Camcorders Are Red Hot at CES 2009

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Sony Enters the Pocket-Camcorder Ring

Sony announced no fewer than 15 new Handycam camcorders at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today, but the big-name additions were part of a new line of easy-to-use, pocketable, YouTube-friendly camcorders that looks to be Sony's answer to the Flip Mino HD.

Sony MHS-CM1 Webbie HD camcorder

The company calls the new models "Webbie HD" camcorders, and two well-priced versions with some nice features will be available in 2009.

The $200 MHS-CM1 Webbie HD (pictured above), available immediately, has a miniature, camcorder-like shape and offers a 5X optical zoom, 5-megapixel stills, a MemoryStick slot, a 2.5-inch LCD screen, and Sony's Picture Motion Browser software embedded in the camcorder for clip management and easy uploads.

The slightly more compact MHS-PM1 Webbie HD ($170, available in March), pictured below, is "about the size of a BlackBerry," according to Sony. It offers a swiveling lens, captures 5-megapixel stills, and has Picture Motion Browser and a MemoryStick slot.

Sony MHS-PM1 Webbie HD camcorder

Both Webbie HD camcorders record high-definition MPEG-4 (H.264) video, and are available in silver, orange, and the goes-with-anything eggplant.

Earlier at CES, Kodak also announced a new high-definition pocket camcorder--the Kodak Zx1--and Panasonic announced two standard-definition ultraportable camcorders.

For more product news, see our complete coverage of CES 2009.

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