Review: Sony GC1 Net-Sharing Cam

Sony recently targeted the young YouTube/video-blogger crowd with their 149 (sans memory stick) GC1 Net-Sharing Cam. The GC1 does double-duty as a 5MP camera with flash and a video camcorder capable of capturing 640x480 30fps video in MPEG4 format, ready for uploading to any of your favorite video sharing sites. At the highest video setting, you can capture about 90 minutes of video on a 2GB Memory Stick. There's no real point in getting a larger memory stick as the internal battery lasts for about 90 minutes per charge as well.

Sony Net Sharing Cam

At 149, you can't expect the GC1 to be anything remarkable but I was surprised at how much you get for so little: a flip-up 2.4-inch LCD with adequately ergonomic, thumb-centric controls. It's built from plastic and feels as cheap as you might think although the GC1 only weighs 5 ounces so that will keep your mind off of the build quality.

Sony Net Sharing Cam

Video quality is not impressive and audio quality is good for low volume indoor voices and the like but anything louder results in noticeable distortion. Case in point this video of me turning on my car, shot with the GC1. You can also see how the video becomes slightly distorted and "wavy" with faster movie sequences, such as when I was running down the stairs.

Then again, I'm taking the GC1 away from its arena of expertise - indoor, video-blogger talking-into-the-camera type stuff like wine expert Gary Vaynerchuk does on his personal site. In that regard, I think this camera is well-suited. With the low cost of the GC1, there's not much stopping someone from pursuing video-blogging or just tinkering around with a cheap camcorder. For me though, the GC1 seems like the perfect camcorder to take around to social events and not have to worry about breaking, like I do with "real" cameras. Can someone say Facebook videos?

If you're standing on the other side of the road, you might want to check out the Panasonic HDC-SD5 - it records HD straight to SD memory cards and is small to boot.

Verdict: Fun little gadget, nothing more.

What kind of video camcorder do you have or are you looking to get, if any?

Like it? Tweet it.

"Review: Sony GC1 Net-Sharing Cam" by @Stammy

Get new articles via email