in processing speed compared to previous BIONZ predecessors. The processor enhances the sensor’s image quality by applying new detail reproduction technology and area-specific noise reduction for pristine results. It also uses diffraction-reducing technologies at smaller apertures.

The new models are the first Handycam camcorders to offer Clear Image Zoom, which uses By Pixel Super Resolution technology to boost detail on video footage captured at up to 60x magnification (HDR-CX330, PJ340, PJ540). It also powers the camcorders’ Balanced Optical SteadyShot feature for up to 13x more shake stability from wide to tele, Optical SteadyShot with Intelligent Active mode for up to 13x more shake stability at wide angle, and dramatically improves zoom ratio. Shooters can record movies in top-quality AVCHD Full HD or MP4 simultaneously for easy smartphone transfers or uploads with the camcorders’ built-in NFC/Wi-Fi function.

Reinvent Memories with Improved Playback & Sharing

Sony’s unique “theater” approach is both bigger and better this year as its Handycamprojector models increase brightness up to 50 lumens (HDR-PJ810) for the ultimate movie experience. The compact, projector built into the flip-out LCD panel of these camcorders can project clear video shot on the camcorder or content from compatible smartphones, tablets or PCs via an external HDMI input. With the new models’ ability to project up to a 200” diagonal image onto any flat surface and electronically keystone correct skewed angles in the high end model, it’s the perfect way to view footage on the go without a PC.

The high-precision Xtra Fine™ LCD on Sony’s top-of-the-line projector camcorder features WhiteMagic™ display technology that uses additional white pixels to boost the screen’s brightness, allowing for easy viewing even in bright outdoor conditions. After shooting, 2014 Handycam models can utilize Motion Shot Video to play back a dramatic sequence of superimposed images to trace every split-second of the action, a powerful tool for analyzing a golf swing or tennis serve directly on the LCD. Another fun tool found on all new models is Picture Effects, which adds a whole new level of expression to video and photos, making ordinary landscapes and portraits come to life by heightening mood and emphasizing certain attributes. Seven different effects include partial color to make focal points stand out or watercolor to transform images into a painting.

In another Handycam first, Wi-Fi and NFC for easy connection and transfers with smartphones or tablets is built into most new models, further simplifying cable-free transfers of movie files and photos. Shooters can even utilize Sony’s free PlayMemories® Mobile app for iOS™ or Android™ to control the camcorders remotely with their compatible device, ideal for group scenes or solo performances when it’s not convenient to run from the camcorder back into the scene once the recording has started. Wi-Fi also allows wireless playback of Handycam content on your compatible networked TV. With Sony’s PlayMemories® Online App, consumers can upload images and videos to Sony’s free cloud-based storage service for easy access from multiple entertainment devices.

Superior Sound

The audio recording in Sony’s Handycam camcorders is upgraded this year to not only reduce noise, but also control voice balance. Sony’s new My Voice Cancelling (available on select models) suppresses unwanted vocal frequencies from immediately behind the camera, without affecting the volume of the subject’s voice and other foreground sounds. Another new way to enhance sound is with Premium Closer Voice, which records clear conversation by balancing voice volume between the camcorder operator and subject even in noisy situations.

2014 Handycam High Definition Camcorders & Accessories

Entry HD

  • HDR-CX240: Full HD 60p, 9.2-megapixels, Exmor R® CMOS sensor, SteadyShot™ image stabilization, 29.8mm wide angle ZEISS Vario-Sonnar Lens with 54x Clear Image Zoom, Picture Effects, AVCHD + MP4 recording, and 2.7” type LCD™ display – about $230
  • HDR-CX330: With Wi-Fi/NFC, Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization with Intelligent Active mode, wide angle 26.8mm Sony G Lens, and 60x Clear Image Zoom– about $330
  • HDR-PJ275: With built-in projector (13lm) and external device input, 29.8mm wide angle ZEISS Vario-Sonnar Lens, Wi-Fi/NFC and 8GB flash memory – about $400

Mid HD

  • HDR-PJ340: With Wifi/NFC, built-in projector (13lm), external device input, 16GB flash memory, 60x Clear Image Zoom, wide angle 26.8mm Sony G Lens, and Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization with Intelligent Active mode, Wi-Fi/NFC – about $480
  • HDR-PJ540: With new sound features, 5.1 channel mic, built-in projector (25lm) and external device input, 32GB flash memory, 3.0” type wide touch screen Clear Photo LCD™ display (460K), Balanced Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization, Wi-Fi/NFC – about $700

High End HD

  • HDR-PJ810: With Wifi/NFC, 24.5-megapixel still shot, manual control (iris/shutter/exposure/white balance), wide angle 26.8mm Sony G Lens with hood, advanced controls with expanded focus, zebra, and peaking, touch screen 3.0” type Xtra Fine LCD™ with WhiteMagicTM (921K), color Electronic Viewfinder and built-in projector (50lm) with external device input and Keystone Adjustment – about $1100

Prosumer

  • HDR-CX900: With back-illuminated 1.0 type Exmor R CMOS image sensor, 50Mbps high bit rate XAVC S recording , 29mm wide angle ZEISS Vario Sonnar T* Lens, Wi-Fi/NFC, 20-megapixel still shots, and 3.5” type Xtra Fine LCD™ (921K) – about $1500

Accessories

  • ECM-GZ1M: Gun Zoom Microphone pinpoints voices and other sounds far from the camera, for Multi-Interface Shoe camcorders – about $100
  • ECM-W1M: Wireless Microphone uses Bluetooth® technology to allow long-distance recording at up to 300ft from the camcorder and allows two-way conversation, for Multi-Interface Shoe cameras including camcorders – about $230
  • ECM-AW4: Wireless Microphone can record at distances of up to 150ft, for cameras with microphone input jack including camcorders – about $230
  • VF-K46MP: Safeguards the lens surface from dirt and scratches without impairing Balanced Optical SteadyShot operation, for the PJ540 –about $30

The new high definition camcorders and their accessories can be ordered via presale and will be available in late February, starting off around $230, at http://store.sony.com, Sony retail stores and other authorized retailers nationwide.

 
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