Sony launches high-def HDR-CX12 Handycam

Sony has introduced the first high-definition camcorder with "Smile Shutter" and face detection technologies.

The HDR-CX12 Memory Stick Handycam camcorder can record full 1920 x 1080 HD video and 10-megapixel photos on Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo media and any Memory Stick PRO Duo media cards.

"Roughly the size of a soda can", Sony claims easy transfer of video and stills from media cards to a compatible PC to share via email, uploading to the internet or burning to disc.

Sony's "Smile Shutter" technology lets you capture smiling photos and record video at the same time. When activated the technology will detect and automatically take a photo when your subject smiles - without having to switch to photo mode.

In addition the camcorder offers a ClearVid CMOS sensor, Sony's BIONZ imaging processor, a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 12x optical zoom lens and Super SteadyShot optical image stabilisation.

The model has a 2.7-inch LCD screen, Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound recording and a built-in zoom microphone.

Complete with a 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo, Handycam Station cradle and PC software, the HDR-CX12 camcorder will be in American stores in early August for about $900.