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New DVD Handycams from Sony

Sony announced four new DVD camcorders at CES.

Sony delivers its annual update for consumer DVD camcorders with four new models: the Handycam DCR-DVD108, DVD308, DVD408, and DVD508. These compact DVD camcorders replace the current generation and run the gamut from the inexpensive DVD108 to the full-featured DVD508. While most of these upgrades seem minor, the new DVD Handycams offer an important new feature: dual-layer support. These camcorders can now write to both dual layer DVD+-R/RW, offering twice as much recording time on a single disc.

The DVD108 and DVD308 also offer newer, more powerful lenses than their predecessors. Aside from the 40x optical zoom lens, the DVD108 is identical to the DVD105, sharing its 680,000-pixel sensor, 2.5-inch touchscreen, and features. Similarly, the DVD308 is nearly identical to the DVD305, except for its new 25x zoom.

While the DVD408 and DVD508 share the same lenses and other features as the DVD405 and DVD505, they both offer Sony's dual-record feature, which lets users shoot still photos while they record video. The still images are only 2.2 megapixels on the DVD505 and 1.5 megapixels on the DVD405, but it's still a nice feature.

The Sony Handycam DVD108 and DVD308 ship in February 2007 and will retail for $450 and $550, respectively. The DVD405 and DVD505 hit shelves in March 2007 with respective price tags of $700 and $900.