will release two FireWire-equipped MICROMV Handycam camcorders in October: the DCR-IP220 and the DCR-IP55.
The DCR-IP220 model is a 2.1-megapixel CCD camcorder and offers 530 lines of horizontal video resolution. The DCR-IP55 features a 1.0-megapixel CCD that offers 520 lines of horizontal video resolution and still image resolution of 1152 x 864. The DCR-IP55 offers a foldout handle for use in shooting video on an angle, above a crowd or following the fast-paced sports.
Both models feature 10X optical/120X precision digital zoom, SteadyShot picture stabilization and — new to MICROMV Handycam camcorders — a super NightShot infrared system for recording in total darkness. Both the DCR-IP220 and the DCR-IP55 offer enhanced digital still image features, including intelligent pop-up flash and Hologram AF — an auto-focus feature designed to achieve accurate subject focus with minimal contrast in dark conditions.
Both models also feature Carl Zeiss optics. The DCR-IP220 model boasts an advanced multi-layer coating of a Carl Zeiss T* lens that results in more vivid, true-to-life color saturation, according to Linda Vuolo, director of camcorder product management for Sony Electronics Digital Imaging Products Division.
“Because of the MICROMV tape’s miniature size, Sony has been able to develop innovative, one-of-a-kind camcorder designs,” she said. “In addition, these new MICROMV camcorders have features that make them easy to use, while creating stellar home videos.”
The MICROMV tape is 70 percent smaller than a MiniDV tape and provides up to 60 minutes of digital video footage. It has a 64K memory chip that allows for a multi-search function to access different recorded sections of the tape as one would a DVD, creating a thumbnail image of each recorded scene on the tape.
Thumbnail images are created from the start of every recorded scene. Engage the multi-search function and you can instantly access the scene of their choice. What’s more, an index titling function helps identify each thumbnail image with either a pre-set caption or a customized scene title. Additionally, whenever a MICROMV cassette is inserted into the camcorder or the VCR mode is used, cassette information is automatically displayed on the LCD showing the first and last date of use, how much recording space remains, and titling capability so the user can title the videotape.
Through an MPEG Movie AD Mode, the DCR-IP55 and DCR-IP220 allow you to capture MPEG1 compressed video and audio for up to 60 seconds directly to the Memory Stick media in four different quality modes: light, standard, fine and super fine.
You can connect the camcorders to Macs via their FireWire (or i.LINK, as Sony calls it) interfaces. There are some features and bundled software that are Windows only.
The DCR-IP55 and the DCR-IP220 will be available in two months for approximately US$1,500 and $2,000, respectively.