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Sony Handycam DCR-HC14

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Sony Handycam DCR-HC14 - Camcorder - 800 Kpix - optical zoom: 10 x - Mini DV

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      12.09.2010 18:21
      Very helpful
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      A great camcorder for stylish video recording

      I have had this camcorder for quite a long time and it served me well but I haven't used it in ages! It's quite compact and very efficient to use. It works well and has some nice specifications. Made by Sony, it's very reliable and of great quality. It cost about £300 at the time but I got it as a present from a few people. It comes in a large blue Sony box with a good image of the camcorder and some of the features but it isn't full of information.

      The camcorder is packaged well with adapters to charge the camcorder and also connect it to your computer for importing videos and editing them. You can also connect it to your television to view your videos on a big screen with the red, yellow and white cables. The camcorder isn't too heavy to hold but it isn't the lightest device. I'd recommend a bag to keep it safe in and to prevent it from getting scratched.

      The camera has a chrome finish to it along with grey and silver parts to make it look ultra modern. The camera has a 10x optical zoom along with a 640x digital zoom. It has super steady shot technology meaning it captures movement very well to a great quality. It even has a nightshot function where you can film in the dark (with the classic green tinted view). On the left hand side of the camera are buttons to switch the screen's back light on and off as well as display the battery and other information. You can see how far through the tape you are as well as an image of the battery power.

      On the left hand side, the screen flips out after simply pushing down the clip which says 'open'. Once opened out, you can turn the screen up and down slightly by tilting it to suit your view. You can even flip it fully all the way round and it'll automatically adjust the image so that the person being filmed can see what you are filming. This is ideal for blogs or filming yourself or others so they can see if they are in frame. On the inside of where the screen pops out is a reset button, where you can stick a pin in to reset settings.

      The screen is actually a touch screen, which works really well. It is quite responsive to touch and you can access all the settings on there for videos. The main controls are on the back side where you view the camera from. There is a little wheel, which clicks into one of three positions at a time. The top is for ordinary filming, and you'll be able to press the red record button here, which clicks to give you some tactile feedback and it'll begin recording. The middle setting is actually the off location, where you should keep it when not using the camera! The bottom position is the place where you can view your video that you have recorded. You can rewind, fast forward and watch it through from here on the screen or even through the camera's cinematic scope.

      There is a lithium ion battery on the back, which protrudes the device a bit. This isn't really the greatest of designs but means you can easily remove it using the little clip labelled 'BATT' to release it and pull it off. You can charge the battery with the included cable using the 'DC IN' port just above the record button and triple position wheel. The bottom of the camera isn't too interesting but has a sliding switch, which opens up the tape holder. Providing there is battery, once opened, the tape holder automatically raises out and flips open to reveal the tape. From here you can easily release it and stick in a new one. It's quite a good mechanism and works well. It's also very efficient as it's mostly automatic.

      This camcorder is designed for right handed people with the hand strap on the right side. It's fitted very well and doesn't hang off too far. It will still fit all hands and can be adjusted with the strap. It has a very comfortable large pad to one side with a Sony logo on the outside. This helps to comfort your hand whilst holding it and also helps prevent drops! The pad is done up with Velcro and simply comes undone to adjust the strap length. When your hand is through, it fits very snugly and your fingers are positioned exactly with your index finger situated by the zoom and photo buttons and your middle and ring fingers seated comfortably on a well-positioned indent. It's very stable to hold and enables you to get a good video.

      The zoom button works extremely well. It's very smooth and has a few levels of sensitivity as you can tell when zooming in and out. You have to be quite light-handed when using it through to prevent overly fast movements zooming in and out. A grey photo button is also situated towards the top, which can take a still shot to add to your video, which can certainly be quite useful. For example you may have reached a new destination on your holiday - a fine example may be a shot of the 'Welcome To The Fabulous Las Vegas' sign! From then onwards, you can film the wonders that extend beyond the border!

      The camera has a cinematic eye piece, which you can view comfortably with one eye. It has a soft rubber-coated shell on it for comfort and displays a black and white image at the end. It looks simply amazing, just like you are sitting at the back of a cinema. Due to this, I sometimes prefer to film through here, and with the camera by your eye, you tend to keep it a lot stiller making sure you don't stab yourself in the eye! On the right hand side of the camera towards the top is a nightshoot button, which slides to OFF or ON. Below is a cover taken up with your nails to reveal many more connections for hooking your camera up to computers, TVs and whatever else.

      It's an excellent camera and the quality is great. Whilst watching back videos on the camera, you can admire the stereo sound from the front of the camera, where left and right mini speakers sit. The screen gives a pretty high quality picture too with 800,000 pixels on the 2.5" screen. The lens is made by Carl Zeiss, which seems to be utilised in Sony camcorders and is of great quality. It has a lovely shiny silver surrounding to it. The battery can last with stamina for up to 12 hours if you keep the screen pressed in and use the eyepiece. This is quite excellent. It will charge fully in a matter of hours, but it seems to take a bit longer than it would to fully charge a mobile phone for example.

      With USB streaming, you can send videos straight to your computer for editing and further work. Despite being a bit old at the moment, it's still a very capable and advanced camcorder. It's very efficient to use and has everything you need on it with a vast range of settings for focusing, exposure, volume, brightness and more. You can also set the date and time, which can be on your videos if you choose. Included with the camera within the box, you have:

      - AC adapter
      - Rechargeable battery pack
      - A/V connecting cable (stereo)
      - USB cable
      - CD-ROM
      - Cleaning cloth

      The cleaning cloth is nice and soft and works well for the Carl Zeiss lens and screen too. The screen has a different surface to a touch screen phone for example, and thanks to this it doesn't seem to display fingerprints all over it. Overall it's an excellent camera and I'd certainly recommend it. I have not used it in a while but I think I may do again soon! It takes standard digital video cassettes, which it records on. Using the camera or with another device, you can play the videos from these discs or simply get them onto your computer using the other included accessories. It produces a great quality video, is a joy to use and very comfortable and well-designed with a nice look.

      Thanks for reading!

      :)

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    • Product Details

      Sony's worldwide reputation for creating unique, attractive, high-quality, advanced technology products rests on a long line of innovations embraced by people from all walks of life. With a diverse product lineup serving a variety of lifestyles and industries, Sony continuously strives to introduce new products and technologies to meet changing market needs.