Sony DCRTRV350 Digital8 Camcorder – Nothing is perfect so I want to give 4.5 starts

This is an oldie but goodie. I have one that i bought new and made many tapes with it, however it just quit after laying around idle for several years. This one is of course not new but it works perfectly. I needed it to convert my digital tapes to dvd format. When i have that done i will most likely sell it to another person who has the same issue. They work great but sv chips and cameras make them obsolete.

Bought to archive hi-8 tapes. Since the analog to converter is built into the camera, it meant i could plug it directly into my mac and download the videos.

This is a great camera but it can be noisy – i had to return the first one because it was really really noisy. The one that replaced it was better, but still way noisier than my old sony hi8 which was downright silent. I guess the tape moves twice as fast and the heads probably spin faster too. Anyway, considering that the hi8 was $1400 in 1992, this is a good deal as it has a bunch of things i wanted then like a built in light and the lcd display. There’s a fine line between ‘noticeable’ and ‘annoying’ noise levels and this one is right up against it. As i understand it lots of the new digital cameras, including the dv format cameras are noisier than the older analog models, i guess unless you start spending more than a grand or so. Here are the specifications for the Sony DCRTRV350 Digital8 Camcorder:

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  • Digital8 camcorder with 20x optical and 700x digital zoom
  • SteadyShot picture stabilization system; 2.5 inch color LCD and black and white EVF
  • NightShot infrared mode for lowlight shooting; built-in light, easy dubbing features
  • USB streaming feature, can turn camcorder into a video conferencing tool or webcam
  • Record digital stills onto Memory Stick media (not included)

My husband was very pleased with the camera. It was more than we expected. It was delivered quickly; it was packaged nicely; all items in the description were included and were in very good condition; it was practically brand new; the two video cassettes and camera bag were a great bonus. We are very happy with our purchase.

First off, while i don’t have much experience with camcorders, i found this relatively easy to get started on. The zoom, night vision, menu, and vcr functions are intuitive, so anyone with a little patience will get rolling fast. The video looks great to this newbie when piped through a tv, too. It doesn’t work as advertised. One of the major reasons i bought a camcorder was to upload video to a pc, burn it as a vcd, and send video of my kid to far-off family members. So i plug in the usb cable, start uploading, everything looks great. But no audio’s coming through. I figure i’ve goofed up the usb driver installation, which is pretty complicated, so i back out and reinstall. I check online forums and sony’s troubleshooting website, both of which recommend i change my audio driver in the provided software from the sony driver to standard usb audio. I read more forums and find this is a pretty common complaint, and sony tech support apparently blows people off when they bring it up. Hey, i know firewire’s generally better for a/v anyway, but i just want this thing to work the way sony told me it would. Bottom line: you’re probably interested in this model because it’s cheaper than mini-dv. I’d recommend this if you’re already using firewire or don’t plan on uploading video to a pc.

Reviews from purchasers :

  • It works like a charm!
  • I Love My TRV350
  • They work great but sv chips and cameras make them obsolete

Love this camcorder, it’s exactly the one i had before. Now i can play back all my old tapes from the pass.

Ordered a dcrtrv350 camera from yana electronics. Service was prompt and excellant. Peter was very helpful and did more than was even needed to make purchase work. Iwould highly recommend to order anything from yana they provide a great product andback up their service 100%.

The best features of this camcorder, and that things that make it worth [the extra money over the trv250, are its backwards compatibility and its analog to digital converter. Now that my trusty sony hi8 camcorder has died after 12 years of service, i not only will still have access to all the tapes, but the bulit in a/d converter will let me burn them to disc with no other hardware except a firewire port and a big hard disk. In addition, it has analog a/v inputs which will allow vhs, tv or other signals to pass through and be digitized. Bulk and the 1:20 recording time of the supplied battery are issues, as is the fact that batteries must be charged on the unit, unless you plan on buying. The info-lithium battery system is quite nice, however, telling exactly how much time is remaining. The memory stick is ok for email or web sites, not for serious photography. Bottom line: if you have an extensive library of hi-8 tapes that you want to play or burn, then this is the ideal unit. If you are starting fresh in digital videography, then the mini-dv units offer significant advantages in size and features. ]

For the money you can’t buy a better camera.

I just sent back my canon zr50 for poor indoor video quality and high motor noise(which can be reduced by applying filters in cooledit, which is too time consuming). I replaced it with the sony dcr-trv350 and so far it has been performing fairly well. Overall it has comparative specs including almost the same optical zoom level, and the a/d conversion feature (really nice if you want to capture video to a pc from an old camcorder or vcr). On the plus side, it has good indoor video quality including low light situations and very low motor noise compared to the canon zr50. On the downside, it is a little more bulky (uses 8mm tapes instead of mini-dv), and has a black and white eyepiece viewfinder. Overall i would recommend this camcorder over the canon zr50.

Well, this is the model one level higher than 250, and more expensive. My answer is, definitely yes. I don’t want to repeat what the manufacturer review and others said. Here is the usage summary from my experience (i used both camcoders and returned 250). Pros compared to 250:1) analog to digital conversion feature. You can record directly from your vcr and convert the analog signal into digital one. Either with usb or firewire, you can make your own vcd or dvd. With xp, windows movie maker can be the capture software and it does a better job than the imagemixer came with the camcoder. 16 times brighter than night shot (250 has). You can record save private lynch in complete darkness with this camcoder (either in color or green). This camera can play hi8, 8mm tapes while 250 can not play hi8 tapes. Cons:1) you need to buy a firewire cable (6 pin to 4 pin if you connect to your pc), maybe a pcmcia or pc adaptor for firewire as well.

I wanted to make movies and i had heard that using my mac, this was possible. I didn’t want to dither over what camera to use, so i called my sister and she suggested this model. She teaches photography and video production to adults and she’s used just about every camera known to man. She said that the jvc was cheaper, but wasn’t as steady as the trv350. I said, ‘ok’, went to amazon and put my money down. Two days later, it was resting on my doorstep when i came home from work. I have had a blast making movies of all sorts. It’s true that you have to buy a firewire cord, but it doesn’t have to be a ‘sony’ firewire cord, just firewire. As a mac user, the hookup to imovie is seamless. Just plug it in and away you gothe camera came with a one-hour battery which was fine for awhile, but then i went on ebay and bought a huge battery for a fine price.

I wanted a camcorder to replace my old sony hi8 tr81 which i loved. Stuck with digital8 for compatibility. The trv350 has a lot of great features for the price but i thought the motor noise was too loud. The tr81 didn’t make much noise at all. When viewing tapes you can hear the motor. Just didn’t think it was acceptable so i returned it. Went to the jvc grd70 and minidv.

I bought this used for only $120 mainly for converting my old collection of super 8 tapes to digital. In addition to this i had to get a firewire interface card to my windows 7 pc and download the sony software to import the digitized video. The firewire card was inexpensive and installation was plug-and play easy. However the sony download was unsuccessful and i settled on just using what i’ve already got on my pc – windows live photo gallery. Then everything worked smoothly without problems. For trimming i used windows movie maker and capturing singles frames i used picasa. I’m not done converting all the super 8 tapes but am well on the way and have enjoyed all the pleasant surprises found on these old tapes. My next step would be converting my vhs tape recordings and may be my direct tv recordings. I hope that will work as well. This has been a very good investment for me and i would recommend it to anyone with the same purpose.

We are using this camera to take home movies, view/transfer our library of hi8 movies, and capture digital stills for transer to our computer. This camera has exceeded our expectations in all these areas. While my husband was anxious to get a digital video camera, i was reluctant to spend the money, even though our analog videocam is three years old — a dinosaur by today’s standards — heavy and clunky with few features. But now i’m the one who is always grabbing the camera to film and to take pictures. Using a memory stick that can be purchased in several capacities, you can take still pictures even as you’re filming; the memory stick we got holds approximately 400 pictures. You can find your shot using the viewfinder (in b&w) or the lcd screen (in color). We had no trouble at all, using the included cable and software, transferring images and movies to our macintosh computer; it will work for an intel machine too. A recharge takes us about 80 minutes and is then good for 90 minutes of recording time using the lcd screen or 110 minutes using the viewfinder. Problematic are the lcd screen which, even when adjusted, is difficult to view in high light conditions, and the steep learning curve on the many functions and buttons. On the other hand, there are so many buttons and functions because this camera does so many things. There are lots of special effects too. The buttons are very small but that also helps keep the size of the camera down. Some frequently used functions, like backlight and fade, need only a single button to activate. Bottom line: it will take you a while to learn everythng that this sony can do — the manual is nearly 270 pages.

Ii earned literally hundreds of thousands of dollars using this camera in my professiion. Training people to deal with the media, newspaper journalists and tough major tv network reporters. To do this, i moved from 30 rock. To madison avenue as a senior vp of the world”s largest public relations agency. Later i established my own company to further improve and expand the process. Making the most money ever in my life. This was part of my ‘studio in a bag’ as i traveled to train ceo’s, of s&p 500 corporations, movies stars, famous, sports figures,members of royaly, prime ministersi and presidents of nations. Handy little device for making the ‘big bucks’.

I bought this as a replacement for my camcorder of the same make and model.

Arrived in excellent condition and seems to be operating as if it were a new camera so far, very satisfied with the whole purchasing experience.

This replaces an older one which failed just because it was dropped. Easy to use, easy to put on computer.

I was looking for a camcorder to transfer my old 8mm tapes to computer and then probably to some other format. The model i purchased from the seller was just what i was looking for. It was priced a little higher than similar models from other sources but i was willing to pay the difference for one in great condition. When it arrived, i found that garron (the seller) was true to his word. Although i’ve not explored all the features of this unit yet, it has performed admirably in the short time that i’ve owned it.

And the product was in very good condition.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Sony DCRTRV350 Digital8 Camcorder with 2.5" LCD, Memory Stick capabilities & Remote (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Rating
4 of 5 stars, based on 41 reviews