Getting Blue in the Tooth

Just when we thought we had the video camera nailed, Sony has revamped digital video (again) with the Network Handycam IP.

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By  Kate Concannon Published  September 9, 2001

Just when we thought we had the digital video camera nailed for the moment, Sony has come right back at us. It’s declined to follow suit by placing a wager in the DVD format stakes with a DVD recording media camera, as Hitachi’s recent play of a DVD-RAM video camera may have encouraged manufacturers.

No, no: Sony’s gone straight for the jugular with the Network Handycam IP. The Handycam has been suped-up with both a new recording media and a tribute to Scandinavia’s Viking king, Bluetooth.

The new recording media, MICROMV, records MPREG format at a data transfer rate of 12Mbps. With a recording time of 60 minutes, the MICROMV produces image quality equivalent to MiniDV whilst reducing media size to less than a third, which in turn allows for a smaller, more compact camera.

Bluetooth functionality allows users to access the Internet either through a Bluetooth compatible modem (BTA-NW1 — sold separately) or through a Bluetooth compatible phone.

Users can also make use of the Memory Stick to exchange stored data, or edit and browse a digital album posted on a website without need of a PC — images (JPEG), video (MPEG1) and text can be sent and received from the Handycam.

Sony has stuck to the Carl Zeiss lens — it knows when it’s onto something better than good — but the CCD is a little disappointing.

At only 668K pixels, consumers may be lured back towards the TRV series, which more than doubles that figure. Nonetheless, the Network Handycam’s IP petite little frame (only 310gm) and cordless freedom will surely win hearts.

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