Sony offers up Web camcorder with 5X zoom

One of two MPEG-4, direct-to-Web models for 2009, the MHS-CM1 uses a traditional horizontal design.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography | PCs and laptops | Gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin

Sony MHS-CM1
The CM1 comes in eye-popping orange and purple, as well as staid silver. Sony Electronics

One of a duo of direct-to-Web HD mini camcorders marking Sony's debut in the market, the MHS-CM1, is modeled more after the traditional cheap designs from Panasonic and Samsung than the new tech toy-type Flip MinoHDs of the world.

The horizontal design does allow for a 5X zoom lens and largish 2.5-inch LCD. However, I found the CM1 oddly uncomfortable to hold. It records 1080p MPEG-4 video to Memory Stick Duos at 1440x1080 resolution, and shoots stills at a comparatively high resolution. Also like many competitors, the software it ships with, Picture Motion Browser Portable, doesn't support Macs.

You can get one of these brightly colored shooters now for $200.