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Video Cameras

Sony Handycam HDR-TG7VE: GPS for roving all over

The Handycam HDR-TG7VE is the most compact and consumer-friendly camcorder to include GPS so far, although the same can't be said of the price

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Where's Wally? These are questions that can be answered by the Sony Handycam HDR-TG7VE. It's the most compact and consumer-friendly camcorder yet to boast GPS, allowing you to geotag your video clips. The ability to place your footage on a map is perfect for the traveller, and you can do it all in crisp high definition as well.

The TG7VE packs 16GB of on-board memory, holding up to 6 hours of 1,920x1,080-pixel AVCHD HD video and stereo sound. Whack in a 32GB Memory Stick and you add another 12 hours.

The build quality of the HDR-TG3E, the TG7VE's precursor, was one of its most impressive features. The TG7VE also packs a titanium body, with a flip-out 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD touchscreen.

Inside this sturdy frame there's a 2.3-megapixel, 1/5-inch Exmor CMOS sensor. Features include intelligent face detection and smile shutter, which works in both video and still mode. All this is topped off by a 10x optical zoom.

A GPS receiver plots your location as you travel, then adds pins to the Map Index software. Without a metadata standard for video, the geographical information may tie you to Sony's bundled Picture Motion software.

One software feature is an automatic movie creator, which sticks clips together with music and transition effects at the touch of an icon the touchscreen. Easy upload to sites like YouTube, Facebook and Flickr is also included.

Pricing is still to be confirmed, as Sony won't give out prices until products hit the shops. In the US, where the TG7VE is confusingly known as the HDR-TG5, there are reports of a Japanese price of around ¥120,000 (a whopping £820). The TG3E is currently £420 at Jessops if you're not fussed about geotagging. You've got a month to make up your mind before the TG7VE drops in May 2009.