Sony today launched the first 2Mp (megapixel) digital camcorder. The IP220 will provide both high quality still and moving images.

"This is the world's first all-in-one product that offers a camcorder and a digital still camera", explains Cyrus Richardson, group product manager of Sony Digital Imaging UK.

The high resolution CCD (charge-coupled device) is not the only thing that makes this camcorder stand out. "It is a unique concept design for the camcorder market", explains Richardson. The compact body measures just 98x76x136mm, due in part to the use of the MicroDV tape format.

Richardson explained that if the company had opted for the more established MiniDV format the IP220 would have been 15 percent longer and 23 percent higher. "We want this to be a lifestyle product that people can carry around with them all the time", he explained.

Several features have been built into the IP220 that are designed to appeal to digital photography enthusiasts. These include a manual focus ring, eight graduated sharpness settings and a night framing mode previously only found in Sony's high-end digital still cameras. It also has built in Bluetooth and offers 1,600x1,200 pixel resolution still images and 530-line horizontal resolution in movie mode.

The IP220 will launch in October when pricing will be announced.