Canon's HV10 camcorder: HD stays in the picture

Not content to offer high-def camcorders only to professionals and "prosumers," Canon today announced its HV10 cam, a lightweight, consumer-friendly HD model that captures video in the 1080i format to HDV tapes. Giving Sony's HDR-HC3 high-def Handycam a run for its money, the HV10 has a 0.37-inch CMOS image sensor, which the company describes as "Full HD," at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. We don't know if that means the effective resolution is better than Sony's, which maxes out at 1,440 x 1,080 pixels, but that seems to be what the company's implying. Other features given much hullabaloo: the Instant Auto Focus, whose greater speed and accuracy over typical autofocus systems is said to be "dramatic," and Super-Range Optical Image Stabilization. Yep, optical image stabilization, which tends to be more effective than the electronic variety. And, yeah, it'll also snap 3.1-megapixel still pictures and store them on a Mini-SD card, but you want this cam so your home movies will look as good on your 103-inch plasma TV as HDTV broadcasts, not its limited still-pic abilities. The HV10 goes on sale in September for the rather-impressive-for-the-category price of $1,300.