Sony announced its high-end Handycam camcorder lineup at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today. This year's models largely mirror last year's, with a stronger emphasis on built-in projectors and easier compatibility with accessories.
The flagship camcorder for 2013 is the Handycam HDR-PJ790V (specs). Replacing last year's PJ760V (and by extension the non-projectored CX760V, our Camcorder of the Year in 2012), it has a host of familiar specs like an electronic viewfinder, Balanced Optical SteadyShot stabilization, a 10x optical zoom, 96GB of internal memory, GPS, manual control, 60p/60i/24p frame rates, and more.
But Sony has added several new, advanced features. The built-in projector is much brighter, now bumped up to 35 lumens, and there's an input so that the projector can display video from other devices—not just video from the memory card—through a connector. The 5.1-channel microphone and sound system have also been updated, and a multi-interface shoe, multi terminal, and HDMI (Type D) connector were added as well. It'll be available in early February for a smooth $1,599.
Moving down the lineup, Sony is also introducing the PJ650V (specs) Its key features include a 12x zoom lens, 3-inch LCD, 60p/60i/24p frame rates, 32GB of built-in memory, and GPS. Significant updates over last year's PJ580V include a brighter projector (20 lumens up from 13), an electronic viewfinder, a new stabilization system, a manual dial, and most of the other advanced features new to the PJ790V. It's set to arrive in stores in early February for $1,099.
And then we have the PJ430V (specs) and CX430V (specs). These are 60p/60i/24p shooters with 30x optical zooms, Sony's best optical stabilization system, 16GB of built-in storage, 3-inch LCDs, GPS, and some of the new advanced features including the Advanced Sound System, the multi-interface shoe, multi terminal, and projector input. The PJ430V ($849) has a built in projector, while the CX430V ($699) does not. Both will be available in March.