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Sony unveils two new budget miniDV camcorders

Sony just announced two new standard-definition miniDV camcorders, the Handycam DCR-HC52 and HC62.

Sony Handycam DCR-HC62

Sony's camcorder lineup might be very DVD- and hard-drive-heavy this year, but budget-minded tape lovers are still getting some love. The company just announced two new miniDV camcorders, offering inexpensive alternatives to its myriad DVD and HDD camcorders.

While the Handycam DCR-HC52 and DCR-HC62 don't seem nearly as impressive as the upcoming high-def HDR-HC9 DV/HDV camcorder, their much smaller price tags and simpler designs should appeal to frugal users. The HC52 uses a 680,000-pixel CCD and a 40x optical zoom lens, while the HC62 uses a 1-megapixel CCD and a 25x zoom lens. Though only $50 more than the HC52, the HC62 offers several more features than the HC52. The HC62 can take 1-megapixel stills and record them to a Memory Stick Duo, while the HC52 has no still photo function. The HC62 also features a 2.7-inch wide-screen LCD and a 16:9 electronic viewfinder for framing and playing back wide-screen video; the HC52's viewfinder and 2.5-inch touchscreen use 4:3 ratio.

Both camcorders ship in the first quarter of 2008. The Handycam DCR-HC52 will retail for about $250, and the HC62 for about $300.