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$342.50 list($399.99)
141. Panasonic SVAV30 MPEG4 eWear Digital
$498.99 list($799.99)
142. Canon ZR70MC MiniDV Digital Camcorder
$1,351.95 list($1,699.99)
143. Sony DCRIP7BT MicroMV Digital
$136.99 $134.88 list($179.99)
144. Audiovox DC400 Digital Media Recorder
$449.88 list($699.99)
145. JVC GRDV500 MiniDV 1.33 MP Camcorder
Too low to display $399.97 list($599.99)
146. Panasonic PVGS55 Ultra-Compact
$152.00 list($199.99)
147. Gateway DVS20 MPEG4 Pocket Multi-Cam
$1,249.99 list($1,399.99)
148. Sony DCRTRV70 MiniDV 2MP Camcorder
$214.99 list($329.99)
149. Sharp VL-A10U 3" Color LCD Hi8
$319.88
150. SONY DCR-TRV285E PAL Digital-8
$332.50 list($599.99)
151. JVC GRD90 MiniDV Camcorder with
$378.50
152. SONY DCR-TRV265E PAL System Digital
$299.99 list($479.99)
153. PreTec DV4200i MPEG-4 Camcorder
list($1,119.99)
154. Sony DCRTRV27 MiniDV Digital Handycam
$336.99 $329.99 list($399.99)
155. Samsung SCD303 Compact MiniDV
list($1,499.99)
156. JVC GRDVM90U MiniDV Digital Camcorder
$4,888.88 list($5,946.00)
157. SONY HVR-Z1U 3 CCD Professional
list($1,199.99)
158. Canon Elura 40MC MiniDV Digital
list($1,699.99)
159. Sony DCRTRV50 MiniDV Digital Camcorder
Too low to display $449.98 list($649.99)
160. Canon Elura 65 MiniDV Camcorder

141. Panasonic SVAV30 MPEG4 eWear Digital Camcorder/Still Camera w/ 64 MB SD Card & Docking Station
by Panasonic
list price: $399.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008OLBQ
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Panasonic
Sales Rank: 2540
Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

The stylish Panasonic e-wear SVAV30 (Silver) combines a digital video recorder, digital still camera, digital audio player (with new SD-Jukebox software), and a digital voice recorder into one ultra-compact package. This palm-sized camcorder features a user-friendly interface and improved video resolution over its predecessor, the SVAV10. The SVAV30 also offers a docking station for recording and viewing footage on a television.

The new user-friendly interface makes recording easy, without having to scroll through menus. The SVAV30 features enhanced picture quality with an MPEG4 frame rate (15 frames per second) for video and 640 x 480 resolution for JPEG still images. A swiveling 2-inch LCD screen and two record buttons allow you to shoot comfortably with the unit in either the horizontal or vertical position. A new 2x digital zoom helps bring subjects into closer view.

The SVAV30 includes a built-in flash for taking digital still pictures in low-light situations. A built-in USB interface makes it easy to transfer music from a PC to an SD Memory Card for playback, while the included SD Jukebox software provides a simple way to catalog and save numerous digital music files in a single database on a PC. The SVAV30 is compatible with the MP3 and AAC formats. A built-in speaker lets users listen to any recorded audio.

Improving on its counterpart, the SVAV20, the SVAV30 features a unique A/V docking station that connects to a TV for viewing video and still images, or to a VCR for recording favorite TV programs and viewing them on the go. The docking station also includes a built-in battery recharger to power up the player.

  • 64 MB Secure Digital memory card
  • Weighs just 3.25 ounces
  • 2-inch LCD screen
  • Software includes SD Jukebox 3.0 and SD MovieStage 2.0
  • Compatibility with Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, and XP
  • Packaged with AC adapter, USB and A/V cables, handstrap, carrying case, remote control with earphones, and rechargeable battery

The Digital Tapeless Format
Tapeless camcorders make use of the compression power of the MPEG-4 file format (often called the MP3 of video) to allow you to record directly to memory cards, dispensing with the need for tapes altogether. They may require slightly more computer savvy than other formats, but are more user-friendly than you might expect and allow for the most compact camcorder body sizes ever made. ... Read more

Features

  • Ultracompact MPEG4 digital camcorder weighs just 3.25 ounces
  • Also functions as digital audio player, voice recorder, and still camera
  • Docking station connects to TV for viewing and recording video
  • Built-in falsh, swiveling 2-inch LCD screen
  • Includes 64 MB Secure Digital card; compatible with Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, and XP

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD
this is the coolest thing you get four great things in one, although i cant print out the pictures because my mom lost the product key

a retard could figure this out it's so easy,but if you are going to buy this buy an extra card for recording because they dont hold very much. well, you should still buy this because instead of buying those expensive video camera, or mp3 players, or digital cameras it's all in one and VERY COOL

5-0 out of 5 stars The Coolest Gadget of Summer 2003
If you don't have an MP3 player, digital camera, digital voice recorder or digital video camera, this one device will do it all. If you have all those separate components, this baby is still great to have. Sure, the still and video camera don't have the resolution of the larger and pricier cameras, but hey, it fits in the palm of your hand with room to spare and weighs just a tad over two ounces. And you can pop it into its cradle and record video from an external source. The frame rate is only 15fps but I was still able to enjoy an episode of Seinfeld while waiting for a flight. And everybody who saw it had to know what it was and what it did.

3-0 out of 5 stars A great gizmo, a substandard camera
I really wish I had read some of the reviews before buying this camera. It is small, has tons of features, and is really fast, not to mention makes everybody around you, strangers or not, stop to look at it and ask questions. But the pictures it takes are just not a high enough quality to make it worth it. You could buy a cell phone that can play mp3's and take pictures as good as this camera, and thats a phone too. The zoom was terrible and lost all focus when used, and the mp3 player would be cool if there weren't so many restrictions on how to get music on there. All in all, I was really excited to receive, and really disappointed as soon as I tried to print my pictures, so I returned the product.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not bad at all! Recommended.
When reading these reviews prior to purchase, I got nervous that I would recieve a piece of garbage that didn't live up to the curiousity surrounding it.

I was wrong!

This is a great gadget for on the go, making home movies, anything. When taking a picture, if you are too close with the flash on, all you will see is a flash of white light. Just don't take it less than 1-2 feet away from the object.

I was very impressed with the video aspect. The sound was very impressive and I was able to watch the videos immediately after taking them, and the picture quality is impressive considering how small this is.

Overall, I'm really glad I bought this. The voice recorder is reliable, I haven't checked the Audio player, but I mostly bought it for three out of four purposes. It is absolutely worth it, especially to slip in your pocket and make videos/take pictures on the go.

TIP: The SV-AV30 comes with a 64MB Memory Card. If you are planning to use this full-time, or are taking this on a trip, buy an additional card. 64MB is really not a lot of room, especially if you will be using all of the options offered (Voice/Audio/Camera/Video). The memory cards are somewhat expensive, but if you invest in a high MB card, it will last you for a while.

1-0 out of 5 stars NOT Worth it
Sorry guys... I saw this gizmo and thought as many do.."wow.. a video camera and digital camera in one and in a small package" (I didn't really care about the mp3 player and voice recorder).

I was/am willing to sacrifice some quality because of the size but this thing is ridiculous. Unless you are in DIRECT sunlight taking a picture of something 2 feet in front of you then this thing is worse than anything I can imagine (and even then the pictures are terrible).

The video camera recording/reproduction is useless...I have never got a decent recording.

If you have to use the flash (which seems like all the time) then all you get is bright white pictures.

I can't express how disappointed I was with this product. A friend of mine just got a digital camera for 25% the price and the pictures are 10 times the quality and it is only slightly bigger than this.

The only positive things I could say is that it is a great conversation starter at bars..etc.. since it is a cool package and draws a lot of attention (but dont try actually show it off by using it because it is pathetic) and that the software isnt "terrible" (although has failed to work a couple of times on XP but pretty solid for the most part).

My opinion---a waste of money--novelty wears off after 24 hours and then you look at what you have which is picture quality 10 times worse than a picture booth and a video camera that you can't use. ... Read more


142. Canon ZR70MC MiniDV Digital Camcorder with 2.5" LCD, 22x Optical Zoom, Digital Still Mode, MMC Slot, Image Stabilization and Wide Angle Attachment
by Canon Video
list price: $799.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000088USX
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Canon Video
Sales Rank: 1869
Average Customer Review: 3.56 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

The advanced Canon ZR70MC MiniDV camcorder brings together all the features of the ZR65MC, from its ease of use to still photo mode and digital effects. It also adds a 22x optical zoom, 440x digital zoom, motion JPEG movie mode, Super Night mode, and an advanced accessory shoe for powering a microphone or video light.

Lens
The ZR70MC features a high-performance 1/6-inch 680,000-pixel CCD to capture high-quality video and digital photos. The zoom technology found in the ZR65MC lens is the same as Canon uses in its broadcast TV lenses. The ZR70MC is fitted with a high-performance 22x optical zoom lens, which can easily handle all your shooting needs--from wide-angle shots of all the family at the reunion to close-up sports action at full telephoto. The ZR70MC's 440x digital zoom significantly expands the telephoto magnification of the subject.

Image Stabilization
Canon's image-stabilization system corrects camera shake caused by, for example, an unsteady hand. This image-stabilization system makes for smoother and steadier video even with hand-held shots, at full telephoto, and with shots taken from a moving car.

Digital Stills and Motion JPEG
In addition to high-quality video, the ZR70MC also captures crisp XGA (1,024 x 768 pixels) digital still images. The ZR70MC stores these images via the built-in slot for Secure Digital (SD) and MultiMediaCard memory cards. You can also choose to store still images on the MiniDV tape. The camcorder records the photos for approximately 6 seconds, as well as recording the sound for your verbal notes or narration.

Designed to help you make Web videos, motion JPEG mode produces compressed AVI files that are smaller and easier to run and send by e-mail than conventional video files. They're also stored on the memory card and transferred via the USB connection. Record a 10-second clip at 320 x 240 or a 30-second clip at 160 x 120.

You can search through the recorded tape for your photos using the supplied remote control. This photo search feature allows you to search for images recorded in photo mode. Search forward or backward through the images one at a time, or jump 10 pictures backward or forward from the current position.

More Features

  • With Super Night mode, the assist lamp lights up to illuminate your subject
  • Print photos directly to Canon bubble jet printers
  • 2.5-inch fold-out color LCD screen and 0.33-inch color viewfinder
  • The My Camera function is designed to let you customize a number of features, including start-up image and sound, shutter sound, start-stop sound, and the self-timer sound
  • Shoot panoramic still photos, then edit them together on your PC with the PhotoStitch software
  • The full-function wireless remote control works at distances up to 16 feet
  • A wide selection of faders and special effects, including sepia, black and white, wave, mosaic, and more
  • For low-light situations, the VCR playback controls can be illuminated in any one of six colors: turquoise, blue, green, yellow, violet, and orange

Inputs and Outputs
The ZR70MC comes with the standard DV IEEE 1394 port (also referred to as FireWire), which provides a lossless connection to a PC or other DV machines, as well as USB connectivity for transferring still photos. Additionally, the ZR70MC features two types of analog audio and video inputs and outputs: composite and S-video. The analog audio inputs of the ZR70MC let you dub or insert editing from CDs, cassettes, microphones, or the soundtracks of other videocassettes.

MiniDV Format
MiniDV is the new, preferred format for personal and broadcast-quality video, and it is highly regarded for its high audio and image quality. With up to 540 lines of horizontal resolution and minimum color noise, MiniDV delivers a 2 percent clearer picture than analog camcorder formats. This is all delivered on a cassette that's 1/12th the size of a standard VHS tape. A MiniDV tape offers digital recording time of 2 full hours--20 times the capacity of a CD.

Power, Size, and Contents
The ZR70MC comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, which has an approximate battery life of 2 hours 20 minutes when using the LCD screen. The camera itself measures 4.1 by 2.3 by 5.8 inches and weighs 18 ounces. This package includes the ZR70MC camcorder, battery pack BP-512, power adapter CA-570, wireless controller WL-D79, shoulder strap, stereo video cable, wide attachment, USB cable, 8 MB Secure Digital memory card, and the DV Network Solutions and Digital Video Solutions CD-ROMs. ... Read more

Features

  • MiniDV camcorder with 22x optical zoom, 440x digital zoom, image stabilization
  • 2.5-inch fold-out color LCD screen and color viewfinder
  • Super Night mode for low-light filming, Motion JPEG movie mode
  • Takes digital stills (1024 x 768) and stores them on included 8 MB Secure Digital memory card
  • Connects to PCs and Macs via Firewire (IEEE1394) and USB (for photos)

Reviews (34)

4-0 out of 5 stars Canon ZR70MC
This is a great camera for the price. Pros: The zoom is incredible and the outdoor picture quality, awesome. Small, light weight makes this a prefect camera for vacations or home video needs. Can't beat it for the price. No motor noise when played thru a TV. Cons: Indoor picture quality is grainy unless additional lighting is used. The Mic doesn't pic up sound real well for anything over six or seven feet away.(Optional Mic cures this) Still photos aren't very great, but work for emails. Overall, a great little camera well worth the price. Those who took or sent it back after a day, didn't give it enough time. Definately recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars I like it a lot; perfect for iMovie
-- Best things: Fits hand, very easy to use, convenient size (smaller more expensive models are hard to control, even with stabilization), the optical zoom is wonderful, the sound is sensitive and surprisingly accurate (more on that below), image quality in bright light is awesome, AV passthrough lets you transcribe to/from video or S-video devices (e.g., TV, VCR) direct to FireWire (with or without going onto tape in between). It works wonderfully with iMovie software on Mac OS-X.
-- Worst things: Comes from Canon without a tape, comes with USB cable but not a FireWire cable, has bells and whistles (who actually needs to change colors of illuminated buttons?), takes still shots (I don't need/want a digital still photo feature with another set of media and cables). Built-in mic picks up wind noise. (I haven't tried the optional accessory microphone.)
-- Other comments: Perhaps pricey, but worth it for the Canon optics and ease of use. The ZR-70 comes with a wide-angle lens which is actually useful. So is the remote control. Battery life is longer than a tape's capacity, so plan to have a spare battery and a separate charger (not included) and change battery and tape together. I haven't done much with low light conditions, but it seems okay. Some ZR reviews have mentioned motor noise picked up in the sound recording - it isn't a problem for me. The camera adjusts the recording level to match the ambient sound level - this means that you get great sound in a wide range of situations. Only if there is no other sound will the camera turn up the sensitivity so high that it records its own motor's noise.
-- Punchline: I'm really happy with this DV camcorder, and recommend it. (5 stars if it came with a tape and FireWire cable in the box, and without still photo feature.)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for enthusiastic people
Before buying this I did lot of research finally came down to canon zr70mc and sony dcr-hc30. (don't fall for other canon models like zr80-85. they lack features ) Both models are appealing for price. Sony has bigger lcd and better lowlight performance while Canon have better zoom (22x as compared to 10x of sony ) and lots and lots of features. Some people say canon is having better image stability So it can afford 22x zoom w/o problem.
in zr70mc you can download video from TV/VRC or other camcorder witout any additional accesories. So easily copy old analog tapes to this digital camcorder Or burn DVD's. Canon also provides wide angle lens (very useful ) Plus sony has only 3 months labor while canon gives 12 months labor warranty.

only tape loading in zr70 is little difficult if you use tripod.

Overall this is a good value. I tested indoor using 100w room light. Picture was little yellowish. But I got filter set from ebay for 17$ and all looks good now.
NOTE: protect lens and always use uv filters.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great little camera - needs tweaking for good indoor results
I picked this up new at a great close-out price as the 2004 models were moving in and am very impressed. Outdoor shots are great - just point and shoot. Indoor requires a little work to get decent results and the user manual isn't much help. Surf the web to find how to use Spotlight mode, AE tweaks, and setting shutter speed to get pretty good results. Don't expect indoor quality to beat a big lens Hi-8, but most DVs don't. Controls and connectivity are very good. Some bells and whistles are a little excessive (picking different colors for the illuminated buttons during record and during play), but the important stuff is all there too.

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible image
This camera is loaded with features and is cheap. Those are the only good things. The indoor quality is awful. I would shoot at 10AM in a well lit room and it was terribly grainy on a 32" TV. Our old Hi8 Sony and our digital camera shoot better video than this. You choose which one insults it more. AVOID THIS CAMERA. I have two exellent still cameras made by Canon, so I am not telling you to avoid Canon, I am telling you to avoid this camera. It is terrible. Do not even consider this camera. When the reviews say "low light", that refers to ANYTHING indoors. The room I shot about as bright as it can get, and the lights were on. TERRIBLE CAMERA AVOID THIS CAMERA AT ALL COSTS. Ignore the positive reviews, they either never shot indors or have never seen the picture quality yet. If they did they too would be with me giving it one star. I'd have given 5 stars but the picture quality is 9999999999999999% NOT ACCEPTIBLE. Avoid this camcorder like the plague. ... Read more


143. Sony DCRIP7BT MicroMV Digital Camcorder w/ 2.5" Hybrid LCD, 8MB Memory Stick, MPEG Movie, & Network Capability
by Sony
list price: $1,699.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000063LHM
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Sony
Sales Rank: 4499
Average Customer Review: 2.89 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Featuring a compact, vertically aligned body to go along with its potent 10x optical zoom, the DCR-IP7BT is the first of two camcorders featuring the unique new recording format MicroMV, which records using the same format used to encode DVDs: MPEG-2.

Lens and CCD
The two central components of any video camera (or digital still camera), are its lens and CCD (the image sensor). This Sony model builds around a 10x optical zoom, which is paired with Super SteadyShot image stabilization to cut down on the shakes and jitters common to most amateur video footage. The CCD sports a pixel count of 680,000 pixels--great for video--that translates the image into around 500 lines of resolution.

Size
The size of the DCR-IP7BT is actually one of the features that Sony is really excited about, and it's easy to understand why. The device is extraordinarily small; it's somewhere on the order of a half-inch to an inch smaller in its dimensions than comparable models. That's quite a hefty reduction, making the IP7BT small enough to fit in a pocket. Because of the small size of the camcorder, its 2.5-inch LCD becomes comparatively larger than it would otherwise be.

Digital Photo Mode
Like many digital camcorders, the IP7BT features a digital still mode. And, like many digital camcorders, the snapshot mode is good for taking stills that can be e-mailed or posted on a Web site, but not for making high-quality prints.

Bluetooth
Bluetooth has been a talked-about wireless protocol for years, but it's only recently started to gather steam in the electronics world. Sony is leading the pack by incorporating Bluetooth networking into the DCR-IP7BT. The connectivity standard allows you to transfer your still images, or any of the short MPEG movie clips you record to the Memory Stick, to any Bluetooth-equipped computer.

Cables and Connectors
Despite the small size of the IP7BT, there are a number of audio and video inputs and outputs, making it a very flexible and capable machine. Most intriguingly, besides S-video, there are also composite video in/outputs--composite video provides the highest level of quality in home-theater setups. Four audio, stereo in/outputs are included. In addition, to transfer your digital stills and MPEG movies, a USB port is included. Of course, in any digital camcorder, you should expect to find an IEEE 1394 port, also known as FireWire or iLink, which the IP7BT provides.

Included with the DCR-IP7BT are the Bluetooth adapter, a USB cable, an 8 MB Memory Stick, a wireless remote, an AC-L20 power adapter, an NP-FF50 InfoLithium battery, two AA batteries, iLink Cable (four-pin to four-pin), AV cable, lens cap, wrist strap, and a software CD-ROM (software is Windows only). ... Read more

Features

  • MicroMV camcorder
  • 10x optical, 120x digital, zoom with Super SteadyShot image stabilization
  • 2.5 inch color LCD monitor and color EVF
  • Records in MPEG2 video format--the same format used in DVDs
  • Bluetooth adapter lets you wirelessly email pictures and MPEG movies

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Useful, Easy, SMALL!
I've had my MicroMV for two months and love it. I put off buying a replacement camcorder for a few years as the technology seemed to be in a constant flux - it still is but I took the plunge with the Sony product as it has all the features I was looking for. The size is the amazing thing. My only problem is getting my "sausage" fingers to work the buttons!

So far, the videos (digi-tape) I've taken are excellent. I find the camera easy to use and of the same quality I've come to expect from Sony. I found an extra-capacity battery, 128MB mem-stick and Sony wide-angle lens and filter kit on eBay and these have made the camera a joy to use.

Videos taken on a recent London vacation are tremendous and it was easy to whip out the camera and take a quick digi-tape or "quickie" MPEG on any moment's notice. The VGA stills are only good for 4x6 prints (in good light) or wallets. They're really only useful for emails. If you want framed stills, use your 3.3MP digi-camera or your trusty 35MM.

I've been happy with Sony "Movie Shaker" and have edited a few MPEGs and clips from the tape to my BusLink USB HD. Bluetooth registration was a bit of a puzzle but I made it through in about 45 minutes (whew!). I haven't tried my SoNet uploading yet as I haven't had a need to.

All in all, this purchase has to last another 3-5 years and I think I'll be very happy with this little wonder.

1-0 out of 5 stars Great idea - horrible implementation
Pros: Incredible small size; can literally be carried in your pocket;

Cons: Video quality mediocre at best (740x320); transferring data files from IP7 to PC has been a nightmare. Literally 25-30 hours of work with varying degrees of usefull tech support (Sony drops the ball on this one) - Formats available are MPG1 and a form of MPG2 called TR - File must then be translated- this is explained in the following website http://134.102.55.200/haupt/SonyIP7_to_MPEG2-PS.htm

In summary, I would wait at least another year or two, when the kinks have been knocked out. This leaves to much to be desired.

1-0 out of 5 stars Nightmare
Doesn't work with my MAC. Nightmare trying to download on PC. Sometimes works w/ an i.Link port on a Sony computer. Now it doesnt' even do that. Sometimes worked on a 3rd party FireWire card for my PC, but I had to pull card out and re-install everytime to try to get it to capture. Now that doesn't even work. MPEG2 bites, must convert w/ DOS program. MovieShaker is the worst. I hate this camera w/ a passion. I'm going to throw mine ($$$$!) away or sell it on [other online site]. Anybody want mine? I'm going to get one that plugs directly into my iMac.

4-0 out of 5 stars ultraportable, still capture, but microMV is not for all
the dcrip7BT is for the early adopters among us. it has "wow" written all over it but make sure you're ready for the limitations of the microMV format. it improves on the ip5 by adding still capability and bluetooth.

pros:
- small size, and lightweight: 1.88"W x 4.0"H x 3.13"L weighing 12 oz. this is the main selling point of this camcorder.
- 10x optical zoom.
- Super SteadyShot image stabilization - and sony's system works.
- delivers vibrant colors when shooting in daylight.
- still photo capability (low res only).
- connectivity options: firewire, S-video, composite, bluetooth, USB.

cons:
- microMV format is proprietary and may go the way of betamax.
- microMV video quality is noticeably worse than MiniDV.
- microMV also uses a different data-compression scheme than MiniDV, which means that it may be incompatible with your DV-editing software.
- low-res still photo capability suitable only for email or posting on web.
- no video light.
- not Mac compatible.
- very bad ergonomics - a small camcorder will have small buttons and consolidated controls.
- as with most sony products, you pay a premium, pushing up the price.
- battery life could be better.
- only 2.5" LCD.
- non-intuitive menu system.
- no headphone or mic input jack.
- no accessory shoe.

given the limitations of the microMV format, a smaller camcorder is the only reason to use it. and a tiny camcorder is what sony has delivered and that's why this is a four star product for me. but if you can stand a slightly bigger camcorder, check out other miniDV options. these are more affordable, better supported, and almost as portable.

i hope this helps your buying decision. peace.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great convenience
So many capabilities and image quality in such a tiny device is unbelievable. Incredible. And on top of it, the usual connectivity and user-friendliness of all Sony electronics (the bluetooth technology is not that relevant but a fun extra gadget) ... Read more


144. Audiovox DC400 Digital Media Recorder / Player with MP3 / MPEG4
by AudioVox
list price: $179.99
our price: $136.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00027356C
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: AudioVox
Sales Rank: 1272
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • MP3 / MPEG4 / webcam and digital video/voice recorder
  • 4x digital zoom
  • Plug and Play
  • Digital effects (BW/ Sepia/ Mosaic)

145. JVC GRDV500 MiniDV 1.33 MP Camcorder with 2.5" LCD, 10x Optical Zoom, and 8MB MMC Card
by JVC
list price: $699.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000899YH
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: JVC
Sales Rank: 2341
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

The compact JVC GR-DV500 is a stylish digital video camcorder that offers advanced features, such as digital still-photo capability and the ability to create high-quality MPEG-4 video clips. The GR-DV500 features a 1.33-megapixel CCD, 10x optical zoom, and 2.5-inch color LCD. It comes with Presto! ImageFolio and Presto! Mr. Photo 3 digital video editing software and an 8 MB MMC memory card.

Optics & Audio
The GR-DV500 offers a 1.33-megapixel CCD with 540 lines of horizontal resolution. Combined with JVC's super-hi-band processor, you'll be assured of capturing crisp, clear video. Equipped with a 10x optical zoom, the GR-DV500 also features a 300x digital zoom that allows you to zoom in for incredible close-ups.

The GR-DV500 also features PCM digital stereo sound in either 12-bit or 16-bit options. The 16-bit mode offers one set of stereo tracks and achieves the same quality as a CD, while the 12-bit mode creates two sets of stereo tracks. Audio dub is possible when recorded in 12-bit mode.

Digital Stills
The still mode is capable of capturing crystal-clear still images of up to 1,600 x 1,200 pixels. The images are stored onto the included 8 MB MMC memory card; the GR-DV500 is also compatible with Secure Digital memory cards. You can also record still images onto the video cassette with a "shutter" sound effect in full frame or pin-up mode.

More Features
The GR-DV500 offers the capability to create high-quality MPEG-4 video clips from recorded video footage, or in real-time using the camcorder as a Webcam. This allows for computer-based editing, e-mailing video clips, or uploading to Web sites. The camcorder will also double as a Webcam when connected via USB to your PC.

Other features include:

  • 2.5-inch tiltable LCD screen
  • JVC's Night Alive feature boosts light sensitivity for a bright picture, even in situations with minimal illumination
  • The picture-stabilizer system corrects camera shake instantly, giving you smooth and stable pictures
  • The Power Linked Operation feature prepares the camera to record simply by opening the LCD or pulling out the viewfinder
  • The IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connections provides fast loss-less digital transfer to a computer, or dubbing from or to another DV unit
  • Built-in analog-to-digital converter that converts analog audio-video signal to a digital signal, and can be recorded to a DV tape
  • Remote control features include playback with special effects, zoom, slow motion, and audio dubbing/insert editing

MiniDV Format
MiniDV is the preferred format for personal and broadcast-quality video, highly regarded for its high audio and image quality. With 540 lines of horizontal resolution and minimum color noise, MiniDV delivers a 20 percent clearer picture than analog camcorder formats. This is all delivered on a cassette that's 1/12th the size of a standard VHS tape. A MiniDV tape offers digital recording time of 2 full hours--20 times the capacity of a CD.

Contents
This package includes the GR-DV500 camcorder, 8 MB MMC memory card, AC adapter, battery pack, shoulder strap, AV cable (mini-3 RCA), USB cable, wireless remote control, lens cap, and CD-ROM with Presto! ImageFolio and Presto! Mr. Photo 3 software. ... Read more

Features

  • MiniDV camcorder with 10x optical zoom, 300x digital zoom, image stabilization
  • 2.5-inch fold-out color LCD screen and color viewfinder
  • Comes with Presto! ImageFolio video editing software
  • Takes digital stills and stores them on the included MMC card
  • Connects to PCs and Macs via Firewire (IEEE1394)

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great camcorder
I bought this camcorder last Christmas and I've loved it since. I was looking for a reasonably priced Mini DV camcorder and came across this one at a local Sears. It felt nice and sturdy in my hands unlike the smaller ones offered by Sony and Panasonic. I checked some reviews on it, found them to be good and bought it at J&R over in NYC. The video quality is nothing short of outstanding in good lighting thanks to the 1.33 megapixel CCD (a godsend in this price range).

As for faults, the only real Achilles heel this camcorder has is the worthless "Night Alive" mode. Sony's nightvision trumps the JVC in this respect because the picture becomes nothing but a bright, blurry mess in Night Alive mode. I will invest in a video light to remedy this problem and I suggest that those considering this camcorder do likewise. Overall this is still a terrific camcorder thanks to the 1.33 megapixel CCD not usually found in this price range.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice Change of Pace!
When I got this camera my first thought was that it just would not deliver, very skeptical. HOWEVER this is the coolest camera in my collection of photo and video gear. Before I get excited let me tell you a few of the bad things first:

1. Not to sporty on Windows 98, have problems from time to time on my old computer running Win 98 getting this to be recognized.

2. The tape loads underneath which means if you are on a tripod that camera must be taken off in order to change tapes.

3. USB and Firewire ports are underneath the view screen which means the camera must be opened in order to use them.

With that said let me say that the camera performs well on my two other computers using Win XP. I enjoy Windows Movie Maker and this camera, they make a perfect match and good outcome.

If you have Win XP or newer this is the camera for you. PLEASE don't forget to get the Flash and Light accessories which really make this a wonderful camera. It is a lightweight and very easy to use camera. I put a 256SD card in this and have not been able to come close to filling it.

I like being able to video and also digital image at the same time, before I had to use two cameras. This camera puts your digial images on the SD Card and also adds the snapshot effect right on the tape. I use this camera daily and have not been let down yet.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great camcorder for moviemaking
I purchased this camcorder to make a low budget movie. I was impressed with how many features (like 540 lines of horiz. resolution) were available on this camcorder that were hard to find on anything but the best quality professional mini-dv camcorders.

The image quality was great when adequate lighting was used, and there was no picture distortion, even on a larger (close to 50") television. I recently had trouble with the tape loading mechanism, but that could just be my fault.

Pros:
-1.33 Megapixel CCD hard to find on less expensive camcorders
-Sharp LCD screen
-Viewfinder has diopter (so you can take off your glasses)
-Accepts many lens attachments (I use a wide angle and telephoto lens from Sony)
-Body feels strong, not cheap and light like many Sonys or Panasonics
-Some of the picture effects are useful (like shutter speeds)
-Digital Wide Angle setting (allows you to reach <1x zoom with built in lens)
-Great battery life for included battery
-High quality mic preamp built in
-Amazing picture quality for price when used in good lighting

Cons:
-Bottom loading tape (can't open with tripod attached, but few cameras don't have this now)
-No focus ring (you have to use the tiny scroll wheel, but focus rings are only available on camcorders that cost $1000+. Just use a telephoto lens if you need to pull focus)
-Remote sensor can only be used in front of camcorder
-Poor low light shots (just use good lighting)

All in all, this is a great camcorder for making low budget movies, as long as you have decent lighting. Many options are available in manual mode, allowing you to have more control over picture. Automatic mode works great too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Nice
So far, the only thing keeping me from giving this camera 5 stars would be that the night vision is choppy. I'm sure its a side effect of the slower shutter speed required for night viewing, but it made all movement look blurry but the color was great. It's light weight, and easy to use right out of the box. The software that comes with it is usable. It would be better if they would just use a standard windows look and feel though. I could not get XP's movie maker to recognize the camera, but after reading one of the other reviews, I'm sure it's my problem and not the camera's. (8 USB devices and 4 cameras hooked to the same computer may have something to do with it.) All and all, a great package.

5-0 out of 5 stars GR-DV500
Its simply amazing what you can do with this piece of equipment!
Very user friendy and if you are operating on Windows XP,then you are in another entertainment world.
With its compact nature and numerous facilities,it is a must buy.
I love it. ... Read more


146. Panasonic PVGS55 Ultra-Compact MiniDV Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom
by Panasonic
list price: $599.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001DBEIS
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Panasonic
Sales Rank: 1808
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Updating the popular PV-GS50, the ultra-compact Panasonic PV-GS55 will help you record those precious moments--in video and digital stills--at a moment's notice. This MiniDV camcorder weighs less than a pound. It features a 10x optical zoom, SD card slot, webcam capability, and an MPEG-4 mode that enables you to send small videos to friends and family via e-mail or post them to the Web.

Optics
The PV-GS55 is equipped with a 1/6-inch, 680,000-pixel CCD and 10x optical zoom It also features a 800x digital zoom that allows you to zoom in on incredible close-ups.

Digital Stills
In addition to shooting video, the PV-GS55 can also capture digital still images up to 640 x 480 pixels--good for sending photos to friends and family over e-mail or posting to your Web site. They are stored to the Secure Digital (SD)/MultiMedia (MMC) memory card slot--an 8 MB SD card is included. The Direct Mode Dial can be used in digital still mode lets you quickly select the desired digital camera mode, such as Record, Playback, Card Record, or Card Playback.

More Features
The 2.5-inch LCD screencan be opened a full 120 degrees away from the camcorderÕs body, making it easier to view motion images as theyÕre being captured.

The Quick Start feature enables the PV-GS55 to begin taping 1.3 seconds after turning the power on so those unexpectedÊmoments wonÕt be missed.ÊAfter pressing the Quick Start button, the camcorder will bring up the previous settings that you were shooting with--even if they were manually entered.

The MPEG-4 Movie mode lets you easily transfer MPEG-4 video clips with audio to a PC to create clip libraries and presentations, attach to an e-mail, or add to your Web site.

The Soft Skin Detail function detects the different skin tones being recorded and softens the focus to create a realistic blend.

Other features include:

  • Telephoto/macro lens
  • The image-enhancing MagicPix feature allows for rich videos under low-light conditions.
  • Digital Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) helps take the jitter out of hand-held video recording and compensate for unintentional hand and camcorder movement.
  • Web cam capability, which is ideal for video conferencing with friends or family, or use as a simple monitoring device when consumers are away from home.
  • The unsnapping hand strap doubles as wrist loops, enabling you to carry the camcorder like a small bag or purse.

MiniDV Format
MiniDV is the preferred format for personal and broadcast-quality video, and it is highly regarded for its high audio and image quality. With up to 540 lines of horizontal resolution and minimum color noise, MiniDV delivers a 2 percent clearer picture than analog camcorder formats. This is all delivered on a cassette that's 1/12th the size of a standard VHS tape. A MiniDV tape offers digital recording time of 2 full hours--20 times the capacity of a CD. ... Read more

Features

  • Ultra-compact MiniDV camcorder and still camera with 680,000-pixel CCD
  • 10x optical zoom lens (700x digital zoom) and image stabilizer
  • 2.5-inch LCD swings open 120 degrees and color viewfinder
  • Low-light recording settings, telephoto/macro lens, and MPEG-4 recording capabilities
  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery pack lasts for up to 2 hours and 15 minutes

147. Gateway DVS20 MPEG4 Pocket Multi-Cam
by Gateway
list price: $199.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000UL3EM
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Gateway
Sales Rank: 1191
Average Customer Review: 2.56 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Not a full-fledged camcorder, and yet very much more than a toy, the Gateway DVS20 MPEG4 Pocket Multi-Cam is one of a new generation of "convergence" devices that take both still images and tapeless digital video. In a head-to-head contest with a full-featured tapeless camcorder--something from Panasonic D-Snap's line, for example--it may not come out all that well, but at this price range a more fair comparison would be with an entry-level digital still camera. Seen in this light, the DVS20 does very well indeed. In fact, I now find myself favoring my Gateway over my everyday digital camera, a low end Olympus.

The DVS20's compact body
The first advantage it has over almost every still camera in its price range is the swiveling LCD that lets you take photos from awkward angles--you can shoot holding the camera over your head for example, by angling the LCD down, or capture stylish, cinematic low angles. And the shutter action is above average, with very little of the dreaded shutter delay effect of many digital cameras (you know, when you press the button and the picture gets taken sometime the following week).

So what about video? The DVS20 does okay, though it would be better to think of video as a bonus function rather than its main purpose. It performs middling to poor in low-light conditions, but in daylight it takes pretty clear, if somewhat herky-jerky footage. A memory card is a must if you want to do any significant amount of taping--the size of the internal memory is actually pretty generous at 64 MB, but this will hold a maximum of 18 minutes of video, and that's at the lowest resolution (a very grainy 320 x 240). It's worth noting that the mic performs much better I expected. I was able to tape a public event, getting very clear audio for both the PA and the ambient crowd noise.

One real downside is the rate at which this thing eats through batteries--one day of sporadic use was all that a pair of alkalines lasted me. Do not proceed without rechargeables! And while we're talking downsides, I should also mention that the flash tends to wash out facial features at distances under ten feet. Overall, though, you'd be hard put to find a better value in this price range. --David Stoesz

Pros

  • Above-average performance for its price range
  • Swivel-view LCD
  • A/V and USB outputs
  • SD card slot
  • Very compact body--comparable to a pack of cigarettes.
Cons
  • Devours batteries like sweet, sweet candy
  • Only so-so low light performance
  • The flash tends to wash out details
... Read more

Features

  • Digital camcorder and camera in one
  • Tapeless MPEG-4 video format
  • Capture up to 18 minutes of video or 700 still pictures to the 64MB internal memory
  • SD slot for expanded memory
  • About the size of a bar of soap

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Mini Video Camera
This camera is just great. The quality of the videos and pics aren't perfect like you would see from an 1000 dollar camera but I love them because I just want a camera that I can have fun with and not get real serious about it. First of all it's inexpensive so if it breaks, it isn't the end of the world and since it's so small you can take it anywhere. It includes software that you can use to edit and create your own movie masterpiece. It's zoom is a little weak but having a great zoom is too high above the price range of this product. Its battery life is about one hour but if you get the accessory pack it will turn into 90 minutes if you use the batterys included in it. The vidoes do include sound since the camera has a microphone. Another great quality it has is the fact that it can record up to 18 minutes and 700 pictures with its 64 MB internal memory. I would recommend this to someone who doesnt want the top of the line camera (if you do than spend more money) but wnats something that will be easy and fun to use. Really, anyone who wants to make movies should buy this. That's what my intention was and I love it.

1-0 out of 5 stars You Get What You Pay For
I purchased a DV-S20 last week. Well, I have to agree with what the people who give this product one and two stars have to say. I really cannot add much more to what's been said about it, but I can confirm that it performs poorly in pretty much all aspects of operations. The one thing that I truly did not care for, is that the camera insists on taking pictures at 1/30 of a second, no matter how much light is available. I adjusted the ISO by bumping it up to 400, but to no avail. In some cases, the shutter operated at 1/6 of a second! With shutter speeds that slow, it's no wonder that most of the pictures were fuzzy. Once in a great while, I was able to get a good, clear picture. But that was only achieved by holding the camera perfectly still with two hands and leaning up against something solid. Unfortunarely, this method isn't very practical in the real world. I used up the batteries very quickly because I spent so much time deleting a lot of bad pics. The video I took of my normally graceful gray tabby made her look as if she was in an earthquake. It was very jerky.

3-0 out of 5 stars Better Than Nothing
I got this for Hannukah from my parents, and although it's not exactly a real camcorder it really is better than nothing. The Digital Camera on here all out sucks basically, but once in a while you can nail a decent digital picture. As for the camcorder it's ok, you can't exactly make a real movie, (unless you buy more memory, which is almost the price of the camera/camcorder itself), but even so ive enjoyed making short documentarys and sending them to my friends. Anothjerb great thing is the size, I mean you can take it anywhere, you never know what you could get on tape. Anyway overall, this is a decent item.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Wow factor
This is a great little gadget for capturing spontaneous stuff. It is so small I take it everywhere and it's not obnoxious when you start shooting. You know how people freeze up or start "acting" whenever the camcorder starts recording. The DVS20 is less intimidating so you end up getting unbelievable bits.
Don't be confused, it is not a camcorder, but then it's a fraction of the price too.

5-0 out of 5 stars DVS20
Great for Moblogs.
I want to make it clear that this is NOT a precision high tech video camera. The DV-S20 is a TOY that you can take anywhere and have fun with. That being said, on with the review...

I am a television video producer; I edit video for a living. I am always updating my "goings on" via my moblog and the DV-S20 Multi-Cam continues to be perfect for taking video of an event and quickly uploading the video onto the web. The small camera's appealing design (about the size of a deck of cards, only a little thicker) attracts attention whenever I use it. Even my peers in the "television world" take note. I carry it around with me everywhere I go because it is so small and at such a low price I am not afraid that something may happen to it.

The camera can be held and controlled with one hand. The A/V out is great for watching the photos and videos on TV or recording to VCR, if that is your type of thing. I would suggest getting an SD media card for heavy use. The stock 64mb memory has plenty of room for photos, but video will quickly eat up that space. Having separated "video record" and "photo" buttons makes it nice to take a mix of video and photos on the fly. Sound quality is about par with the average consumer camcorder.

I want to make it clear, the Multi-Cam is a toy. If you are looking to replace even the lowest end camcorder, you will be VERY unhappy with this product. Don't use it to document "Babies first steps" or "Julie's Second Wedding". The DV-S20 Multi-Cam is not made for these events... the price should clue you into that!

The DV-S20 Multi-Cam is made for Bloggers, Young people just getting interested in video production, and the "Gadget Freak" that loves to show off. I love my Multi-Cam, I use it everyday. It fits my mobile technology life and I recommend it.

PRO: Cheap price for a well made product, small package, attracts attention, fast and easy uploading to the computer, easy memory upgrade. Very easy to learn and operate. Quality consumer software included.

CONS: Lackluster video quality if used for TV viewing, .asf files do not agree with some computers and editing programs. No zoom in photo mode, 2.5x digital zoom in video mode. ... Read more


148. Sony DCRTRV70 MiniDV 2MP Camcorder with 2.5"LCD, Memory Stick, and Networking Capability
by Sony
list price: $1,399.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000087LII
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Sony
Sales Rank: 3047
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Now that MiniDV has become a mainstream product, users demand extra features in addition to regular digital video performance. The Sony DCR-TRV70 is well equipped with technological additions, such as a 2-megapixel digital camera and networking capabilities. The camcorder also features a 10x optical zoom, 16:9 widescreen mode, a 2.5-inch LCD with touchscreen control, and a color viewfinder.

Step-up Value
Here are two Sony features that adds value to this digital camcorder and differentiate it from other models in the Sony lineup.

product image 2.0 Megapixel Sensor: Of all the world's consumer camcorders, Sony was the first to break the megapixel barrier. Working with high-resolution recording and high-precision Sony custom optics, the benefits are dramatic. You'll see amazing detail on everything you shoot. Every blade of grass. Every strand of hair. The names on the back of player uniforms. And megapixel resolution is also a great benefit in Sony's Digital still camera function (Memory Mode). You'll be able to shoot images at 1600 x 1200 pixels, for prints up to 8 x 10nches.
product image Digital Still Memory Mode: Capture digital still images directly onto Memory Stick media for easy transfer to e-mail, printing, or sharing with compatible Memory Stick devices. Digital still images can be captured while in Memory Mode, or images from the videotape can be captured onto Memory Stick media. This feature provides the Dual Function of having one camera for video and still images, and provides the user with a whole new world of imaging possibilities.

Image Stabilization
Sony's SteadyShot picture stabilization keeps your images smooth and steady without degrading picture quality. The technology uses motion sensors, which tend to be more accurate than most other systems used in the camcorder market.

Optics
The multicoated Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens ensures balanced and clear contrast. The advanced HAD CCD sensor records images accurately in vibrant color and sharp resolution. The TRV70 has a robust 10x optical zoom that fits most purposes, but for extra distance the camera can reach 120x through the digital zoom. A hologram autofocus system and several autoexposure modes allow for automatic operation--while achieving ideal images for the situation.

More Features
You can record video in low- to no-light situations with Sony's NightShot system, which uses infrared light to capture images invisible to the human eye. With the function on, subjects up to 10 feet away can be seen in total darkness. You can also use the color slow shutter for color night shots instead of the regular green night-shot hue.

Sony's Stamina power management system and InfoLithium battery give the TRV70 a long operating time. To keep you informed of current battery life, Sony's AccuPower meter displays the number of minutes remaining right in the viewfinder.

You can take digital stills and record small MPEG EX movies using the included 8 MB Memory Stick. This is where the 2-megapixel resolution CCD really shines, creating images that can be printed at sizes of up to 1,600 x 1,200 pixels for prints up to 8 by 10 inches. The intelligent pop-up flash keeps your images well-lit and visible.

The TRV70 features a 2.5-inch color LCD and a color viewfinder. The menu is accessed via a touchscreen display on the LCD, reducing the clutter of buttons on the camera. A stylus is also included for ease of use.

The USB streaming feature can turn the TRV70 into a video-conferencing tool or a Webcam, and the standard IEEE 1394 connection can be used for digital video editing on a computer. The TRV70 is network-capable and can connect to the Internet with a USB-PSTN adapter.

MiniDV Format
MiniDV is the preferred format for personal and broadcast-quality video, highly regarded for its high audio and image quality. With up to 540 lines of horizontal resolution and minimum color noise, MiniDV delivers a 20 percent clearer picture than analog camcorder formats. This is all delivered on a cassette that's 1/12th the size of a standard VHS tape. A MiniDV tape offers digital recording time of 2 full hours--20 times the capacity of a CD.

Contents
This package includes the TRV70 camcorder, power adaptor and in-camera charger, InfoLithium rechargeable battery, 8 MB Memory Stick, stylus, wireless remote, AV cable, lens cap, shoulder strap, USB cable, two AA batteries, and USB drivers. ... Read more

Features

  • Compact MiniDV digital camcorder with 2-megapixel imaging
  • 10x optical, 120x digital, zoom with Super SteadyShot image stabilization
  • 2.5-inch touch-panel color SwivelScreen LCD display; includes 8 MB Memory Stick for still image and MPEG1 capture
  • Networking capabilities via USB-PSTN or Ethernet connections
  • NightShot O Lux infrared system with color mode for recording in total darkness

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars great video, plus 2MP stills pics!
this is a power packed camcorder!
pros:
- other than the sony trv80, this is the only sony miniDV camcorder that has a 2 megapixel still camera built in.
- miniDV media is widely supported.
- great connectivity options: firewire, USB, S-video, headphone, bluetooth, mic input, etc.
- has a built in pop-up flash for taking stills.
- carl zeiss lens.
- steady shot and night shot.
- ability to record mpeg videos directly to memory stick.
- progressive shutter system.

cons:
- this camcorder is bigger than i would like. you can get smaller camcorders like the trv33 or the pc105. granted, those have less features, mainly still camera capability (2.0 megapixel vs 1.0 megapixel).
- bright 2.5" LCD screen: but i definitely prefer the 3.5" in the trv80.
- as with most sony products, you pay a premium, pushing up the price.
- the included 8MB memory stick (for a 2 megapixel still camera!) is unacceptable. you'll need at least a 64MB memory stick with if you want to take full advantage of the higher resolution pics you'll be taking.
- although bundling the camcorder and still camera together means you only have to carry one piece of equipment, it also means that if one breaks, you have to replace both.
- as an alternate to this bundling strategy, you can get a trv33 or pc105 and get a 3 megapixel still camera for about the same price.
- no built in video light but you can get one less than a hundred bucks.

all in all, a very nice camcorder. nice work sony.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome camera - worth the $$$$ spent
Spend a lot, get a lot more. Although it was a tough choice to spend the money when I purchased my TRV70, I have no regrets. My camera is DA BEST!. After I figured out the Still Picture recording is best taken when not recording video simultaneously, I never looked back. There are so many features to mention but I don't use. The key things to consider:
- Bigger lens, means better image
- Good size CCD is a treasure; otherwise 3 CCD is next option
- Manual focus override; in photography, this is VERY important
- Backlight control; it's a great override in low light conditions like opening up your camera aperature
- Manual disable of on-board flash; continue taking pictures when flash is not allowed
- Touch screen LCD is sweet, don't listen to button fanatics
- Steady Shot works.... when camera is light, more chances of jarring movements, so here its really important.
- Memory stick convenience ... buy larger capacity, more over time.
- Battery Status; Info-lithium means no guessing game. By several small batteries, charge them, and carry them a-l-a Rambo.
- Don't install Imagemixer software. Instead, use Sony's Screenblast Movie Studio 3.0. You'll be happier.
- Don't skimp on footage. Take lots of footage. It's easier to edit, than to say... I don't have enough!

It's unfortunate, Sony is discontinuing the product in 2004. It's a great product! I'm ready to buy a second one so I can get the same footage from another vantage point. Silly, two people using different cameras. :-)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great video in all outdoor lighting conditions
This is my fourth camcorder, and first digital camcorder. I bought it to record my child's soccer games to make a DVD to send to college coaches. It recorded steady sharp video in all lighting conditions, including heavy overcast, light fog, and night games under stadium lights. I also bought the remote controll tripod, which makes it much easier to start/stop recording and adjust the zoom (the remote control zoom buttons have the correct sensitivity, as opposed to the camera zoom control as noted in a review below). The only problem I had that caused the loss of a few minutes of video was that the camcorder started displaying "Cleaning Tape". I packed the tape (fast forward to the end and rewound) and recorded over the bad section. I now pack the tape again whenever I insert a new one in the camcorder

4-0 out of 5 stars Better than others, but needs accessories to be great
I did a lot of research before purchasing this camera a year ago. But I've used it A LOT since then and figured I would write a review.

I did comparison tests with this camera vs. Sony's other lower end camcorders. The color and resolution on this one if FAR superior and worth the extra money. I also compared it to the Canon GL2, a 3-CCD camera. The 3-CCD camera was far better in low light and color, but comes with a much heaftier price tag.

The good things about this camera have been mentioned by others. And while it may not fit in your palm exactly, it is really not very big. It looks good, and all the features are easy to find. Overall good design.

There are three things about this camcorder I don't like, but here's what I recommend to solve them:

The lens always looks like you can't zoom out enough. I'm sure there's a technical term for this, but even when you're zoomed out all the way it looks like your subject is too close. As soon as I realized this, I purchased a Sony wide angle lens, which made all the difference. Especially if you're indoors, you want to take in as much of the environment as possible. It does add size to the camera, and means you can't use the flash for still pictures without removing it. But it gives the camera a nice professional look and feel.

The second problem with this camera I've read about with other Sony camcorders: the "whirring" noise of the motor as it is taping. When I first got the camera I didn't notice it, but as time went on the whirr got worse. Also, there's a "hiss" that you get with any camcorder. I solved this by getting a Sony external microphone to attach to the "boot". ECM-MS5908C. It's a stereo microphone, and it's far enough from the motor that you hardly hear it, and also drowns out the hiss. I also got a shotgun mic, but that isn't stereo, so I wouldn't recommend it unless shooting subjects far away.

The other issue is unsolvable, and that's the "slider" zoom in. Instead of moving front to back with two fingers to zoom in, you slide left to right with one finger. It's hard to use, and over-sensitive. I do not understand why Sony sticks with that technology on their consumer models, but not with their 3-CCD professional models.

Overall, a great camera. I do not use the still camera function very often, so I can't comment on that. I use Final Cut Express for the Macintosh to edit, and everything works smoothly with this camera. (Also, if you plan to do any editting, you get a HIGH recommendation from me for Apple computers. Each Apple computer comes with iMovie, a free program that is SO EASY to use to edit video.)

You're obviously reading this because you want to know if this camera is right for you. Here's what I say: if you want better picture quality than other home videos you've seen, and are willing to pay for it, this camera is ideal. I highly recommend the wide angle lens and external stereo microphone, which help you make better videos but also add size to the machine. If you want to spend more to get an amazing, broadcast-quality picture, there's a big leap in cost for a 3-CCD camera. But the Sony DCRTRV70 is right in the middle, and is really a good choice.

5-0 out of 5 stars SONY DCR-TRV70
I have had this Camera for over a year now and found it to be reliable and its pictures of high quality. The Steady shot is rock solid and only jitters when you attempt >20 Zoom. The 120 zoom is grainy so I hardly use it. The memory stick for mpeg and still photos is very handy. The 2 megapixel resolution on the still photos is sufficient for computer display and small photo prints. It makes it convenient not to have to carry a second digital photo camera. I have not tried the Firewire link yet but the USB for memory stick operations works well.

Overall I am happy with the camera and recommend it for purchase. ... Read more


149. Sharp VL-A10U 3" Color LCD Hi8 ViewCam
by Sharp
list price: $329.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004SY5K
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Sharp
Sales Rank: 5978
Average Customer Review: 3.78 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

The standard 8mm format and 16x power zoom of the Sharp VL-A1OU Viewcam provide all you need for easy home video recording and playback. Its 3-inch onscreen display with 270-degree swivel and high-capacity battery pack make it user friendly and efficient.It features digital gamma brightness compensation and full-range autofocus to make clearer pictures. For unique and personal recordings, this Viewcam sports a customizable and standard message title writer, as well as four digital picture effects for B&W, sepia, solarized, and negative images. An infrared remote control is supplied so you have the freedom to sit back and watch while your Viewcam does the work. The compact size and manageable weight make it ideal for travel and packing. ... Read more

Features

  • 16x power zoom
  • 3-inch color LCD view screen with 270-degree swivel
  • 4 special effects
  • Title writer with customized or preset titles
  • High-capacity NiMH battery pack for longer recording

Reviews (9)

2-0 out of 5 stars Easy to use... easy to need repair
I had this camera for little over a 1.5 yrs. It need repairs FIVE TIMES! The last three times it was sent in, the problem wasn't fixed so Sears let me trade for a newer version, VL-AH151U, free of charge. I didn't even need a warranty. GOD BLESS SEARS!

4-0 out of 5 stars All new options with the lowest price
Its a very good camcorder, it has all options with the lowest price in the market. Since I leaved near a high voltage cable ligne, the picture copied from the camcorder to the VCR videotape was unstable, also if you record near any high voltage cable the picture will show instability.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Love my New Sharp Viewcam
This is my third camcorder. I have had a VHS camcorder it was heavy and had a little view finder. Then I had a VHS-C It was a little better. But It was still hard to use. You had to put the tapes into the tape adapter. It was hard to try to operate it and look through the viewfinder. I just bought this Sharp Viewcam and I love it. I have a lazy right eye and using the other camcorders I had to use my left eye. It was kinda hard. The Sharp viewcam I don't have to use just one eye I can use both. I can video tape and use the special affects without stopping and trying to find the right button. They are right there on the screen. And when I did playback throught my VCR the picture was great. I think I made a right choice. Because the Sharp viewcam is fun and easy to use. I a mom on three kids and I want to be able to catch special events. And I know with this camcorder I will have fun taping things the kids do.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!
This is a great price for such a fantastic camera! It's amazing! Great for home movies and the effects are a nice touch. It's light-weight, too, so you can take it anywhere! I'd give this camera 500 stars if i could!

2-0 out of 5 stars not satisfied
I've owned the camera two years and it's needed repair twice. The camera must be sent off and takes about six weeks to two months for return. It is now needing repair once more ... also it is difficult to see images in bright sunlight. ... Read more


150. SONY DCR-TRV285E PAL Digital-8 Camcorder

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0009MH5R0
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Sony
Sales Rank: 2252
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Powerful new photo mode -Adaptive Frame Interpolation provides storage for hundreds of still images with 7 seconds of audio
  • Box Contents -AC-L15 AC Adapter On-Camera Charger, NP-FM30 Battery - 700 mAh, RMT-830 Wireless Remote Control, A/V Cable Mini-3 RCA (Stereo), USB Cable, CD-ROM with USB Driver Software, Shoulder Strap & Lens Cap
  • Digital 8 recording format delivers 3x the color bandwidth of VHS (Video Home System) - with less video noise
  • NightShot Plus records in more natural color, in low-light environments
  • Program Auto Exposure has the settings for a variety of indoor and outdoor situations -- choose from Portrait, Sports, Spotlight, Beach and Ski, Landscape, Sunset and Moon modes

151. JVC GRD90 MiniDV Camcorder with 3.5" LCD, 16x Optical Zoom, 8MB, and MMC
by JVC
list price: $599.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000899R7
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: JVC
Sales Rank: 765
Average Customer Review: 3.04 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • MiniDV camcorder with 16x optical zoom, 700x digital zoom, image stabilization
  • Large 3.5-inch fold-out color LCD screen and color viewfinder
  • Takes digital stills (1024 x 768) and stores them on MMC card (8 MB card included)
  • Includes fun photo software: Presto! ImageFolio and Presto! Mr. Photo 3
  • Connects to PCs and Macs via Firewire (IEEE1394) and USB (for photos)

Reviews (23)

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time...quality of color is poor!
Pros: Small with many feathers and good price.

Cons: Bad quality of color and auto focus, Objects may have low visiblilty under low light sutiation, The Night-shot is not pratical with very slow shutter speed.

I'll be the first to admit this camcorder is very stylish and the 3.5 LCD were some of the major factors why I purchased it. But when it came to crunch time, this is nothing more than a pretty package with not much substance. A typical camcorder functions,(manual, auto, night live etc) but the digital still camera is why I rated this product so low. A majority of my stills came out with a yellow tint. YELLOW!! I know not to expect much from a camcorder/digital camera but I certaintly don't want any of my pictures yellow when it shouldn't be. I know you are probably thinking it was the lighting. But it wasn't. I took pictures in all different lighting environments. And my pictures still came back with a yellowish tint. Bottom line, I had a very bad experience with this cam

5-0 out of 5 stars SOME PEOPLE ARE SO HAAAA
WELL I BOUGHT THIS CAMERA FOR MY FIANCE AND IT WORKS GREAT AT THE BEGINING I TOD QUALITY SUCK BUT WHEN YOU LEARN ACTUALLYTO USE THE ACM IT BECOMES EASY YOU CAN CHANGE THE LIGHT AFTER YOU RECORD OR TAKE PICTURES TO HOOK IT UP ON THE PC IS MAD EASY IS NOT AS BAD AS PEOPLE THINK WORKS THE SAME A STHE SONY MY DAD HAS AND THE CANNON MY FATHER IN LAW HAS SO SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE PREMITIVES THAT DONT KNOW HOW TO USE THE CAM AND THEY BLAME THE PRODUCT TO BE A FEALURE SO IF YUO WANT A NICE CAM THAT TAKE STILL PICTURES GET IT WONT RETURN THE CAM TRUST ME

3-0 out of 5 stars pretty ordinary camcorder, firewire port is weak.
My freind bought this camcorder a sharper image. It is a decent camera, not great, not terrible. picture is average, sound is average. With this camera you dont get as much for the price as for a canon or sony. It has no mike input and no earphones. It doesnt support LANC like all other JVCs. The firewire port sucks. After two weeks of having the camera the pins inside it bent and the plastic the holds everything in place pretty much disitegrated. He returned the camera under warranty and got a new one. We learned that you have to be really careful with it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Save your Money
I purchased this JVC GR-D90 camera on Amazon.com used it four times and it died, just like everybody else. This can only lead me to believe that the JVC Brands are unreliable. What a waste of money. I think I will try a Sony next time. I have lost all trust in the JVC brand name. If you are smart do waste your money.

5-0 out of 5 stars love it
is a nice feature machine is great dont regreate buying itance quality one of the best with the bests prices ... Read more


152. SONY DCR-TRV265E PAL System Digital 8(R) Camcorder -- IMPORTED
by Sony

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001N7SWY
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Sony
Sales Rank: 5374
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Records on Digital 8(R) or regular 8mm tapes
  • USB connectivity
  • Steadyshot Stabilization counteracts any unsteadiness introduced by your hands
  • High stamina battery life

153. PreTec DV4200i MPEG-4 Camcorder with 2.1 Megapixel CCD, 1.8-inch Color LCD, 64MB SD, and AV input
by Pretec
list price: $479.99
our price: $299.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008RHA1
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pretec
Sales Rank: 1363
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

The Pretec DV4200i is a revolutionary MPEG-4 digital camcorder with 2.1-megapixel digital still camera. This tapeless digital camcorder is capable of storing up to 3 hours of video--at VHS quality or better--with an optional 512 MB memory card. The included 64 MB Secure Digital (SD) memory card will hold approximately 20 minutes of video.

Still images can be taken at a resolution of 2.1 megapixels--for prints up to 8 x 10 inches--making the DV4200i one of the highest resolution camcorders with still image capability available as of March, 2003.

Using high-compression MPEG-4 technology with patented techniques of Advanced Simple Profile, including quarter-pel motion estimation, the DV4200i is the world's first camcorder to reach 30 frames-per-second using MPEG-4 encoding/decoding.

The DV4200i is practical for every office or family use, offering 30fps and AAC audio, which compresses much more efficiently than older formats such as MP3, yet delivers quality rivaling that of uncompressed CD audio.

With the AV-in feature of the DV4200i selected, you can transfer all your favorite movies or recordings from different media--VHS tape, VCD, DVD, etc.--to MPEG-4 video.

Other features include:

  • 1.8-inch TFT (transreflective) color LCD screen
  • USB 1.1 interface
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to 60 minutes of recording
  • NTSC/PAL output
  • 2x digital zoom
  • Voice recording feature
... Read more

Features

  • Pocket-sized MPEG-4 SD video camera, 2.1-megapixel still camera, and digital music player--weighs just .2 pounds
  • 2x digital zoom lens
  • 1.8-inch rotating LCD and black-and-white viewfinder
  • Includes 64 MB Secure Digital card; voice recording feature
  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery pack lasts for up to 1 hour

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pretec? The leadind CF card maker?
This is not a review, I just want to make sure that the 'Pretec'
is the famous 'Pretec' I knew for a long time? For they made very high quality CF cards.

What about Samsung? Nothing to expect!

1-0 out of 5 stars Cheap piece of plastic!
First of all I was highly unimpressed with the appearance and "feel" of the unit. Second, I went to load the supplied CD and it was either a blank, or a defective copy. I checked my CD Drive to be sure and it loaded other software with no problem. So, I guess I can't really comment on the performance of the unit, as I never got to the point of shooting anything with it. I have waited some time for the release of this Camcorder and was quite dissapointed with its "cheap construction". There was no written manual supplied with the unit, so I assumed that the instructions to be on the supplied CD, which as I said, would not load onto my computer. I drew a blank, I will now go back to the Mini DV technology, or wait for the Samsung unit to be released. I have returned the unit to Amazon. ... Read more


154. Sony DCRTRV27 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/ 3.5" LCD, MPEG EX, Memory Stick& Mega Pixel Video/ Still
by Sony
list price: $1,119.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006686Q
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Sony
Sales Rank: 3032
Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

The Sony DCR-TRV27 is a solid MiniDV camera with a load of functions, including that of a 1-megapixel digital still camera. Demanding video enthusiasts will find their needs satisfied with a 10x optical zoom, manual focus ring, a night-shooting function, and a large 3.5-inch LCD screen.

Lens
The lens is a famous, high-quality Carl Zeiss construction with a single 1/4.7-inch CCD capturing the image, enabling the camera to produce 520 lines of resolution. The SteadyShot function stabilizes the picture and reduces camera shake. Use the infrared NightShot for shooting at night or in dark settings. The TRV27 also sports a 10x optical zoom, which is enough for most purposes. Turn on the digital zoom, which electronically magnifies the optical image, and reach up to 120 times.

Digital Stills
Digital stills can be stored on a Memory Stick, which works independently from the DV tape system. The camera performs with 1-megapixel resolution, making it capable of sharp images that are up to 1,152 x 864 pixels in size. The camera can also shoot in MPEG movie mode, storing 320 x 240 videos onto the memory stick. MPEG movie lengths range from five seconds to the length allowed by the capacity of your Memory Stick.

Inputs and Outputs
The TRV27 is equipped with the standard DV IEEE 1394 port (also known as FireWire) for a super-fast, lossless connection to a PC or other DV machines. The USB connection is used to transfer digital photos and MPEG movies. The traditional S-video and RCA connections are also present for direct viewing on a television or VHS dubbing.

The DCR-TRV27 comes with one 8 MB Memory Stick. Memory Sticks are reusable, but if you tend to take a lot of digital images, then you'll want a bigger card.

MiniDV Format
MiniDV digital technology delivers clear, sharp video with over 500 lines of horizontal resolution--far superior to the 240 lines of resolution offered by 8mm camcorders. You'll also get minimal color noise interference for a more stable picture.

You'll also get excellent sound quality, recorded in either 12-bit or 16-bit audio recording modes.

  • 16-bit audio includes on set of stereo audio tracks to produce CD-quality sound.
  • 12-bit audio utilizes two sets of audio tracks so you can easily add background music or commentary into your videos while maintaining the existing soundtrack.

This is all delivered on a cassette that's 1/12th the size of a standard VHS tape. A MiniDV tape offers digital recording time of two full hours--20 times the capacity of a CD. ... Read more

Features

  • MiniDV camcorder
  • 10x optical, 120x digital, zoom with image stabilization
  • 3.5-inch color LCD monitor; color EVF
  • Records still photos onto tape or included Memory Stick media
  • Analog-to-digital conversion with pass-through analog inputs

Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars Little Giant
After reading many reviews and shoping at several stores, I took home my new Sony Handycam. ( DCR-TRV27 )
Don't let the compact size of this little giant fool you!
The power and fetures found in the TRV27 are many you might pay more money for in other cameras. The image quality was great!
I used it to record live music with very nice sound & video.
Low light video was brighter than stills in same light.
I found the controls laid out well and easy to use.
The manual that came with it was good for basic operation, but when geting onto some of the advanced operations it was some times confusing. My bigest dislike about the camera is loading tapes is done from the bottom of the camera. If you have it mouted on a tripod, you must remove it for tape loading. Overal I love the camera and would recomend it to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sony DCR TRV27
Excellent camcorder!

Was looking for TRV30 which went out of production and came across this one.

Pros: 1) clear and vibrant video picture (video 690K pixels and still 1 mega pixels CCD)
2) Fast focusing when using zoom in auto mode
3) simple to use knobs and buttons
4) Value for price
5) still photo fairly good with 1 megapixel rating
6) video looks great on TV (at least in Sony Wega TV) than the LCD screen (May be I have reduce the brightness of screen)

Cons:
1) 10x optical and 120x digital zoom slightly less than the competion JVC, Panasonic, Canon
2) Battery life is short with LCD usage
3) No memory stick holder/case supplied
4) No flashlight/ video light (have to buy separately)

Will recommend for anyone who wants good decent video with high resolution and money to spend.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent value
I've used the DCR-TRV27 for almost a year and a half now. Excellent image quality, light weight, great battery life, data flows through FireWire to computer very well.

Down sides: Sony's web site doesn't even acknowledge they ever made this camera; searching on its model number will not produce any results. So if you lost the manual, the best source to get it in .pdf form is Amazon! Also, the zoom is a little over-sensitive.

These are minor quibbles though. For the money, this camera is a bargain.

5-0 out of 5 stars Versatile and High Quality
I bought this unit for Christmas 2003. After one year, the device is still flawless.

The features are more than enough to satisfy the recreational videographer. I usually use the automatic settings (auto focus, auto brightness, etc.) whenever I can, but I'm glad the device has so many options, if I find myself in a situation where I need them.

The 9-point auto focus is spectacular. While most camcorders use a single point to focus, this unit has a group of 9 points or boxes it uses to determine the optimum focus for the shot. It's really amazing, and almost instantaneous.

I love the small size, and the 3.5" LCD screen is much better than the 2.5". When taking video of people, especially kids, they love it when I flip the screen toward them, so they can see themselves. To them, it's like they are on TV. They tend to be more expressive. When I do this, I just look throught the viwfinder to keep the subject in frame.

It's rugged. My wife dropped it at Disney World 9 months ago. It scratched the case a bit, but otherwise the unit wasn't phased.

I've made a few CD-ROM-based videos on my computer. The Sony TRV27 easily transfers video to the computer through the Firewire connection. The USB connection also works, but the compressed image quality is far worse the the pure Firewire transfer.

It's nice to have the capabilities to shoot digital stils. However, the 640x480 1 megapixel image is too low-res for printing phoro-lab quality prints on a photo inkjet printer.

I think of the digital camera feature as a quite a bit above most cell phone cameras, and quite a bit below most 3+ megapixel cameras.

Battery life is great. I have not yet bought a spare, and haven't needed it. If I shot more video, I would probably get one of the larger batteries, which would, however, make the unit a little heavier.

All in all, this is an excellent product. I'm sure the newest models are even better. Sony costs a bit more than some of the other brands, but when it comes to camcorders, you can't beat 'em.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not satisfactory
I bought this camcorder 11 months ago. Used it 7-8 times. Now the tape is getting stuck. It is difficult to get through with Sony customer support and when I get in, they said parts are under warranty , but labour is not. It costs usd 220 to repair it. Picture under low light is not good. ... Read more


155. Samsung SCD303 Compact MiniDV Digital Camcorder
by Samsung Electronics
list price: $399.99
our price: $336.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001ELYO6
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Samsung Electronics
Sales Rank: 3165
Average Customer Review: 2.75 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Sleek, compact MiniDV camcorder and digital still camera with 680,000 CCD
  • 20x optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 900x) and image stabilizer
  • 2.5-inch rotating LCD and color viewfinder
  • Low-light recording settings, Memory Stick slot, and MPEG-4 recording
  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery pack lasts for up to 2 hours

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful camera
The camera was great in every way,great picture, long lasting battery, light weight, easy to use, overall wonderful camera. I was just disappointed that the remote wasn't included.

1-0 out of 5 stars Where's the light?!?
Ok, i said to myself no light on the camera....so I'll just go out and buy one. This is my 1st camcorder purchase ever so of course i didnt realize that in order to attach a light to this puppy it needs an accessory shoe. Light is this little cam's best friend , because in low light situations...u might as well be filming behind a screen door.....because that is what the grainy imprint over all of my indoor footage looks like....well go out and buy 1 for yourself........enjoy!!!!!

2-0 out of 5 stars Picture, description are misleading and wrong!!!
Description and picture misrepresent SC-D303 (I think it's for model SC-D305/307 which isn't sold yet).
SC-D303DOES NOT have accessory shoe NOR video light.
"Standard light" is not a part of package.
There's no remote either.
It's a good camera, but not what's being described here in editorial or on most sites including Samsung which shows wrong picture too!!!
My purchase is going back!

4-0 out of 5 stars Pros and Cons of the Samsung sc-d303
I was looking for a decent review of this camera but could not find one anywhere online. As soon as it was available for sale, I ordered and crossed my fingers. It arrived today and I've been testing it out to the max so here it is for those who want a timely review.

Keep in mind that I'm the type of person who only looks at poor reviews to see why I shouldn't buy a camera...because a lot of things can be either great or acceptable but all it takes is one flaw to make a purchase a remorseful one.

Cons:

-No Memory Stick included! I assumed one was included but in the instructions booklet it says "Optional accessories". I had to run out and buy one for $40.

-No remote Control! Again the booklet says included...bbut only for the 305/307.

-Mpeg4 only allows for 20 second clips.

-The record button is very poorly placed. It is a thin standing rectangle too close to the battery so you need a tiny finger to reach it. It is very hard to press.

-No Tally light. Not even one you can turn off.

-20x Zoom is slow. It takes a while to go from one end to the other.

Pros:

-Battery life is really good. I've been recording, rewinding through several tapes, playing all night and the battery indicator is still at 95% .

-Power Nite Pix is way cool. I feel like I'm in the Army in Paris.

-Most intuitive menu I've ever used.

Here is the MPEG4 review:

There are 2 modes, 320x240 and 160x120. You have a 20 second limit per clip and the final size is 1800 Kb in either mode. I was hoping a smaller file size with the smaller resolution but no...they just give you more frames per second. The larger resolution has only about 10 frames per second and so it is choppy. It's good for emailing back home.

I used their Samsung streaming software to record old footage from mini-dv to mpeg4 on my computer. The setup was simple and here it is always 320x240 and you can record clips as long as you want (hard disk space limited)

Overall I strongly recommend this camera. It is very small...full of features...and way cheap. ... Read more


156. JVC GRDVM90U MiniDV Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode
by JVC
list price: $1,499.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000051TN9
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: JVC
Sales Rank: 4993
Average Customer Review: 2.41 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • MiniDV digital camcorder with progressive scan CCD
  • 10x optical, 200x digital zoom with digital image stabilization
  • 2.5-inch color LCD monitor and color EVF
  • Digital still mode records 1024 x 768 stills onto included 8 MB MMC card
  • Uses an included lithium-ion battery; includes dock for connecting camcorder to your television

Reviews (41)

1-0 out of 5 stars Do not ever buy a JVC
For all of you who want to benifit from the people who have suffered buying JVC NEVER EVER BUY JVC. The company officials are not cooperative. Please dont wat your money

1-0 out of 5 stars You will regret if you buy it
This product came as nicely packaged and had all the bells and whistles and was way ahead of time in terms of progressive scan, miniaturization, etc. The progressive scan feature certainly tempted me to buy this product.

I bought this product 2 years ago and have probably used it about 10 total times when it really worked. Most of the time, the product just quits on you and the operative buttons are plain too too delicate. Here is the chronological list of events that I encountered and I certainly regret buying this camera. Worse, I don't think I'll have the heart to buy another JVC product again. Like they say, perception is reality. I learnt the hard way:

1. Bought the camera for ~$1400 2 years ago.
2. The camera failed to record in low light. I accepted it since it was digital and ahead of it's time.
3. The camera began a never ending sequence of attempting to FIND the focus. I have used this in wonderful full array of stage lighting but with highly pathetic results. The camcorder just would not stop finding the focus and you would see the entire recording blurred with the focus drifting in a never ending way from one section to another--very daunting when you cannot identify a leg from the hand and vice versa.
4. The camcorder's on/off/auto/manual switch became flaky to the point that I had to insert bits of paper to keep it on. The service people could not do anything about it.
5. The camera kept providing the cleaning message
6. The internal battery died and the camera would never respond to any button pushes.
7. The camera recorded beautifully (it appeared) but never wrote ANYTHING on the MiniDV tape--the tape was completely blank.
8. The camera is in such a pathetic state right now that I finally gave up.

Not to mention that the Snapshot mode is so granular and pixelated, I wondered who was in the picture a few times at least. If you are buying it for the snapshot mode, forget it. If you are relying on the software that comes with it, I have so much pity for you. The software is eions old (and a dinosaur) and seldom links with the camera or identifies it the first time through. With GRDVM90U, you have to TRY, TRY, and TRY again and then it does work (after so much agony).

I am buying Sony and staying away from JVC as far as I can be. As part of my new purchase, I reviewed the GRD-93US product of JVC. I hopped down to Circuit city to test drive it before venturing to buy it over the Internet. Guess what? I could not believe it that at 10x, the camera again went on the focus finding mission. I could easily decipher the camera limitation since I went through the ordeal with the GRDVM90U for so long. I tried the Sony DCR-HC65 and it worked just perfect. I was dumb-founded but I was able to make my decision of spending a few extra dollars now and buy a Sony than to buy the JVC and regret it for the rest of my life.

Hey, my life is simple...I just have to make sure that I don't buy any JVC products.

2-0 out of 5 stars Agree- it has problems
And I thought all these problems were related to my mother dropping the camera down the stairs.

Those that have this camera- be patient with "cleaning tape" errors. Cycle the power a few times. Take the battery on and off. It will usually work eventually.

Having half the screen blue has only happened when I used the aftermarket Hi-output battery. It works fine for pictures, but will usually screw up video.

For indoor video, I usually use the SLOW 2 video speed. Brighter video, but slower fps.

Slow picture downloads are due to the Serial port, Video download with firewire is no problem.

1-0 out of 5 stars This product should be RECALLED!!!
If you read through the prior reviews, there are common problems. The most deadly is - ERROR "E04". Also, a head cleaning message is common. I sent it to JVC for repair = $627. The main board went bad. When I asked if this is a common problem - the customer service rep was very angered.

I will try to find out how to request a product recall.

1-0 out of 5 stars Always broken
I bougth this camera 2 years ago at Dumoulin and I took the full 5 years waranty ( luckly ). It is the 3 times the camera goes to repair. Two time they needed to change the main board. And both time the new board they got from JVC was defect and they needed to order a second board. My cam stayed in repair for 6 MONTHS the first time and now 2 MONTHS have past and the teck are still wating for second the board. IT IS ALWAYS BROKEN... buy SONY c'est ben mieux. ... Read more


157. SONY HVR-Z1U 3 CCD Professional HDV Camcorder
list price: $5,946.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00097HL6K
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Sony
Sales Rank: 7083
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

A special professional version of the Sony HDV camcorder with over forty unique feature enhancements tailored specifically for the professional videographer. The new HVR-Z1U features three newly developed Super HAD 1/3" CCDs. These new 16:9 native CCDs, combined with a high quality 12X Optical Zoom Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar® T* Lens and Sony's new 14 bit A/D and DXP Digital Extended Processor, result in precise image acquisition with superb detail and clarity. The advanced CCD design allows more light to reach the pixel imager, reducing video noise and improving the signal-to-noise ratio. The new HVR-Z1U records this exceptional imagery using the recently adopted HDV 1080i format onto a DVCAM™ mini cassette. HDV 1080, 50i/60i/30F/25FRecording and Playback capable 3-1/3" 16:9 newly developedSuper HAD CCD Imagers, 1.12M Pixels Gross High quality 12X Optical ZoomCarl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Lens Super SteadyShot® Optical Stabilization System Non-Perpetual Manual Zoom RingManual Focus RingManual Iris Control w/24 steps3.5" (-viewable area, measured diagonally) 16:9 Hybrid LCD Display (250K Pixels) Large 16:9 Color & B/Wswitchable;electronic viewfinder Simultaneous use of Electronic Viewfinder ;and LCD display Built-in Wide Range Stereo Microphone with internal noise nullingtechnology Balanced Audio XLR input connectors (x2) with Selectable Phantom Power 6 User Assignable Buttons forquick access to frequently used functions i.LINK® DV Interface ... Read more

Features

  • 6 buttons for your special custom setting memories and menu selections
  • Outputs component video in 1080i, 480i and 480p formats
  • 60 frame, 50 frame, 30 frame, 25 frame and 24 frame standards
  • HD to SD down conversion
  • Record in widescreen HDV and output widescreen DVCAM and DV video

158. Canon Elura 40MC MiniDV Digital Camcorder w/ 2"LCD, MMC Card and Digital Still Mode
by Canon
list price: $1,199.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000068DB8
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Canon
Sales Rank: 3625
Average Customer Review: 3.17 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Canon's Elura 40MC is one of the smallest, lightest digital video camcorders available. Weighing around 14 ounces, this vertically oriented camcorder fits snugly into the palm of your hand (not resting on your hand like most cameras, this one fits almost inside it).

Because of its compact frame, some of its features had to be trimmed. Its 2-inch LCD is smaller than most, but its bright screen can be viewed easily even in daylight. Unlike many other camcorders, the Elura's viewfinder displays in color, not black and white. It also offers only a 10x optical zoom, not as high as other cameras, but still adequate for most users.

Unlike many camcorders whose still image quality is subpar, the Elura 40MC captures 1024 x 768 pixel still pictures on a Secure Digital media card (an 8 MB SD card is included) rather than on the MiniDV media. And if coupled with a Canon CP-10 card photo printer, you can directly print images from the Elura without going through your PC.

But it's video quality that matters most in a DV camcorder. The Elura 40MC captured excellent video, even in poor lighting conditions. It doesn't have a built-in light, but its low-light mode still managed to record impressive video with realistic colors and limited graininess.

The Elura's autofocus worked quickly and accurately, and its zoom buttons were within easy reach during filming. The basic modes of the camera make it point-and-shoot easy for the novice user. Audio quality with the built-in mic wasn't the best (we noticed some noise during recording), but the Elura comes with a port that lets you connect an external microphone.

It's not the least expensive camcorder out there, but the extreme portability of the Elura 40MC paired with its excellent video quality make it an appealing choice. --J. Curtis

Pros:

  • Light and compact
  • High quality video
  • Good still image capture

Cons:

  • Average optical zoom
  • Some audio noise
... Read more

Features

  • MiniDV camcorder
  • 10x optical, 200x digital, zoom with image stabilization
  • 2-inch color LCD, color EVF
  • Records 1024 x 768 digital stills onto included 8 MB MultiMediaCard
  • Very compact model; also includes audio and video inputs and outputs

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars An great camcorder and VERY easy to take with you.
Armed with lots of research and my wife's two criteria for selecting a camcorder (it had to be small and easy to use) we bought the Elura MC 40 for its list of features in a very small and very cool package -- plus the canon quality. This one has all the features of a full-sized DV cam, but fits into a small, padded waist pack with a couple of tapes, batteries, and the charger without a problem. This was key as we are expecting our first child and didn't want to add too much to the extra baggage we'll be carrying.

This one doesn't have megapixel stills at 1020x960, but it's still tons better than 640x480 on most compact cams, and we have a 35mm for the serious photography anyway. Lots of great on-camera editing and shooting features, and some basic photo and movie editing software included. If you're going to do some serious movie editing, I'd recommend purchasing a better software package or taking advantage of one of Canon's mail-in rebate deals.

Mac users, you'll love this one. We had a pre-USB Powerbook running OS 8.6 and bought USB and Firewire PCMCIA cards for it. It runs just great without spending the extra cash upgrading the OS like the card manufacturers say to. Also, I wouldn't spend the extra cash on the expensive firewire cards that a Mac specific. I picked up an inexpensive IBM card [$$] at the local computer store, plugged it in, downloaded the supporting drivers from Apple, and it fired right up.

You will have a lot of fun with this cam. We took it out for the first time on July 4th, and everyone was amazed by it. Plugged it into the S-video on the nearest TV, and we had a great time watching the day's events!

4-0 out of 5 stars A great camcorder...especially for the size
I bought this camcorder for a trip to Europe and I love it. I could store it in my jacket pocket when not using it and didn't have to drag around a huge bag with a bunch of useless equipment. This is my first camcorder (and first camera since an old Olympus 35mm), so I'm clearly an amateur. It's got more features than I'll use in 2 lifetimes, so there should be enough to satisfy almost everyone.

Video--is excellent, especially outdoors. Weather doesn't matter, as long as it's outside. It was cloudy all but one day and the video is awesome. Indoor is grainy if the light is too low, but reading reviews of other camcorders, I couldn't find one which said "great video quality indoors." All are grainy indoors. Live with it. You buy this for the size.

Still Pix--are not great. But are you buying a camcorder or camera? If all you care about are still pix, save yourself a few hundred bucks and buy a still-camera. No small camcorder offers a 4 or 5 megapixel resolution with stills. Even the Sony MicroDV only offers 2MP still resolution. With the exposure set to "super fine" I was pleased with the resolution, but I've seen pictures from a 4 MP still camera, and the images don't compare. The pix are not bad, but not excellent. But then, I care about video...not pictures--it's a camcorder afterall.

Sound--I think is great. Yea, there is the motor whine when it's quiet. But guess what, after a few seconds, you tune it out and forget about it. It is not very annoying at all. It does tend to amplify the voice of whomever is doing the recording. But what microphone doesn't amplify the sound closest to it?

SD/MMC card--is only tested by Canon to 64MB (per customer service) which is bad. They recommend not using anything higher than 64.

Battery--doesn't last too long, especially the smaller one. I forked over the money to buy the larger battery and it is well worth it. This way, when it runs down, you pop in the small one and you have another 30-50min of filming.

Ease of Use--I had filmed some items and was watching it on TV within 20 minutes of taking it out of the box. I had the still camera and fader/digital effects figured out within another 20 minutes or so. You must read the manual. It's real easy.

Buttons--are not small considering the size of the camcorder. If you need bigger buttons, buy a bigger camcorder. Remember, you buy this for the size.

Overall--it is great. Fantastic outdoor video and sound pickup with unbelievable portability and ease of use. This is not a "professional" camcorder. It should be used for "hobby" filming and as a great travel-size camcorder. If you need more bells and whistles (external mic mount, attached light) you need a bigger camera. As far as the "save yourself the trouble and buy a Sony" crowd, I've owned many Sony products and find they don't perform any better than anything else. But Sony always seems to want a few hundred more of your hard earned dollars to make you think their product is better. Ask someone about software compatability with their MicroDV camcorder...then watch 'em squirm.

1-0 out of 5 stars Tape eating problems
I bought my Elura 40MC 1.5 years ago. For the first year it worked fine. However, after the warranty ran out I began to have the notorious "tape eating problem" that everyone is talking about. I would steer clear of this product since Canon is reluctant to do anything about it.

1-0 out of 5 stars No Canon Camera anymore for me
After owning the Elura MC 40 for 10 months and taping not even 6 hours the infamous 'Remove the cassette' error started to apear and the data on the tape was garbled and completely unuseable.
After doing some research on the internet I found out, that many cameras of canon have this problem.
Unfortunatly the local Canon Customer Service refused to even look at the camera as it was purchased in the U.S. - "You don't expect us to order the spare parts for you?" was all they told me.
I really regret spending a lot of money for a camera that can now only be used for taking low quality pics.

2-0 out of 5 stars Malfunctions Malfunctions
The zooming feature on this camera I purchased went haywire. The camera would constantly zoom in on everything unless I held the W down, causing great annoyance. Other malfunctions such as on the LCD, the "no memory card inserted" symbol would light up even after its proper insertion and formatting. ... Read more


159. Sony DCRTRV50 MiniDV Digital Camcorder w/ 3.5" Touch Panel LCD, Mega Pixel Video/ Still, Memory Stick &Network Capability
by Sony
list price: $1,699.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006686S
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Sony
Sales Rank: 4319
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

From its professional Carl Zeiss lens to the 3.5-inch LCD, and everything in between, the DCR-TRV50 screams quality. It is unequivocally Sony's top consumer model, and well worth the expense.

Imaging System
The foundation of any camcorder is the imaging system: the lens and CCD. The lens is a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar. While less expensive models may have a larger zoom, the truth is that the larger the optical zoom, the larger the chance that any lens defects will show up in the video you are shooting. A 10x zoom is a good tradeoff in terms of image quality and zoom length. Additionally, Super SteadyShot technology helps keep your video from suffering from the common malady known as handshake, an unavoidable consequence of high zoom levels. Super SteadyShot essentially means image stabilization. There are varying types of image stabilization, but the Super SteadyShot variety moves the internal mechanisms of the camcorder to compensate for any camera movements. Finally, the lens on the TRV50 also has a manual focus ring--a step better and more immediate than the clunky interface most often used in digital camcorders with a manual focus.

The CCD in the TRV50 is of enough resolution to capture 1,360 x 1,020 digital stills onto the included 8 MB Memory Stick--about a 1.38-megapixel image. That resolution is currently tops in the digital-camcorder world (the digital still resolution of camcorders hasn't risen nearly as fast as that of digital cameras), and is good for prints up to about 6 by 9 inches. As far as video is concerned, Sony claims the high-resolution CCD translates into a video resolution of around 530 horizontal lines.

LCD
LCDs are probably the best way to frame your shots on a camcorder, and that usually means the larger the screen the better. At 3.5 inches, the argument could be made that the TRV50 offers the best, just based on size. The only downside? The larger the screen the larger the battery drain. This isn't that serious an issue, as there are many other factors in battery life besides LCD size.

Inputs/Outputs
Two items jump out as features that should be included on all camcorders: a headphone jack and a mic input. Not only do most camcorders have poor built-in microphones, but also they are often situated too near the tape mechanism, meaning you get the annoying throbbing sound of the tape pulled through the heads. Additionally, a headphone jack takes some of the guesswork out of your audio sources. For example, if you're recording a child's presentation, you'd most likely want to make sure you can hear the child.

Of course, the TRV50 also has a slew of other ports, including the standard IEEE 1394, which is used to transfer footage to a computer digitally. Other important ports include S-video, a special AV port, and USB for transferring stills and use with the USB-streaming mode. Additionally, the analog ports (S-video, special AV), allow you to archive your analog footage. Sony has taken the extra step of making the ports pass-through, which means you can plug an IEEE 1394 cable into your computer and archive directly to that without going through the extra step of recording to a tape first.

Special Features
USB streaming essentially allows you to use your camcorder as a Webcam, broadcasting 320 x 240 video at 30 fps. It's a fun feature that should allow you to get even more use from an already loaded machine.

Finally, Sony also added an MPEG movie mode; essentially, this allows you to record movie clips onto a Memory Stick. While the quality won't replace MiniDV anytime soon, it's easier to shoot short MPEG movies and e-mail them than it is to edit your DV footage to a manageable length, render it into a format that's easy on the bandwidth, and send it off.

Included with the DCR-TRV50 are a power adapter, InfoLithium battery, remote control, stereo AV cable, lens cap, shoulder strap, 8 MB Memory Stick, USB cable, and a software CD-ROM. ... Read more

Features

  • MiniDV camcorder
  • 10x optical, 120x digital, zoom with Super SteadyShot image stabilization
  • 3.5-inch color LCD and color EVF
  • Records 1.3 megapixel stills onto included 8 MB Memory Stick
  • USB streaming turns your camcorder into a webcam

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars great machine
This is a very nice camcorder with the best video imaging available in a single-chip camcorder. Video pictures are crystal clear, digital images are the best of any consumer level camcorder anywhere, and the manual switches on the camcorder put you in control of important functions. i must say this is better than any other camcorder. buying this camcorder is not overkilling. if you want good quality go for this. but if you think this is expensive then you have choice. you can go for trv27. but remember you cann't compare TRV50 with TRV27 becoz the features are different. TRV50 is latest....for this century.

5-0 out of 5 stars real handycam
Sony's MiniDV DCR-TRV50 is their upgrade to the popular DCR-TRV30. The camcorder is a standard form factor, with many neat features and good still quality. The DCR-TRV50 carries a street price around [$$$].

The Sony DCR-TRV50 has a 1/4 in. 1.5 Mega Pixel HAD CCD. The effective video pixels used is 970K while the still is 1,390K, but more about the still performance later. The DCR-TRV50 has a 10x optical, 120x digital zoom while the horizontal resolution is rated at 530 lines, the top for the MiniDV format.

An upgrade of the DCR-TRV50 over the DCR-TRV30 is the addition of a touch panel LCD screen. The LCD is 3.5 in. and 246K pixels. The camcorder also has a color viewfinder. When you first hear of the touch screen feature you?re likely to think it?s frivolous, but it?s actually quite useful. Using the touch screen LCD you can adjust the focus and the exposure. If you have an area that is under or over exposed or an area that you want to put in focus all you have to do is touch on it an the camcorder adjusts automatically. This is a great intermediate between automatic and manual control. It gives the inexperienced user a way of tackling the camcorder controls which can be very daunting. Sharp was the first company to add a touch screen LCD but I think Sony has really taken this option and flown with it. It?s a really great feature, especially for those less experienced camcorder users.

5-0 out of 5 stars all neat
if you are planning to buy a good handycam go for trv50. if you are planning to buy trv950 or sony vx2000 please have a look this camera too. i bought this camera last month....it is really nice. picture quality is excellent. still mode is wondeful and touch screen is very useful. the only gimik is bluetooth technology, but other features are just fantastic...you cann compare trv50 with trv950 only.the difference is only 1ccd and 3 ccd. but otherwise you will not feel much difference. i recomend this handycam to semi professionls too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Feel like professional
I bought Sony DCRTRV50 MiniDV Digital Camcorder last week. i can say that this is the camera of my dream. this is my second handycam. before this i used sony trv120. even i have tried sony trv900 too (trv900 was good). but trv50 is very cool. nice features. very good video quality. if you want to buy a handycam in mid range (i prefer not very expensive like trv900/950 or vx2000) this the machine you will love. compact size, looks good, video quality is just like professional and still is far better than my 1.3 mega pixel fuji camera. sound quality is really nice. just check the trv50 in stores, i'm sure you would love to buy this camera for this price. i must say this is the camera for 21st century. a new generation handycam. ... Read more


160. Canon Elura 65 MiniDV Camcorder w/16x Optical Zoom
by Canon Video
list price: $649.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001GCAWE
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Canon Video
Sales Rank: 879
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • MiniDV camcorder and still camera with 1.33-megapixel CCD
  • 16x optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 320x) and image stabilizer
  • 2.5-inch LCD with 180-degree rotation
  • Capture low-light recordings with Night Mode and record in 16:9 format
  • Record for up to 225 minutes on one battery charge

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars great little camcorder!
We purchased the Elura 65 for our new baby who is due in one month. This camera is small and sleek with a very nice look to it. We just received it a few days ago and have done several tests in different lighting. The quality is BEAUTIFUL outdoors and indoors with the lights on or with the natural sunlight coming in. However, the picture was very dark and grainy when we filmed at a wedding the other night. Keep in mind that the lighting in the place was very dim...there was little to no light. I've done a lot of research on Mini DV camcorders recently and I've yet to see one that takes good pictures in low light areas. I'm wondering if there is an external light that I can purchase for my new camera. This is not reason enough to return the camera, since the reviews on all the other brands and models state the same problem. I just think it's something that needs to be fine-tuned on ALL mini DV cameras in general.

The 16x optical zoom is fabulous on this camera and there is NO motor noise (or at least none that we can hear) as the Canon ZR models claim to have.

One drawback which MAY be a problem is that since this camera is so small (smaller in height than the Canon ZR models), it seems like it can be hard to hold steady...but I'm hoping that's where the image stabilization will come in.

Overall, it's a great little camera! ... Read more


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