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Sony Develops First Megapixel 3-CCD MiniDV Camcorder

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In a move bound to make demanding video buffs take a second look, Sony today announced the DCR-TRV950 Mini DV Handycam® camcorder, the industry’s first three-CCD (charge-coupled device) camcorder to include one million pixels per CCD imager for high quality video recordings.

Designed for the “prosumer,” the DCR-TRV950 uses Sony’s Advanced HAD three-CCD system to create professional-quality video with unbeatable color clarity, detail and performance. Compared to a single CCD imager found on most consumer camcorder models, a three-CCD system, like the one with the DCR-TRV950 captures much more precise results. Each of the megapixel CCD imagers are dedicated to a primary color and separate the light that passes through the lens into individual color components for noticeably sharper images and colors.

For more true-to-life results in darker settings, the three-CCD imagers of the DCR-TRV950 use Advanced HAD technology, which allows more light to reach the imager in order to reduce common video noise that would otherwise affect video quality.

“In the TRV950, we’ve made a camcorder for the person who knows their way around consumer video, but who craves a professional level of quality,” said Steve Haber, senior vice president of the Digital Imaging Products Division at Sony Electronics. “While not a professional camcorder, it produces results that are of a quality to be used by consumers who want take their video footage to the next level.”

Manual Controls Give A Creative Edge

Complimenting the quality of the DCR-TRV950 is a bevy of optional manual controls for greater creative control. Users can choose to override the camcorder’s automatic features with options such options as a manual focus ring, 12X optical and 150X digital zoom, zebra pattern, color bars, spotlight compensation and spot focus. The camcorder also features Sony’s Optical Super SteadyShot picture stabilization system, which uses motion sensors to compensate for camera shake.

Network Capabilities and USB Streaming

The DCR-TRV950 has the ability to stream live and recorded video via a USB connection and the use of video conferencing software such as the Microsoft® Windows® NetMeeting® application. It can also provide access to the Internet without a PC through wireless Bluetooth technology.

Using a compatible Internet Service Provider, the new camcorder can send and receive e-mail messages with MPEG1 movie and JPEG images attached. The camcorder can also be used for Web browsing by using the LCD display. Web pages can be downloaded to the supplied 8MB Memory Stick® media card for quick, easy access when off-line.

Memory Mode with Memory Stick Media

The DCR-TRV950 not only records video, but also offers the dual functionality of capturing stunning digital still images of up to 1152 X 864 resolution using its megapixel CCD imager. JPEG images are stored directly onto Memory Stick media cards for transfer to PCs and other devices. These can be used in e-mail, on Web sites, or for printing photos for framing or archiving. The camcorder also includes an intelligent pop-up flash with red-eye reduction, which provides the appropriate amount of flash for optimum brightness and color accuracy in virtually any lighting condition.

Additional Features For Quality Video and Still Pictures

14-Bit DXP (Digital Extended Processor) – The advanced 14-bit digital processor dramatically increases the relative brightness levels for more life-like, realistic reproductions.

Hologram AF – Ideal for photographing a smooth beach on a moonless night, Hologram AF is a new Sony laser focusing system designed to achieve accurate focus on subjects with little contrast in dark conditions. It projects a visible Class 1 laser hologram pattern directly on the subject so the camera can detect the contrast between the edge of the laser pattern and the subject itself.

Touch Panel LCD, Spot Focus and Spot Meter Modes – A new on screen touch panel system with supplied stylus gives the user the ability to navigate through the camera’s menu system at the touch of the LCD screen using a supplied stylus. The touch panel compliments a new spot focus mode that ensure complete accuracy in focusing the most challenging shots. While the camcorder is in spot focus mode, almost any subject can be brought into focus with a touch of the screen.

i.LINK Digital Video Interface = The i.LINK (IEEE 1394) DV interface allows for high speed bi-directional digital communication between two devices equipped with a compatible i.LINK DV interface, including digital camcorders, digital VCRs and PCs.

MPEG Movie EX Mode – This mode allows recording of uninterrupted MPEG1 movie clips to the full capacity of the Memory Stick card. For example, the 128MB Memory Stick media will record up to 85 minutes of non-stop MPEG1 video.

3.5″ Precision SwivelScreen LCD Display and Precision Color viewfinder – The 3.5″ SwivelScreen LCD display provides excellent viewing clarity with improved resolution. The 246K pixel LCD display makes images sharp and detailed during playback or when monitoring recording. The camcorder also has a Precision Color Viewfinder with 180K pixels for more detail and clarity of video subjects while recording.
The 2-pound, 2-ounce three-CCD camcorder will be available in June for about $2,500.

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