Product: Sony DVD Handycam Price: $6,490 (DCR-DVD101/E); $7,790 (DCR-DVD201/E) Pros: Recorded video can be played on a DVD player without cables Cons: Takes a bit too long to process DVD discs to play on external players Remember about five years ago, when the only thing you connected to your camera was a flash and the ubiquitous technology now known as universal serial bus (USB) was nothing more than a sketch in some Intel laboratory? When digital photography was still in its infancy, the array of cables and adaptors needed to move photos from a camera to the desktop deterred many from migrating to the new format. So Sony slapped an old floppy drive onto the newest digital camera and helped usher in a new age of photography. The newest DVD201 Handycam combines a camcorder with a DVD-R/DVD-RW burner that writes to eight-inch discs, allowing it to record up to 60 minutes of digital video. Granted, it is a lot easier nowadays to move video from most new digital camcorders to the desktop, thanks to the arrival of USB and Firewire. Still, nothing beats the convenience of taking out the small DVD-R or DVD-RW disc and slapping it into the nearest DVD drive. No crawling on the floor to attach cables, nothing to trip over or forget. The integration of DVD technology into camcorders also has a style advantage over its floppy-based ancestor - the mini DVD-R/DVD-RW disc resembles something out of Mission: Impossible. You could almost hear a voice intone: 'This message will self-destruct in five seconds', as you view the recorded video on the bright 2.5-inch LCD display. There are some shortcomings though. One is the time it takes to 'finalise' a DVD disc with recorded video for use on other players besides the unit itself - such as a DVD drive on a desktop or one connected to a television set. This usually takes about 10 minutes, and makes the device a lot less spontaneous. Another slightly annoying trait is the two- to five-second delay in disc access when a new disc is inserted or the current one is ejected. The camcorder's Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar zoom lens doubles as a one-megapixel camera with 10x optical and 12x digital zoom. There is a NightShot system to allow users to capture images in the dark without leaving residual images. The packaging boasts eight hours of continuous usage on a single battery charge although, even with the LCD turned off, our test unit could only be used for an hour. Sony has released two versions of the camera; the silver DCR-DVD201/E, which uses software to upgrade video and still images to 1,152x864 pixels, and the black DCR-DVD101/E, which captures at a resolution of 640x480 pixels.?