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Sony Bows Megapixel C’corder

Sony unveiled what it called the first digital camcorder with megapixel still image capability.

The DCR-PC100 will be available in October at a $2,199 suggested retail price. Although the Digital Handycam uses the mini DV tape format for digital video recording, it gets around the bandwidth limitations of the format by including Sony’s Memory Stick removable media storage format to capture

digital still images with resolution levels up to 1,152 x 864 pixels. Video is recorded separately onto DV tape, affording up to 520 horizontal lines of resolution.

A 4MB Memory Stick, which is capable of holding 18 megapixel shots at one time, is supplied with the camcorder. An optional Memory Stick with up to 64MB ($189.95, December) capacity will store up to 304 megapixel images, Sony said. The DCR-PC100 offers users the ability to store still images in Super Fine (megapixel) Fine or Standard (VGA, 640×480) compression modes. The lower the resolution level, the more images the camcorder can store on a Memory Stick at one time.

Like other mini DV models in the Digital Handycam line, the DCR-PC100 uses Carl Zeiss optics.

The zoom lens offers a range of up to 10x optical, 120x digital. Sony employs a new Advanced HAD 1/4″ CCD imager. The camcorder measures 2 1/2″ x 5″ x 4 7/8″ and weighs 1 pound, 3 ounces

Features include Sony’s package of Worry-Free amenities including: InfoLithium battery and AccuPower system; NightShot infrared system; LaserLink wireless transmission system; Steadyshot picture stabilization; and i.LINK (IEEE-1394) digital interface.

Sony offers a variety of ways to transfer or view stills using a PC, printer or television set.

The new Memory Stick PC card adapter (MSAC-PC2) transfers high-resolution still images to a notebook computer in seconds (approximately 450 KByte/s write, 880 KByte/s read speeds).

The new Memory Stick floppy disk adapter (MSAC-FD1A) facilitates easy image transfer to a desktop PC. The supplied serial port interface (RS-232C) also connects the DCR-PC100 to a desktop PC.