Reprinted from a Sony press release:

Sony is raising eyebrows with the introduction of six new Mini DV Handycam camcorder models. The 2005 line-up is big on performance and functionality, while still being easy to use, and a joy to behold.

For people who love to record and enjoy high-quality video, Sony loaded its new Mini DV camcorders with powerful features. One of the most exciting is the addition of the Handycam Station, a tabletop cradle that charges the camcorders and connects them conveniently to a TV or PC.

One of the models has a new imaging technology, while several of the camcorders feature improved optical zoom, along with wide LCD screens to address the growing demand for 16:9 video.

"We’ve studied how people use their camcorders and have incorporated this understanding into a comprehensive line of Mini DV models with the aim of making a camcorder as important an accessory as a cellular phone," said Linda Vuolo, director for camcorder products at Sony Electronics.

Highlighting the line, the DCR-PC1000 model is Sony’s first consumer camcorder to feature 3-chip CMOS (complimentary metal oxide semiconductor) sensor technology with an enhanced imaging processor. CMOS sensors deliver wide dynamic range for outstanding picture quality with better lighting details on video and still images. They also require less power, providing more efficient operation.

A true enthusiast’s camcorder, the DCR-PC1000 model is loaded with upgraded features for making movie masterpieces. Its cinematic mode lends a 24 frame, film-like effect to recordings while the new imaging technology adds clarity and detail. The model also has a 2.7-inch wide hybrid SwivelScreen touch panel LCD screen, which lets you switch between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios and comes with a Handycam Station for quick, easy connection to a TV or PC.

Fashion Friendly and Feature Rich
Bringing high-style to the new lineup is the DCR-PC55 model. Slightly larger than a deck of cards, as of the end of last year is the world’s smallest Mini DV camcorder. But don’t let its small size fool you: It still sports a huge 3-inch Hybrid SwivelScreen LCD.

And for the first time, Sony is offering a Handycam camcorder in four colors – silver, black, white and red – appealing to the most fashion-conscious consumer. Additionally, the DCR-PC55 camcorder features SlideShow Plus, which uses the 3-inch LCD and a distinctive Handycam Station that is positioned to display desktop slideshows with the push of a button.

Get More for Less
For advanced performance with great value, the DCR-HC90 camcorder is Sony’s first three-megapixel Mini DV camcorder with a recommended price under $1,000. The camcorder comes with a 2.7-inch Hybrid SwivelScreen Touch Panel LCD display to record and play back in widescreen format. Additionally, it has an intelligent accessory shoe, Super NightShot Plus, a built-in flash and the advanced multi-layer coating of a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens to capture video and pictures that are more vivid and rich, even when taken in low light.

Charged Up For Convenience
Like a cellular phone or PDA cradle, the accompanying Handycam Station charges the units and connects them to a TV or PC, while keeping the camcorder easily accessible and ready to record any video moment. The Handycam Station comes fully loaded with all the necessary inputs, including S-video and an audio/video terminal for connecting the unit to a TV, as well as a USB port and an i.LINK (IEEE1394) digital interface for connection to a compatible PC.

Rounding out the new Mini DV camcorders with Handycam Station are the DCR-HC32 and DCR-HC42 models.

New Model Pricing and Availability

  • DCR-HC21 includes 20X Optical/800X Digital Zoom, the Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization. Available in February for about $400.
  • DCR-HC32 includes the above-mentioned features, Handycam Station and Memory Stick DUO Media slot. Available next month for about $500.
  • DCR-HC42 includes the Handycam Station and Memory Stick DUO Media slot as well as enhanced 16:9 Wide Mode and 2.7-inch SwivelScreen hybrid LCD display. Also available next month for about $600.
  • DCR-PC55 includes a Memory Stick DUO Media slot, Handycam Station and a 3-inch SwivelScreen hybrid LCD, Slideshow Plus capability, as well as, an automatic lens cover, and a new intelligent accessory shoe. All four colors will be available in February for about $800.
  • DCR-HC90 Sports a 3 megapixel CCD for outstanding video and still performance, has a 2.7-inch wide SwivelScreen hybrid LCD, built-in flash, a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens and a new intelligent accessory shoe. Available in February for about $1,000.
  • DCR-PC1000 includes the new 3-chip CMOS Sensor technology, a Handycam Station, a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens and a 2.7-inch wide Hybrid SwivelScreen LCD. Available in April for about $1,300.
  • Currently available models:

  • DCR-VX2100, a 3-CCD Mini DV unit that is specifically designed for videographer enthusiasts and aspiring artists, with a 2.5" Precision SwivelScreen Hybrid LCD Display. Currently available for about $3,000.
  • DCR-HC1000 a 3-CCD, one-megapixel Handycam camcorder that comes with a swivel handgrip, 12X Optical/150X Digital Zoom and a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens. Currently available for about $1,700.
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