Sony has unveiled a bewildering array of consumer camcorders, including a new range of HD camcorders that record directly to DVD, rather than to a hard disk. The company has also updated its range of MiniDV and HDD camcorders.

Sony has introduced a new colour mode, x.v.Colour, which complies with the newly-ratified international standard, xvYCC (eXtended Video YCC). It extends the range of colours that can be recorded, beyond the limits of the conventional sRGB colour space.

The camcorders are also now capable of recording 6.1MP still images with “Super SteadyShot” Optical Image Stabilisation, and features longer recording time, with the new HDD Handycam range recording up to 41 hours.

This larger recording capacity is supported by longer battery life, with all Handycam models featuring compatibility with STAMINA batteries that can last for a minimum for 5 hours, and a maximum of 14 hours.

Some of the new Standard Definition models also boast a 40x optical zoom, and start with a wider field of view at their shortest focal length, for true wide-angle.

The new AVCHD DVD range, which records high-definition images to DVD, promises to be “affordable”, although prices haven't yet been released, and feature HDMI connectivity for direct viewing on a TV.

The UX7E and UX3E both are able to record in 5.1ch surround sound, thanks to a built-in, powerful microphone. Other features include a Dual Rec function for simultaneous video and still image shooting, Smooth Slow Rec for 200fps shooting, and built-in flash for still images.

The two new Sony HDV Handycam models, the HDR-HC7E and HC5E feature the 6MP still shooting capability, an Auto Slow Shutter function that improves low-light shooting with a minimum illumination performance to 2 lux, compared to 5 lux on previous models.

Sony hasn't neglected its DVD range of Handycams. The DVD506E features Super SteadyShot, while the DVD106E and DVD109E both boast the amazing 40x optical zoom range. A range of new wide angle and tele conversion lenses are also available.

And finally, Sony has launched the DCR-HC47E, DCR-HC45E/37E and DCR-HC27E MiniDV camcorders, which all feature a helpful new Usage Guide function to help explain main functions in the menu, and are all supplied with a Handycam Station dock.