Summary: The MHS-PM1 Webbie HD represents a step forward for Sony in the minicamcorder arena--but some quirks and only OK video quality prevent it from being compelling enough to best the competition.
Pros: Attractive design; captures video at 720p and 1080p "HD" resolution; memory-card expansion slot; swiveling lens; component video cables; rechargeable lithium ion battery.
Cons: Price doesn't include an optional memory card (onboard memory is limited to 12MB for capturing video); rechargeable battery doesn't recharge via USB connector; no integrated USB connector; no protective carrying case included.
Conclusion: Users are more likely to get a naturalistic performance from their subjects (particularly the smaller members of the family) if approaching them with a camcorder with a diminutive form factor such as this - arguably less intimidating than a "proper" sized device, though the bright orange finish of our review sample may cause a few migraines.
Pros: Swivelling lens compartment helps this one stand out from the crowd, inexpensive option for those wanting a portable yet solidly built HD recording device
Cons: Screen is small and poky, no HDMI connectivity, built-in microphone picks up operational noise and user adjustments, impossible to smoothly and seamlessly adjust angle of view of top-mounted lens compartment once filming has commenced
Summary: Sony probably considers its arrival to the pocket camcorder party to be ‘fashionably late’, but in reality the MHS-PM1 is an awkward bystander to a conga dance led by the Kodak Zi8 . Not that it’ll go unnoticed for long – its David Dickinson orange finish catches the eye, and there’s also a novel twist with a lens that can be rotated 270 degrees. This helps to protect the lens, and makes it ideal if for those who like to dabble in video blogging.