Sony Flips Its Wig with High-Priced Camcorder

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


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Sony is aiming the HDR-TG5V HD camcorder at a market dominated by Flip, the company recently acquired by Cisco Systems. Can Sony usurp Flip's dominance with a device that costs 10 times more?

Camcorders from Flip have quickly come to dominate the YouTube tribe. It’s easy to see why; some of Flip’s devices retail for as little as $99 and are very easy to use. Of course, Sony wants some of that market and has introduced the HDR-TG5V camcorder, which is Flip sized and almost as easy to use—but the real kicker here is that Sony expects to get a grand for those little gems.

Naturally, Sony has gone top shelf with the HDR-TG5V—the unit shoots 1080p high-definition video, takes 4-megapixel photos and has 16GB of internal memory—enough for 6 hours of hi-def video. The company also went with Carl Zeiss optics featuring a 10X optical zoom, top of the line indeed.

But, at $999, the unit is priced out of the very market the device is aimed at, the YouTube crowd, consisting of mostly of amateur videographers with small budgets (or allowances).

That market is better served by the low-cost offerings from Flip, DXG and APtech, all of whom offer higher-end devices that do what the Sony HDR-TG5V does at a fraction of the cost. But, those looking for the very best, and where money is no object, the HDR-TG5V is the camcorder to have.

For those looking to save a few bucks, the Flip Ultra for $149 should do the trick, or they may want to consider the DXG-595V for under $180, which offers a 5X optical zoom and most of the features found on the pricy Sony.


Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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