Sony DCR-PC1000 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder, Good for consumer, bad for any level higher than “Uncle Joe’s Birthday”

This camera achieves its goal as a sleek, simple dual function (still/movie) camera with moderate access to advanced functions. It is easy to use, small and lightweight, and has a very high coolness quotient. It has an interesting form factor, which i haven’t found difficult to use, although the zoom toggle is sometimes difficult to reach because it’s placed too high when you’re holding the camera low in front of your body. The video is sharp and clear, and the audio is surprisingly good considering the built-in mic is placed on the top of the camera body. I do wish it had even the smallest of lights to assist with low-light conditions, because the video quality can be average in dim light. I think sony should either have put a standard accessory shoe on the camera, or they should offer more options in terms of accessories, which are limited to a couple of mics and a light/flash or two. For example, a combination video light/flash and quality stereo or surround mic would be fantastic. Also, there is no external microphone input or headphone monitor jack, both of which should be standard on a camera in this price range. The battery life is limited. At full charge it reads 80 minutes.

As a handy-cam, it works fine. It has an ‘idiot’ mode button that allows simple point and shoot operation. So, if you’re on vacation and shooting outdoors, you’re set with the pc1000. The resolution and quality are superb. Anything beyond those lower expectations, however, forget it. Operating the camera in any type of manual mode is a cumbersome method in sub-menu frustration. Low light performance is atrocious and there’s no way to get quality audio into the camera. You can buy an after market cam-mounted stereo mic from sony, but it’s still doesn’t provide good fidelity; mainly because there’s no way to get the mic close to the subject –save for moving the camera itself.

Iam from costa rica, this camera is very expensive i do not recommend you to buy, i t has no night shot or super night shot, the built in flash has power for close pictures, the picture quality is just aceptable in sun ligth but indoors is very bad, i recommend you to buy the dcr-pc105 or similar from sony, it cost less and is almost the same video quality but this one has more features, the dcr-pc1000 has two modes of picture quality, i do not recommend this device.

Key specs for Sony DCR-PC1000 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder with 10x Optical Zoom:

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  • Sony DCR-PC1000 MiniDV Handycam(R) Camcorder / Power Adaptor/In Camera Charger / NP-FA50 InfoLithium(R)
  • Sony DCR-PC1000 MiniDV Handycam(R) Digital Camcorder is Sony’s first consumer camcorder to feature 3-chip CMOS
  • Cinematic mode lends a 24 frame, film-like effect to recordings while the new imaging technology adds clarity and detail
  • Large 2.7-inch wide hybrid SwivelScreen(TM) touch panel LCD screen, which lets you switch between 16 – 9 and 4 – 3 aspect ratios
  • Handycam Station for quick, easy connection to a TV or PC

Comments from buyers

“Very portable, great outdoors
, Great camera
, Good for consumer, bad for any level higher than “Uncle Joe’s Birthday”

I recently purchased this camcorder and have been pretty pleased. It does an excellent job with good lighting (outdoors). In addition, it is very light and easily portable in a jacket pocket. My wife (who is not a gadget-user) can work it very easily. 8 megapixel camera takes good photos (a bit washed-out and no red-eye reduction). On the downside, it does poorly in lower-light situations (i would not buy it if you are planning to do much lower-light videoing). The battery life is not great (about 90 minutes). The software that it comes with is also annoying and does not allow much user control for video editing.

I am very pleased with this camera and it’s condition. Everything was as described and it works perfect.

I’ve had this camcorder about a month, i got it as a gift for my 40th, i chose it. Pros: under good lighting it produces wonderful video, great sound. I love the menu system (though the lcd needs constant cleaning). The weight is just right, not too heavy for long use, not so light that it feels unstable. Cons: not great under low light conditions such as dimmed room lights; the picture goes grainy and red. I also noticed a bit of wind noise from the internal mic. I had problems with the drivers for the usb under windows xp, never bother to fix this as i bought a firewire card. All things considered, i’m very happy with the camcorder.

I’ve only had my pc1000 for a week and it seems to be a great camera. The camera form factor, user controls, and picture/audio quality are all better than i expected. The one area where it missed the mark was that sony doesn’t adequately emphasize that mac users need an additional 4-pin to 6-pin ieee (firewire/i. This is not included and runs around $25. From the product specs, i misunderstood that a mac with usb 2. 0 would work with the supplied usb cable. Usb will only transfer memory stick data – not minidv data, which is where you’ll record most of your video. The only place i found this documented was in the ‘troubleshooting’ section of the manual. In other words, sony considers their poor os support to be a user problem.

I used this camera for a year now and in my opinion this is the best sony camera for family use. It fits easily in a pocket, i just carry it in a ziplock bag to avoid getting it dirty. I carry this camera with me whenever i can, just to document bits of daily family life. I have other sony cameras, but due to their size i always choose this one. The quality is excellent in good light condition, very good to document family moments. I also like the provided handycam station, i keep it on a table, put camera back when i’m home and thanks to this almost never forget to load batteries. I really can’t complain about anything. Also, the photos quality are reasonable quality.

Everything i wanted in a small light camcorder. The automatic stabilizer feature is great. All features and functions work as advertized. Options like wide and tele lenses work great. It is handy to have an extra battery. Still photo capability is very good. There is a low res still capability in the video mode as well. Throw away the 16 mb flash supplied and buy a 1 gb flash for stills. Still mode also does avithe software supplied is dissapointing in that it is not intutive.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Sony DCR-PC1000 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder with 10x Optical Zoom
Rating
4.3 of 5 stars, based on 10 reviews