Customer Reviews


15 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Best Buy for heavy users
The 230 is this year's lowest price "complete" digital 8 camcorder. (the 130 does not play analog 8mm tapes). The camera is a pleasure to use. The picture quality is a startling step up from 8mm and the ability to display complete single frames one at a time is fun. I've compared to mini dv and can't see any quality difference (Digital 8 is 500 lines vs 525 for dv)...
Published on August 23, 2001 by paulacton

versus
104 of 111 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY this for normal family/group videos
After spending a week with this camcorder, I found that whilst the quality of videos from outdoors was nice, for normal indoor use this camcorder is far worse than my 8 year old standard 8mm camcorder. The picture gets REALLY GRAINY indoors under normal room lighting.
For many people, BY FAR the greatest use of camcorders is to take videos of family/group activities...
Published on June 14, 2001


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

104 of 111 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY this for normal family/group videos, June 14, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Sony DCRTRV230 Digital8 Camcorder (Electronics)
After spending a week with this camcorder, I found that whilst the quality of videos from outdoors was nice, for normal indoor use this camcorder is far worse than my 8 year old standard 8mm camcorder. The picture gets REALLY GRAINY indoors under normal room lighting.
For many people, BY FAR the greatest use of camcorders is to take videos of family/group activities INDOORS (e.g. children growing up, birthdays, graduations, wedding receptions etc). For these situations, it is very important to shoot the videos in natural light and not have powerful video light/s which make people conscious of their videos being taken. Sony have lately neglected this capability for other stupid gimmicks like nightshot (0 Lux !).
Example: Sony's previous generation camcorders had MINIMUM ILLUMINATION specifications of 1 Lux or less whilst for the DCR-TRV230(, TRV330 and TRV530) Sony specify a minimum of 4 Lux!
Sony's previous generation camcorders had a 1/4 inch CCD sensor whilst the new 230/330/530 camcorders have a 1/6 th inch sensor. In fact you are better off taking pictures with SONY's current generation of Hi-8 camcorders for indoor videos for which Sony specify minimum illumination of 0.4 Lux. Unfortunately, Sony no longer offer Stereo sound or even external microphone inputs on their Hi-8 camcorders.
Finally, the new 230/330/530 camcorders have the cassette door latch at the bottom. This is really inconvenient if you have mounted the camcorder on a tripod and you need to change the tape.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Best Buy for heavy users, August 23, 2001
By 
This review is from: Sony DCRTRV230 Digital8 Camcorder (Electronics)
The 230 is this year's lowest price "complete" digital 8 camcorder. (the 130 does not play analog 8mm tapes). The camera is a pleasure to use. The picture quality is a startling step up from 8mm and the ability to display complete single frames one at a time is fun. I've compared to mini dv and can't see any quality difference (Digital 8 is 500 lines vs 525 for dv). The tapes are easy to find and less expensive that mini-dv... Sony has added a helpful "intermidiate limit" on digital zoom. This feature allows the digital zoom to be limited by the user to a range that is usefull. (about 3x over the tightest optical zoom.) The Color LCD screen is perfect for off eye shooting and great fun with children.
Any downside? -Some don't like the B&W eye viewer. I prefer it since the detail seems better in it. -The backlight button is easy to confuse with the adjacent control. -Sony dropped the "force to infinity" focus button this year. (This was often helpfull). -I'm not fond of the bottom opening deck, but it makes sense since you can keep the camera strapped on your hand while you change tape. -The standard video out plugs have been changed to a mini-video plug. This helps make the camera smaller but may make replacing a lost cable harder.
The features I'd most like to see next year: Move the menu button to the outside of the camera and add an option for a brief date and time display at the start of each scene in play mode.
What about the memory stick option in the 330. I suppose that this is a matter of personal preference, but I bought this to have very good video camera, if I want a good digital still camera, I'll go buy one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A step backwards from the previous year models, August 28, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Sony DCRTRV230 Digital8 Camcorder (Electronics)
While I am very pleased with the trv120 I bought last year, I have to say Sony has gone a step backward with the new x30 (130, 230, etc) line. Yes, it is slightly smaller, big deal... However, the inconvenience of the botton loading tapes is a real negative if you use a tripod (which I do most of the time). Many features that were on the 120, were dropped from the 130 (playing analog tapes, microphone jack, contrast control on LCD screen) and I went to the 230 when I needed a second camera just to get those features back. The batteries (M series) on the new x30 generation are different from the x20 series(which used L series). I still like the Sony line, but I'd buy a used TRV120 instead of the TRV230 if I had it to do again. The 230 is not as much bang for the buck for my uses.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I agree! Do not Buy this camera, July 2, 2001
By 
This review is from: Sony DCRTRV230 Digital8 Camcorder (Electronics)
I have found exactly the same problem - grainy and unnatural colors for indoor shots. In fact I compared the video quality with my 6 year old Sharp camcorder and found the older camera had clearer images than Sony DCR-TRV230 in almost EVERY case.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works fine, March 29, 2002
This review is from: Sony DCRTRV230 Digital8 Camcorder (Electronics)
I read all the negative reviews and whining in the reviews of the Sony TRV-230 Digital 8 camcorder, and bought it anyway for use of live-action reference for my animated projects. I didn't need stellar image quality, anyway, so the complaints didn't apply to me. I was suprised when I got this thing.
The image quality is wonderful! It has natural looking colours, excellent sound reproduction for a built in microphone and is razor sharp. While it is true that indoors you may have a bit of grain, it isn't a detriment like the people here would make it out like. I lit my subjects evenly and brightly, and the grain disappeared. Scratch one problem. If you have good lighting, there's no grain. Very simple. But, if you do not have even, bright lighting, it can become very grainy indeed.
The camera has a mind-boggling array of effects, all of which can have a nice effect if used in moderation. The effect I particularly like is the "flash" effect. If you crank it down to one bar, you get a nice cinematic look that is very similar in look to 35mm film at 26fps. The lens is very good, but in very bright situations some glare can appear on subjects. However, all cameras do that in some respect so if you're doing a lot of outdoor shooting, Sony has some lens filters that you can screw on. Scratch another complaint.
I especially liked how virtually everything is near your thumb. Record mode, play mode, zoom. The zoom is amazing, but you can forget a 700x zoom. It gets blurry around 400 or 500x, but as someone else at Amazon put it, who needs that much zoom anyways? If you really want to shoot something, then get off your [behind] and shoot it.
The remote is also handy, as well, especially if you are doing stop-motion/steadycam work. It may seem like a toy, but when it's on a tripod, you don't want to jolt the camera when you're doing stop-mo. It has most of the functions of the camera itself.
One complaint that I have is the tape loading mechanism. Most 8mm camcorders have a simple door, shove in the tape and slam the door shut --- just like a cassette deck. Not this one. It has a fancy little motor that wheels out the cassette like some kind of science fiction movie. It definitely looks cool but if it breaks down, how are you supposed to get the tape in? demerit point for Sony there. I did like the bottom tape loading mechanism, though, because most 8mms have the door where your palm is, so you have to slip your hand out. Not so here. Tripod could be a problem, but a display tells you how much tape you're used and how much tape is left, so it doesn't reall matter because you have more than enough notice to change the tape anyhow.
It is a simple point and shoot camcorder which does a good job. It also suits me well in professional ways, as it runs circles around all the other broadcast cameras at Cogeco. This camera exceeds quality than any of the other cameras at the Cogeco studio, before or since. It takes some photography know how and a true artistic eye to get professional quality out of this camera, but it can certainly be accomplished.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars TRV230 is a very good camera: Read your manual!, March 23, 2002
By 
This review is from: Sony DCRTRV230 Digital8 Camcorder (Electronics)
I bought this camera in November of 2001 and am very happy with its performance and features.
For all those that complain about the grainy picture: read your manual that came with the camcorder! With this camera you have the option of different exposure settings. I have found that the AE(automatic exposure) setting tends to make the picture look grainy, especially when filming indoors. This can be corrected by using the 'sun and moon' exposure or one of the others. Take the time to try each setting in different lighting and surroundings and view them on your television to see which ones you like best.
Some pros about this camera
* light-weight
* very good lcd color screen
* excellent image stabilization
* very good color representation (with right exposure)
* excellent compatibility with computer OS's & programs
* great stero sound
* excellent remote control
Some cons to consider
* changing tapes is awkward, tape loaded from bottom
* camera hum audible on tape if shooting quiet scene
* digital zoom is not focused (keep on analog zoom)
* battery does not last long when using the lcd screen
(about 1/2 hour)
This cam does not have a digital media storage card for photo stills but I don't consider this a con. High cost models are beginning to come out with decent resolution photo still capability integrated into the camcorder and until the price falls, buy a seperate digital photo cam.
Very good camera overall!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars SONY LIVES UP TO REPUTATION!!!! A GREAT CAMERA!!!, June 29, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Sony DCRTRV230 Digital8 Camcorder (Electronics)
This is a great camera!! ...I've had NO problems with this camera. I'll admit that it's kind of pointless to have a 700x zoom and it doesn't work to well after about 400x, but who needs that much zoom anyways. This camera is far better than our last SONY camcorder which was about 12 or 13 years old. It was good at the time, but technology changes. The picture is great quality and the feature that includes editing on the computer is great! The night-vision feature comes in handy too. The only thing I partially agree with, that the other reviewer stated, is that the tape release button is on the bottom, so this could make it hard if you are using a tripod, but I haven't used a tripod yet with this camera, and I would assume that you could easily insert a new tape. Overall, I HIGHLY-RECOMMEND this camcorder.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars So-So camera, February 9, 2004
By 
Becky (Southern, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony DCRTRV230 Digital8 Camcorder (Electronics)
This is not a bad camera but I am having trouble with it not wanting to record or playback tapes. I have tried different tapes thinking maybe it was the tape but no matter what I do, it won't work. Took it to the place I got it, they had to send it away, which took forever, and all they done was use a headcleaner on it. They said they could not find out any problem with it. I brought it home and it started doing the same thing again and I bought a Maxell head cleaner and used it several times on it and it worked okay for awhile. Now it is back to doing the same thing again on not recording or playing back a tape. Do not know what the problem is. It just could be that I got a "lemon." I have contacted Sony but have never heard anything back.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing!!, January 20, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Sony DCRTRV230 Digital8 Camcorder (Electronics)
I expected high quality video and still pictures from a digital camera! Instead I got grainy results that any cheap camera on the market could produce. In fact, my brother's $300 VHS-C camera took video far superior to this model. Some nice features include a wireless remote and the lithium batteries last a while. If you are looking for sharp pictures from a digital camcorder, look elsewhere!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Turn Off Image Stabilization = Better Picture, March 31, 2002
By 
M. Nissen "Hg" (Glendale, WI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony DCRTRV230 Digital8 Camcorder (Electronics)
Several of the previous reviewers complained about the poor picture quality especially indoors. I thought the same until I
turned off the elctronic stabilization. Aside from the tape ejecting on the bottom I find this camcorder to be a good value.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Sony DCRTRV230 Digital8 Camcorder
Used & New from: $200.00
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.