The Good Compact design; three-chip capture; broad feature set; strong photo capabilities; smooth automatic operation.
The Bad Clumsy user interface for more advanced functions; pricey; mediocre battery life; works only with proprietary cables and accessories.
The Bottom Line Attractive and compact, the Sony Handycam DCR-PC1000 MiniDV camera offers excellent image quality for its class and brings CMOS technology to the world of camcorders. But its overly clever user interface doesn't do its feature set justice.
Sony Handycam DCR-PC1000
The Sony Handycam DCR-PC1000 is an odd camera, both in the sense that it has some unusual characteristics and in the more negative sense that it's a bit quirky. It's unusual for a three-chip camera not only because of its small size but also because it uses CMOS sensors rather than the CCDs found in almost all other camcorders. Its blend of advanced capabilities with a clumsy point-and-shoot user interface makes it odd in the second sense. Experienced videographers looking for a compact three-chip MiniDV camera might do better to check out competitors from Panasonic that offer more practical physical controls. However, for the technophile who wants a stylish, cutting-edge camera and will fiddle with the controls only occasionally, this capable Handycam merits a close look. On the outside, the Sony Handycam DCR-PC1000's dark-gray body is streamlined and low-key, with little to distinguish it from the company's small, vertically oriented one-chip MiniDV cameras. The fit and the finish of the camera are very good; weighing just a little more than a pound, it feels solid and well balanced in the hand.
This camcorder's most prominent feature is the silver-ringed 10X Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens, which protrudes slightly out front. There's a tiny flash directly above the lens, which is protected by shutters that open and close automatically when you hit the power button, eliminating the need for a lens cap.
From top to bottom, the back of the DCR-PC1000 is filled with a nonpivoting viewfinder eyepiece, a Memory Stick Duo Pro card slot, a record button, a power switch, and four basic camera-control buttons: display, backlight, flash, and Easy mode. You'll find a stereo microphone on top of the camera; behind it, under a cover, sits a proprietary hotshoe mount for external mics and lights. Finally, the camera bottom incorporates a tripod mount and a special connector that interfaces with the included Handycam Station dock.
Get a Sony 1080p camcorder bundle for $158
This collection of goodies includes a top-rated camcorder and some robust editing software. Plus: three bonus deals!
Phantom Flex4K records fire at 1000 FPS, 4K resolution
Vision Research's Phantom Flex4K camera has been used to capture a burning house fire at 1,000 frames per second in 4K resolution.
More PlayStation 4 rumours
With just hours to go until the Sony event in New York, more rumoured details have emerged about the PS4, including that it will be out in November and can be controlled by your phone.
Sony Handycam GW77V is waterproof, not cheap
For deep-pocketed recreational divers everywhere (now) Sony debuts its first rugged Handycam, the HDR-GW77V.
Sony HDR-TD20 3D camcorder in hands-on video
The Sony HDR-TD20 is Sony's latest camcorder to shoot in three dimensions, and we've had a go in this here video.
Sony PJ200 and PJ260 projector camcorders in hands-on video
Check out our video of the Sony PJ200 and PJ260 lighting up our lives with their built-in projectors.
Flip is dead, so here's some alternative cameras, camcorders and phones
Flip Video is dead, in the face of competition from big-name rivals, video-shooting cameras, and camera phones. Here's some alternatives.
Sony Bloggie 3D mini-camcorder makes 3D easy, pocketable
Sony's new Bloggie 3D mini-camcorder brings tri-dimensional shooting to your handbag with two lenses and a 3D screen. Other new Bloggies make do with dual screens and 1080p.
Panasonic HDC-SDT750: 3D camcorder in shops in October
The first big-name 3D camcorder will be in shops in October this year. Will the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 make your Christmas list?
Samsung HMX-E10: Budget 1080p camcorder with a twist
The Samsung HMX-E10 is a new budget camcorder that's getting us in a spin with its swivelling lens
Sony unveils Handycam NEX-VG10E, the NEX step in lens-swapping camcorders
The Sony Handycam NEX-VG10E is set to be the first lens-swapping camcorder to hit the market. We have the first picture and specs
Flip Slide HD is Flip's first media player: Catch ya on the flip slide
The Flip Slide HD is so keen to get out there and start showing off its PMP skills, it's appearing in shops before it's even been officially announced