CNET First Look
Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1The MHS-PM1 Webbie HD represents a step forward for Sony in the minicamcorder arena--but some quirks and only OK video quality prevent it from being compelling enough to best the competition.
[ Music ] >> David Carnoy: Hi. I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com, and I'm going to give you a quick video tour of the Sony MHSPM1 Webby HD mini camcorder. This is Sony's second stab at a YouTube-friendly camcorder, and the PM1 follows in the footsteps of models like the Flip Video MinoHD [phonetic] with a vertical almost cell-phone like design. PM1 records H2.64 compressed HD video using mpeg 4m coding in 10 AVP resolution at 30 frames per second as well as the more typical 720 p and space-saving VGA resolution. As we say about all these mini camcorders, while they may be billed as HD models, this Webby HD also takes still images. They really can't be compared to true HD camcorders that costs hundreds of dollars more. The other key feature worth noting is the PM1 scribbling lens with 4x digital zoom, which gives you some flexibility in shooting and allows you to shoot yourself and see yourself in these sharp 1.8 inch LCD. Another benefit, when swiveled shut, the lens is protected, and when you swivel the lens open, you turn the camcorder on. This model comes with 12 megabytes of usable internal memory, which is basically nothing. So you'll have to bring your own memory stick duo card. For powering the unit, you get a removable lithium ion rechargeable battery, but you have to charge it in a separate battery charger instead of leaving it in the device and charging it via USB. Sony has made an effort to make its Webby HD light simple to use, and it mostly has with relatively well-labeled and well-placed buttons that have some differentiation in size. In final analysis, Sony's MHSPM1 has some nice things going for it. Attractive design, expandable memory, a swiveling lens, and a rechargeable lithium ion battery. but even though this model offers 1080 p 30 frames per second video capture, the video quality falls a little short of that of competing models, and the package as a whole has a few annoying quirks. I'm David Carnoy, and that's the Sony MHSPM1 Webby HD mini camcorder. [ Music ]