9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony DCR-IP1 MicroMV Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom (Electronics)Video nuts may not like the artifacts that this unit produces. If you are outputing to VHS tapes, it won't matter, but if you are into capturing the highest fidelity possible for future generations, or for display on a large flatscreen TV, you should try this out in the store before buying. Just play the output hooked up to a large flatscreen. Now compare to another camcorder you are considering. I'll bet the DCRIP1 comes up short, but it is a judgement call if it is significant enough. The camera I use for family shots is a Triple CD Sony TRV950- and it produces near HDTV like quality, far outstripping the DCRIP1.
Near HDTV quality means zipideydoodah if you miss the shot because the camcorder is not always available in your pocket. Because of this, 3 times as much video is being taken with the DCRIP1 in my house.
I haven't had any problems converting the tapes to DVDs. I used the Sony provided MovieShaker app to rip them to disk, then MyDVD to shoot them to DVD. More hassle because this unit isn't automatically recognized by standard Video applications due to it's nonstandard driver. (Gee- what a shock that Sony often ignores standards). It is nice the MicroMv tapes have memory to store the stop points and recording date/time of the clips, but the feature is only a nice to have. If it was more taken advantage of my software programs I use, it would be a relevant feature.
This extreme portability might not be worth the price premium. After all, there are some good Mini tape camcorders that though not pocketable, are very close to this unit in size, and probably have better video output quality.
My unit quickly had a problem with lens cover not opening completely. It is an annoyance and probably coverred by warranty but I don't think I'll send it back, since it is easily slid open manually. This sort of think may be an inherent risk due to the hairy mechanics on minature cameras. Might be something to consider if you are in a more dusty or marine environment as I am.
The integrated camera is what you'd expect for a 1Mpixel. I took some snapshots- but there are many very decent >4Mpixel pocketable cameras so don't rely on this one for being an all in one. Maybe in a few years we will get a true all in one camcorder/ digital camera. We aren't there yet.
I'll echo what someone else said about low light. It is ok, but not like the ones that take shots in utter darkness.
If you decide to buy- get some extra tapes off the net because the local stores charge a fortune for the MicroMVs- that is, if they even have them. I bought both tapes and camera from Amazon. Very fast delivery, no complaints or hassles as usual.
One last thing- The battery life on these puppies is a lot better than the old days. My habit was to buy two extra batteries. I didn't for this unit and probably won't need an extra. If you are going to be shooting a lot before getting to another outlet, that's another thing but I shot for a full day at disneyland and still had plenty of juice.