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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Camcorders

Sony's 2008 Handycams are flash

Sony's rejigged 2008 camcorder line-up has more cameras than are in attendance for a Paris "oops I've slipped over, how silly of me" Hilton event. We give you a run down of each new model to help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

Sony's rejigged 2008 camcorder line-up has more cameras than are in attendance for a Paris "oops I've slipped over, how silly of me" Hilton event. We give you a run down of each new model to help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

Lower prices, check. More features, check. But that's to be expected at any tech launch nowadays. The big news at Sony's launch -- and every camcorder launch this year -- is flash memory. Not just flash only models, but the ability to record video to flash on cameras using hard disk and DVD media; previously flash memory cards were only used to store still images.

High definition hard-disk/flash hybrids
As before there are three cameras in the high-def hard-disk line: one lower spec model, the SR10, and two full cream units, the SR11 and SR12, which differ only in hard-disk capacity. The latter two top-shelf models also feature a big 3.2-inch flip-out touchscreen LCD.


HDR-SR10

HDR-SR11

HDR-SR12 Price AU$1,499 AU$1,999 AU$2,199 Memory Stick Yes Yes Yes Hard disk 40GB 60GB 120GB Sensor type 5.1mm CMOS 8.1mm CMOS 8.1mm CMOS Sensor resolution 2.4-megapixel 5.6-megapixel 5.6-megapixel Zoom 15x 12x 12x Image stabilisation Optical Optical Optical LCD size 2.7-inch 3.2-inch 3.2-inch Nightshot Yes Yes Yes Microhpone jack - Yes Yes Headphone jack - Yes Yes Hotshoe Yes Yes Yes HDMI - Mini Mini Zoom mic Yes Yes Yes Sound 5.1 5.1 5.1

Tape and Memory Stick
The only new cameras in Sony's '08 line-up that can't record to flash memory are the tape models, the bargain basement HC52 and the high-def HC9. Alongside them is the tall and narrow, Memory Stick only TG1, whose Canon HV10-like looks mean certain desirable features have been sacrificed.


DCR-HC52

HDR-HC9

HDR-TG1 Price AU$399 AU$1,699 AU$1,599 Definition Standard High High Recording medium miniDV HDV Memory Stick Sensor type 4.2mm CCD 8.8mm CMOS 5.1mm CMOS Sensor resolution 0.8-megapixel 3.2-megapixel 2.4-megapixel Zoom 40x 10x 10x Image stabilisation Electronic Optical Electronic LCD size 2.5-inch 2.7-inch 2.7-inch Nightshot Yes Yes - Microhpone jack - Yes - Headphone jack - Yes - Hotshoe - Yes - HDMI - Mini Mini Zoom mic - Yes Yes Sound Stereo 5.1 5.1

DVD/flash hybrids
All of this season's new DVD camcorders from Sony are capable of recording to both DVD or flash memory, with the ability to burn discs from footage stored in flash. Both the high-definition UX20 and the standard-def DVD810 have 8GB of internal memory and a Memory Stick slot, while the entry-level DVD610 only has the latter.


DCR-DVD610

DCR-DVD810

HDR-UX20 Price AU$499 AU$699 AU$1,599 Definition Standard Standard High Memory Stick Yes Yes Yes DVD Yes Yes Yes Internal memory - 8GB 8GB Sensor type 3.2mm CCD 4.2mm CCD 5.1mm CMOS Sensor resolution 0.8-megapixel 1.1-megapixel 2.4-megapixel Zoom 40x 25x 15x Image stabilisation Electronic Electronic Optical LCD size 2.7-inch 2.7-inch 2.7-inch Nightshot Yes Yes Yes Microhpone jack - - - Headphone jack - - - Hotshoe - Yes Yes HDMI - - Mini Zoom mic Yes Yes Yes Sound Stereo 5.1 5.1

Standard-def hard-disk/flash hybrids
Five new standard-def hard-disk hybrids; that sounds confusing at first but the entry-level SR45 and SR46 are the same except for hard-disk capacity, as are the mid-level SR65 and SR85.


DCR-SR45

DCR-SR46

DCR-SR65

DCR-SR85

DCR-SR220 Price AU$799 AU$899 AU$999 AU$1,149 AU$1,399 Memory Stick Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Hard disk 30GB 40GB 40GB 60GB 60GB Sensor type 3.2mm CCD 3.2mm CCD 4.2mm CCD 4.2mm CCD 5.1mm CMOS Sensor resolution 0.8-megapixel 0.8-megapixel 1.1-megapixel 1.1-megapixel 2.4-megapixel Zoom 40x 40x 25x 25x 15x Image stabilisation Electronic Electronic Electronic Electronic Optical LCD size 2.7-inch 2.7-inch 2.7-inch 2.7-inch 2.7-inch Nightshot Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Microhpone jack - - - - - Headphone jack - - - - - Hotshoe - - Yes Yes Yes HDMI - - - - - Zoom mic Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Sound Stereo Stereo Stereo Stereo 5.1