Sony's 1080p camcorder HDR-UX20 looks chubby but awesome

So it records 1080p video and 5.1 Dolby Digital to 8GB of internal memory, a media card of your choosing, or a DVD-R. It has a good Zeiss lens with optical image stabilization. It records to MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 with a variable bitrate and apparently assigns more data to faces by detecting them and altering the regional encoding for that area.

So what’s the catch? Not really the price; $1000 is what they’re asking, and there’s a slightly toned-down version for $800. Considering what you’re getting, that’s a pretty decent deal. It kind of looks like a hippopotamus, probably because of the DVD writer. I personally could do without that thing — I’m more a flash kind of guy — but a lot of people like to edit on the camera and burn it right there, I guess (barf). I’ll look into whether there’s a flash-only version, and also whether it will do 24p or at least some passable imitation.

Sony HDR-UX20 [Let’s Go Digital]