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Sony unveils high-definition camcorder

Japanese electronics and entertainment giant Sony Corp. plans to begin selling a camcorder designed for consumers that takes video at digital high-definition quality and is being priced at about $3,600.

Sony said Tuesday the 4.4 pound HDR-FX1 is set to go on sale next month in Japan and before the end of the year globally.

"Recording precious images at the best visual quality is important and the demand for that is sure to spread around the world," Sony vice president Shoji Nemoto told reporters at a Tokyo hotel.

A more affordable model is likely to follow, Nemoto said, but he declined to say when that would be available.

Sony said its new high-definition camcorder was the first aimed at consumers. It showcases Sony's newly developed computer chips that can efficiently process digital images, the Tokyo-based company said.

Sony showed a live video image of an open book taken on a standard camcorder next to one on the HDR-FX1, and even the small print on words that looked like blurs on the older model could be read more clearly on the new machine.
HDTV viewfinders that use LCDs are ridiculously, insanely expensive. This is because each pixel in an LCD is a discrete element and point of failure. The more pixels that you cram on to a given space, the greater the likelihood of failure is. HDTV LCD panels must contain many times the pixels of existing low-resolution LCD panels in the same physical area. Since relatively few HDTV LCD panels can make it out of production without fatal errors, the ones that are defect-free and can be sold have to be priced to make up for the huge numbers that were thrown in the trash right off the assembly line.

Microvision's technology stores the pixel information in inexpensive computer memory, rather than having physical elements fixed in place for each pixel -- and it's the only technology that allows for switching between 4:3 screen ratio and 16:9 on the fly, in software. Due to the simplicity and elegance of Microvision's solution, we will be able to produce HDTV electronic viewfinders that are much less expensive than LCD panels, and have richer, truer colors too.

Thanks to NoNo.


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