The new Sony NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing CAM is part camcorder, part web cam

Today, Sony has announced a new camcorder that breaks their traditional Handycam mold and ushers in a new Net-Sharing CAM product line. The Sony NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing CAM is built more like a compact digital still camera than a palm-sized video camcorder, measuring 1-3/6" width by 4-1/8" height by 2-1/4" depth and weighing 5 ounces. It's tiny enough to fit in most pockets for a person who wants to take this Net-Sharing CAM on the go. That's what Sony hopes, anyhow. With the new Net-Sharing CAM, Sony hopes to provide youthful shooters the tools to shoot and share video in way that's never been easier. The Sony NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing CAM records video clips at small file sizes of a widely adopted format (MPEG-4) and has a unique Share Mark button to flag video clips and still images for immediate upload to the Internet. The software used to transfer and upload files to the Internet from the NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing CAM is embedded in the camcorder itself, making it possible to share you video wherever a USB equipped, Internet enabled computer can be found. The software can also be installed on your local machine and, more importantly, the software can remotely access your web accounts so that it will automatically upload video and still photo content that you've flagged or selected during import. Sony's Net-Sharing CAM and recent acquisition of the online video community, Grouper (now Crackle), illustrates their intention to be a major advocate for online video content creators. The NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing CAM is focused on the user generated content shooter. In addition to its small size, the NSC-GC1 has a 1/2.5" CMOS sensor, with 5.0 Mega Pixel still capabilities. The small lens is capable on a 4x digital zoom only. Sorry, no optical zoom for you. That means you'll have to let your feet do the zooming. The Sony NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing CAM records in three different quality modes (640 by 480 pixels at 30 fps, 320 by 240 pixels at 30 fps and 320 by 240 pixels at 15 fps) on Sony's proprietary Memory Stick. With a 2 GB Memory Stick at the highest quality, a shooter can record 1 hour, 32 minutes, 10 seconds of video. That's a decent amount of video, considering that the majority of NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing CAM shooters will be looking to upload a more commonly adopted web video duration of 3 to 5 minutes. The Net-Sharing CAM can also act as a web cam connecting to a PC using the USB 2.0 jack to do USB streaming. Other connections on the Sony NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing CAM are a shared AV/USB terminal and a DC in terminal. As we're looking forward to reviewing the Sony NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing CAM, we're taking note on a few issues. First, this camcorder has an internal battery. This means that there will be no swapping batteries, so the charge you have is the charge you get. Sony reports that the NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing CAM has an average battery life of 90 minutes. We're still waiting to hear from Sony on how long a single internal battery will keep over the years in normal operating conditions. But, ultimately, we would have liked to have seen an interchangeable battery for the obvious reason of swapping out dead and dead-and-gone batteries. Other issues (yes, we're getting a little nit-picky now) are the 4:3 aspect recording mode only and digital zoom only. But, all in all, the Sony Net-Sharing CAM is an introduction to a new and exciting product line that could help promote and encourage more online content creators to create video. That's something we look forward to seeing from the Net-Sharing CAM. The Sony NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing CAM goes for $200 and will be available in September.