Last June, I noted JVC’s Everio line of hard drive-based camcorders. Now, Sony has introduced the DCR-SR100 ($1,100) (link via Gizmodo), a nifty camcorder with a 30 GB hard drive built in. They claim it can record up to 7 hours of DVD-quality video, but I want to know if it will record DV-quality (I’m not seeing it at Sony’s web site yet).
“DVD-quality” sounds impressive, but it’s not when you’re talking about capturing and encoding on the fly. A really good-looking DVD looks that way because encoding software has taken multiple scanning passes through the material and determined the best amount of MPEG-2 compression to apply. That’s also why I’m not interested in DVD-based camcorders such as the (also-new) Sony DCR-DVD505 and DCR-DVD405.
But the promise of a hard drive-based camcorder is appealing, because it means that you could simply mount the camera on your computer’s desktop and copy the files over, versus the long importing step to take footage from tape.