Sony Handycam DCR-TRV70 Mini DV Camcorder

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Best consumer-level camcorder in the market

Dec 11, 2003 (Updated Dec 11, 2003)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Battery Life:
  • Movie Quality:

Pros:Image quality (both video and still pictures). Versatility. Connectivity. Loaded with extra features.

Cons:Comes with only 8MB memory stick. Slightly grainy video in low-light. Cassette loads from bottom.

The Bottom Line: After comparing to other camcorders in the same range, the Sony TRV 70 performed considerably better, even better than models with 3-CCD chips.


In my opinion, this has to be the best consumer-level camcorder right now in the market. Before I purchased it, I made sure I took a long time comparing it to other similar products, particularly the Panasonic 953. In the end, the Sony TRV 70 was the most versatile and feature-packed of the two, and I’m very glad I chose it over the 3-CCD model from Panasonic.

Here’s the breakdown of my experience with this wonderful machine:

The positive side:

- Size and weight for a camera with so many features.
- Image quality and color reproduction.
- Performance in low light was considerably better than the Panasonic 953
- Excellent quality of 2.1 megapixel still photos. The software that comes with the camera for downloading and archiving your photos is very cool, making the process fully automated as soon as you connect the camera to your computer via USB.
- Connectivity: it packs every connection and link available to digital camcorders in the market (Firewire, USB, S-Video, analog, etc).
- Intelligent pop-up flash and flash-shoe.
- Excellent menu of digital features, accessed through a touch-screen LCD. This is a much better way to access these features than the button menu in other cameras.
- Battery life is very decent for normal operations.
- Steady-shot capabilities are decent in normal conditions.
- Excellent Carl Zeiss lens
- Full wide-screen mode! This feature blew me away.
- Infrared night-vision.
- Blue-Tooth Network capabilities: too many to list here!
- MPEG recording mode.

Room for improvement:

- It comes with a meager 8MB memory stick, barely enough for a handful of still pictures. If you plan on using the photo mode often, you may want to purchase a larger memory stick for this camera.
- Performance in low-light conditions could definitely be improved, although it’s WAY much better than the Panasonic 953. I had a very hard time getting any decent video in interiors with the three-chip Panasonic model. Although the Sony TRV 70 started to display some grain in low-light interior shots, the picture was still decent enough.
- Cassette loads from the bottom! While this give the camcorder more room for features, it becomes painful if you have to change tapes when using a tripod.

In short, this is an extraordinary camera for both home and semi-pro usage. It really is difficult to shoot bad video with this camcorder. This was one very happy purchase, and the more I use this machine, the more it surprises me.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 1000
Recommended for: Professional Videographers - Broadcast Quality Videos


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