Courting the growing legion of "YouTubers" and other video Web site junkies, Sony announced its Net-sharing Cam, a flash-based video recorder with built-in software for uploading to a variety of video sites and blogs.
The NSC-GC1 won't carry Sony's traditional Handycam brand to differentiate it from the traditional camcorder category, said Kelly Davis, product marketing director, Sony. "We consider this a whole new category," she said.
The Memory Stick-based device records MPEG-4 video at VGA resolution of 30 fps and snaps 5-megapixel still images. A dedicated "sharemark" button lets users tag video for uploading after they've been transferred to a computer.
The camcorder is loaded with PMP Portable software, which runs when the GC1 is connected to a computer. Tagged videos are then automatically uploaded to the Web and users can program the software to upload videos to multiple video sites or personal blogs.
Sony has inked a deal with the video site Crackle, which will allow GC1 users to send video directly into their Crackle accounts when the camcorder is connected. Sony is currently negotiating deals to integrate other video sites into the software, a spokesperson said.
The camera will also ship with Picture Motion Browser desktop software for video editing and additional software for turning the Net-sharing Cam into a Web camera.
The GC1 sports a 2.4-inch color LCD, built-in flash, fixed focal length lens with a 4x digital zoom and takes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to roughly 90 minutes of recording.
The video recorder will ship in September for an estimated $200.
According to Sony, the demographic of the Net Cam user is likely to be a young male under 34 years old. Davis said that online video uploaders are passionate users, often visiting video sites daily and frequently uploading a number of their own video.