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Sony Handycam DCR-PC4

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      10.06.2001 06:23
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      I was instantly amazed. Not only is it very small indeed, in fact, to my horror people often confused it for a camera rather than camcorder until the screen appeared! The camera is full useful functionality: * a flip-out screen which is touch sensitive controlling the fast forward, rewind, camera settings and special effects (fade in and out, colour or b&w etc). * The Long-play function gives 90 minutes of recording from a 60 minute tape * It has very clever night and super night settings which enabled me to take clear pictures from an underground, unlit aquarium. The picture at this point does look like a negative (white eyes) but the subject is instantly recognisable. * The microphone is not great unless the subject is very load or close up. However, a £60 JVC clip-on battery powered mic has easily fixed that problem. * The battery life is adequate at around 60 mins for the standard. Reduced use of the side screen or rewind/fast forward will give maximum battery use. The £130 3hr optional battery (while bulky) is a useful addition when you're on holiday * Being small means that it comfortably fits into a small bag * The auto-focus is pin sharp and very rapid * 40x digital zoom means that you can pick up aeroplanes in the sky as if they were nearby * With the correct digital tapes on screen editing and subtitles are possible * The leads and infrared control with the camera mean that you can plug the camera into your television or VCR for playback or record to VHS easily. * An £80 Belkin USB adapter will allow MPEG or JPEG download to PC in seconds. Picture Quality is outstanding * There are a host of accessories from wide-angle lenses to waterproof cases which means that this little camcorder will fit your every need, your wallet and your pocket!

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