By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Sony Australia has today launched what it is calling “the world’s most compact Full HD camcorder”, the Handycam HDR-TG1, which uses Sony’s Memory Stick Duo flash media, measures 32 x 119 x 63 mm and weighs 300 grams.

Aside from shooting in 1920×1080, it takes up to four megapixel still images and incorporates a unique camera flash light around the ring of the lens.

It also has a 10x optical zoom, Sony’s Super SteadyShot image stabilisation and a zoom microphone that records in 5.1 channel for surround sound home movies.

These camcorders have a face detection function and a Face Index feature allows users to scroll through thumbnail images of people’s faces on the LCD screen so they can fast forward directly to where those faces appear in the movies.

Similarly, the Film Roll Index feature displays thumbnails of scenes captured at specific intervals, allowing the user to go directly to those scenes by simply pressing the touch screen LCD.

“As the leader in high definition camcorders, Sony is always looking to develop its range of camcorders whilst being innovative in form and functionality,” said Sony Australia Handycam senior product manager, Di Shepherd.

“The TG1 is the perfect combination of the two, boasting technological features such as Face Detection, Face Index and Film Roll Index in a compact and stylish unit.”

Sony’s Face Detection technology has been incorporated for both video and photos on the HDR-TG1 and identifies up to eight faces in the camcorder’s LCD frame. It also automatically allocates more pixels to a detected face during the AVCHD encoding process, to optimise focus, exposure and colour for natural-looking skin tones in the facial area.

In addition, the D-Range Optimiser was designed to suppress the ‘blackout’ and ‘whiteout’ effect that occurs in brightly environments, ensuring evenly-exposed pictures when shooting high contrast and strong backlit scenes.

The TG1 also has a One Touch Disc Burn button on its Handycam Station that enables transfer of videos directly to an AVCHD or DVD format disc. And an Easy PC Backup feature automatically creates a backup copy of new videos on a PC.

A YouTube Upload feature is becoming a must-have on most camcorders these days and the TG1 has Picture Motion Browser Software to optimise the footage for the web and upload the footage.

This latest addition to the Sony Handycam camcorder family is finished with a pure titanium scratch-resistant chassis and goes on sale nationally from tomorrow at RRP $1,599.

Sony said that this is the first time pure titanium has been used in a camcorder chassis and that this titanium casing has a hard premium coating to increase scratch-resistance and resist wear and tear.