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Sony added another HDV camcorder to the higher end of its consumer line today, the HDR-FX7, which uses three CMOS imaging sensors rather than the three CCDs of its FX1 brandmate while carrying 40% less weight at a 25% smaller size. It's not intended as a replacement of the venerable FX1, but it's positioned as a lower-cost addition to Sony's HDV camcorder line. Even so, the 3.63-pound high-definition camcorder does have tons of updated features such as an HDMI port, smooth slow motion recording and more-sensitive low-light performance.

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In keeping with its consumer-oriented heritage, pro audio features are lacking on the HDR-FX7 (could a pro version be waiting in the wings?), with its RCA audio inputs rather than the professionally-oriented XLR audio inputs, and its two audio channels are not independently controllable. Nor does the FX7 have the FX1's native 16:9 capture, instead horizontally stretching each pixel. While the FX7 camcorder will retail for $3500 when it ships in October, we're thinking its price should drop quickly, especially since that higher-end Sony FX1 currently has a street price of around $3200.

Sony Announces Smaller Less Expensive HDR-FX7 with 3 CMOS Chips [camcorderinfo.com]