Sony Announces 3-Megapixel Mini DV Camcorder

Reprinted from a Sony press release:

Sony’s latest MiniDV Handycam camcorder is the industry’s first single-CCD, 3.31-megapixel consumer model, giving it the highest quality combination of digital video and still camera optics.

The new DCR-PC330 model has a Advanced HADTM CCD imager, a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens, and a new advanced primary color filter, which together create outstanding video and digital photographs. It is expected to be available in October for about $1,700.

“The PC330 Handycam model eliminates any compromise that digital still photographers might feel when looking for a combined digital video and still unit,” said Linda Vuolo, Sony Electronics’ director of camcorder product management. “The new CCD imager plays double-duty by enhancing the already stellar quality of the MiniDV format, by bringing it up to 530 lines of resolution, while producing outstanding, print-quality still images.”

Optimized for Darkness, Motion and Time-Lapse
Beyond Sony’s standard advanced Worry Free features such as Super NightShot infrared system for shooting video in total darkness and the Super SteadyShot system for image stabilization, this new model also has a new smooth interval record feature, enabling smooth time-lapse recording.

Along with a 2.5-inch SwivelScreen hybrid touch panel LCD for an easy-access, easy-to-see menu, the new 3-D user menu is customizable into a Personal Menu. Once users assemble their favorite features into their own Personal Menu, it takes just one touch on the LCD to facilitate a personal shooting style.

The DCR-PC330 camcorder weighs just over a pound with its battery. It is smaller than a paperback dictionary, but has the versatility and sophistication of camcorders twice its size.

New Filter and Features Craft Quality Video and Still Images
The new three-color filter uses proprietary technology that quadruples the area for each primary color resulting in more true-to-life photographs and video. Like the human eye distinguishes color through red, green and blue photoreceptors, the new primary color filter utilizes the same colors to deliver vibrant and color-rich video and still images.

The manual focus ring together with the 10X optical/120X precision digital zoom gives the user even more options for creativity and composition.

The DCR-PC330 camcorder also has specific Sony still camera features for shooting crisp clear pictures in poor lighting conditions. These include:

  • an intelligent pop-up flash,
  • the Hologram AF focus system, which projects a laser grid across the subject to maximize contrast even with smooth surfaces and assist in accurate focusing in dark conditions, and
  • the NightFraming system, which uses infrared technology to frame and capture a still shot with no or low lighting.

    Digital still photos are captured as JPEG files directly to Memory Stick or Memory Stick PRO flash media. To boost convenience, users can capture up to 890 photos at maximum resolution (2016 x 1512) with a 1GB Memory Stick PRO card. A 16MB Memory Stick media card is supplied.

    Users may also shoot video in the MPEG Movie EX format, which captures MPEG1 video clips with audio onto Memory Stick or Memory Stick PRO media up to the length of the media capacity. Video can also be shot to the MiniDV tape and converted in-camera to the MPEG movie format later. MPEG Movie EX makes it easy to send video as an e-mail attachment or insert video clips into web pages and presentation materials.

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