Easy to operate, Sony's DCR-DVD408 DVD Handycam produces great-looking movies in widescreen (16:9) format. The Sony DCR-DVD408 DVD Handycam's DVD media lets you record video and then play it back on most DVD players, without any need for a computer or knowledge of video editing.

The Sony DCR-DVD408 DVD Handycam feels solid, fits comfortably in your right hand, and is easy to operate with thumb and forefinger. The well-placed switches include a smooth, variable-speed lever to control the camcorder's 10X optical zoom, a still-shot button and a dual-function switch that lets you quickly turn the unit on or off - or flip from video to still shooting - with one hand.

You manage most of the Sony DCR-DVD408 DVD Handycam's other settings via the 2.7in, wide-format LCD touch screen. The Sony DCR-DVD408 DVD Handycam's LCD panel also includes a second set of zoom and start/stop buttons, although you're unlikely to use these unless you've turned the LCD toward yourself for a self-portrait. A small number of dedicated buttons let you switch from wide-screen to standard (4:3) format, set backlight control, and jump into playback mode.

One other button sets the Easy mode, which turns off most of the Sony DCR-DVD408 DVD Handycam's menu options and sets the Sony DCR-DVD408 DVD Handycam to full automatic - a good choice if you're a camcorder newbie.

We awarded the Sony DCR-DVD408 DVD Handycam a PC Advisor grade of Superior for video quality, and it earned high audio-quality marks as well. Even casual clips looked quite pleasing.