Sony's HDR-FX1E is the world's first high-definition video camcorder designed for home users.

It offers sufficient picture quality to play video back on 50-inch TV screens.

The camcorder features a new a 1/3-inch 1.12 megapixel x3 CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) with a wide megapixel configuration making a 16:9 aspect possible.

Sony claims that 16:9 is very close to the performance of the human eye, so the picture quality gives a "truly realistic impression".

Each CCD captures RGB (red/green/blue) luminance, so the colour reproduction is much stronger than a single CCD chip, Sony explains.

Boasting a 12x optical zoom and an optical image stabiliser the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens delivers high optical performance, reduces chromatic aberration colour distortion in an image produced by a lens, caused by the inability of the lens to bring the various colors of light to focus at a single point and ensures high resolution, according to Sony. It delivers high contrast and excellent colour reproduction, as well as capturing real light quality they claim.

As the camera can record HDV picture quality onto current DV tapes, users can use a standard DV camera tape, and have the same recording time available on it, says Sony. It is possible to convert the material from 1080i down to 576i, so it can be viewed on a normal TV with high picture quality.

Sony aims to produce a high definition Handycam for the home market next.