“Don’t we have projector cams already?” you might ask, of that species of camera that also projects images onto a screen. Actually, yes, Nikon has already claimed “the world’s first” of the kind, with one of their Coolpix models that turned out rather disappointing, as the makers seemed to have focused more on the projector than ensuring quality images to begin with. All Sony’s done with the new “HDR-PJ50” (released this June) is to include a few tweaks and upgrades: a 220GB hard disk drive, 12x optical zoom with an additional 17x extended zoom, and full-HD (1920x1080 pixel) videos.
A “zoom microphone” lets you capture better audio with the videos you shoot, while something called “Advanced Wind Noise Reduction” cuts out (or, at least, reduces) ambient noise and interference, and yes – there’s Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, with built-in clear phase stereo speakers. Sony’s thrown in an optical anti-shake “SteadyShot” feature too, to counter wobbly movements, if you’re ever inclined to embark on your own Blair Witch project. They’ve also been sure to up the contrast levels – though you’re still urged to turn down the lights – for the images (and videos), which are up to 60 inches (diagonal) wide, and projected at distances of about three metres.
No additional wires, cables, computer or TV screen required – in fact, as Sony puts it, all you need is a tablecloth, a whitewashed wall or ceiling, or even a (preferably tubby) friend’s T-shirt, to rig up a screening. As for the basics: this is just a 7.1 MP digital still camera – more like a tourist cam that helps you make friends.
R59,990. Visit www.sony.co.in.
By Jaideep Sen on July 21 2011 6.30pm