By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Sony Australia today bolstered its high definition Handycam range, announcing two new models including what it claims is the world’s smallest and lightest HD camcorder, which records to Memory Stick media, and a model with a 100GB hard disk drive.

The HDRCX7K (RRP $2,099), which will be available in mid-July, is Sony’s first AVCHD Handycam to record to Memory Stick media and will store around 1.5 hours of 1080i high definition footage on a 4GB card (RRP $209.95).

Flash memory card media is lightweight, durable and uses less battery power than hard drives, but the highest capacity 8GB Memory Stick Duo card still costs RRP $319.95.

Panasonic was the first brand to market with an AVCHD camcorder using flash memory cards with its SD1 camcorder, which was first launched in December last year and uses SD and SDHC card media.

“The release of the CX7K sets a benchmark for size portability in the camcorder space by incorporating the ultra-versatile Memory Stick format,” said Sony Australia Handycam senior product manager, Di Shepherd.

“Beyond just its dimensions though, this model promises a new level of compatibility and connectivity for capturing memories in the high definition era – for example, special moments recorded to the Memory Stick can be transferred to the PlayStation 3’s hard drive to be stored and enjoyed as part of an HD movie library.”

Other features include 4.6 megapixel still shots, Sony’s ClearVid CMOS sensor, Smooth Slow recording and the x.v.Colour system for more true-to-life colour reproduction.

Sony’s new hard disk drive AVCHD Handycam lineup, the SR series, boasts the flagship SR8 with a 100GB hard drive capable of storing up to 38 hours of 1080i video in LP mode.

 “The purpose of the new Handycam SR Series is to give users the flexibility to shoot great quality footage wherever and whenever they want to – you can capture even more memories so they don’t fade,” said Shepherd.

“Their portable, compact size and long shooting times, combined with improved picture quality and user functions, make this possible.”

Sony has also released the 40GB SR5 (RRP $1,899) and the 60GB SR7 (RRP $2,349), both with ClearVID CMOS sensors and the x.v.Colour system.

The latest SR models are 20 per cent smaller and 17 per cent lighter than their predecessor, the 30GB SR1.