Yet another example of "Rumors We've Brought You That Didn't Turn Out to Be Complete Bull Plop:" The supposed HDR-HC3 high definition camcorder which we saw a purported user's guide for, and simple drawing of, has in fact been announced by Sony, lending credence to the specs as printed in the manual. At $1700, the new cam will retail for $300 less than its predecessor, the HC1 (although the latter can now be had for around $1600), and improves on some features while seemingly falling short on others. Like the HC1, the HC3 records up to 1080i onto standard mini-DV cassettes in HDV format, but it ups the ante with stills up to four megapixels (and even simultaneous widescreen 2.3 and 4:3 1.7 megapixel stills while shooting video), although it has a lower gross pixel count, no manual focus ring, and we've heard grumblings of a "noisier" picture. Still, the 2.7-inch Clear Photo LCD plus-powered touchscreen display, HDMI output, and relatively compact size (26% smaller than the HC1) may actually help this cam live up to Sony's hype and become the first consumer-oriented HD model to the gain a foothold in the coveted soccer mom demographic upon its April debut.

[Via HDBeat]

Today in Engadget Mobile: February 20, 2006