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Sony's hard-drive-based SD camcorders get more storage, longer lens

No major overhaul for Sony's SR-series Handycams. But if you tend to drag your feet on offloading your digital video these refreshed models offer more gigs than 2008's versions.

Click for larger view of the DCR-SR67. Sony

As price and physical size of storage--both hard drives and flash memory--steadily decline, it's not a big surprise that the capacities are the first things to be tweaked on a camcorder line. Case in point, Sony refreshed its 2008 Handycam SR-series models (the DCR-SR45, -SR65, and -SR85) by bumping their storage amounts up.

The DCR-SR47 goes up 10GB to 40GB, and the SR67 and SR87 tap out at 80GB. According to Sony, in LP mode that adds up to 84 hours of video for 80GB. Thisis a lot of video to be hanging out on a camcorder (and potential headaches if the thing gets lost, stolen, or damaged). Plus all three are hybrids, meaning you can store video to the hard drive or direct to Memory Sticks, too.

The only other major change for the lineup is that the SR47 and SR67 feature a 60x optical zoom. That's a whole lot of zoom for a camcorder, but I'm sure you can think of some uses for it, can't you? The SR87, by the way, retains the 25x optical zoom of the SR85.

Look for all three in February. The SR47 will sell for about $400, the SR67 for around $450, and the SR87 for $500.