Reprinted from a Sony press release:

Sony expects to shake up the industry with the introduction of its 2008 line of DVD Handycam camcorders featuring hybrid and hybrid-plus movie recording.

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People have been drawn to the DVD category because they are so easy to use, said Kelly Davis, director of camcorder marketing at Sony Electronics. Our 2008 line offers greater convenience through multiple recording options so you dont have to worry about running out of media or missing a moment.

At the top of the line is the DCR- DVD910 camcorder with 15x Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* optics and 2.3-megapixel ClearVid CMOS sensor technology. It features hybrid movie recording on two recording media, a Memory Stick PRO Duo media card, and a 3-inch DVD disc to provide longer recording times. Almost 11 hours of video can be stored on Sonys new 16GB media card (sold separately), and close to two hours of recording (LP mode) on an optional 2.66GB, double-layer DVD.

Movies can be easily transferred in the camcorder from the media card to the disc. Additionally, the unit can capture 4-megapixel photos on the media card for simple transfer to printers, PCs and other devices.

Face Detection for Video and Photos

The DVD910 model will debut four technologies shared by Sonys digital camera line that improve video quality as well as make video recording more enjoyable.

It features face detection technology for video and photos. The camcorders power-efficient sensor allows for the integration of the technology, which can identify up to eight faces in the camcorders LCD frame. Focus, exposure and color control for natural-looking skin tones are automatically adjusted. Flash control is applied when photos are taken.

The DVD910 camcorders ClearVid CMOS sensor also incorporates Exmor-derived technology for dual noise reduction on the sensor itself. The unit has a Bionz processing engine for fast processing speeds and additional noise reduction, and dynamic range optimization for automatic calculation of optimal exposure, contrast and color tonality for both video and photos.

Hybrid and Hybrid-Plus Movie Recording

The next-in-line DVD models include the DCR-DVD810 and DCR-DVD710 units with 1-megapixel CCD imagers and 25x Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar zoom lenses, along with the DCR-DVD610 model featuring a newly-developed 680K-pixel CCD imager for widescreen video and a powerful 40x Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar zoom lens.

Like the DVD910 unit, the DVD710 and DVD610 models also feature hybrid movie recording on discs and media cards.

The DVD810 camcorder stands out in the line with its hybrid-plus movie recording, which conveniently allows for recording onto any of three separate media, including 8GB of internal memory. Users can enjoy more than five hours of continuous recording time (LP mode) on the models internal memory, which is equivalent to more than five single-layer DVD discs. Without having to use a PC, video footage can be transferred from the internal memory to DVD as well as photos from the internal memory to the media card.

The DVD810 model also incorporates a new dubbing button so you can quickly access the menu to copy movies to the DVD or media card. Movies can be dubbed by scene or by date. Footage from separate movie files can also be dubbed together incrementally.

Clear, Life-Like Audio

All 2008 DVD models include a new built-in zoom microphone. When you zoom in on a subject, the audio also zooms in for clearer sound recordings.

The top three models also deliver Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound so your home movies deliver a life-like audio experience. They will be compatible with Sonys ECM-HW1 Bluetooth microphone, which amplifies the center channel and records voices and sounds wirelessly at distances up to 100 feet.

Sophisticated Ease

A new quick on feature has been added to all DVD models so they can come out of standby-by mode in less than a second. With quick on, you simply push the button to put the camcorder in standby-mode so special moments are not missed.

Face index and film roll index functionality will also be available on the line. Face index allows you to quickly search for specific scenes by face while the film roll index takes the guesswork out of finding footage by displaying multiple scenes as thumbnails within a single movie file. This enhanced playback functionality will be easily viewed on the camcorders 2.7-inch, (16:9) wide LCD touch panel screens.

The DVD910 camcorder will be available in March for about $650. The DVD810, DVD710 and DVD610 models will ship in February for about $480, $400 and $350, respectively. All will include an array of accessory options and can be purchased online at sonystyle.com, at Sony Style retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges, and at authorized dealers nationwide. Pre-orders begin on Jan. 7 at www.sonystyle.com.

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