Top positive review
93 people found this helpful
Excellent Ultra-Portable Camcorder
on May 1, 2004
This is a great little camcorder. It feels sturdy, is lightweight, and I can hold it in one hand securely. The video is also quite excellent.
I was debating whether to buy this or one of the Canon ZRs. Even though I was not sure if I would be shooting a lot indoors or not, I like knowing that I can, especially with the Sony's infrared light. The reduced zoom compared to the Canons was a minor issue for me, but I thought that the improved low-light quality of the Sony compensated for it.
The touch screen only functionality of this cam took some getting used to, but as this was my first camcorder, I was not used to any other system. It does not appear that LCD-only buttons is a major drawback, and in fact, I got used to it quite quickly. Also, I can appreciate that there are fewer buttons on the body itself to add to a cluttered appearance.
The built-in lens cover is quite nice as there is no losing it, and also, I think, could be useful for quick manual transitions when shooting.
The camera itself is very compact, and slim. About 2" thick, I can slip this baby into my pocket and go, albiet, large pocket, but it's still amazingly small.
The zoom is very rapid, and the rocker allows variable-speed zooms.
The photo function is nice to have, but I wish that the 7-second audio with each picture was variable, or could be turned off altogether, but as with all camcorders, the photo function is just a nicety, and serious photos should be taken with a real camera, not a video camcorder.
All in all, this is a great miniDV camcorder. I have no basis for reference as this is my first, but I love it, and have no regrets in spending $460 of my limited college-student budget =) on this. I recall three years ago my friend and I were making a film for science class with his hi-8 camcorder, especially the pain of having to manually control a VCR to tranfer the film onto a regular VHS tape. But no more, with miniDV, I can edit and output a film in just a few minutes. WIth the help of a firewire cord (sold separately), on the first day I was able to import the film onto my computer and make a short film clip using Windows Movie Maker. It worked beautifully, so I didn't bother installing the software that came with the cam, since I've heard that it is useless.
Lightweight and compact
Excellent film quality
Bright, functional LCD
Constrained still-photo function
Relatively short zoom