Digital Multi-Talent: Sony DCR-PC100E

Camera As Digital Video Recorder

We have tested it! The Sony DCR-PC100E is suitable, not only as a digital video camera or digicam, but it is also possible to record video or audio signals from any source such as a video recorder or television set. For this purpose the camera offers an S-video input and a combined audio/video input. The DV interface (I-Link or Firewire IEEE1394) delivers the best quality: This interface enables you to make digital copies or recordings without any data losses at all. It requires a special Firewire cable that is not included in the shipment. Additionally a second DV camera or a DV recorder is necessary for a true digital copy.

Switching on the nightshot function activates an infrared lamp at the front side of the camera. The development of this function is based on military technology.

The Highlight: Built-In NightShot Device

Compared to the competitors in this price category, the Sony DCR-PC100E differentiates itself with a very special feature - the built-in night shot mode. While the camera still delivers a somewhat useable picture up to 7 Lux in regular operation, you can film in total darkness using the nightshot function. However, one should not get one's hopes up too high because the range of the built-in infrared light is restricted to a few meters. Nevertheless the picture quality is convincing, and combining it with the activated zoom function makes for interesting night shots. We demonstrated the visible advantage of the night vision mode with two examples.

This picture shows a vehicle that is parked in almost complete darkness. The picture was taken using the standard mode.

This is the same picture - but now with activated night shot mode. Contrary to the previous picture all details of the vehicle are visible this time.