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Sony Unveils 1st Hybrid 'Binocu-corders'

8/22/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

SAN DIEGO — Sony introduced Friday a new product
concept that combines the functions of a pair of
binoculars with an HD 3D camcorder.

Sony is christening the category, starting this November,
with two models at launch — the DEV-3 and
DEV-5.

Both feature the form factor of a pair of binoculars
but include the guts of a fully functional digital HD
camcorder.

The models include Sony’s G-series lenses, Exmor
R CMOS imagers, Bionz video processors, and
optical and digital Steadyshot image stabilization
functions.

The unusual combo product will capture both high-definition full-motion video and high-resolution still
images in 2D or 3D formats, Sony said.

Both models come equipped with two 0.45-inch electronic
viewfinders (one for each eye), with 852 by 480
resolution and 16:9 aspect ratios.

Interpupillary distance (the distance between the center
of the pupils of the two eyes) on the EVFs can be
adjusted with a supplied dial, Sony said.

The DEV-3 (shipping in November at a $1,399 suggested
retail) offers up to 10x optical zoom magnification
using G-series optics with an f1.9-f3.4 aperture
range, two (one for each eye) 0.25-inch 4.2-megpixel
backside illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensors,
and two Bionz image processors.

It will record still images in up to 7.1-megapixel JPEGs
at a 4:3 aspect ratio or 5.3-megapixel JPEGs at a 16:9
aspect ratio.

The DEV-5 (shipping in November at a $1,999 suggested
retail) steps up to a 10x optical/10x digital zoom
lens (for a total of 20x magnification), large eyecup, neck
strap, carrying case and built-in GPS geo-tagging function
for both photos and videos.

Both “binocu-corders” record still images and video
clips to either MemoryStick or SD cards and weigh approximately
38 ounces, excluding battery. Video is captured
in 60p and 3D, fully utilizing the new AVCHD 3D
progressive specification announced July 1, Sony said.

Sony said the products will target both occupational
and recreational markets.

Occupational applications could include marine or security
uses, while recreational applications could include
viewing sporting events, hunting, bird watching, etc.

Because binoculars are stereoscopic by nature, they
were easily adapted to 3D image capture, Sony explained,
and offer compelling 3D shooting options for
each of the targeted uses.

A dial controls manual settings for exposure, focus,
shutter speed and white balance.

Both models include HDMI outputs to enable playback
of recorded files on an HDTV or 3D HDTV.

The products include an external mic jack, mini HDMI
jack, AVR jack, USB port and DC input. A tripod mount
is accommodated on the bottom of the units. The battery
compartment is large enough to accommodate an optional
after-market extended life lithium-ion battery back
(FV-100), although the units ship with a FV-70 (3.5 hours
per charge) power source.

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