updated 2/21/2006 9:41:40 PM ET 2006-02-22T02:41:40

Sony Corp. introduced on Tuesday a high-definition camcorder that is small enough to rest comfortably in the palm of your hand.

Sony billed its 18 ounce, 5.5 inch-long HDR-HC3 as the world's lightest and smallest. The device, 26 percent more compact than the previous model, is set to go on sale next month in Japan for $1,300 and in April in the United States for $1,700.

High-definition TVs, which are increasingly popular around the world, can display clearer and more vivid images than old-style TVs. Home videos taken with the new camcorder will be high-definition quality — as long as you own one of those new TVs.

Sony engineers were able to make the camcorder smaller by decreasing the size of the lens and combining three computer chips into one.

Sony officials in Tokyo said the product is more likely to sell in Japan, where people are willing to pay for fancy gadgets.

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