Sony's New Camcorder Takes Photos of Smiling Faces during Video Shooting

Jun 20, 2008
Yukiko Kanoh, Nikkei Electronics
The HDR-CX12
The HDR-CX12
[Click to enlarge image]

Sony Corp will release "HDR-CX12," a compact camcorder whose "Smile Shutter" function detects smiling people and automatically take still photos of them while shooting video.

The camcorder can take still pictures with a resolution of up to 7.6 Mpixels when shooting video. It is also equipped with a function to prioritize smiling child or adult subjects by automatically distinguishing between them.

The camcorder can even judge the level of the smiles of subjects. It is slated for launch July 20, 2008, as a new model in the "Handycam" series. The expected market price is about ¥130,000 (US$1,205), although there is no manufacturer's suggested retail price.

The HDR-CX12 is capable of shooting 1920 x 1080i HD video. The camcorder supports the AVCHD recording format and the MPEG-4 AVC/H.26 compression standard.

It uses a memory stick for a recording medium. With an 8-Gbyte memory stick bundled with the product, HDTV video can be recorded for about three hours in the "LP mode," whereas a 16-Gbyte memory stick can capture video for about five hours and 55 minutes. In the still mode, the camcorder can shoot pictures with a resolution of up to 10.2 megapixels.

The HDR-CX12 has a 1/3.13-inch "ClearVid CMOS sensor" based on Sony's proprietary "Exmor" technology. The Exmor image sensor employs the column-parallel A/D conversion technique on the CMOS sensor as well as a noise removal circuit for both analog and digital signals. The camcorder uses the "BIONZ" image processing engine.

The HDR-CX12 supports the international standard of wide gamut color space, xvYCC. It is also equipped with an optical image stabilizer. The camcorder offers a 12x optical zoom and a 150x digital zoom while shooting video, and a 12x optical zoom when taking still photos. A 2.7-inch LCD touch panel is used for the display.

The dimensions, including the protrusions, are 69 (W) x 67 (H) x 129mm (D). The main unit weighs approximately 370g.