Sony has launched two high definition Handycam camcorders – the HDR-UX1E and HDR-SR1E – both of which can record in full 1080i HD resolution, with the HDR-UX1E using the new AVCHD format to burn high definiton images onto conventional discs.
The HDR-UX1E gives you the option of recording in HD or SD mode. When you select HD, the AVCHD format lets you pick between four picture quality options – 5Mbps Long Play option to the super-high quality AVCHD 12M (HQ+) setting, which captures HD video at 12Mbps. AVCHD records onto disc, with all DVD formats supported, imcluding dual layer discs. You can playback by connecting the camera to your HD-ready TV’s HDMI port, using your PC along with the AVCHD disc playback software (provided) or on AVCHD-compatible Blu-ray drive, PS3 and a stand-alone Blu-ray player/recorder – when any of those things appear on the UK market.
The HDR-SR1E has a 30GB integrated hard disk and is also switchable between HD and SD modes, so you can always choose which you want. Recording modes are 5Mbps Long Play mode for a full 11 hours, the default 7Mbps setting of 8 hours and 30min , 9Mbps setting which yields 7 hours and a new super-quality ‘XP’ mode, with a 15Mbps bit-rate. The hard disk can hold up to 4 hours of XP-quality HD video. The SR1E also features One Touch Disc Burn – if you have been filming in SD, content will be transferred to the PC and automatically burned as a DVD; if in HD, content will be burned using AVCHD to create a AVCHD disc instead. Like the UX1E, you can playback on an HD-ready TV by plugging intyo the HDMI port or by using the AVCHD disc in a compatible player. The SR1E also features Sony’s HDD Smart Protection System – physical shock absorbers and a 3G sensor that can detect a fall, auto-parking the heads before impact.
Prices and release dates for both models are yet to be confirmed, we’ll keep you posted.