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Three new Sony Handycam models are about to make their way from the factory assembly line to the shelves of our store: the DCR-SX45, DCR-SX65, and the DCR-SX85. Each model features a 3" touch-screen display (the previous generations had smaller screens that lacked touch control), and lots of new functions and features that make using these cameras easier than ever. Check out this post to get the skinny on these powerful and affordable handheld video cameras.
First, let's look at the useful features that these cameras all share. For starters, Sony has simplified the process of turning the camera on. All you need to do is swing open the LCD and it will power up. You don't need to worry about taking the lens cover off (or putting it back on) because this also happens automatically. Each one of these cameras has a built-in video light for shooting in very low light, as well as a built-in USB cable for connecting it to another device.
When you think about camcorders that record video directly to flash memory like SD cards, you usually assume the next step in the process is connecting it to a computer to transfer the footage. This old workflow is an option when using these cameras, but Sony has come up with a new way to transfer the recorded video footage without the need of a computer. It's a feature called Direct Copy, and it allows you to attach an external hard drive directly to the camera to transfer files. This can be a useful way to back up and store footage when shooting in the field, without having to fuss with a laptop.
Like most video cameras, the DCR-SX series cameras come with an A/V output jack with video, audio and remote-control connections. This jack provides a handy way to preview footage from the camera on a TV set. What's interesting with the DCR-SX cameras is that you can use the Direct Copy feature in reverse. You can load up a hard drive with videos, connect it to the camera with the Direct Copy feature, and use the A/V jack to watch the stored videos on a TV. This makes the camera do double duty as an entertainment hub.
Along with those interesting new features, there are lots of cornerstone capabilities in these cameras that people have come to expect in camcorders. They all have a 60x optical zoom with a 70x digital extension, a sharp Carl Zeiss lens, Sony's SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode that gives you a steadier shot when moving, and in low light, a mode called Intelligent Auto which analyzes what's being shot and automatically selects the best settings for you. Of course, Face Detection will keep your subjects' faces in focus.
These new cameras share many similarities, but the main difference between them is memory. The DCR-SX45 has no built-in storage, so it requires an SD card (SDHC compatible) or a Memory Stick Duo card to record video. The DCR-SX65 and DCR-SX85 utilize the same memory cards, but they have built-in storage as well. The DCR-SX65 has 4GB of built-in memory, while the DCR-SX85 has 16GB.
All three models shoot full color Standard-Definition video, and they come in different colors too. The DCR-SX45 is available in black, silver and blue, while the DCR-SX65 is available in black, silver, blue, and red. Thanks for checking out this B&H Insights article! If you have any questions about these new camcorders, we encourage you to post them in the Comments section below.