Sony introduces AVCHD camcorders

Sony introduced AVCHD high-definition camcorders — the HDR-UX1 and HDR-SR1 Handycams —which record in full 1080i HD resolution and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound to either 3in DVD media or hard drives.

While the HDR-UX1 model records directly to DVD discs, the HDR-SR1 camcorder's built-in 30GB hard drive stores up to 10 hours of HD video. It also features in-camcorder editing.

Each camcorder uses a single chip developed by Sony that supports the new AVCHD format based on the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video compression and Dolby digital audio. Developed by Sony and Panasonic, the new format allows filed-based HD video recording on a non tape-based recorder.

The camcorders feature Sony's ClearVid CMOS Sensor and Enhanced Imaging Processor technologies. Other features include four-megapixel digital still capture, a Dual Record function that allows users to shoot video and simultaneously capture 2.3 megapixel stills, and a Smooth Slow Record function to shoot video in slow motion.

Both models are also equipped with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens and a 3.5in swivel LCD screen that doubles as a touch-sensitive control panel.

Ten companies, including Canon, Pioneer, Samsung and Sharp, have so far announced support for the AVCHD format. Panasonic and Sony began licensing the format.

For more information, visit