LAS VEGAS--In one of the more interesting camcorder announcements at the show, Sony rolled out a line of prosumer AVCHD camcorder models with projectors built into the body. Coupled with an enhanced speaker system, the new Handycam HDR-PJ series sounds like it might offer some appealing capabilities for users who want a better way to share their videos without huddling around a smallish LCD. The projector can throw an image up to 60 inches.
With prices ranging from $700 to $1,000, they do seem a bit expensive for the potential audience, but that's unsurprising for a new technology.
The HDR-PJ50V ($1,000) and HDR-PJ30V ($950) differ primarily by storage: the PJ50V incorporates a 220GB hard drive, while the PJ30V has 32GB flash memory. They both include a 12x zoom lens, have a built-in GPS receiver for geotagging and a 3-inch LCD.
The lower-end PJ10 ($700) has 16GB memory, lacks the GPS and has a longer 30x zoom lens, but the lens isn't one of Sony's better G series models. All three camcorders offer manual controls, headphone and mic jacks, and have a built-in USB cable with onboard software.
While the PJ50V ships in April, the other two will be available in March.