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Four new standard-def Sony DVD camcorders

Sony just unveiled four new standard definition DVD camcorders, the Handycam DCR-DVD610, DVD710, DVD810, and DVD910.

Sony Handycam DCR-DVD910

Sony just revealed four new standard-definition DVD camcorders for the new year, including a camcorder with a solid-state drive for discless video recording.

The Handycam DCR-DVD610 and DVD710 present Sony's budget-priced DVD camcorders. The DVD610 features a 680,000-pixel sensor and a 40x optical zoom lens, while the DVD710 features a 1-megapixel sensor and a 25x optical zoom lens, just like its miniDV counterparts the DCR-HC52 and HC62. Both camcorders can record still pictures to a Memory Stick Duo. Besides the higher-resolution sensor, the DVD710 features an accessory shoe and supports 5.1-channel audio compared to the DVD610's stereo sound. For just a $50 premium, the DVD710 certainly seems to be a better deal.

On the surface, the Handycam DCR-DVD810 looks like a carbon copy of the DVD710. Both have the same 1-megapixel sensor, 5.1-channel sound, and other basic features. The DVD810, however, is a "Hybrid Plus" camcorder, Sony's term for a camcorder with both removable media and onboard memory. Besides standard mini-DVDs, the DVD810 includes 8GB of onboard flash memory for recording video. While Sony's hard drive-based camcorders like the 120GB Handycam HDR-SR12 dwarf the DVD810's storage, its 8 gigabytes are still enough for a few hours of footage you can transfer directly to your computer without finalizing and ripping a DVD. If you prefer to edit your videos on a computer before sharing them, the DVD810 offers much more flexibility than the DVD-only camcorders.

Finally, the Handycam DCR-DVD910 presents Sony's high-end standard-definition DVD camcorder. It features a 4-megapixel CMOS and a 15x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization. A slow-motion video mode can record 240 frames per second with audio, and a dual-record setting can grab 3-megapixel still photos while shooting video. The DVD910 doesn't have the onboard memory of the DVD810, but its various high-end features justify its stop at the top of the Sony's standard-def DVD camcorder pile.

The Sony Handycam DCR-DVD610, DVD710, and DVD810 ship in the first quarter of 2008 with respective retail prices of $350, $400, and $480. The DVD910 ships in late spring with a suggested retail price of $650.