New Sony Digital8 Handycams add more reasons to move to digital

Sony announces two new camcorder models for the new year based on Hi8 tape technology.

PRESS RELEASE: New Sony Digital8 Handycams add more reasons to move to digital
Analogue-compatible range features compact design and focuses on ease of use

Sony has updated its range of Digital8 Handycams with three new models. The DCR-TRV255, DCR-TRV265 and DCR-TRV460 will provide users with their first experience of a digital camcorder and video editing on a PC. The new range offers an equally attractive upgrade path to users of analogue video as the top model (DCR-TRV460) can also play back 8mm and Hi8 tapes. Other enhancements include a bundled software application that can burn footage to the popular VideoCD format in three easy steps as well as DV-IN and a touch sensitive LCD menu on some models.

“Digital8 Handycams are ideal for those first exciting steps in digital video,” says Shaun Dorrington, Camcorder Product Manager, Sony UK. “Analogue users can rest assured that they can keep their memories safe by bringing footage on older format tapes into the digital domain and with the bundled Picture Package software, these models make creating movies on a PC truly simple.”

The top of the range model, the DCR-TRV460, features a touch-sensitive LCD display with an ‘Active' menu. This menu has been redesigned in a more logical, hierarchical structure so that selecting functions becomes even more straightforward and the camera is far easier to use. In addition to the ability to play back the analogue 8mm and Hi8 tape formats, the DCR-TRV460 also supports Memory Stick Pro, the universal storage media for all digital data.

All three cameras are packed with features for high quality and ease of use. Sony's energy efficient STAMINA technology provides enough power to record continuously for up to twelve hours on a fully charged InfoLITHIUM battery while an i.LINK connection allows users to transfer the video footage at high speed to a compatible PC for editing.

Each model comes bundled with Picture Package - a new and extremely intuitive way of creating movies on Video CD. Targeted at the beginner, this solution-oriented package does away with the need for complex video editing software on the computer. The simple process starts with the user choosing a music track, then the video (one sequence or the full tape) from the camera. Confirming the selection makes the software start burning a movie to VideoCD using the computer's CD recorder. The result is a professional looking video that has been automatically edited to match the music and which benefits from the automatic addition of special effects between the scenes. Output directly to VideoCD for widespread distribution, the new movie can be played in most PCs or domestic DVD players. The cameras also take advantage of USB connectivity to provide high speed transfer of e-movies and digital pictures to a PC, either to burn to a CD or for use in Web streaming applications. In addition, the DCR-TRV265 and DCR-TRV460 further benefit from the inclusion of a DV-IN function which allows video edited on a PC to be recorded back to tape.

For beginners, an Easy Handycam button on the cameras now provides a one-step solution for ease of use. This new and unique Sony function simplifies the choice of menu features, displaying a limited set of commands on the LCD screen in large, easy to read characters. With almost all settings on automatic, the user is presented with only the commands necessary for basic camera operation, making learning to shoot video even easier. Users can return to the normal function Regular Mode by simply pressing a single button, making these cameras perfect for both beginners and more advanced users.

As well as i.LINK and USB cables, each model comes bundled with an AV cable to connect to the TV. Manual focus, exposure control and IR remote control are incorporated as standard.

The DCR-TRV255, DCR-TRV265 and DCR-TRV460 will be available during February 2004.