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When I first came over in UK North, I realised that, to capture the beauty of the landscapes, a camera is not enough.
That's when I started my research on the camcorders. For reasons unknown, I was somehow hell bent on buying a Sony Digital Camcorder. Maybe for the brand name associated with quality. After a lot of research on other brands as well, I settled for Sony.
I started to consider DCR TRV 145 for the price. Then slowly, as I gathered more information on the picture quality, optical zoom and digital zoom, I settled on DCR TRV 355. The Mini DVs were on the costlier side (more than £550). And the optical zoom of 20x also influenced my decision and I thank myself for that.
Having bought the DCR TRV 355 in August, I have finished 4 tapes with some precious moments captured. I have no regrets for buying this piece.
But I'm left with a feeling that it could have been better. It's not a bad piece. But I would recommend new buyers to buy a Sony Mini DV (TRV 22 or TRV 33) if you are happy with 10x optical zoom. The advantage is also of a Mega Pixel picture quality.
I played my tapes connected to the TV and felt, picture clarity could be better.
But let me assure you, Sony Digi or Mini DV cams are 200 times better in picture quality compared to the JVC and Panasonic camcorders that my friends bought.
The startup on switching on to recording mode for Off state is also a bit slow.
I also recommend not to buy the memory stick if you are looking to capture great resolution pictures. The pictures that you can capture with this is 800x600 which produces lot of grains. Use the camcorder purely for recording movies. It's inevitable that you have to carry a camera. Also remember this camcorder weighs close to a kilo which does affect long shoots.
Night shots are also not that good as claimed. But outdoor recording quality is great in daylight.
If you are a novice who wants to start off your experience with digital camcorder, it's certainly a good buy for the good picture quality and the closeups it can give.
If you are professional, go for a higher model for a little more higher price.