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Sony Handycam DCR-TRV245

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£8.99 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk marketplace See more offers
5 Reviews
  • Ease of use
  • USB streaming's naff
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    5 Reviews
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    • More +
      27.02.2008 22:08
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Ease of use"
      • "Ease of use"

      Disadvantages

      A good camera, Bit old now. Doesn't compare to new camera's, but if you can get hold of one cheap,do

      I brought this about 4 or 5 years ago, so it is getting fairly old now. I brought it from Agros, at £300, which, at the time, was a good deal, however, you now see camcorders 10 times better, smaller, and lighter, for a much lower price. Damn, if only they were that cheap back then... But oh well.

      The camcorder's looks is pretty nice, looks modern (even though now fairly old), and quite stylish. In it's time, it was fairly small and light, but obviously now you'll get lighter and smaller, but it is fine to take around anyway, and in the package I brought it with, I got a case I can take it around in.

      Overall picture quality is fairly good, better than VHS, not quite DVD though! You can use you computer to put the video onto DVD, or use a DVD recorder, and you'll get a fair image quality. The picture you'll get on the LCD screen (2.5" Colour LCD (123,200 pixels)) built onto the camera has a pretty decent image. The view finder has a fair image quality, although it is in black and white. Not that important though.

      You get plenty of features with this camera. The NightShot function and built in light is really useful for when it's dark, you can record anything in any lighting conditions what so ever. There is a exposure contol also, so it won't be too light!

      It has 20X optical zoom, 700 times digital zoom, which wasn't bad for when it was new.

      It has a stereo microphone built into it, which does work well, though not too good in a lot of wind. Needs to face the oposite direction to the wind really. Strangly, you can not add a external microphone, which would be useful, but oh well, it does the trick.

      It has 8 Picture Effects and 6 Programme AE, which aren't all that useful, just to make the video look old fashioned or whatever.

      You can select between using standard or widescreen, which is useful.

      The battery life is pretty good. With the package I got, it came with an extra battery, so you can easily get 10 hours battery life using both.

      This has a "SteadyShot" feature built in, however, it doesn't seem to do anything.

      The camera size measures: (D)199.0mm (H)101.0mm (W)89.0mm
      The camera weighs 810g.

      All in all, not a bad camera. Can't fault it for it's age.

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    • More +
      25.01.2005 09:43
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      2 Comments

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      • "USB streaming's naff"

      About a year ago I decided that my clunky old C-VHS camcorder had to be replaced by something smaller, lighter and much more up to date. So I set myself some criteria and started to search the internet.

      So what did I want from my new camcorder????

      1.An LCD screen
      2.It had to be digital in one form or another
      3.There had to be computer connectivity, preferably USB as I didn't have firewire at the time.
      4.It had to be reasonably light and compact
      5.It had to cost less than £400

      So with these points in mind I set off and searched the internet and came up with the Sony DCR TRV245. Next I went into Dixons to get a hands on look at the camera and was very impressed with what I saw. OK there were some smaller cameras at the time, but they were twice the price and didn't meet all my criteria. So I went ahead and ordered on-line (I'm not silly I knew I could get it cheaper than dixons, I just wanted to see it in the flesh, so to speak).

      * * * * * * * * *
      In the box
      * * * * * * * * *

      The camcorder came packed in the box along with:

      The battery
      Power cable
      USB cable
      A/V cables
      S-Video cable
      Scart adapter
      Remote Control with batteries
      CD ROM – containing the drivers and a utility for getting your video onto the computer.
      Instruction Book – Pretty large with instructions in English and French

      So basically the only thing the camcorder didn't come with was a tape, which was disappointing as that was what was needed to record anything.


      * * * * * * * *
      Dimensions
      * * * * * * * *

      89mm x 101mm x 199mm
      Weight : 800g
      (taken from pixmania website)

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
      The Camcorder's features
      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      2.5” LCD

      The screen is very clear, and can be tilted so that you can see what you're recording even if you're holding the camera above you're line of sight.

      -----------------------------------------------------

      Digital 8 format recording

      Higher quality recording on tape. However the camera can also record on HI8 tapes which are slightly cheaper but will give lower quality recordings.

      ----------------------------------------------------

      InfoLithium Battery

      The battery has a built in function that tells you how much recording/playing time you have left. Very useful if you ask me, there's nothing worse than guessing wrongly and your battery dying as you're recording a school play. The supplied battery gives approximately one hours recording time, but I bought a larger battery that gives up to 3 hours recording.

      ------------------------------------------------------

      Zoom

      Optical zoom is 20x and digital is 700x. The picture quality with the optical zoom was fantastic, but when using digital zoom it degrades quite quickly. The actual zoom control takes a while to get used to, but I can now do pretty smooth zooms.

      ----------------------------------------------------------

      USB Streaming

      I found this a great disappointment. The picture quality transferred to my computer was quite frankly appalling and completely unusable. However, it did make a pretty reasonable, if bulky web cam.

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Firewire

      This camcorder only has DV out. And I've not actually used it yet as I don't have a cable. But I hope to try it with my DVD recorder very soon.

      -------------------------------------------------------------

      Remote Control

      The remote control is satisfactory, and I suppose would be useful if you wanted to be included in the video or if you wanted to keep pausing as you were transferring video over. But for me it was another useless feature, I simply transfer everything to my DVD recorders hard drive and edit there.

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Still Photo Function

      There is a function to take still photos, but quite frankly a £40 digital camera does a better job.

      -------------------------------------------------------------

      Spotlight

      The camera has a spot light on the front, which makes taking pictures in the dark easier. However, this gets very hot, and eats at the battery power.

      * * * * * * * *
      Ease of use
      * * * * * * * *

      The camcorder is remarkably easy to use. Simply charge the battery, insert a tape,remove the lens cap (important one that as it won't record until you do), push a simple button down to camera, point at what you want to record and press the red record button. There you go, your first recording started without even breaking a sweat.

      There are other functions on the camera that take a while to get used to, but I never use any of the fades, wipes etc.

      You then have plenty of connection options for transferring your recording to either VHS or DVD. I personally connect the camcorder to my DVD recorder via S-VHS and the picture quality is fantastic. However, you could also connect via the A/V cables (either on their own or with the scart adapter) or by firewire if your recorder allows it and of course you can connect to your computer via USB, if you can stand the picture quality.

      * * * *
      Price
      * * * *

      The lowest price I could find for this camcorder today was £384 including a free battery

      * * * * * * * * * *
      Value for Money
      * * * * * * * * * *

      When I bought this camcorder, it was excellent value for money. However, I would now say it's not such good value. You can get a better specification and smaller and lighter camcorder, for a lower price.

      * * * * * * * *
      Final Words
      * * * * * * * *

      This was a nice little camcorder in it's day, and still looks quite stylish and works very well. I would really recommend it to beginners that don't need fancy functions, or the computer connectivity.

      Although I was disappointed with some of the functions, the actual picture quality is excellent and I recorded a school play lasting an hour today and my arm only ached a little bit.




      Comments

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      • More +
        05.11.2004 01:41

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        Disadvantages

        this camcorder is by far above learly any other camcorder on the market mainly for one fundimental reason, the fact that it has a 20x optical zoom, most thease days only have 10x or 15x if your lucky, a high didgital zoom is a good thing to have but the problem is with didgital zoom is that it gets pixely and unstable the more that you zoom in, with optical zoom it is actualy the lenses that are moving and the quality of picture is never lost,
        Also this camcorder has a dv link so you can stream in real time from your pc/ mac and navigate from your pc/ mac, it is a very user freindly camcorder and i wouldnot swap mine for any other,
        All i can say now is if you are thinking of bying a camcorder but dont realy know much about them or even if you do, you will not be dissapointed with this camcorder, it is spot on, especialy for the money.

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      • More +
        18.09.2004 20:29
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

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        I've been using this camera for nearly a year now, and I don't regret buying it for a second, but I believe my daughter will as her hole life is now documented min by min on little labled tapes.

        I think this is a good camera as a first one, it has a lot of good features such as:


        Colour LCD Display
        infoLITHIUM Battery
        USB Streaming + Software
        Steady shot
        Night shot
        Optical zoom x20
        Digital zoon x700
        Built in light
        Photo option
        Remote control

        Now for the stuff you want to know what it all does,

        Colour LCD display:
        The LCD screen opens 90 degrees and it rotates 180 degrees, it's very good in the way that you can record and not be restricted by seeing everything in black and white, and it's easier for people who wear glasses as menu on the LCD has the option to make the menu look bigger, plus using the LCD uses more battery,

        infoLITHIUM Battery:
        I think this is very handy as it displays the amount of life left in the battery to the min, it also has a fairly good life but with the LCD screen open this decreases the it's life,

        USB Streaming:
        This is very good as you can capture those special moments on your pc via 1 single cable, and then you can share them aswell, the only problem is the software can be quite confusing but with a little patience you get the hang of it,

        Photo option:
        Another good thing about this camera is you can take still pic's aswell, on a 90 min tape you can take around 500 pics on short play and on long play you can take around 700,

        Steady shot:
        This helps keep the picture steady, you will be suprised how much this helps especially at long distance,

        Night shot:
        I think this is great because it's like night vision goggles, very good for recording nocturnal animalsin theire environment,

        Optical zoom x20:
        The picture is very clear, even close up's,

        Digital zoom x700:
        Now this is good, you can zoom in on objects from a great distance, you have the option to have either x40 zoom or x700 which ever, it's up to you depending on what you are filming, one thing I found is that the more I zoomed in the picture quality decreases,

        Built in light:
        The built in light is very small but powerful, and you can film quite far with it, one thing with using this option is that it uses quite alot of battery, but I still think this is a very handy option to have,

        Remote control:
        Well this controls the camera remotely lol. No really the buttons share the same name on the remote as the camera it's self so you can zoom in and out take pic's aswell as other things,


        Would I recommend this to anyone? Yes I already have, my sister has the exact same camera and she is just as pleased as I am, and it's a very good buy for the price.

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      • More +
        18.03.2004 22:13
        1 Comment

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        I have had this camcorder since Christmas last year and I find it really good to use, There is never a moment where I haven?t wanted to use it when I go out. You can add text to it, the sound quality is very good, and it is a digital8 picture that comes out so it is really good quality picture. The zoom is 20times normal zoom and up to 700times digital zoom the only thing wrong with that is when you are fully in the picture goes a bit distort. I have tried zooming in on the moon and you can see the craters on the surface so it works the same as a telescope. There is a LCD screen on the side so you don?t have to keep looking In the viewfinder all the time and it gives out sound on it as well.

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