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“I have had this Sony DCR PC100 camcorder for more than...”

Written on: 25/02/2002 by Bogster. (1 review written)

Good Points
Compact DV camcorder, very high quality lens, long-lasting battery, battery life reported in real time. S-video in/out, FireWire port for optional DV editing software. LaserLink comunication.

Bad Points
Uses full resolution of the 1Mpix CCD for still pictures only. Not very good in underlit conditions. Need to buy MemoryStick reader and more memory because 4MB is not enough if you are going to use it for still shots.

General Comments
I have had this Sony DCR PC100 camcorder for more than a year and still I think it is one of the best DV camcorders on the market. All in all, it is a great camcorder with lots of features. The quality of the video is among the best I've seen in the one CCD class - bright and vivid colors. The body feels very solid. Quite and sturdy mechanism compared to JVC, for example. The menus are very intuitive. Nice color high-resolution viewfinder and LCD. The standard NP-FM50 battery lasts for 2 hours if you are only using the viewfinder and about an hour with the LCD. You can get an extra NP-FM50 but no bigger than that because it will stick out of the body. I especially like the video in/out interfaces of the camera allowing to convert between composite, S-video, and DV formats in any direction. Some reviews say that zoom is too sensitive but I think one gets used to it with little practice. External mic shoe and headphones are another plus. Menus are easy to navigate although reading the manual is recommended for making full use of video effects, fader, and other advanced features.

LaserLink is another great feature. It allows playing the tape on your TV over infrared by using an optional LaserLink receiver (costs $50) - no need to plug any cables! Remote works fine and from any angle and you can store frames from the tape to the memory at the press of a button.

On the negative side, I don't see much use of the 1Mpix resolution because it is only used for still captures. 4MB MemoryStick bundled with the camera is only good for fade effects and the serial reader is terribly slow, so if you are planning on using MemoryStick better buy USB reader. The new DCR-PC110 comes with USB port. Another thing - the camcorder doesn't like low light conditions (the picture is grainy like in all other cc) but the daytime shots are fantastic and colors are vivid and bright.

I recommend this high-quality camcorder. As I mentioned, the only differences between it and the new DCR-PC110 are USB port, built-in flash light, and MPEG-4 mode movies to MemoryStick. If you don't need the last three, go with PC100.

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