Sony puts new camcorder in focus

Digital video can be converted to MPEGs for email attachments

Sony unveiled on Thursday a mini-camcorder that makes it easier for people to email video clips. The DCR-PC9 Mini DV Handycam digital camcorder will be available in stores in June for about $1,300.

The DCR-PC9 joins the growing digital camcorder market, which makes up about 30 percent of the overall camcorder market, according to market researcher IDC. In 2000, 5.7 million camcorders were sold in the United States.

The unit's key feature is its ability to convert digital video to the MPEG format, allowing video buffs to download video clips and attach them to emails.

"This is a smart move on Sony's part because it saves user processing time, making it convenient -- which is what consumers are always looking for," Future Image analyst Paul Worthington said.

The DCR-PC9 weighs one pound and one ounce -- four ounces less than predecessor DCR-PC5. It also offers 30 percent longer battery life than the DCR-PC5, which translates to 115 minutes of record time.

The DCR-PC9 comes with a touch screen for its 2.5in LCD viewfinder and a 10x optical and 120x digital zoom. It also has a USB connection for fast video downloads to PCs, as well as a FireWire (IEEE 1394) connection for two-way communications between the camcorder and a TV or PC.

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