Sony HDR-HC1: A Quantum Leap For Video Buffs

Settings: Lighting, White Balance, And Audio Levels

Ideally, you want to connect the HC1 to an HDTV supporting 1080i resolution. The HC1 has both component video and S-Video connections, but using S-video will result in SD Video at best. While this is great for connecting to non-HD gear, it sort of defeats the main purpose of the HC1.

The Carl Zeiss 37 mm lens has an aperture range from f/1.8 through f/5.1. Except for its somewhat small wide-angle apertures, the lens in the Sony HDR-HC1 does a good job.

Our hands-on experience with the camcorder shows that steady recordings are possible only when you shoot from a tripod. So-called hand-held camera stabilizers aren't really workable, as many users discover when they get into the video editing process. Those who use a high-quality tripod and stay away from too much camera movement can create moving images of outstanding quality. Compared to a typical DV recording at SD resolution, the HD quality from the HC1 is in an entirely different league.

This three-way switch controls the Sony HC1's primary functions: record, playback, and still image.