Sony Camcorders Join Panasonic in offering face detection

Shortly after Panasonic's announcement, Sony declared that its new models will also have face detection—so the camcorder stays focused on subjects even as they move around. Sony's face-finding models—the high-def HDR-UX20, UX10, SR12, SR11, and SR10 and standard-def DCR-SR220, SR85 and DVD910—track up to eight faces and optimize not only focus but also color and light exposure. And when they compress the video for storage, they allocate more digital bits to the subjects' mugs, so they come out looking sharper. Sony's still cameras with face-detection are very adept at locking on the kisser, and the same Bionz image processor tech is now in the camcorders, so results should be good. In a very quick test, a preproduction model found up to four faces (the most I could get in a frame), even those in profile.

PopSci is covering the HDR-UX20 in its February issue, for a sneak peek, click here.—Sean Captain

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