Sony will begin selling its smallest yet digital video camcorder in October, the company confirmed this morning.

The camera, the DCR-IP1K – which is not much larger than a deck of playing cards – measures 39-x-69-x-91 millimetres and weighs just 230 grams.

The device is based on the MicroMV cassette format, a physically smaller cassette than the MiniDV cassette.

"The size reduction (compared to the IP7) is because the main components are smaller including the lens, circuit board and cassette mechanism," said Aki Shimazu, a spokeswoman for Sony in Tokyo.

Space is also saved by shifting some of the connectors usually found on a camcorder onto a new base station. This has a power connector and S-Video connector, which are also on the camcorder, plus a USB (Universal Serial Bus) and iLink (FireWire) interface, Sony said.

The device uses a 1.1 megapixel sensor, of which 1 million pixels are used in still picture mode and 690,000 pixels in video mode, compared to a 0.3 megapixel sensor on the company's smallest previous-generation digital video camera. The camcorder can record still images up to a maximum resolution of 1,152-x-864 pixels, the company said.

A Memory Stick Duo slot is built into the camera for still-image storage and the camera also supports the new PictBridge standard, Sony said. This means it can print images directly to PictBridge compatible printers without the need for a personal computer.

Other features include a 10x optical zoom lens and 2-inch touch-panel display for operating the camera. The camera uses Sony's F-series Lithium Ion batteries and the largest battery provides enough power for 170 minutes of use, the company said.

The camera goes on sale in Japan October 18 for ¥160,000 ($1,380). Sony said it plans to put the camcorder on sale around the world at around the same time.