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Sony Unveils High-End HD Camcorder

San Diego — Sony introduced another HD camcorder today, targeting pro-sumers and advanced amateurs.

The $3,500 HDR-FX7 is a 1,080i HDV model with a three-chip ClearVID CMOS sensor, which Sony said offers improved data transfer rates and low power consumption. The FX7 is smaller and lighter than the company’s first high-end HDV model.

The FX7 sports a 3.5-inch swivel screen LCD, and a 20x optical Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with image stabilization. A new digital extender function allows the camcorder to magnify video footage by 1.5 times for the effect of a 30x optical zoom “without significant degradation” of video quality, Sony said.

The camcorder features a smooth slow record function which captures a six-second burst of video and plays it back in 24 seconds as slow motion video. It can also snap 1.2-megapixel stills while shooting video.

The FX7 has manual controls for zoom, focus, shutter speed, white balance, iris, and gain and can record for up to eight hours using Sony’s L-series InfoLithium battery.

The HDR-FX7 will ship in October.