Reprinted from a Sharp press release:

Sharp’s new top-of-the-line Viewcam Z series digital camcorders are designed for the fast-growing widescreen TV market, offering a high-quality wide TV recording mode and wider shooting angles. All three of Sharp’s new 2004 Viewcam models have an enhanced “free angle shooting” grip and are outfitted with Sharp’s advanced CG Silicon LCD screens, providing advanced functionality, versatility and durability for excellent viewing under all lighting conditions, even bright sunshine.

“With the proliferation of widescreen 16:9 televisions in America’s living rooms, consumers want their home videos to fill their screens, just like their DVD movies. Sharp’s new 1.33-megapixel VL-Z800U delivers the finest widescreen videos in the popular MiniDV format. Camcorder owners can now create their own Hollywood productions,” said Bob Pleyer, Manager, Digital Media Devices, Sharp.

Enhanced Widescreen Recording
The Viewcam VL-Z800U captures 151 percent more picture information in the widescreen mode than competing models. Video displayed on a 16:9 screen is sharper, less pixilated and more realistic than previous models. The VL-Z800U also records scenes that are 23 percent wider than last year’s model, making it perfect for filming breathtaking panoramas, indoors or outdoors. A new Digital Gamma Correction feature ensures uniform brightness across the entire screen for less shadow and more detail. “This camcorder is made for widescreen TVs,” Pleyer said.

All of Sharp’s new compact and lightweight Viewcam Z series camcorders have an improved swivel grip, one of the key features that made last year’s models so popular. Now with a range of 240 degrees, consumers can easily record scenes that are high above or well below their scope of vision while comfortably taping with one hand.

The VL-Z800U and VL-Z500U also let consumers record high-quality full-motion video in total darkness. The built-in LED lights are great for capturing such poignant moments as a child blowing out birthday candles or a sleeping baby. The results are bright, full-color video. The new Viewcam camcorders also have improved battery life so consumers won’t have to worry about recordings getting cut short due to lack of power.

Another key feature for the product trio is the superior 2.5-inch CG Silicon swing-out LCD monitor and smaller color viewfinders. Continuous Grain Silicon, invented by Sharp, delivers ultra-high performance while consuming less power. Images on the monitor are no longer wiped out, even in bright sunshine, so the camcorders can be used in almost all conditions.

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