Consumer-level camcorders have come a long way since my first Sony unit. I remember fumbling around with Hi8 tapes, and then more recently I started drooling over miniDV tapes. You can’t even begin to fathom my reaction when DVD-based video recorders hit the market, but even those are blasé these days.
Hard disk drives are clearly the way to go, if you can afford it, and now you can get one from Sony too. The DCR-SR100 camcorder sports a 30GB HD and a Carl Zeiss lens 10x optical zoom and a 3MP CCD. The viewing screen is an ample 2.7-inch 16:9 “wide LCD” and recording comes in the way of MPEG2s, compressed in the same fashion as Sony DVD camcorders.
The 30 gigabytes will give you enough space for seven hours of standard definition video, but if you’re looking to record more, you can always turn to the “long play” mode, which is capable of up to 20 hours of movie-taking.
The Sony DCR-SR100 will start shipping on May 21 with a $1000 price tag attached.