IFA 2001: We don't normally talk about camcorders here, but this announcement is interesting because of the technology employed. The new tiny 'Network Handycam IP' DCR-IP7 'MICROMV' digital camcorder records digital video onto new MICROMV tapes (which are 30% the volume of a DV tape). The DCR-IP7 can also shoot 640 x 480 JPEG's or MPEG-1 clips onto Memory Stick, even more interesting is that the camcorder supports Bluetooth wireless transfer as well as USB and Firewire (IEEE 1394). This neat little camcorder can also send email and browse the web. Oh yes, and it's 2 x 4 x 3 inches and weighs in at 370 g (13 oz) with battery.

Sony DCR-IP7

Name Sony 'Network Handycam IP' DCR-IP7
Storage MICROMV cassette tape (MGR60 = 60 mins)
CCD 1/6" 680,000 pixel (340,000 pixels used for video capture)
Video type MPEG-2, 12 Mbps
Audio type MPEG-1 Layer 2
Lens 10x, 44 - 440 mm (35 mm equiv.) F1.7 - F2.3
Lens filter 30mm
Stabilisation Digital
Shutter speed 1/4 - 1/750 sec
Still image 640 x 480 (recorded to Memory Stick)
Animation MPEG-1 (recorded to Memory Stick)
Viewfinder EVF (mini LCD)
LCD 2.5" 210,000 pixel
Battery Infolithium F series
Connectivity Bluetooth (wireless), USB, IEEE 1394
Bluetooth comms 723 kbps (~73 KB/sec), max range 10 m (32 ft), 2.4 GHz
Internet functions Send email (MPEG-1 / JPEG from Memory Stick)
Upload picture album
Web browse (up to 30 bookmarks)
Protocols SMTP, POP3, HTML 3.2 (some part of HTML 4.0), Javascript, SSL
Format support (Browser) - GIF, JPEG, PNG
Dimensions 47 x 103 x 80 mm (1.9 x 4.1 x 3.1 in)
Weight with batt 370 g (13 oz)

BTA-NW1 Bluetooth wireless modem (option)

Name BTA-NW1
Bluetooth comms 723 kbps (~73 KB/sec), max range 10 m (32 ft), 2.4 GHz
Connectivity Telephone line (modem)
Power Battery / AC adapter

Press release:

DCR-IP7 - MICROMV makes this the world's smallest camcorder

This is the shooting star in the video recording galaxy: the DCR-IP7 is the smallest and lightest camcorder in the world*. It breaks lots of records with dimensions of only 47 x 103 x 80 mm (W x H x D) and a weight of just 310 g. These specifications are made possible by an innovative storage medium called MICROMV.

This brand-new digital video format employs MPEG2 recording (as does DVD) and stores the data on a cassette that is barely as a large as a postage stamp and thus 70% smaller than a conventional MiniDV cassette. The picture and sound quality achieved by MICROMV compares favorably with that of the MiniDV format. As regards technology, the new DCR-IP7 is, of course, state of the art. It disposes of a first-class Carl Zeiss lens with 10x optical zoom (120x digital), i.LINK (MPEG2 input/output) and a USB interface.

It is also equipped with a cordless Bluetooth interface that gives direct access to the Internet without a PC, typically to send and receive photos and MPEG movies as e-mail attachments, or simply for surfing. The additional hardware requirement consists of a Bluetooth-compatible mobile phone or a Bluetooth fixed-line modem adapter (BTA-NW1).

Websites can be stored on the Memory Stick for reading at your leisure later. The Multi-Picture Search function gives you an overview of up to 11 scenes on the 2.5" color LCD, enabling you to find specific picture sequences easily and quickly. The cassette status display (64 kilobits) is another convenient feature, as is the user-friendly Photo and MPEG Movie AD function (up to 4 minutes and 40 seconds) via the Memory Stick. Last but not least, digital MPEG Audiolayer 2 stereo sound recording enables the DCR-IP7 to deliver excellent sound to accompany the pictures.

  • MICROMV format (MPEG2), data rate up to 12 Mbps
  • 800,000-pixel CCD
  • Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens
  • Bluetooth interface (mobile internet access without PC)
  • Available from November 2001