My love affair with Sony's camcorders continues, thanks to its latest series of DVD recorders, the best DVD recorders I've seen yet.
The new Sony DCR-DVD300 DVD Handycam ($1,100) not only records to 3-inch DVD-Rs and DVD-RWs, but records images playable on a Sony Play Station2, a PC with a DVD player and most standalone DVD players on the market.
As usual, all of the goodies that can be found on Sony's camcorders are here: A 10x optical zoom on the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens makes for some of the crispest images you'll ever see from a consumer camcorder, the Super NightShot captures great evening and other dimly lit images, and the SteadyShot Picture Stabilization system gives smooth tracking shots.
In many ways, this camcorder handles as simply and easily as the other Mini-DV camcorders offered by Sony. And that's a plus if you own one or have used one and want to skip reading the manual.
You can do some editing in the camera when using a DVD-RW disc, including erasing the last recorded footage - similar to erasing a picture shot on a digital camera so you can take more photographs.
Because the camera is compressing the digital video into the MPEG-2 format, using a DVD drive in your PC to transfer files from the DVD-R to your hard drive is so much easier than plugging cables into a Mini-DV camcorder and downloading the video onto your hard drive. I think the video is just short of the best uncompressed Mini-DV camcorder footage I've seen from Sony's other consumer digital movie cameras - it's certainly good enough for home movies saved to DVD.
If you don't have a DVD drive in your PC or one that only reads DVD+R, then you can pull out the cables and download your video through Universal Serial Bus 2.0 or 1.1 ports.
Information: 888-222-7669 or www.sony.com/di.