Digital Multi-Talent: Sony DCR-PC100E

Built-In Still Picture Function - Substitute For A Digicam?

Besides functioning as a digital video camera the Sony DCR-PC100E comes with a built-in camera for still pictures that is principally supposed to serve as a digital camera. The maximum resolution is 1152 x 864 pixels. During the test we did not encounter any problems with pictures taken outside - they came out clear and with brilliant color but the quality is not comparable to good digital cameras. Good digicams deliver significantly better results, especially with the automatic brightness adjustment. The included memory module - the Memory Stick invented by Sony -definitely deserves criticism. With a memory capacity of 4 MB it only holds 6 high-resolution pictures. The Memory Stick can only be accessed with the included reading device. This additional box is equipped with a serial port and is part of the package. The actual data transfer requires a lot of patience though. It took us almost 5 minutes to transfer six pictures from the 4 MB module. The included software, Picture Gear 3.2, is quite handy in that it offers the major functions needed to process the pictures. If you want to store more pictures, you need to buy a Memory Stick module with 16 MB of memory capacity. It holds up to 25 high-resolution pictures. The 4 MB module the manufacturer included in the package is much too small even if you only use it occasionally.

The Memory Stick reader: Because of the serial interface the data transfer between PC and reader is very slow. Transferring six pictures takes up to 5 minutes.

All functions and settings can be adjusted in special menus that are displayed on the moveable LCD monitor.