Advantages Great Picture, Plenty of Features
Disadvantages Average Battery Life
The Sony DCR-TRV 355 (from now on called the 355 in this review) is a camcorder you can most certainly rely on for your home footage needs whatever the subject. Maybe you are looking at recording your loved animals, such as Fluffy the kitten, or your newly-born, Brooklyn, or maybe those steamy nights of passion..........well; the 355 will suit any enthusiast who has an eye on capturing those moments of sadness, joy and love.......on tape. You can look forward to showing friends and family those precious moments from the comfort of your own home and at a price no one of sane mind could turn down.Well...if the sales pitch didn't do it maybe a Ciao review might...
The 355 is a typical looking camcorder, fairly sleek and looks sexy in its own right. The silver-grey finish makes it look like a toy of the digital age and differentiates it from the black camcorders many of us grew up around. The viewfinder tilts upwards at 45 degrees, allowing different filming experiences. The colour LCD screen, at 2.5 inches wide, rotates round 180 degrees for self-portrait filming or angled holds when observing a subject from awkward angles. Many of the buttons are firmly tucked behind the LCD screen out of reach whilst a few are located on top and behind the camcorder for ease of use when filming. It is fairly light for what it does but it may take the user a while to get adjusted to carrying extra weight on their hand and steadying the shot when filming.
This camcorder is fairly easy to use as I managed to get most of the basic functions figured out without reading the manual. Buttons push easily but do not protrude, therefore minimising accidental pressing of keys and functions. The record button is handily placed so that you can control zooming, recording and hold the camcorder with just the one hand, but it does take a little getting used to. The 355 can only really be used with a right hand so, if you are left-handed, make sure you are comfortable in using this camcorder before buying.
The zoom capabilities of the 355 are fairly reasonable for a camcorder of this price. With 20x optical zoom (allows a great deal of proximity to a distant subject) and 700x digital zoom, which increases the proximity but through digital means rather than technical means, the 355 is top of its class. Digital zoom does tend to leave the image shaking quite substantially the further the user zooms into the subject. One benefit I have found from the zoom function is the varied speed at which you can zoom into a subject, allowing for instant closeness or a gradual, more professional zoom into a specific area.
|Ease of use|
|Range & quality of features|
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