4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Casual filming and robust performance, not HD,
This review is from: Sony DCR-SX85 Handycam Camcorder (Silver) (Electronics)
I got this camera for a cruise on the Mexican Riviera with my family...I sold a bunch of stuff on E-bay to buy it. I was not disappointed with overall performance. I have a steady hand, so the 70x optical zoom was no problem to manage. I keep my vacation films to less than two hours, so there was more than enough capacity. The touchscreen allowed me access to other features, and the software allowed me to program the main menus to get at the features I wanted most.
Bear in mind it's not an HD camera. But it does shoot some decent video, and it allows the amateur cinematographer to do detailed close-ups.
The only thing I wish this camera had was a viewfinder rather than a screen. With a viewfinder I have one eye free to see the real world. I'm not distracted or forced to stare at a screen. Too many manufacturers are neglecting this.
On the other hand, if you're a scuba diver and want to eventually move into underwater photography, I have found a waterproof/pressure rated camera housing built for this model of camera.
I would further recommend three things:
-A wide angle lens. This will allow you to make slow pans and frame more of your surroundings for establishing shots.
-A polarizing filter. This cuts reflections. Beware...laminate in windows may make them appear "dirty," so you will have to adjust the filter. (Just rotate the filter housing until the image cleans up).
-Sony Vegas 10 Platinum suite or equivalent. I actually had this software before I bought the camera, and it performs very well. It is intuitive, and only as complicated as you want it to be. The suite also comes with DVD creator, so you can organize and assemble your footage, even add menus. I would recommend spending some time to learn how, though. But as far as high-grade video software goes, Amazon.com offered it for <$80. A good deal.