Product Review: Sony Webbie MHS-CM1 HD Camcorder
Getting ready for E3 in June, the B.O.M.B. crew looked into getting some new cameras that were easy to carry around but still had excellent quality. While the guys went with the Kodak Zi6, I went a different route and picked up the Sony Webbie. I’ll admit, the color was the first thing that caught my attention. Was the camera any good? Or was it the color the only good thing? Keep reading to find out what I thought of the Sony Webbie MHS-CM1 HD camcorder.
The first thing I noticed about the Sony Webbie when I pulled it out of the box was it’s size. At 1.75 x 4.25 x 2.5 inches and 7 ounces, this is a very small camera. If you’re used to normal sized cameras, this is a little weird at first. But it’s comfortably small. It’s easy to hold the camera in one hand, which, at least for me, helped me worry less about accidentally dropping it. With a 2.5 inch swivel screen, it’s easy to see what you’re recording.
Next thing I really noticed were the settings. There were surprisingly very few settings on the camera. The three settings for movie size include VGA 30P, 720 30P, and 1080 30P. For still photos, the size options aren’t much better than most cell phones out on the market ranging from VGA to 5M. This makes the still photo option somewhat pointless; especially at night. The camera has a built-in light for recording in low light settings, but unless the subject is close up, the light is pretty pointless. Moving along with the settings, the camera offers the options to turn digital zoom on and off (if you use the digital zoom, be prepared for lower quality) and something known as flicker cancel (which I have yet to be able to find any information on). Other than the option to change to video out from NTSC to PAL, the rest of the setting options have nothing to do with video/picture quality. They pretty much cover the clock, how the camera connects to the computer, language settings, and whether the camera will beep going through the menus.
Moving on to the memory, the camera has a very small amount of internal memory. Using the highest quality, you can record 19 seconds or take 2 still photos. I would definitely suggest grabbing a memory card for this camera. Just like other Sony products, the Webbie takes Memory Stick PRO Duo. My record time went up 1 hour 15 min or 1502 pictures when I put in a 4GB card. Dropping the quality down to 720 doubles this amount. As far as battery goes, the Sony Webbie has an internal battery that should last approximately 85 minutes of continuous recording or 120 minutes of playback. This really isn’t a long battery life, so I’d suggest keeping the charger close on hand.
So am I happy with my purchase? Despite the fallbacks this camera has, I am happy with it. While I would not suggest this for somebody who does a lot of video, this is a nice camera for somebody who wants a camcorder around just in case they need it. If you’re wanting to do extensive video work, there are better cameras out there for you. If you want to buy this camera, check out the links below.