Sony has announced the launch of the HDR-CX520VE, the world's first camcorder to reduce camera shake in three directions during filming.

Sony claims that the Optical SteadyShot Active Mode gives up to 10 times less camera shake than previous systems, allowing you to pitch, roll and yaw about as if you'd had a couple too many G&Ts.

It also says that the Full HD camcorder, which saves AVCHD footage to 64GB of Flash memory, features its 'best ever' picture quality.

Exmor R sensor

That's probably down to the 6.6MP, 1/2.8-inch Exmor R CMOS sensor, first seen in the eerily similar HDR-XR520 (home to a 240GB hard drive instead of Flash storage). If it's anything like its older sibling, the benefits of such a back-illuminated sensor will be particularly visible in low light shots.

Like the XR520, the CX520 comes with built-in GPS, a touchscreen, Face Detection, Smile Shutter and is fronted by a 12x Sony G lens. A cheaper little brother, the HDR-CX505VE, will ship with 32GB of memory.

The Handycam HDR-CX520VE and HDR-CX505VE will be available from August 2009, price to follow.