CES Camcorder Roundup. Quick observations on the new camcorders.
CES 2005 Camcorder Roundup

Another Consumer Electronics Show has come and gone, bringing with it this year’s crop of camcorders. We begin our coverage with our digest of this year’s new camcorders in the table that appears here.

Our quick observations on the new camcorders include:

  • The average MSRP of this year’s camcorders is $616. The average price of a DVD camcorder is $808, and a Mini DV camcorder averages $579.
  • The average camcorder is featuring longer optical zoom lens ratios than we’ve ever seen. The average optical zoom ratio this year is 16x. Panasonic’s PV-GS35 ($500) takes the cake for longest zoom ratio, with a 30x lens.
  • Only Sony has announced new analog camcorders: a pair of Hi8 models (the CCD-TRV138 and CCD-TRV338, which retail for $240 and $270, respectively.) These camcorders include 20x optical zoom lenses. The CCD-TRV338 adds electronic image stabilization. There were no new VHS-C family camcorders announced this year.

    Thanks to Sony, there is now another camcorder DVD format. Sony’s new DVD camcorders can also record to DVD+RW-format discs, as well as DVD-R/RW.

    Also in Sony’s DVD lineup: the DCR-DVD7, a $700 model with a unique rounded, flattened design. Sony also released its first CMOS-based consumer camcorder, the 3-chip DCR-PC1000 ($1,300).

  • Samsung has joined the fray of manufacturers offering DVD-based camcorders with the $800 SC-D557, a DVD-R/RW based model that includes a 12x optical zoom lens and the ability to optionally capture footage in MPEG-4 mode to maximize available disc space. Samsung also gets the award for least-expensive Mini DV camcorder with the SC-D353, a $300 unit that includes a 20x zoom lens and USB streaming capabilities.

    The Rest of CES

    Along with TDK’s Armour Plated DVD discs, two more media companies entered the scratch-resistant media arena, Imation with its ForceField discs and Maxell with its High Grade discs that feature a Hardcoat Surface.

    Serious Magic announced Vlog It, a $100 software title designed for creating video blogs easily. The software, geared toward keepers of Web journals, or blogs, allows users to add video clips, pictures and music along with personal narration. A number of templates are included, and the software outputs video in both Windows Media and Real formats.

    Creative announced the USB Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Video Editor, which is a USB 2.0-based audio/video capture and audio playback system. The $230 device will include a LSI Logic-based video processor and a FireWire input, so the user can capture video from a Mini DV or Digital8 camcorder on computers without FireWire jacks. The device will be bundled with Ulead’s VideoStudio 8 SE and MovieFactory 3 SE.

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