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Camcorders Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1 review

£139 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Sony

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The flashy Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1 camcorder offers far more features than most flash camcorders we've seen.

The flashy Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1 camcorder offers far more features than most flash camcorders we've seen.

The Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1 looks like a toy, but don't let its basic looks and controls fool you: the Webbie has the most well-rounded feature set we've seen.

The Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM11 has five different shooting modes: Auto, Backlight, Low-Light, Sports and Landscape. It also shoots decent 5Mp stills, complete with a self-timer and an on-screen histogram. You can also choose from three resolution settings: VGA, 720p and 1,440x1,080, all in Mpeg4 format with the H.264 codec.

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The Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1's standard features match the competition's: a choppy 2x digital zoom, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and a tripod mount. However, it also has a nifty swiveling lens, which we found a neat addition.

Drawbacks include the lack of an integrated USB connector (you must attach the included USB cable to transfer clips to your computer) and the Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1's very poor low-light performance. Footage is very bright, but colours look more muted than they do with the Creative Vado HD and the Kodak Zi6, and without the cinematic look of the Flip Video MinoHD.

You must remove the Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1's battery to charge it. You get no internal memory and need to budget for the cost of a Sony MemoryStick on top of the purchase price. We also think this camcorder's small navigation joystick may be too tiny for some people.

The Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1's microphone is sensitive almost to a fault: it's excellent when the camcorder is on a tripod or held still, but moving your hand on the chassis creates loud noises in your recording. On the other hand, the microphone does a great job of picking up audio from a distance.

In common with the Kodak Zx1, the Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1 camcorder is being marketed as ideal for recording and uploading YouTube clips. In addition you can output your footage directly from the Webbie HD to an HDTV. Flipping up a cover on the side reveals the USB port, a component A/V port for connecting the camcorder to an HDTV (you can switch between NTSC and PAL output in the camera's menus, as well), plus a DC power port.

Operating the Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1 is simple. Rotating the 270-degree swivel lens switches on the camcorder on, though there's also a dedicated power button on the side. Buttons for accessing the menu and camcorder settings sit beneath the power button.

The 1.8in LCD screen on the back of the Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1 looks great, but as with almost every pocket camcorder, footage appears much better on the LCD than it does on your PC or on YouTube. We'd have appreciated a larger display though. Sony includes Picture Motion Browser software on CD, or you can simply drag-and-drop footage on to a PC or Mac hard drive.

Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1 Expert Verdict »

Sony Webbie MHS-PM1 Scores 7.6 out of 10 based on 21 reviews
5MP 1/2.5in CMOS
Lens Focal length 7mm
F/Stop 3.6
4x digital zoom
Memory Stick PRO Duo
Switchable NTSC/PAL
MPEG4 AVC/H.264 (MP4)
SteadyShot Image Stabilization
16GB Memory Stick PRO Duo Media
1080/30p: 340 minutes, 720/30p: 510 minutes, VGA/30p: 990 minutes
1.8in (230k) LCD
Built-in Speaker
Built-in Mic
Tripod Socket
5Mp Digital Still Mode
USB 2.0
RCA via A/V breakout cable
24x103x55mm
120g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The versatile Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1 camcorder is a good looker and provides plenty of control over your footage. It stands head and shoulders above the rest of the competition here.

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