Ikenaga: Throughout development, I sensed that we were all hoping to expand the camcorder market with this model. Camcorders always seem to remind us of family occasions-shooting scenes of your children at school events, for example. It was as if we were inviting users to pick up a camcorder for the first time when they had some special event in mind. But this Handycam is a model we hope people will feel more comfortable just taking with them whenever they feel like it. Most people don't hesitate to bring their mobile phone or even a compact digital camera with them out for a stroll, right? In the same way, people can easily slip this camcorder into their bag anytime, even if they don't know what they will shoot. I think this is the "niche" that the HDR-CX7 fills, and it's quite a large niche at that.
Yasutomi: That's a great reason for choosing the bold black body. Some previous models have been partly black, but they were never all black. Sure, we've had this idea for a while, but conceptually and from the standpoint of design, black is perfect for the HDR-CX7. It was enough to make me think, "Wow, that's cooler than I expected!" the first time I saw the prototype.
This metallic black makes the surfaces look gorgeous. Highlights run the length of the surfaces. It makes quite an impression. Black brings it into sharp focus, and the lens looks powerful. You start imagining how impressive the picture quality is. It just wouldn't have the same feeling with a silver body.
Okumura: Now that you've taken the camcorder along and shot some video, the question is how you'll enjoy it. This model offers some new features that make it more fun to watch your video. Try the face index or film roll index.
We think you'll have a great time watching video with family or friends because you can search for desired scenes by face thumbnails (which helps you navigate long scenes without cuts) or by skipping in fixed increments. In camcorders so far, we have sought the ultimate in image quality and compact body design. Now, you can look forward to a better user experience when you're in the audience. That's part of the package you get with Sony camcorders. Because videos are more fun to watch, people will want to shoot more. That would be a welcome change, to me.
Ikenaga: It is at heart a digital product, and this is the optimal design for it. But because we're venturing into new territory, we did want to be cautious. We discussed it at length internally and with sales companies around the world. Some people suggested we make the lens and LCD screen more integrated, make the unit look more compact. Each time, I asserted my belief. "That's just an extension of what we've been doing. If you want more than a miniature version of past models, let's use this design instead." There were few supporters at all, it seemed. In the end, I told the critics to leave it to us at the Design Center.
Ultimately, I was relieved that we didn't compromise too easily. After repeated refinements, we had a final black mock-up. When I visited regional sales companies around the world to show them, people burst into applause. They said this was the model they'd been waiting for, and they were glad to be part of Sony. This was truly a special case. I would be a fortunate designer indeed if users feel the same way and discover a new kind of enjoyment in shooting video.