Sony hi-def camcorders: the next generation

We usually recoil in horror at the mention of yet another recording format, but Sony’s new acronym has neatly bypassed our cynicism. The reason: it le

We usually recoil in horror at the mention of yet another recording format, but Sony’s new acronym has neatly bypassed our cynicism. The reason: it lets you store 1080i HD video on mini DVDs and hard-drives, as showcased by these two camcorders.

Both shooters support the new Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) format, with the HDR-UX1E (above left) burning your footage to 8cm DVDs, and the HDR-SR1E (above right) muscling on to the JVC Everio’s turf by offering a 30GB hard-drive.

Before now, Sony ‘corders like the HC1 and HC3  have only been able to record hi-def onto MiniDV tapes. Now you’ll be able to record 1080i vids onto media such as Sony’s Memory Stick and SD cards, much like Sanyo’s 720p-recording HD1.

Aside from the differing recording media, the two models are very similar. Both have a 3.5in LCD and give the option on start-up of recording in standard-def or high-def.

The hard-drive SR1E can also capture 4MP stills and has a ‘one touch disc burn’ button, which lets you instantly archive your video onto a DVD via your PC and free up some of that storage.

Now all Sony has to do is convince other manufacturers to adopt its new format. News that ten companies have already signed up and that AVCHD is compatible with any Panasonic and Sony device, including the PS3, is a good start.

Essentials

Sony HDR-UX1E, HDR-SR1E

Price: approx £760, £810

On sale: September, October

Contact: Sony

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