Sony’s two new standard definition Handycams are the perfect tool for anyone who can’t get close enough to the action they want to film – both boast a huge 67x extended zoom.
While the Handycam DCR-SX21E records onto Sony’s own Memory Stick or SD card (which you’ll have to buy separately), the DCR-SR21E can store up to 61 hours of Standard Definition video on its 80GB built-in hard disk drive. Useful when you’re out and about on holiday, as you don’t need to cart around spare discs or tapes.
Both video cams have a 57x optical zoom, which is pretty decent, but add on that 67x extended zoom and you’re heading into new, close-up, territory. Of course, our first thought when seeing zoom at this sort of multiplication is that your movies are going to look as though you’ve been shooting them while standing on a tea tray balancing on a tennis ball – but Sony suggests its SteadyShot image stabilisation will help to keep everything nice and steady. We shall have to wait and see as the Handycams will not be available until early September.
The video cams also feature a number of useful features to help make shooting video easier – Face Detection, plus 18 different scene settings to automatically get the correct settings for the recording conditions.
Each has a flip-out 6.7cm (2.7in) Clear Photo LCD, next to which sits a joystick that can be used to change menus and settings. The cameras have an onboard LED video light, and an Auto mode will automatically turn on the light when it gets dark.
Your movies can be transferred straight to a portable external hard disk – Sony suggests its new 500GB HD-PG5UB hard disk drive, the DCR-SX21E/SR21E, which is lightweight and can fit in a pocket.
There is no news on pricing yet – keep an eye open at www.sony-europe.com