Sony finally lets you use SD memory on Handycams, freshens up pro shooters with SSDs

Sony has just announced yet another mad plethora of Handycams, this time spreading its back-illuminated Exmor R sensor throughout the whole range. With it comes the ability to expand storage via Memory Stick, SD or SDHC cards, much improved "quick AF" functionality, as well as a six-blade aperture producing a more appealing "bokeh" -- quite an advanced consideration when talking about humble consumer recorders. The flagship XR550V (250GB HDD) and CX550V (64GB SSD) models also feature a wide-angle G lens, 12 megapixel stills, assignable manual control dial, and dedicated mic and headphone inputs. On the professional front, the company is offering the AX2000 and HXR-NX5U, with both recording AVCHD at rates up to 24MBps and producing 1080p footage. A 20x optical zoom is also nice, but for the $3,500 price of the cheaper AX2000, we'd expect nothing less. Check out the source links below for further details, including full pricing and availability.