CES 2008: Ready for Your Close-Up

The first camcorders with face detection keep the stars in focus

Photographers have it easy: They need to catch their subjects looking great for only a split second. Videographers have to capture a good-looking scene for several minutes. Sony helps them out by equipping its newest camcorders with face detection, which finds up to eight mugs and continually adjusts the focus, exposure and color to optimize their appearance.

Still cameras have had face detection for three years, and Sony's models are among the best. To bring that capability to video, Sony re-engineered its still-camera image processor for camcorders and wrote updated software that allows it to track faces, even in profile, at a blistering 30 frames per second.

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