Sony's new HDR-PJ series of HD camcorders have something unique—built-in video projectors. The three "projector" camcorders, which include models HDR-PJ50V, HDR-PJ30V, and HDR-PJ10, have projectors built into the back of their 3-inch LCD. The built-in projectors are capable of displaying images up to 60 inches away onto screens, walls, ceilings, or whatever surface you can imagine.
In addition to the built-in projector feature, all the HDR-PJ camcorders have touchscreen LCDs, 12x optical zoom lenses, mic and headphone jacks, and built-in USB cables. The camcorders have 1/4-inch CMOS sensors, optical SteadyShot image stabilization, and an improved built-in speaker system with an S-Master digital amplifier.
As is the case on a number of new Sony camcorders in 2011, the HDR-PJ50V, HDR-PJ30V, and HDR-PJ10 can record 1080/60p video with a new original compression format. We previously saw 1080/60p recording on the Panasonic HDC-TM700 last year, but Sony's crop of 2011 camcorders is the first we've seen of this feature on Sony camcorders. The 1080/60p record mode uses a 28Mbps bitrate for recording MPEG-4 video.
Another new frame rate option on the HDR-PJ camcorders is a 24p record mode, which is also found on numerous other new Sony products. The 24p record mode uses AVCHD compression, just like the camcorder's regular 60i record modes. The HDR-PJ series also allows for standard definition recording as well.
All three of these camcorders have some type of internal recording media, but each has a different amount. The HDR-PJ50V has a big, 220GB internal hard drive, while the HDR-PJ30V and HDR-PJ10 contain 32GB and 16GB of flash memory respectively. All of the models have a versatile memory card slot that works with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
The PJ50V will be available in April for around $1000. The PJ30V is expected to arrive in March and retail for about $950. The HDR-PJ10, which lacks the GPS tagging feature found on the PJ50V and PJ30V, will also be available March for around $700.