The Sony DCR-TRV730 is a full-featured Digital8 camcorder. Digital8 utilizes the digital video format, but records onto Hi8 tapes, and can play your old Hi8 and 8mm movies. The 18x optical (400x digital) zoom is combined with image stabilization, a boon since high zooms can lead to increased shakiness. Additionally, the DCR-TRV730 has a low-light shooting mode that allows for visibility in near darkness. An assortment of special effects and faders help give your footage a more professional feel. Also, a 16:9 widescreen-shooting mode lets you shoot movies in the same aspect ratio as Hollywood films.
The black-and-white EVF is adequate, but the large 2.5-inch color LCD monitor is the better bet for framing your shots. MPEG movies and digital stills can be recorded onto the accompanying 4 MB Memory Stick, which can then be downloaded to your computer via USB. Like all DV camcorders, the audio is recorded at CD quality levels--PCM digital stereo. Should you need more professional sound than the built-in mic provides, a mic input jack is located on the camcorder.
Because the DCR-TRV730 uses the DV format, you can download your footage to a computer for editing using an IEEE 1394 cable. Analog pass-through ports are built-in, letting you digitally archive all your old analog footage. Also included are a shoulder strap, lens cap, battery, AC adapter, and remote control.