The stylish, petite Sony HDR-TG3 is an HD camcorder that ships with a generous 4GB memory card, enough for about half an hour of footage recorded at full high-definition quality.

Sony is promoting the HDR-TG3 as: "the world's smallest and lightest high definition camcorder". Measuring a scant 63x32x132mm and weighing in at just 240g, the dinky Sony HDR-TG3 lives up to that claim.

The Sony HDR-TG3 achieves its diminutive stature by eschewing the more traditional MiniDV tape for a miniscule Memory Stick Pro DUO card. Solid state as a storage medium has really come into its own in recent months and the Sony HDR-TG3 acts as a showcase for the advantages solid-state has to offer.

The Sony HDR-TG3 ships with a generous 4GB memory card, enough for about half an hour of footage recorded at full high-definition quality.

It's not just small; the Sony HDR-TG3 is good looking too. The vertical form factor is made out of scratch-resistent titanium in a gun-metal styling and sports a flip out 2.7in LCD touchscreen. This takes care of most of the menu options leaving the body of the camera free relatively clutter-free, sporting just a record button and zoom ring.

Although it keeps controls to a minimum, the Sony HDR-TG3 houses plenty of sockets tucked away under various flaps: USB, audio out, S-Video out, Component video out; it even has a built-in HDMI output socket so you can hook it up directly to a high-defintion television. A dock is also provided so you can easily hook it up to your computer.

The Sony HDR-TG3 records 1920x1080 full HD video (also know as 1080p). It also acts as a 4Mp stills camera, and is capable of taking 2.3Mp stills while you are recording video footage.

The optical system is a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar with a 1.8-2.3 F and 10x optical zoom.

Although the small form factor ensures that the recorded footage is no match for a larger, more professional model (such as the Sony HDR-FX1) we have to admit to being impressed by the quality of the Sony HDR-TG3. This is all the more remarkable because no other upright camcorder has truly impressed us in terms of image quality before.

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