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CES 2008: Sony Updates Just About Everything


CES 2008: Sony Updates Just About Everything

As one of the largest companies at CES, in terms of the shear range of products it manufactures, Sony was always going to have pretty impressive product line to show off in Vegas, but even I couldn't have predicted just how much stuff it would have to show off this year. Regardless of what area of Sony's products you want to look at, there's almost sure to be something to grasp your attention.

For no particular reason I'll go through the ranges alphabetically, starting with cameras. First up and in serious danger of causing me to implode with desire is the successor to the Alpha α100 DSLR we looked at way back in June 2006. The inspiringly named Alpha α200 should offer superior performance and image quality at a significantly lower price than its predecessor; indeed Sony's intended retail price of $700 in the US would almost certainly translate to a lower cost that the current £450-odd outlay required for an α100. Specs wise, meanwhile, we see a larger, 2.7in LCD screen, 1.7x faster auto focussing, quieter operation and improved noise reduction. Also featured is Sony's Super SteadyShot image stabilisation technology which claims a 2.5 to 3.5-step shutter speed improvement, 10.2-megapixel APS CCD sensor and support for both CompactFlash and MemoryStick Duo storage cards. Release is set for February in the US and hopefully the UK will see it soon after.

Moving onto different, but no less enticing territory we also see a pretty large update to Sony's range of digital camcorders. Starting at the high-end we see three new 1,920 x 1,080 resolution HD offerings, the HDR-SR12, HDR-SR11 and HDR-SR10. As the names suggest these are actually just the same camcorder with different sized hard drives inside, respectively 120GB, 60GB and 40GB. Sony's figures suggest that around seven minutes of Full HD resolution video can be recorded per gigabyte of storage using the AVCHD codec. Other features such as the ability to record to removable MemoryStick Duo storage and face detection are also on board. More details are available in the full press release so check it out if you're interested.

Progressing further through the camcorder range we stumble upon a trio of new hybrid DVD/flash memory recording devices including the 2.3-megapixel CMOS sensor sporting DCR-DVD910 which will record up to two hours of video on a 2.66GB dual-layer 3in DVD and up to 11 hours on Sony's most capacious 16GB MemoryStick Duo. Further, data recorded on either format can be transferred to the other without the need for a PC which is always useful and the DVD910 also boats such features as face detection. Lower down the DCR-DVD810 and DCR-DVD710 sport lower resolution 680K-pixel sensors with the former also boasting 8GB of internal memory in addition to the memory card slot and DVD drive.

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