Canon ZR85 MiniDV Camcorder w/20x Optical Zoom – Has a repair notice on it.

I bought the zr85 about 10 months ago. I’m happy with the way it works. It has more features on it then i will ever use. The basic features work perfect. The factory battery died after about 5 months and would no longer take charge. I have would recomend this video camera.

The camcorder was just as described. It did need a new round battery to keep the date and time on.

Easy to use, very good picture quality. Here are the specifications for the Canon ZR85 MiniDV Camcorder w/20x Optical Zoom:

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  • MiniDV camcorder takes video and stills and connects effortlessly to your computer, TV, or VCR
  • 20x optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 400x) and image stabilizer
  • 2.5-inch LCD with 180-degree rotation
  • Capture low-light recordings with Night Mode
  • Record for up to 2 hour and 5 minutes on one battery charge

I ordered this for my wife as a gift for her birthday. She already has one but it does not work properly and cannot be fixed. She has been concerned that she will never be able to watch all of the old videos of the kids etc. Also, there is no converter kit on the market for the small casettes that this recorder uses. So it was important to find a replacement recorder that is in good condition and works. Will find out today if it works, as today is her birthday.

Have this brand new canon zr85 for about 3 weeks. All satisfaction so far except 1 serious mechanical feature. Explain below:this camcorder is for making movie, that means ‘move’ (not still). The tape is for 1 hour, that means need to mount on something that move rather than to hold steady by hand and move arround to capture movie for that whole hour. I mount the camcorder on a swivel head from bogen-manfrotto, and the swivel head mount on my bicycle. I ride the bike on fairly good pave road with little road vibration to record scenery for several hours. Turn out that the camcorder mounting base is made out of non-metal (plastic) can not take vibration and the thread become damage. Is this considered that user’s abusing or manufacturer false to not design carefully for the ‘mov’ie device?i have to turn myself to become a ‘tripod’ now since my zr85 has no longer usable mounting base.

Reviews from purchasers :

  • In Great Shape
  • Can’t transfer to laptop from tape.
  • Five Stars

I can view my old videos however i can’t transfer the tape to my laptop.

I bought this camera about 21 months ago; i have only used it a couple of times but without a problem. When i tried to used it the other day i was able to record sound but no picture. I was prepared to buy a new camera, until i found that canon has a repair notice on it for this problem. They will fix it free of charge even if out of warranty; i could not ask for more.

Bought this camera for my son about 1 1/2 years ago. Right before our vacation we experienced a problem where the camera would not connect with the computer. Canon’s tech support determined it was a hardware problem with the camera. They charged me $200 for the repair. When i got the camera back, the rewind wouldn’t work. I returned it to them and they fixed that free of charge. It is now 6 months later and the camera will not connect to the computer again. I plan to call them, but will not repair the camera if they charge me. I also will never buy another canon product if they charge me.

My husband and i purchased the canon zr85 minidv camcorder about a week ago in preperation for the birth of our first child in april. We were either going to go with this camcorder, or purchase a sony camcorder. We thought long and hard in the store, and we really believe that this is a much better camera. Not to say bad things about sony, but their camcorder only had a 10x optical zoom, while the canon zr85 has a 20x optical zoom. The picture quality also seemed to look better on the canon camcorder. When you are moving the camera from side-to-side the image on the lcd display kind of floats. It was much more jerky with the sony. We absolutley love this camera. We had fun taking pictures with the still shot last night and i e-mailed them to a friend of mine that i haven’t seen in years. The quality of the pictures is excellent.

Arrived right on time and looks even better than expected.

I agree with the 12 year old. I have used this camera for three weeks and think it is just great. I have been to two birthday parties indoors and the lighting was great,i used video and still pictures. I love that it is so quick and easy to go back and forth between the two. I have also used it in a butterfly museum and the pictures were so true to color that my friends want copies sent to thier computers. When i first bought this i was just looking for a plan digital camera and i’m so pleased that i chose this instead. When i bought it my children and i (ages 12 and 15)took a tape and the book and learned how to use it and tried every feature indoors and out and had such a good time and now we know how to use it. I suggest to the people who didn’t read the book to go and open it and learn something. We think it great and will let our friends that are looking to buy a camera to give it a try. Also a great price for the features.

The camera is very easy to use, and is small and handy. It has more functions than you’d really want in such a camera — if you are ever going to do something with the footage you will be using a computer and an editing program, so you don’t really need the editing modes on the camera. Still, there’s no complaint here, and it’s flexible enough for most users. My only complaint is that for some reason on my camera when i flipped the lcd viewer around to see from the front the image didn’t rotate. I know it’s supposed to do this, and it did it with the model at the store. Or: when i closed the lcd viewer with it flipped around the image shut off and i couldn’t see it anymore. I’m assuming this had to do with a bad wire. But, i had no problem returning it to get a new one, so this wasn’t a huge problem, only inconvenient. All in all i would say that this is a solid entry-level camcorder, that is fairly priced and easy to use.

This cam works great and never had any problems with mine. Great deal even contains a microchip for color etc that only high end camcorders have but itsn’t really mentioned.

I am really surprised by these other reviews on lighting. When shooting in the dark i used the night mode button and it allowed me to take great footage in the dark. I also found the dv messager software to be extremely user-friendly. It allowed me to import my footage for editing (gotta love final cut pro). Overall i think it is a great buy for the buck.

I loved my zr85, until a two months ago when it basically started a slow death. It would play tapes, but when in record mode, it was like gray and black infared video (just gray and black, weaving around, not static). I took it to best buy to the geek squad. They call me a week later to say it will be $252 to fix it. Unfortunately, the new camcorders out there are about $250-$400 for a new mini-dv. So with tax time coming up, i guess i will have to decide on a new one. I’m afraid that if i fix the zr85, that something else will go wrong. I already have $500 in this camcorder, plus the cost of a spare battery (battery life is iffy on zr85), and 6 mini-dv tapes, and adding a $50 firewire port to my computer, which created videos that had warped sounding audio when trying to create the cool videos that canon promised i could make. So here comes christmas, my daughters first one, and her birthday is next month. We will miss having both on video because of this, and it just makes me sick. I loved this camera, but a $500 investment should last longer than 22 months.

I had my concers at first about this cam. I’ve read in several places that the stil pic quality wasn’t good, and that the quality of the film was poor in low light. Well i’m glad to say that i have not had those problems at all. There are all sorts of tweaks that you can do with the cam that will make it look great in most places. I’ve had the cam for about a week now and both the wife and i find it very easy to use.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Canon ZR85 MiniDV Camcorder w/20x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
4 of 5 stars, based on 30 reviews