By April 11, 2008

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam preview video (exclusive)

Last week Sony announced their newest HD camcorder, the HDR-TG3E Handycam, the Worlds smallest digital HD camcorder.

Today Sony sent me the retail version of the TG3 to have a look at and, according to them, we are the first to get our hands on this puppy!

Unfortunately, due to the long queue of people waiting to review the HDR-TG3E, we only get to keep the Handycam for a few days so there wont be an detailed review from us this time. We do have our unboxing video though and I’ll be letting you know what I think of the camera too. Hopefully we’ll get our hands on another TG3 so that we can do a full review at a later date.

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam unboxed

First impressions are that this is an amazingly small and light camcorder. The size and weight isn’t achieved at the expense of build quality either as the TG3 looks and feels very solid, probably thanks to the chassis being made from titanium.

I also like the fact that so much is included in the package. In fact the box contains everything you need to get up and running, including a 4GB MSProDuo card. It’s quite unusual for media to be included in a camcorder package.

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam

Setting up and using the TG3 for the first time is straight forward thanks to the intuitive touch screen menus. It’s simply a case of setting up the date and time and then choosing the shooting mode. Once you have inserted the memory card you are ready to start filming. Even if you have never used a video camera before I’m pretty confident that you’ll be able to use the basic features of the TG3 without having to read the user guide.

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam controls

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam controls

The controls on the TG3 are well laid out, the most important ones sitting with in easy reach of your thumb while shooting. In fact there are not that many buttons or controls on the TG3, most of the settings and functions are accessed through the touch-screen.

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam front view

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam front view

The TG3 isn’t just for videos though, you can take digital still pictures too and there’s even a built in flash on the front of the camera. Another thing that’s nice about the TG3 is that you can take a still picture while you are recording a video. If you choose to do this then the image is captured at 2.3 megapixels. However, if you are in still image mode that is increased to 3 megapixels – not a huge number, but adequate.

One thing to be aware of with the flash though is that it is so close to the camera lens that red-eye and dust orbs are likely to be more of an issue than normal.

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam connectors

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam connectors

The TG3 has a range of connectors that should cover almost every application. The AV connector covers composite video/audio and also component video. A USB connector allows you to hook the TG3 up to a PC or Mac in order to download and edit your videos. Under a cover on the back you can find an HDMI socket so you can plug directly into a HD TV and play back your HD videos. The HDMI cable is the only one not included in the box.

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam bottom view

Sony HDR-TG3E Handycam bottom view

There’s also a special connector on the bottom of the camera for the docking station (which is also included in the package). The docking station replicates the power, AV and USB connections from the camcorder but not the HDMI.

A final word (for now) on the video quality. I recorded a few sample clips in low-light conditions last night and I’m very impressed how well the TG3 performs. Playing back the video on my 50″ HD Plasma TV the results are fabulous and despite the video being a digital format, requiring compression, there are no obvious compression artefacts.

As the camera uses no moving parts for recording there’s no tape or DVD motor noise on the playback and it also means that recording is silent.

In all the TG3 is a great camcorder, small in size but not at all small in features.

Sample video and images as well as some answers to your questions can be found in this post.

Posted by: Matt

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Posted in: Videos/Unboxings

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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