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  • Sharp VLWD255U MiniDV Digital Camcorder with 2.5'' Viewscreen, Smart Media Slot and Built-in Digital Still Mode
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Sharp VLWD255U MiniDV Digital Camcorder with 2.5'' Viewscreen, Smart Media Slot and Built-in Digital Still Mode

by Sharp

Available from these sellers.
  • MiniDV camcorder
  • 26x optical, 780x digital zoom with digital image stabilization
  • 2.5-inch color LCD monitor and color EVF
  • Photo mode records still images onto tape or SmartMedia card (not included)
  • Uses an included lithium-ion battery; package includes remote control, battery, charger, lens cap, serial cable for still image transfers, and video cables
1 used from $99.99

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Product Description

Amazon.com

For great video you need a couple of things: a good lens and high video resolution. The Sharp VL-WD255U provides both. The standard MiniDV format offers sparkling video resolution (just compare it to the "low-tech" VHS-C), and a powerful 26x optical zoom. The optical zoom is augmented by the 780x digital zoom and digital image stabilization, but both come at the expense of a little resolution, so use with caution.

For those interested in still pictures, the VL-WD255U comes with the capability to record digital images onto either a MiniDV tape or SmartMedia card (not included). The camcorder comes equipped with four autoexposure modes that help make sure all your camera settings are correct. A 16:9 mode lets you shoot video in the same aspect ratio as feature films. The VL-WD255U comes equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and remote control.


Product Details

Product Manual [6.15mb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 7 inches ; 1.5 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00005KK2Q
  • Item model number: 630551
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,743 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: September 4, 1999

Technical Details

  • 16:9 Widescreen

Read about our customers' top-rated camcorders on our review page: Camcorders

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

The picture quality is very good.
GadgetGal
I,too, was suckered into buying this camcorder by the (...) rebate.
Nicho
I read on someone else's review that had the same problem.
J. Agar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Dinovo on July 2, 2001
To be honest, I knew nothing about digital video cameras... I'd done the research, and knew what features I wanted, but that was about it. The VLWD255U camera was a shot in the dark, but I've been very pleasantly suprised. The feature-to-price ratio was very impressive. This camera takes MiniDV video and stills on SmartMedia flash memory cards. It has gamma adjustment for low light condition, and a "cat's eye" mode for night shots. There are RCA, serial, and iLink outs and several included effects/transitions. The quality was very good and the ease of use surprised me. The only shortcomings was no attached light and no flash memory included. Other than that, it has proven to be an excellent choice and will be well used!
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95 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Underwater MD on October 24, 2001
Whenever I buy any piece of electronics, I typically do quite a bit of research. This camcorder is new on the market. If you look for other reviews, Amazon has the most ratings for it. Consumer reports recently rated this as the lowest of the digital camcorders but better than any other analog camcorder. This is fairly obvious as picture quality is based on CCD units and more expensive digital start at 660K, analog is below 300K. I believe sharp is the only one with 460K, hence the middle of the road rating. Anyway, when I was looking for a camcorder for my newborn son, I did not want to spend a lot of money. I was intent on buying a Canon or Sony analog, until I found this Sharp on Amazon. For the price of an analog, I have a digital camera! In other words, I do not even need to upgrade later if I want to store images on my computer. While the picture may not be on par with other digital camcorders, it is substantially improved over any other typical camcorder. Of note, price comparison is based on Sharp's current (dollar amount) rebate.
Now the unit itself is manageable with one hand. Image Stabilization is noticeable and effective. Its zoom range, both optical and digital, is the most powerful of any digital cam. Of note, the lens is made by Canon. While such magnification suffers at the high end, it's still there and usable with a tripod. It's packed with features similar to high end cams and not present on high end analog cams: smartmedia slot, image stabilization, cat eye illumination. Misgivings: PCMIA connection to computer to download smart media (doesn't matter to me), cumbersome menus and dial, lack of S-Video and IEEE1394 cables.
All in all, as I mentioned, the best bang for the buck...so long as the rebate exists.
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By "ekounz" on November 13, 2001
First, I have actually BOUGHT this camera. (...) I am VERY pleased with this camera. For 350 dollars you can't ask for anything more. Plus, it DOES include the battery pack, it DOES include serial cable for computer, it DOES include RCA cables, it DOES include charging station, and it does include docking bay. Also, most people dont need a boom mic (you can buy one) but this unit comes standard with built in 16 bit stereo sound. I bought a 64 meg smartmedia card here at amazon for next to nothing. The stills it takes are about 1 megapixel...nothing great..but not BAD either. The video and sound is excellent, manual figures are great..and the effects are fun to play with..including 16:9 widescreen. Buy it! You will be happy.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By GadgetGal on October 11, 2001
Verified Purchase
This is my first camcorder, so I really have no basis for comparison. I can say that it's quite easy to use. The zoom capabilities are pretty awesome. The picture quality is very good. I really like the feature of taking stills and saving to a memory card (not included, bummer) or video-recording and freezing a frame for a pic too. The included software is easy to use for downloading your pics to a PC. Battery life is pretty good. All in all, a very good buy. It's great fun to play with.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Nicho on December 11, 2001
I,too, was suckered into buying this camcorder by the (...) rebate. I mean, how can you resist owning a brand new digital camcorder for less than ($$$), right? Well, maybe after my review, you will realize that it is not such a great deal after all. First of all, the picture quality is AWFUL-it is more grainy than the desert! Maybe it's because it only has 460,00 pixels. A S-VHS has 400,000 pixels so it is BARELY better than a good VHS camcorder. I actually compared it to footage shot with my 7+ year-old Panasonic Palmcorder and I could not tell the difference! Why own a digital camera if no one can tell it has digital picture? Second of all, I experienced technical problems within 2 hours of using it!!! It kept jamming my brand new Sony miniDV tapes. Obviously, there is something inherently wrong about their tape mechanism as MANY people have reported similar problems. I became utterly terrified to rewind the tape, afraid, it would eat another $10 tape. Luckily for me, I can still return it to Amazon and not have to deal with Sharp (whose customer service seems awful, judging by other people's comments). I am upgrading to the Panasonic PVDV-51. Sure, it's (...) more but with the (...) rebate, it still comes in at under ($$$). More importantly, it boasts 680,000 pixels! Plus, Panasonic makes great, RELIABLE camcorders. This is the one I should have bought in the first place if I had not been sidetracked by the (...) rebate from Sharp. I realize now that it's well worth the extra $100 for a MUCH higher quality picture, and proven reliability. This sure beats being terrified to use your camcorder in fear of breaking it with one touch of a button. Sharp-You can take your (...) rebate, I'm sticking with Panasonic.
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