Sony DCRHC85 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom – A Great Camcorder

This is my first foray into ‘movie cameras’ since having an 8 mm camera a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away — oops. The point is, i’m definitely a novice in the camcorder world. My needs are simple: good quality video from point-and-shoot operation; acceptable low-light performance, ease of use, and dependability. I spent many, many hours on research before deciding that a sony camcorder would best fit my needs, and finally shelled out for a dcrhc40 a week ago. I was happy but not thrilled with its performance. So today i upgraded to the dcrhc85, and now i’m thrilled. The main differences that made me go for the more advanced model are the larger ccd size (1/3. 6′ vs 1/5′), the larger lcd (2. 5′), and the different shape. Some professional reviews of the hc85 rated its video quality as poor, and that worried me, but i’ve found it clearly superior to the hc40: the colors are brighter and the images are sharper (using both cameras in ‘easy’ [read ‘idiot’ mode. ) i tried both cameras outdoors in twilight, with the same tape cartridge, and while both gave good results, the hc85 is obviously crisper and truer to color. I also found the hc85’s automatic focus to respond faster. Several other things i like better in the hc85: less recording noise; finer zoom control (the zoom on the hc40 seemed to have one speed, fast; on the hc85, zoom speed can be controlled by pressure on the key); the larger lcd — i find its resolution perfectly adequate, and i like the touch-screen controls; and finally, although it’s a larger camera, it fit my small hand better than the hc40 (it’s “fatter” and allows a better grasp at the top). ]

I was looking for a camcorder with a external mic input, a cmacorder that allows you to manually control the focus, and a camcorder that works well in low light settings. After months of research i ulitmately decided to go with the sony dcr-hc85. I’m pleased with my decision i have a video light attached to the hotshoe and it works great in low light settings, i love how the camcorder feels in my hand when holding it its a great improvement from my samsung sc-d382. I have a 3pc filter set which helps bring out the colors when shooting in daylight, my nest plan of action is to attach a mic and this camcorder will be ready to produce some great short films. If your on a budget and looking for a solid starter camcorder then the sony dcr-hc85 is the way to go.

I just pick this up, and i just want to say, this is the best camcorder i’ve ever seen. You can shoot in total darkness, in full color. You can even shoot in the 16:9 mode.I also own the sony gx7 dvd recorder, which i use to transfer my movies and pictures from the sony dcr-hc85 via the monster cable i-link cable. You simply can not go wrong with purchasing this camera. Contrary to a couple reviews that are negative, i went ahead and purchased this camcorder from video only, who’s prices are comparable to online prices and sometimes even better. I have not experienced any problems what so ever.The carl zeiss sonnar lense will have you gasping in awe.

The camcorder appeared clean and unblemished but the fire-wire output did not work. The i link is required for downloading video into the computer. The vendor agreed to take the item back but due to our limited mobility (we are retired) i decided to resell the item myself to avoid the complexity of finding a ride to the post office and mailing the item back. Between my daughter and myself we have thus far ordered 3 similar camcorders that exhibited the same problem with the i link, this seems to be a recurring flaw in these devices.

I bought this camcorder about a month ago after i bought the dcr-trv70 which was not working properly. This camcorder is so much easier to use than the trv70 and i like the larger lcd screen. I’m still learning about the camera but, i don’t like the still pictures. My 8 month old is always drooling and the stills have silver dots on all his wet spots. Also you have to have very good lighting in a room to make the videos bright enough. The video always seems very, very dark indoors. The only time this does not happen is in the mornings and early afternoon. I’m going to try a video light for 40. 00 to see if this will correct the problem. I’m also having problems streaming my video into my computer but the memory card goes right in and it’s tons of fun to take my mpg video’s and e-mail them to family.

This is probably one of the best consumer camcorders out there. Everything about it is quite impressive, like the night vision feature and the touch-screen lcd monitor. Most importantly its got a great picture and it does amazing with lighting which most digital camcorders don’t. The size and wieght of this product is perfect for portable use and easy maneuverability. Overall this is a grreat camcorder and really lives up to its expectations and price.

  • Great startup camcorder for short films
  • some mechanical problems withthis device
  • DCR-HC85

It is real good camcorder it was just a little too small for my liking, i like to know that i have a video camera in my hands, not some itty bitty thing thats the size of an apple.

Well, after a bit of a wait i finally replaced my sony hi-8 camcorder with this hc85. It is amazing the amount of features that are packed into this package. I’ve had it for 48 and here’s what i like so far. Very sharp stills (in still mode) and obviously very sharp video. It works well in low light and the touch screen is very cool. I thought it would show a lot of finger prints from touching it but they’re not that noticeable. The ability to do a still capture while shooting video is nice but the resolution is only 640×480 & is kind of lousy (haven’t figured out how to change that one’s resolution. As for still captures, it has all of your typical controls (red eye, forced flash, etc). I also like that the lense size is the same size as my old camera so i can use my old filters & wide-angle lense.

The sony dcrhc85 minidv camcorder really delivers for me. This metallic finish camcorder is both a sleek design and easy to operate. This is a very user friendly camcorder, just about anyone could take good quality footage or stills with this. It is, however, worth reading the manual, and learning how to operate the different shooting modes, as shooting everything on easy mode will not necessarily give you the best results. Altering the camera settings is done mainly on the lcd screen, and this is both impressively large and intuitive to operate. The quality of the footage is good at 1/3. 6′ advanced had, and i was relieved to find that there weren’t the video quality problems described in some early reviews i read online for this product. The only few minuses i can think for this camera package is that it didn’t come with a mini dv tape supplied, ilink cable or a case, you’ll have to get these separately. Look for value for money with this camera as you can get some great deals if you buy this camcorder online. Overall one of the best point and shoot camcorders on the market.

I’m quite impressed with the new sony dcr-hc85. I had been looking at some of the panasonic 3ccd cameras in this price range as well as the canon optura xi (which is a little more expensive). In the end i chose this camera for the following features:* very large (and sharp) ccd for the price* 0lux night shot mode, though somewhat gimmicky. Grainy, and green in practice, is very effective for taking sleeping baby shots* reputedly much higher reliability and better repair services (vs the panasonic)* large reflective/transmissive lcd that’s highly visible in both dark and light* many videophile-oriented features (more on that below). * can operate as a webcamupsides:* though many online reviews have questioned whether or not the touchscreen-based interface is a good thing, i found it to be more than adequate for my needs. One of the first things i did was rearrange the menus with my favorite features up front. Very easy to do and makes the camera feel ‘customized’. If the camera weren’t capable of these customized personal menus, however, i’d imagine the somewhat slow and bulky interface would get pretty annoying. * true anamorphic 16:9 widescreen functionality works great and is easily understood by video importing tools. I have shaky hands and prefer a slightly larger camera to hold onto. * its optical image stabilization is amazing. Once again, i have shaky hands and was worried about getting steady video. Exceeded my expectations on this point. * setting it up as a webcam was straightforward and the quality was great.

My mother had decided to buy a new camcorder, and gave me the privilege of finding it. After consulting not only consumer reports, but infinite reviews on infinite camcorders on infinite sites, i took a plethora of information and i found myself at a sound conclusion. I had discovered that canon camcorders have the best picture, bar none. Also, they are also the only camcorders that you can use still picture without interrupting the video, unfortunately canon’s repair percentage is one of the largest. On the other hand, sony proved itself to be the most durable and reliable camcorders (according to consumer reports, multiple reviews, and of course, my own experiences. )going from a digital8 (1 mega pixel) to a minidv (2 mega pixel, 1. 92 for actual recording) was utopia. If your looking at trvs (30, 40, etc. ) as i was, you will discover that they tend to have a washed out picture and you pay more for less features e. Moreover, the dcrhc85 has a gorgeous (and crisp) 3. 5 lcd, and a cornucopia of creative controls. Sony’s new camcorder is impressively very light in weight as well, but is no indication of poor material nor construction.

Features of Sony DCRHC85 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

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  • Sleek, compact MiniDV camcorder and digital still camera with 2-megapixel CCD
  • 10x optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 120x) with Super SteadyShot image stabilizer
  • 3.5-inch rotating LCD and color viewfinder
  • Low-light recording settings, Memory Stick Duo slot, and intelligent accessory shoe
  • NP-FM50 InfoLithium Rechargeable Battery

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I bought hc85 in july , but got a real chance to shoot for long hours only in october. I found all the controls very very effective and handy. Also to add to its video the still photographs that are captured at 2 mega pixels are amazingly good. I also tested the photographs by getting a print and its good enough and comparable with any other camera (2 mega pixel ofcourse). Though i am having a problem or rather some confusion about. Formatting the video while getting it from tape to hard disk2. The video quality when i view it after writing to vcd is not that good. Probably i am missing some setting while using itit would be great if someone could help me out on this.

Sleek, compact MiniDV camcorder and digital still camera with 2-megapixel CCD

10x optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 120x) with Super SteadyShot image stabilizer

3.5-inch rotating LCD and color viewfinder

Low-light recording settings, Memory Stick Duo slot, and intelligent accessory shoe

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Sony DCRHC85 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
2.0 of 5 stars, based on 13 reviews