Sony DCRPC110 Digital HandyCam Camcorder with Builtin Digital Still Mode

Sony DCRPC110 Digital HandyCam Camcorder with Builtin Digital Still Mode

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Manufacturer Description

The Sony DCR-PC110 Mini DV camcorder is loaded with more goodies than a piñata, and in a package smaller than a box of Pop-Tarts. Its novel-length owner's manual is 166 pages of tiny type with, thankfully, dozens of instructive illustrations with circles and arrows. To control all these features, the PC110 is covered with buttons, switches, and toggles that would intimidate even the most seasoned techno-geek. But damn if this digital camcorder isn't fun to use, despite a couple of ergonomic hiccups, plus it stores great images thanks to its Carl Zeiss lens, and, more importantly, it will elicit many oohs and aahs from the techno-envious.

Like most Mini DV models, the PC110 can take still pictures and store them either on tape or on a flash media card--in this case, Sony's proprietary Memory Stick. Unlike most DV camcorders, the PC110 also can record 15- and 60-second MPEGs, saving you the trouble of having to convert your footage to this e-mail-friendly format in your PC. The camcorder comes with a 4 MB Stick, which holds just six high-resolution stills, and is useless unless you have a Memory Stick-equipped Sony VAIO, a Memory Stick accessory drive, or a built-in USB port.

The PC110 also enables you to spice up your recorded video with an array of picture and digital effects, such as negative, sepia tone, or black and white. You also can zoom in during playback of a recorded image. These extra effects are for those folks who do in-camera editing and can be output only through the camcorder's analog outputs, not via i.Link/FireWire. If you've got video-editing software, you can add many of these effects and more on your PC.

The PC110 also includes in-camera digital-editing compiling capabilities--choose in-and-out edit points for particular scenes, set the scene sequence (up to 20 scenes), and the camera automatically goes back and forth to output the image to whatever tape player you've connected the camcorder to. This program editing is a bit convoluted, but it's better than doing it manually.

The biggest problem is the placement of frequently accessed control buttons and jacks. For instance, the zoom and still-photo shutter release buttons are located at the front of the camcorder, vaguely where your pinky is supposed to be. But the pinky isn't the most dexterous digit, and the hand-strap further limits the little finger's angular movement necessary to manipulate either switch.

The PC110's stocky design also necessitates the scattering of the various inputs and outputs. The microphone, headphone, and DC power inputs are located on upper-right side; the i.Link (FireWire), USB, and AC power are on the front below the lens; the S-Video output is on the lower-right side under the hand strap; and the analog A/V minijack is located to the right of the power/standby/record switch.

And being that this is a tiny camcorder, the 2.5-inch LCD viewscreen also makes it difficult to make out the details in a crowded frame. The menu does include two sets of LCD brightness controls to ameliorate the lack of LCD area. --Stewart Wolpin


  • 1-megapixel still-shot capability
  • Fun to use
  • Records 15- and 60-second MPEGs onto Memory Stick
  • Informative illustrated manual
  • Quality Carl Zeiss lens


  • Bundled Memory Stick is only 4 MB
  • Expensive
  • Controls can be difficult to use

Product Features

DV camcorder, uses MiniDV tapes 10x optical (120x digital) zoom with optical image stabilization 2.5-inch color LCD monitor and color EVF Records 1152 x 864 stills onto included 4 MB Memory Stick Uses Sony NP-FM50 InfoLithium battery; includes MGI PhotoSuite and VideoWave

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