Sony DCR-TRV130 Digital8 Camcorder
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Another brilliant product by sony
Description : The Sony DCR-TRV130 Digital8 Camcorder provides a good introduction to the world of digital video, being an easy-to-use and capable entry level digital camcorder. Despite being Sony's "best value" Digital8 camcorder, the TRV130 has a list of features that would fill this review on its own.
The Digital8 format uses standard 8 mm tapes to store digital video rather than the more expensive MiniDV format. You can fit up to 90 minutes on a single tape in LP mode. The TRV130 is respectably compact and light (under a kilogram). The controls are logically placed, making it easy to use with one hand. The quarter-inch CCD produces video images of around 440 lines, not equal to the maximum capabilities of a PAL television but considerably better than standard analogue camcorders. The lens is threaded and you can fit other Sony lenses to extend the capabilities such as telephoto and wide-angle. There's a 2.5-inch colour LCD screen, but the viewfinder is black and white. The remote can be used to control both playback and recording. The zoom should be enough for everybody: a 20x optical backed by a digital zoom to push the maximum to 560x.
Battery life is reasonable at about 50 minutes but the optional high-capacity battery is a worthwhile investment, especially as it is so tempting to watch your recordings on the LCD screen as soon as you've made them.
Some real effort has been exerted to make the TRV130 easy to operate--it takes about five seconds to "warm up" from the moment you turn it on. There are a few digital filters and effects such as sepia, pastel and the like. These are fun to play about with but are really gimmicks, more useful is the titler.
Unless you have some really exotic demands, the TRV130 is certainly an excellent value. It's easy to use and produces good recordings without fuss. It's not as flexible as some and the image quality suffers a little from a small CCD, but for most purposes it fits the bill perfectly. --Miles Berkeley