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Sony Handycam GW77V is waterproof, not cheap

For deep-pocketed recreational divers everywhere (now) Sony debuts its first rugged Handycam, the HDR-GW77V.

Lori Grunin/CNET
Feeling let down by the MP4 video quality of your waterproof pocket video camera? Probably not, but if you are, Sony's got you covered with the newish Handycam HDR-GW77V.

Announced for Japan in May, the GW77V is headed for the U.S. in June, bringing with it all of its powerful Handycam features (this is no Bloggie Sport!) and ridiculously high price of $700.

Waterproof down to 16 feet as well as dustproof and shockproof from up to about 5 feet, the camcorder features a Sony 1/3.91-inch-type Exmor R backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and Bionz image processor that can capture AVCHD video at 1080/60p (or 60i) as well as 20-megapixel photos.

One feature that definitely sets it apart from smaller pocket video cameras, such as Sony's Bloggie line, is its 10x zoom Sony G lens that starts at a relatively wide-angle 29.8mm focal length for photos and video. And there's a built-in flash right above the lens to help out when that BSI CMOS sensor isn't cutting it in low-light conditions.

A GPS receiver is built in, too, letting you view your current location on the LCD map display, automatically geotag your shooting locations, and view the geotagged content using a Map Index function on the camcorder.

The minicamcorder has 16GB of internal storage and can also record movies and photos directly to Memory Stick Micro (M2) and microSD/SDHC cards. There is a Micro-HDMI port for connecting to a display and a Micro-USB port for charging and connecting to a computer.

Compatible with Windows and Mac, Mac users can transfer AVCHD clips and edit them in HD quality using iMovie software, but not in 1080/60p and you'll need Mac OS X v10.6.7 or later. Windows users get Sony's PlayMemories Home embedded on the device, which lets you view, edit, organize, and upload to sharing sites including Sony's own PlayMemories Online cloud sync service.