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Sony's Handycam DCR-IP220 camcorder. Courtesy of Sony Electronics, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sony announces two new Handycams
(Thursday, August 8, 2002 - 17:09 EDT)

Latest MicroMV camcorders from the electronics heavyweight are equipped with 10x optical zooms...

Sony Electronics has announced two new additions to its camcorder lineup, in the form of the Handycam DCR-IP55 and DCR-IP220. The models share many features, but there are some major differences as well:
  • Sensor Resolution: 2.1 megapixel / 1600 x 1200 (DCR-IP220); 1.0 megapixel / 1152 x 864 (DCR-IP55)
  • Horizontal Video Resolution: 530 lines (DCR-IP220); 520 lines (DCR-IP55)
  • Design: Flip-up tilt/swivel LCD mounted on rear of camera (DCR-IP220); Traditional side-mounted LCD with fold-down pistol grip (DCR-IP55)
  • Carl Zeiss-branded 10x optical zoom lens (Multi-layer Coating of a Carl Zeiss T* lens on the DCR-IP220 only)
  • 120x digital zoom
  • 'Super SteadyShot' image stabilisation
  • 'Super NightShot' infrared recording in total darkness
  • NightFraming mode uses infrared recording whilst framing, and switches to normal mode when picture is taken
  • Intelligent pop-up flash
  • Hologram AF for improved autofocusing in low-light conditions
  • MicroMV tape, for up to 60 minutes recording time in a tape 70% smaller than MiniDV. Tape includes a 64K memory chip to provide for thumbnails of scenes and custom titles, allowing quick access to individual video scenes.
  • i.Link (Sony equivalent of IEEE-1394 FireWire, but with the ability for line power supply removed; DCR-IP220 only)
  • USB connectivity with USB Streaming and Networking capability for videoconferencing
  • BlueTooth wireless connectivity
  • 2.5" SwivelScreen Hybrid Touch-Panel LCD display with 211,000 pixels
  • Memory Stick slot for removeable flash memory
  • MPEG Movie AD mode allows recording of MPEG1 video up to 60 seconds in four quality settings
  • Networking capabilities of the cameras allow web-browsing on the built-in LCD display, as well as uploading images and MPEG1 video to Sony's ImageStation.com, and sending or receiving email with MPEG1 and JPEG attachments. The DCR-IP220 is also able to connect to AOL with similar functionality, bar the ability to receive email.
The cameras will ship in the USA this October at a cost of $1500 for the DCR-IP55, and $2000 for the DCR-IP220.

Sony's Handycam DCR-IP55 camcorder, front view. Courtesy of Sony Electronics, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Sony's Handycam DCR-IP55 camcorder, front...

Sony's Handycam DCR-IP55 camcorder, rear view. Courtesy of Sony Electronics, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

... and rear view

Sony's Handycam DCR-IP220 camcorder, front view. Courtesy of Sony Electronics, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Sony's Handycam DCR-IP220 camcorder, front view with LCD raised...

Sony's Handycam DCR-IP220 camcorder, rear view. Courtesy of Sony Electronics, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

... and rear view with the LCD down

Source: Sony Electronics

Original Source Press Release:


Company Puts The `Handy' In Two New Handycam Models

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 6, 2002 - Stepping up in quality and out in style, Sony's latest MICROMV™ Handycam® camcorders sport clever designs optimized for one-handed operation.

The DCR-IP220 model packs a 2.1-megapixel imager for higher quality video and still images (1600 x 1200) in a compact, barrel-shaped design. Another new model, the new DCR-IP55, features an innovative fold-down handgrip.

World's First 2-Megapixel Camcorder

The DCR-IP220 model is the world's first 2.1-megapixel CCD camcorder and offers 530 lines of horizontal video resolution to produce stunning video clarity and definition of even the subtlest colors.

The DCR-IP55 model features a 1.0-megapixel CCD, which offers 520 lines of horizontal video resolution and still image resolution of 1152 x 864. Its clever design allows users to grasp the camcorder by a new sure-grip, fold-out handle that is ideal for shooting video on an angle, above a crowd or following the fast-paced, back-and-forth action of a soccer match.

Both models also feature 10X optical/120X precision digital zoom, super SteadyShot® picture stabilization and, new to MICROMV Handycam camcorders, super NightShot® infrared system for recording in total darkness.

In addition their advanced video capabilities, both the new models offer enhanced digital still image features, including intelligent pop-up flash and Hologram AF -- an auto-focus feature designed to achieve accurate subject focus with minimal contrast in dark conditions.

Both models also feature high-quality Carl Zeiss® optics. And, with the DCR-IP220 model, users benefit from the advanced multi-layer coating of a Carl Zeiss T* lens, resulting in more vivid, true-to-life color saturation.

"Because of the MICROMV tape's miniature size, Sony has been able to develop innovative, one-of-a-kind camcorder designs," said Linda Vuolo, director of camcorder product management for Sony Electronics Digital Imaging Products Division. "In addition, these new MICROMV camcorders have features that make them easy to use, while creating stellar home videos."

It's In The Tape: Multi-Picture Search and Titling

The MICROMV tape is 70 percent smaller than a MiniDV tape and provides up to 60 minutes of high-quality digital video footage. It also has a 64K memory chip that allows for a multi-search function to access different recorded sections of the tape as one would a DVD, creating a thumbnail image of each recorded scene on the tape. Thumbnail images are created from the start of every recorded scene and, by engaging the multi-search function, users can instantly access the scene of their choice. In addition, an index titling function helps identify each thumbnail image with either a pre-set caption or a customized scene title.

Lastly, each time a MICROMV cassette is inserted into the camcorder or the VCR mode is used, cassette information is automatically displayed on the LCD showing the first and last date of use, how much recording space remains, and titling capability so the user can title the videotape.

The MICROMV Digital Experience

In addition to the exclusive applications MICROMV technology brings to the new camcorder models, below are additional features that lend to the MICROMV digital experience.

i.LINK® Interface -- The i.LINK (IEEE-1394) MICROMV interface allows for high-speed, bi-directional digital communication between two MICROMV Handycam camcorders or with compatible Microsoft® Windows® ME/2000 and later PCs loaded with compatible software.

NightFraming -- The DCR-IP220 offers NightFraming capability that allows users to compose still images in low-light situations and produce bright, full color results.

2.5" Precision SwivelScreen™ Hybrid Touch Panel LCD Display -- The LCD provides excellent viewing clarity with 211,000 pixels and touch screen technology transforms the LCD into a convenient control pad with the supplied stylus. The hybrid system allows for increased visibility in challenging lighting situations such as bright sunlight.

MPEG Movie AD Mode -- Through the MPEG Movie AD Mode, the DCR-IP55 and DCR-IP220 allow users to capture MPEG1 compressed video and audio for up to 60 seconds directly to the Memory Stick® media in four different quality modes: light, standard, fine and super fine.

USB Streaming and Networking Capability

Both of these MICROMV models offer the ability to stream live and recorded video via a USB connection and video conferencing software such as the Microsoft® Windows® NetMeeting® application. They also provide access to the Internet through Bluetooth™ wireless technology. Like all Network Handycam camcorders, these new models can connect to the Internet without a PC when used in conjunction with an optional Bluetooth adaptor or a compatible Bluetooth cell phone.

Thanks to the networking function, these new camcorders allow users to send and receive e-mail messages with MPEG1 movie and JPEG images attached or upload still images and MPEG1 video directly to Sony's online photo sharing service, ImageStation.com. The camcorders can also be used for Web browsing using the LCD display. The DCR-IP220 is the first Network Handycam camcorder to provide connectivity through the America Online (AOL) service and will allow AOL members to enjoy all of the networking features with the exception of receiving e-mail messages.

All Network Handycam camcorders can also be used with Sony's So-netSM Internet access service or a compatible ISP. Both Sony's So-net service and AOL are designed for easy set-up and connection between a Network Handycam camcorder and the Internet.

The DCR-IP55 and the DCR-IP220 will be available in October 2002 for about $1,500 and $2,000, respectively.

Editing Made `EZ'

In addition to the MovieShaker™ video editing software bundled with all MICROMV Handycam camcorders, Sony is launching a new EZ Editor® home editing kit for MICROMV footage. This versatile home editing solution comes equipped with everything needed to edit home movies on a current Windows PC, including Pinnacle System's Studio version 8SE software, i.LINK® (IEEE-1394) card, i.LINK cables and two blank cassettes. The kit also includes one blank Sony CD-R disc and will sell for about $100.

# # #

Editor's Note: Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging Product Division markets digital imaging products and services, including Cyber-shot® and Digital Mavica® still cameras, Handycam® camcorders and related accessories. For additional information about Sony products, call (888) 222-SONY, or visit Sony's web site at: www.sony.com/di. Press releases and digital images are available for the media at Sony Electronics' news and information web site at: www.sony.com/news.

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