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Disappointing for me - Advantages: Crisp video quality, Easy to operate, Lightweight, not so heavy - Disadvantages: After using for only 18 months, it break down, The cost for repairing is almost half the price of new Sony HC40E., This product is definitely disappointing me
This review is written from a feminine, techno phobe point of view, I hope you enjoy it! I have wanted a camcorder for ages but as a complete techno phobe I thought operating one would be beyond by capabilities. However following a visit from a similarly minded ludite friend complete with her camcorder, I decided to take a closer look at what was available. My friend has a Sony TRV 22 and I found that it was simple to record our children playing and play back the captured images with ease! As we were due to travel to the States for an extended holiday the following month, I thought that a camcorder would be an excellent buy. I wanted to be able to record the trip in the form of a video diary. So it was that in may last year I took the plunge into the world of the unknown? I had been very impressed with my friends? camcorder but before making my final purchase I researched what other models were available. As a complete beginner I didn?t want anything too complicated or expensive. I also wanted a camcorder, which would be small enough to carry on hikes and take as hand baggage on our flight to the States. I wanted to be able to use the camcorder as a digital camera and be able to take still prints from moving images, as I hoped to film wildlife. Sony is a make I trust and all reviews on their camcorders were mainly positive so I decided to go for the TRV 22. I purchased my camera from John Lewis for nearly £600 after getting them to match a cheaper price I found elsewhere. Since buying my camera prices have come down and you can now get this camcorder for £459 from Amazon! I know I could have got this camera for a lot less in the States but wanted to have the peace of mind of good customer service should it go wrong. What you get for you money ************************** The camcorder is really small at just under 4 inches high and 3 inches wide. It weighs just 1.13 pounds so is really light. The camera is silver and grey a
nd looks very stylish. It is really comfortable and easy to hold as it has a soft strap to put your hand through whilst operating it. This camcorder will literally fit into the palm of my hand. So what else do you get apart from a swish looking camera? Well numerous features that took me months to be able to use! When I first got the camcorder home and opened the box I was met with a load of leads and other paraphernalia none of which meant anything to me. However luckily the camcorder comes with a very comprehensive instruction manual written in both French and English. I charged the battery pack with the supplied charger inserted a tape (not supplied) and was all ready to start recording. I should say here that the tapes are widely available and cost about £10. Each tape can record 90 minutes of footage. They are very small and fit easily inside a camera case. So far so good. Now for the more technical stuff. The camcorder has the following features- A memory stick - This is a very small oblong plastic thing (technical term)! Which is inserted into the camcorder. This enables moving images to be taken from the recorded tape and stored as still prints. These can then be viewed on your computer and printed off onto photo paper. Photo?s can also be enlarged. I am really impressed with this function and have some wonderful pictures of a grizzly bear in the wild. It is also possible to enlarge prints. You can superimpose a still image from the memory stick, onto a moving image to really impress your friends, well mine were anyway! The LCD panel- This is a small screen attached to the camcorder. It measures just 2.5 inches and can be opened to allow you to see what you are filming. To film you simply set the small dial at the side of the camcorder to camera, press a button and off you go! To play back and view your recording you simply touch the LCD screen. The menu for other functions is also accessed via touching the screen. It is
poss ible to record by pulling out the colour viewfinder, which tilts up. Filming without using the LCD screen uses less battery power so is useful if you are out and not able to charge the camera. When filming the LCD screen can be rotated to enable the subject to view themselves being filmed. USB cable- this enables the camcorder to be linked up to your computer so pictures can be viewed and stored. I also enjoy sending pictures to family and friends via e-mail. Wireless remote commander- This is the remote control for the camcorder and works like the one you have for your TV. Batteries are supplied for the remote. A/v connecting cable-This enables the camcorder to be connected to the TV so that you can view your recorded tape through your TV. I have recorded and edited all my tapes onto VHS tapes now; again this is easy to do following the instruction manual. Night shot-This enables you to film in the dark. It is activated by the click of a switch at the top of the camcorder. The recorded images appear green and to be honest I haven?t really found this feature very useful. Zoom ?This camcorder has a 120x digital zoom lens. I find this function excellent, as it is easy to switch to and from zoom whilst filming. I have some great close ups of wildlife taken from a safe distance. I also use this to zoom in on my children when they are playing without breaking the spell of their game! The camcorder has a very high spec Carl Zeiss lens, which basically means you get a very sharp picture. The camcorder has 800 k pixels, which apparently is good! Something to do with the number of dots. The camcorder has a self-timer function to allow everyone to be in the picture! It is also possible to create many clever dickey tricks for your films such as fading in or out, overlapping and my favourite creating a mosaic effect. There are numerous other special effects all accessed via the LCD screen. The camcorde
r also com es with a c.d ?rom, a cleaning cloth, a lens cover and a shoulder strap. The verdict ************ As I have said this camcorder is really easy to use and the results are excellent. Despite reading the manual it took me months to fully appreciate all that it is capable of and I?m sure I still have more to learn. Although the camera is fitted with image stabiliser it took me a while to learn to move slowly when filming to get a smooth image. I have small hands and find operating the buttons easy. However my husband finds them fiddly and often manages to switch the camcorder to the wrong mode accidentally. The sound recording quality is not that great. When recording outside a slight breeze can sound like a gale force wind when the tape is played back. I?m not sure if it is possible to resolve this, if anyone has any ideas please let me know! There is no camera case provided and I think this is an essential extra purchase .I brought one that enabled me to carry spare tapes and the battery charger with me. It would have been nice if Sony had included this in the price. The battery only has a life of 12 hours, which is normally fine, but when you are travelling it can be a pain to have to keep re charging it. It is possible to buy a battery with a longer life but they don?t come cheap. To conclude this is an excellent camcorder and will give you high quality digital images of what ever you desire! I am really happy that I went for this model although I am still searching for the do the cleaning mode! It does everything else so it must exist!