After going mainstream in 2007, HD movie making is marching on this year. And while we're still some way off the first true 1080p 'corder, Sony's done a mean job of filling out the rest of the spec list in its 1080i line up.
For the first time the whole range boasts 1920x1080 'Full HD' resolution rather than the stretch-to fit 1440x1080 of old. Also going in are 5.1 surround sound mics with added volume boost when zoomed in (a la the new SD9" title="Panasonic">Panasonic).
The BIONZ processor's been nicked from Sony's Alpha DSLR line-up. That should improve stills ability and also brings with it two new forms of face recognition. One ensures any faces in view are kept in focus and well exposed. The other concentrates the available bitrate on any faces to ensure a top quality picture in the parts that matter most – clever stuff.
There'll be three models in all. Enthusiasts will warm to the HDV tape packing HC9E, the UX19E goes for more consumer friendly DVD and an unmatched 15x optical zoom, while the SR12E (pictured) has a stonking 120GB hard drive for up to two solid days of HD shooting.
They'll all be arriving later in the year – nothing more specific than that yet we’re afraid.
Sony HC9E, UX19E, SR12E
On sale: 2008