June 27, 2008 Billed as the world's first high-definition camcorder with both "Smile Shutter" and face detection technologies, Sony's HDR-CX12 Memory Stick Handycam camcorder automatically takes a 10 megapixel still photo when it encounters a smiling face - even when in standby mode. Due for release in August at an estimated price point of USD$900, the compact 2.8" x 5.3" x 2.8" camera records full 1920 x 1080 HD video onto Memory Stick PRO Duo™ and Memory Stick PRO Duo (Mark2) media cards and boasts a Carl Zeiss 12x optical zoom lens, a built-in zoom microphone with Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround and image stabilization.
The automatic image capture capabilities also extend to "child and adult prioritization" enabling the user to target a particular subject group - as long as they are smiling.
Additional key specs include ClearVid CMOS sensor, a BIONZ imaging processor, a 2.7-inch LCD and manual override of focus, brightness and white balance.
The HDR-CX12 camcorder (HDR-CX11E in Europe) will be bundled with a 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo (Mark2) media card when it hits shelves in early August. Sony will begin taking pre-orders online on June 20th.