Sony this week unveiled its flagship high-definition camcorders - the HDR-HC7E and HDR-HC5E.

The MiniDV camcorders are successors to Sony's highly popular HC1 and HC3. MiniDV can capture footage of a far higher quality than hard drive or DVD, making it the format of choice for the more serious home video maker.

The HDR-HC7E packs a 0.59-inch CMOS Sensor, using Sony's new ClearVid technology to reduce noise and improve quality on the footage. It also captures still images at 6.1-megapixels, even while recording.

Its sibling model, the HDR-HC5E, also features a 0.59-inch CMOS Sensor and ClearVid. It snaps stills while recording too, this time at 4-megapixels resolution.

Both camcorders come loaded with features Sony hopes will help your film-making. They comes with Carl Zeiss 10x optical zoom lenses and feature optical image stabilisers to compensate for an unsteady hand while filming.

Billions of colours

The HDR-HC7E and HDR-HC5E also feature xvColour, Sony's version of the XvYCC colour palette which promises almost twice as many colours as the RGB palette we have now. With hues now counted in their billions, xvColour should enable much more realistic images to be presented on-screen, although you'll need to own a high def TV to see the at their best.

Other features the camcorders share are a 2.7-inch touchscreen LCD, 123K colour viewfinder, HDMI and iLink (FireWire) sockets.

The HDR-HC7E and HDR-HC5E are on sale now, priced approximately £900 and £700 respectively.