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Video Cameras

Think of Sony's HDR-TG1 as a high-def Net-Sharing cam

Ever since the Sony Handycam HDR-TG1 turned up on the company's Australian Web site, we've been wondering what it's all about.

Ever since the Sony Handycam HDR-TG1 turned up on the company's Australian Web site, we've been wondering what it's all about.

HDR-TG1 (left) and Net-Sharing Cam (right)

Sony's upright high-def camcorder, the TG1, has been kicking around on Sony's Web site for about a month. Today we got our first chance to play around with it. Our review unit will be arriving shortly — so check back in a few weeks for a full review — but our first impressions are good, although we're not really sure where, or if, the TG1 fits into the marketplace.

With its upright stance, it seems to be a high definition version of the limited edition Net-Sharing Cam that we reviewed earlier this year. Our main criticisms of that camera were its cheap, boxy design and poor image quality. The TG1's titanium body, which feels wonderfully tactile, and 1920x1080i recording should ensure that those criticisms don't arise again. That said, at AU$1,599 it's considerably more expensive than the Net-Sharing Cam's asking price — three-and-a-third soft-serve cones less than AU$300.

Weighing 300 grams and measuring 32mm wide, 63mm deep and 119mm high, Sony claims that the TG1 is the world's smallest full high-def camcorder and is perfect for capturing footage "while on the go". This does lead to a number of comprises; it is the only Sony high-def camcorder to have electronic image stabilisation, not the superior optical image stabilisation. Recording on to Memory Stick only, it comes bundled with a 4GB card, which is good for only 43 minutes at maximum quality.

The TG1 goes on sale tomorrow at Sony Central stores, with other retail outlets following in June.