Advantages Top spec, low price, Digital AND Analogue
Disadvantages Not really :-)
Wanting to start to study filmmaking as a hobby, I was deperately looking for a digital camera that would not cost me an arm and a leg. Two months I have been looking.This camera actually came as a big surprise! For the price of a low-spec DV camera, you actually get this top-spec one for the same price ! I got mine for £399. Including delivery :-)
The main reason why this camera is cheaper is that it doesn't use the mini-DV (or DV) tapes, but Digital-8 instead. That's right, it uses regular, cheap, 8mm tapes but records in Digital Video format on it. The actually mechanism is a lot more widespread, therefore cheaper, and the cost difference is reflected in the price of the camcorder ! Many thanks to Sony for that !Quick word about digital 8, it uses regular 8mm tapes, but at 4/3 the speed of a regular 8mm camcorder, enabling the picture to be saved in Digital video with two stereo audio tracks. Basically, a 90 minutes tape will last you 60 minutes in DV. There's also a Long Play mode that enables you to fit 120 minutes on a 90 minutes tape, but the difference of quality is quite noticeable. The camcorder's great at it enables you to record in Single Play, Long Play and Analog on a same tape, the system switches automatically from on to the other. Again : Digital 8 and Analog 8 tapes ARE the same. It's just the camera changing the speed of the actual tape to store more information per frame.
Another advantage of digital 8 is that it is compatible with your regular analog 8mm tapes. That's right, you can play your old tapes back in this camcorder, and the quality's great too ! In summary, you can use 8mm and digital 8 in the same camcorder, using the same tapes. Digital-8 is not backwards compatible however (does not work in regular 8mm camcorders), thought you might want to be aware of that.Feature wise, the camera comes will all features you would expect from a top spec camera : autofocus/manual focus, 25x optical zoom/70x-500x digital (although "digital zoom" could be anything really), backlight compensation, white balance, supercolor mode, optical shutter speed.
In addition to that, great extra features :Nighshot (Infra-red like vision that works in 0 lux)
Digital stabiliser that works by "scanning" a bigger image in memory than the one you've got on the screen so you don't lose in resolution. This stabiliser actually WORKS, believe meCrispy color LCD screen, that you can rotate by 270 C.. You can rotate in such a way, that you can show the video feed forward, to whoever you're shooting.
Another basic LCD in the back of the LCD screen is there to review battery charge and TC when the camera is closed. It's silly, but I love this blue LCD tint, it's just plain cool.The "optical" viewfinder is actually another black and white LCD with a lense to correct your vision if you're short/longsighted. Small feature but REALLY useful.
There are many other features, but I never got round understanding them all.
|Ease of use|
|Range & quality of features|
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