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Sony Unveils 3-Megapixel Camcorder

San Diego — Sony introduced the 3-megapixel successor to its DC-PC330 today with the announcement of the DC-PC350 MiniDV Handycam camcorder.

The vertical unit, which is 20 percent smaller than its predecessor, features a single 3.31-megapixel CCD for capturing still images at a resolution as high as 2,016 by 1,512 and for recording video at 530 lines of resolution.

The camcorder can also capture VGA and 1,600-by-1,200 stills to Memory Stick PRO Duo flash memory cards. A 16MB card is included with the camcorder, as well as Sony’s Handycam Station, a cradle for charging the unit’s battery and/or connecting it to a TV or PC.

The Handycam Station features an S-video input, an audio/video terminal, a USB 1.1 port and an i.LINK (IEEE-1394) digital interface for connecting to compatible PCs.

The model offers several upgrades and new features from its predecessor. A new cinematic effect mode automatically engages the unit’s progressive and 16:9 wide modes, capturing video at 30 frames per second and creating what camcorder product director Linda Vuolo described as a “film-like look” to the video.

The PC350 offers an enhanced primary color filter that employs a new image processing technique for converting brightness more naturally, especially indoors in fluorescent lighting, Vuolo said.

Sony also added a zoom control on its 2.5-inch swivel LCD screen, for shooting at difficult angles, Voulo said.

The PC-350 also features automatic and manual exposure control for video or stills, including a manually initiated zebra-metering mode to detect overexposed video, a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with 10x Optical/120x digital zoom, and Super NightShot Plus 0 Lux Recording system for shooting in low or no light environments.

The DC-PC350 will be ship in September for approximately $1,300.