Sony has launched another high-definition camcorder to its HDR line, this time smaller and lighter than previous incarnations.

The HDR-FX7 1080i HDV camcorder boasts a three-chip ClearVID CMOS sensor for clear high-def video.

It weighs a hefty 3 pounds, but it's 40% smaller and 25% lighter than the FX1, the first Sony HD camcorder. It is able record and playback full HD video on standard miniDV tapes, as well as standard definition DV video.

HDMI connectivity provides a quick hook-up to a TV or monitor, while the 3.5-inch SwivelScreen LCD screen provides comfortable viewing in any shooting position.

Sony says that the new processor in the camcorder results in higher resolution, greater light sensitivity, minimal noise, and better colour, as well as fast transfer rates and low power consumption – so low, that the largest capacity battery can last for eight hours of continuous shooting.

The Carl Zeiss lens has a 20x optical zoom range equivalent to 37.4-748mm in a 35mm equivalent, in a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.

Other features include manual controls for zoom, focus, shutter speed, white balance, iris, and gain.

The HDR-FX7 falls in the prosumer category, with advanced features for a relatively low $3500 pricetag.