By Matthew Henry in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS: Sony has unveiled its coming Handycam line up at CES in Las Vegas due out in Australia during the first half of 2008 including the first consumer camcorder with face detection and an upgrade to 1080 line resolution for its HD models.

Sony announced 16 new Handycams in its opening press conference, not all of which will be introduced in Australia.

But Sony Australia today confirmed it will rollout selected Handycams from the range in the coming months with the revamped lineup featuring more hard disk drive models, more high definition models and a few mini DV tape models.

Some of the new Handycams include a version of the Bionz image processing engine developed for the Alpha digital SLR cameras.

“The Bionz image processor delivers the extra processing grunt required to run face detection,” Sony Australia technology communications manager, Paul Colley, told today at CES.

The Bionz processor is also more efficient and will deliver better battery life to the forthcoming generation, Colley said.

Other features in the new Handycam range will include Zoom Mic, which removes ambient background noise when the user zooms in on a subject, and a Hybrid Plus model with 8GB built-in flash memory, DVD disc and a Memory Stick slot.

“In the past you were only able to record low quality mpeg footage to the Memory Stick, but these will now record in full quality,” said Colley.

“This means the user could just record on the internal memory and use the other removable memory to transport the footage out of the camera for viewing or editing.”

Sony has also upped its HD Handycams resolution from 1440×1080 lines to full 1920×1080 lines.