Long the bane of many amateur photographers is that one important ingredient in a photograph that sometimes goes missing; the smile. Sony’s latest handycam offering helps out with what the Japanese manufacturer calls Smile Shutter and Face Detection technology.

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The HDR-CX12 detects smiles during a video recording and automatically takes a still image, saving you the hassle of trying to get a happy snap, especially useful for recalcitrant kids who make a fuss having their picture taken.

The smile sensitivity and smile priority settings allow you to customise the level of smile detection and subject focus. In addition, Face Detection Technology has been incorporated for both video and still photos, identifying up to eight faces in the camcorder’s LCD frame. It automatically allocates more pixels to a detected face during the AVCHD encoding process, optimising focus, exposure and colour for natural looking skin tones.

This new model – which records straight to Memory Stick – delivers 1920×1080 Full HD recording and 10.2 megapixel still image quality. It integrates Sony’s ClearVid CMOS Image sensor with Exmor-derived technology and the BIONZ image processing engine to ensure vivid movies and photos with high sensitivity and low noise.

Recording up to 240 fields per second, Smooth Slow Recording allows users to capture a three second video as a smooth 12-second slow-motion video. Equipped with the Dual Recording function, the multi-tasking CX12 can also take 7.6 megapixel, high-resolution still images while recording HD video. In addition, the Optical SteadyShot feature allows users to shoot blur-free videos without any deterioration in image quality.



An in-built zoom microphone focuses on sound capture by enabling the recording volume to increase as the user zooms in on the desired object, ensuring audio clarity in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. By employing an optional wireless microphone, users can also record distant sound with accuracy, even in busy or far-away locations.

With the BRAVIA Sync feature, videos and photos can be directly viewed in HD on any compatible BRAVIA LCD TV by connecting both devices with a HDMI cable and using the BRAVIA remote control.

It also has Easy PC back-up function for backup of Memory Stick data to a notebook or PC. The hassle-free One Touch Burn allows for videos and photos to be easily replicated on AVCHD discs and DVDs with the press of a button on the supplied Handycam Station. In addition, the user-friendly disc burning function ensures that only new footage is automatically transferred to DVD and excludes data that was previously transferred.


$1,699 August

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