The big development in video recording for 2009 will be affordable HD. Even though 2008 brought us a couple of decent and affordable pocket HD camcorders, most major consumer electronics players are working hard on their own lineup of HD snappers.
The Sony Webbie HD is camcorder made to look like most “normal” video camcorders on the market. The unit features a 2.5″ swivel LCD monitor, a 5 megapixel imaging chip and even a 5x optical zoom.
Recordings are made on Memory stick PRO Duo media (not included), and the quality can reach as high as 1440×1080 in 30 frames per second, which is substantially higher than other pocket HD camcorders in this price range.
The camera has a built in lithium-ion battery pack, suitable for up to 85 minutes of recordings, which is a little on the short side in my opinion.
Included in the box is an AC adapter, USB cable and video cables for HD and SD quality playback.
At $199 this thing is a real bargain, and I’ve been told that they are already showing up in Sony stores at your local mall, or directly from Sonystyle.com.
Later this year, Sony will be releasing a cheaper (and smaller) version of the Webbie, with a 2″ screen and a rotating camera lens. This cheaper Webbie also loses the optical zoom found on its big brother.