AVCHD, the new recording format from Sony and Panasonic for saving HD video to 8-centimeter mini DVDs, is making its first appearance in Sony's new HDR-UX1 upper-class consumer cam. For the most part the camera mirrors its SD siblings, with a side mounted disc drive, sizable 3.5-inch fold-out LCD, 4 megapixel stills and 2.3 megapixel shots while recording video. The snazz here is that the new AVCHD cam uses dual-layer mini DVD-R discs, making room for a full hour of 1080i video. The HDR-SR1 mirrors the functions of its UX1 brother, but replaces the DVD drive for a 30GB HDD, but still manages long recording times with the AVCHD codec. Both cameras have a mic inputs and manual focus rings, making them more appealing to the discerning prosumer than most Sony cams of late. Of course, all this new format action and prosumer appeal comes at a price: the HDR-UX1 should drop in September for around $1,400, while the HDR-SR1 should appear in October for $1,500.

[Via Camcorder Info]

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Sony unveils HD options with HDR-UX1 AVCHD cam alongside HDD unit