Sony has launched three new HDD models today promising up to 38 hours of recording.

The flagship of the new AVCHD HDD Handycam models is the SR8E which features a 100GB hard disk. It’s joined by the SR5E and SR7E that offer 40GB and 60GB disk capacities for up to 15 hours or 22 hours HD recording time respectively in LP mode.

The new models all weigh just 530g (excluding battery), and Sony say they are around 20% smaller and 17% lighter (SR7E/8E) than their predecessor, the SR1E.

All new HDR-SR Series models use the AVCHD format to capture HD 1080 images. Still images can be snapped up to 6.1 megapixel while in Dual Rec mode, 4.6 megapixel still images can be shot without interrupting video shooting.

Other features include a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens features a 10x optical zoom. Super SteadyShot optical image stabilisation (SR7E/8E) and an on-board microphone allows recording of Dolby Digital 5.1ch surround sound.

The SR series connects directly to any BRAVIA HD-ready television via a mini-HDMI cable (optional)

Because of the use of the HDD Sony is also saying that you'll be able to access your footage quicker. A "Visual Index" divides all your footage into a series of chapters, corresponding with each press of the Record Start button. Thumbnail images are automatically created for each chapter and displayed on the camcorder’s touch screen for handy reference.

The camera is expected to be available later in the year.