Giz Explains: Sony's Sixteen Model CES 2008 Camcorder Line

We've feared Sony's monstrous CES 2008 camcorder release since last year. It's not that we dislike camcorders—or Sony's camcorders. It's that Sony launches about 50 "new" camcorders a year and we try to figure out the trends so you don't have to run through spec sheets for the HDR-SR12, HDR-SR11, HDR-SR10, HDR-UX20, HDR-UX10, HDR-HC9, DCR-SR220, DCR-SR85, DCR-SR65, DCR-SR45, DCR-DVD910, DCR-DVD810, DCR-DVD710, DCR-DVD610, DCR-HC62, and DCR-HC52. Here's their new line, in handy cheat sheet form. Their most consumer-centric new feature? Face detection on stills and video.

HDR-SR Line: 1920x1080 AVCHD camcorders featuring hard drives up to 120GB, Dolby 5.1, Face Detection (on stills and video, which is interesting)
HDR-UX Line: Like the SR line but with DVD recording...or recording to memory stick or 8GB of internal memory (in most models)
DCR-HC Line: The guilt-ridden sector of Sony whose moms invented mini-DV still crank these models out.

Hit the jump for a full rundown with prices. Most new models will be available this March.

HDR-SR12 120GB High-Definition Hard Drive Handycam Camcorder

Available in March for about $1,400

* New full 1920x1080 AVCHD™ HD video recording for stunning video and detail
* Sony face detection technology for video and photos; identifies up to eight faces and corrects focus, exposure, color control, and when photos are taken, flash control
* 10-megapixel photo capture with 5-megapixel Sony ClearVid™ CMOS sensor technology
* Hybrid movie recording on Memory Stick™ media card and built-in 120GB hard disk drive, which can hold up to 15 hours of video (1920 HD mode)
* Records in Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound with new built-in zoom microphone for clear recordings of subjects
* Simultaneous dual record mode (movie and 7.6-megapixel photos) and slow motion video (240 fps) with audio recording
* 3.2-inch, wide, touch panel Xtra Fine LCD (921K) screen and wide color viewfinder
* Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization for smooth video and photos

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HDR-SR11 60GB High-Definition Hard Drive Handycam Camcorder

Available in March for about $1,200

* New full 1920x1080 AVCHD™ HD video recording for stunning video and detail
* Sony face detection technology for video and photos; identifies up to eight faces and corrects focus, exposure, color control, and when photos are taken, flash control
* 10-megapixel photo capture with 5-megapixel Sony ClearVid™ CMOS sensor technology
* Hybrid movie recording on Memory Stick™ media card and built-in 60GB hard disk drive, which can hold up to seven hours of video (1920 HD mode)
* Records in Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound with new built-in zoom microphone for clear recordings of subjects
* Simultaneous dual record mode (movie and 7.6-megapixel photos) and slow motion video (240 fps) with audio
* 3.2-inch, wide, touch panel Xtra Fine LCD (921K) screen and wide color viewfinder
* Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization for smooth video and photos


HDR-SR10 40GB High-Definition Hard Drive Handycam Camcorder

Available in March for about $1,000

* New full 1920x1080 AVCHD™ HD video recording for stunning video and detail
* Sony face detection technology for video and photos; identifies up to eight faces and corrects focus, exposure, color control, and when photos are taken, flash control
* Hybrid movie recording on Memory Stick™ media card and built-in 40GB hard disk drive, which can hold up to five hours of video (1920 HD mode)
* 4-megapixel photo captures with 2-megapixel Sony ClearVid™ CMOS sensor technology
* Records in Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound with built-in zoom microphone for clear recordings of subjects
* Simultaneous dual record mode (movie and 3-megapixel photos) and slow motion video (240 fps) with audio
* 15x optical Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar® T* zoom lens
* Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization for smooth video and photos

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HDR-UX20 High-Definition Handycam Camcorder

Available in March for about $1,000

* New full 1920x1080 AVCHD™ HD video recording for stunning video and detail
* Hybrid Plus movie recording on three separate media, including 8GB of internal memory (an hour of video in 1920HD mode), Memory Stick™ media card and 3-inch DVD disc along with advanced dubbing function
* Sony face detection technology for video and photos; identifies up to eight faces and corrects focus, exposure, color control, and when photos are taken, flash control
* 4-megapixel photo capture with 2-megapixel Sony ClearVid™ CMOS sensor technology
* Records in Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound with built-in zoom microphone for clear recordings
* Simultaneous dual record mode (movie and 3-megapixel photos) and slow motion video (240 fps) with audio
* Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization for smooth video and photos

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HDR-UX10 High-Definition DVD Handycam Camcorder

Available in March for about $800

* New full 1920x1080 AVCHD™ HD video recording for stunning video and detail
* Sony face detection technology for video and photos; identifies up to eight faces and corrects focus, exposure, color control, and when photos are taken, flash control
* Hybrid movie recording on Memory Stick™ media card and 3-inch DVD disc
* 4-megapixel photo capture with 2-megapixel Sony ClearVid™ CMOS sensor technology
* Records in Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound with built-in zoom microphone for clear recordings
* Simultaneous dual record mode (movie and 3-megapixel photos) and slow motion video (240 fps) with audio
* Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization for smooth video and photos

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HDR-HC9 HDV High-Definition Handycam Camcorder

Available in February for about $1,100

* 6-megapixel photo capture with 3-megapixel Sony ClearVid™ CMOS sensor technology
* New manual functions as found in professional models, including spot meter and focus, peaking, center marker, color bar, and focus (infinity)
* Simultaneous dual record mode (movie and 4.6-megapixel photos) and slow motion video (240 fps) with audio
* Multi-mode down conversion to 1080i and others
* Incorporates Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization
* Microphone and headphone jacks as well as supplied lens hood

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DCR-SR220 40GB Hard Drive Handycam Camcorder

Available in March for about $850

* Sony face detection technology for video and photos; identifies up to eight faces and corrects focus, exposure, color control, and when photos are taken, flash control
* Hybrid movie recording on Memory Stick™ media card and built-in 40GB hard disk drive, which can hold up to 41 hours of video (LP mode)
* 4-megapixel photo capture with 2-megapixel Sony ClearVid™ CMOS sensor technology
* Records in Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound with built-in zoom microphone for clear recordings of subjects
* Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization for smooth video and photos
* Simultaneous dual record mode (movie and 3-megapixel photos) and slow motion video (240 fps) with audio

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DCR-SR85 60GB Hard Drive Handycam Camcorder

Available in February for about $700

* Hybrid movie recording on Memory Stick™ media card and built-in 60GB hard disk drive, which can hold up to 41 hours of video (LP mode)
* 1-megapixel CCD imager for excellent video and 1-megapixel photos
* 25x optical Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar®zoom lens
* Built-in zoom microphone that zooms the audio along with the video for clear recordings of subjects

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DCR-SR65 40GB Hard Drive Handycam Camcorder

Available in February for about $600

* Hybrid movie recording on Memory Stick™ media card and built-in 40GB hard disk drive, which can hold up to 27 hours of video (LP mode)
* 1-megapixel CCD imager for excellent video and 1-megapixel photos
* 25x optical Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® zoom lens
* Built-in zoom microphone that zooms the audio along with the video for clear recordings of subjects

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DCR-SR45 30GB Hard Drive Handycam Camcorder

Available in February for about $500

* Hybrid movie recording on Memory Stick™ media card and built-in 30GB hard disk drive, which can hold up to 20 hours of video (LP mode)
* Newly-developed 1/8-inch, VGA-resolution CCD imager for widescreen (16:9) video recording
* 40x optical Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® zoom lens for zooming into distant subjects
* Built-in zoom microphone that zooms the audio along with the video for clear recordings of subjects

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DCR-DVD910 DVD Handycam Camcorder

Available in March for about $650

* Sony face detection technology for video and photos; identifies up to eight faces and corrects focus, exposure, color control, and when photos are taken, flash control
* Hybrid movie recording on Memory Stick™ media card and 3-inch DVD disc
* 4-megapixel photo capture with 2-megapixel Sony ClearVid™ CMOS sensor technology
* Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization for smooth video and photos
* Simultaneous dual record mode (movie and 3-megapixel photos) and slow motion video (240 fps) with audio
* Records in Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound with built-in zoom microphone for clear recordings of subjects

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DCR-DVD810 DVD Handycam Camcorder

Available in February for about $480

* Hybrid plus movie recording on three separate media, including 8GB of internal memory (more than five hours of video in LP mode), Memory Stick™ media card and 3-inch DVD disc along with advanced dubbing function
* Records in Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound with built-in zoom microphone for clear recordings
* 1-megapixel CCD imager for excellent video and 1-megapixel photos
* 25x optical Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® zoom lens

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DCR-DVD710 DVD Handycam Camcorder

Available in February for about $400

* Hybrid movie recording on Memory Stick™ media card and 3-inch DVD disc
* Records in Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound with built-in zoom microphone for clear recordings of subjects
* 1-megapixel CCD imager for excellent video and 1-megapixel photos
* 25x optical Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® zoom lens

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DCR-DVD610 DVD Handycam Camcorder

Available in February for about $350

* Hybrid movie recording on Memory Stick™ media card and 3-inch DVD disc
* 40x optical Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® zoom lens for zooming onto distant subjects
* Newly-developed 1/8-inch, VGA-resolution CCD imager for widescreen (16:9) video recording
* Built-in zoom microphone that zooms the audio along with the video for clear recordings of subjects

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DCR-HC62 Mini DV Handycam Camcorder

Available in February for about $300

* 1-megapixel CCD imager for excellent video and 1-megapixel photos
* 25x optical Carl Zeiss®Vario-Tessar® zoom lens
* Memory Stick™ Duo slot and USB 2.0 port
* 2.7-inch, wide touch panel LCD screen and wide (16:9) color viewfinder

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DCR-HC52 Mini DV Handycam Camcorder

Available in February for about $250

* 40x optical Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® zoom lens for zooming onto distant subjects
* VGA-resolution CCD imager for video and photos
* 2.5-inch wide touch panel LCD screen and color viewfinder

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DISCUSSION

16 models?

We have an old saying in Japan. It goes something like this:

The shitty gunman will hit the target so long as he uses enough bullets.

It's a strategy that won't not work, but it doesn't do anything to make the gunman any less shitty. And they wonder why Apple trounces them in markets which they once dominated.