Specs and features-wise, this camcorder is nearly identical to the GW77VE, which Sony announced for the European market back in March, except that the new one records in 1080/60p (NTSC) instead of 1080/50p (PAL).
Well, that and – since this is Japan we're talking about – it's available in a bright blue variant, in addition to the silver and black models European consumers get. Really, we're almost surprised they didn't include a pink one.
The HDR-GW77V features a 1/3.91 type (4.6mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor paired with a Sony G Lens that offers 10x optical zoom (29.8mm to 298mm on a 35mm-equivalent when shot in a 16:9 format, F/1.8 to F/3.4) and 120x digital zoom. 16GB of internal memory is included, but there's no optical viewfinder here so you'll have to frame your scene by looking at a 3" LCD touchscreen.
In addition to waterproofing, this handycam is also dustproof (IP5X standard) and shock-resistant, allowing it to be dropped from a height of up to 1.5 metres without incurring any damage.
Although the handycam is not exactly designed for photography, you can snap still images of up to 20.4 megapixels normally, and up to 20 megapixels while recording a video. Scene Selection, Swing Paranoma and Smile Shutter modes are also available.
The Sony HDR-GW77V will hit Japanese retail stores on May 25, and is expected to be sold for around 70,000 yen (~US$860). A matching pouch (available in silver or black) will be sold at the same time for 4,410 yen (~US$54).