Subject: Sony PC100 vs. PC1, PC2, TRV900
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 04:59:47 -0800
From: "jerome maro" 

Hi! You may remember me, I am the person that send you the [earlier] review
of the TRV900/PC2/DX110. Today I was in the same shop and, guess what, they
had a PC-100 on display, so I was able to put a cassette in it and examine
the results back home. I believe that this test may be of interest to many
people, as the PC-100 has attracted lots of press coverage with its
"mega-pixel" CCD.

First of all, a reminder of the test conditions:

 -test done in a shop. Huge shop (they sell everything from VCRs to washing
machines, it's as big as a supermarket really), fluorescent lights but
limited choice of subjects.

 -test analysis done at home on a LCD projector (I brought the miniDV
cassette with me). Projector resolves 500+ lines easy, but limited color
gamut (that's the way those things go...).

 -model tested: PC100 and (again, for comparison) PC-2 (same camera than
the PC-3) and TRV-900. **All PAL models.**

So what are the results? In short, claims that the PC-100 beats the
competition are completely unreasonable. The PC-100 may be a great
combination of a megapixel camera with a camcorder, but on video it looks
very much the same than the PC-2. Here is the more detailled analysis:

PC-2: this is the new version of the old PC-1 (is it available in the
US?). It appears to give the same results as resolution goes, but has much
improved low-light characteristics. Apparently Sony added some form of
digital noise reduction. The most annoying problem is that, as with all one
chip machines (all the ones I tested), one sees rather annoying artefacts,
like watching the scene through structured glass. Well, not that bad, but
definitively noticeable on the big screen.

PC-100: same. Maybe a tiny little bit sharper, maybe slightly more
noticeable artefacts. My big disappointment, I would really have liked to
buy such a camcorder.  BTW: PC-100 ergonomics are exactly the same than the
PC-1 (same menus, etc). Low-light results are much better, but such are
also the ones of the PC-2. PC-100 and PC-2 give similar results in low
light (noise, colors, etc). No frame mode (or I did not find it). PC-100 is
bigger than PC-1 (esp. bigger lens).

TRV-900: much better. Noticeably sharper, no artifacts. As noted in the
last test: artifacts from interlacing slightly more noticeable. Same
colors. If you read in a review that the PC-100 is as good, don't believe
it. For video, the PC-100 is a PC-1 with improved low-light response. It's
that simple.

Note: I'd like to remind everybody that I discuss a pretty high level of
quality here. Copied to VHS or view on a typical 3-MHz bandwidth TV, all
those cameras will look very much the same. All are quite o.k. for family

Note2: I did say those were PAL models, right? NTSC models may be different.

Note3: No, I could not test the last Canon model. Don't ask.


Back to TRV900 page.