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Sony’s Compact HD Camcorder Targets Travelers

San Diego — Sony unveiled Thursday a compact, easy-to-use high-definition camcorder designed for travelers.

The HDR-TG5V Handycam, which ships in May for a $1,000 suggested retail, will capture high-definition images in a range of resolution levels, including FullHD 1,920 by 1080p, and takes 4-megapixel digital still photos.

File storage is accommodated by 16GB of internal flash memory, a portion of which is used for data management. Additional features include an embedded GPS function to give a geographical reference for where images were taken, and a minimal button layout.

The TG5V also includes a new intuitive user interface for the touch-panel LCD.

“This new model has a titanium body with a premium hard coating enhancing durability and it’s packed with high-performance features — like GPS and Smile Shutter technology — that deliver the best combination for your travel experiences,” stated Kelly Davis, Sony Electronics camcorder marketing director.

The built-in GPS antenna and Navteq digital maps will geo-tag videos and photos to help document destinations on a map.

Geo-tagged content is marked by a push pin at each shot location and can be played back on the camcorder map index display on the 2.7-inch-wide LCD touchpanel.

The feature can also be used on a PC with provided Picture Motion Browser software.

The 16GB of internal memory will store up to six hours of HD video in LP mode. A Memory Stick PRO Duo slot is provided for additional memory, if required.

Sony has added a new graphical user interface that will enable users to personalize menus for easy operation and to quickly sort through captured content.

A smile-shutter function enables the camera portion of the unit to automatically snap quality photos of traveling companions when they smile, even while recording video at the same time.

A face-detection autofocus system ensures subjects faces are have the correct focus, exposure and color settings.

The camcorder employs a Bionz image processor that works with an Exmor CMOS sensor. The lens features professional-quality Carl Zeiss Vaio-Tessar optics with 10X optical zoom.

A built-in flash is offered for still image shooting in low-light situations.

For an extra $100 Sony offers an optional travel kit for the HDR-TG5V (Sony ACC-TCH5) including a battery, travel charger and pouch. Sony will also offer a wide-angle conversion lens (Sony VCL-HGE07TB) for a $100 suggested retail.