Sony Handycam GW55VE staves off water and obsolescence

Sony has outed a new digital camcorder, the Handycam GW55VE, offering waterproofing for up to 5m submersion along with Full HD video recording for those not entirely wedded to their 1080p-capable smartphones. The GW55VE pairs a 20.4-megapixel capable Exmor R sensor with optical image stabilization and a 10x optical zoom, plus a 3-inch touchscreen and integrated GPS for geotagging your photos and video.

There's also a new Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode, allowing you to create large photos by holding down the button and panning the Handycam around. Sony uses face and motion detection to avoid moving people and objects from showing up blurred or doubled in the final frame. The same face detection is used for self-portraits.

There are a frankly ridiculous 99 scene presets, happily selected between via an intelligent auto mode, and an Underwater mode for more natural colors when you're splashing around. Storage is courtesy of either Memory Stick Micro or, happily, MicroSD/SDHC card.

Meanwhile, you can drop the camcorder from up to 1.5m and it's resilient against dust, too. Sony says the Handycam HDR-GW55VE will go on sale in Europe come April, pricing tbc.