Sony DCRTRV120 Digital Camcorder, Great Camcorder!

A month ago i was in a quandry. I had more than 40 hi 8 tapes that had been sitting in my closet for the last 10 years since we started having issues with our old camcorder. My husband bought a new one that used dvds which solved the problem for him but i kept wondering what was on all those tapes we had never watched. I found someone who would transfer the tapes to dvd for 25. 00) so i decided to try something different. I ordered a fire wire (4 pin to 4 pin ilink) for the camcorder and used my vhs/dvd dubbing recorder to transfer. My camcorder made 2 dvds before it quickly died a painful death. I decided to take a chance and order a camcorder that used hi 8 tapes. I also figured it should be the same model just to make sure. So i ordered one from here – sold by suntrup sales for 132. I was nervous i wasted the money but when the camcorder arrived it had been certified working. It came with a number of accessories. It did not have a battery so i was glad i ordered the same model i already had and was able to use my battery with it.

We got this camcorder back in 2000 and it is still serving us reliably. This has captured hundreds of hours worth of tape over the past 6 and a half years and it is still going strong. The digital 8 format has proven to be very useful because you could use regular 8mm tapes on it. There have been occassions when we were in foreign places that didn’t have minidv tapes, but did have 8mm or hi-8 tapes for sale. Plus, it records digitally so transferring to a pc for editing via firewire is easy. This was good technology at the time we got it but, as with any electronic gadget, improvements happen all the time. Thus, it is time to upgrade our technology so we are planning to get a new camcorder soon (probably a sony hdv model). However, we will still keep this one to be able to play and edit our mountain of memories shot on digital8.

I just recently purchased this video camera after deciding to upgrade from an old hitachi 8 mm analog camcorder and i am really very pleased with this decision. This particular model is no longer being manufactured by sony but sony has a full line of parts and accessories for it and you can find some really excellent deals for a new or refurbished model if you do a little bit of web searching. The cheapest digital camcorder far surpasses the best analog out there so if you are considering a new video camera, consider this one. I personally do not need, or want to pay for, state of the art features that many more expensive digital cameras have. This one has all of the features that i personally find important:1. ) really nice resolution @ 460,000 pixels (same as the 130,140,240,310,340,520,530 for starters)2. ) 25 x optical and 450 x digital zoom3. ) electronic image stabiliztion4. ) nite shot and super night shot modes (you can vid in total darkness)6. ) backwards compatability with my 8 mm and hi 8 tapes7. ) firewire (ieee1394) output8. ) lanc interface for editing on pc9. ) last, but not least, a reasonable priceit has lots of special features that i don’t use such as different fade options, titling and special effects but these also can easily be created by editing on your pc.

Key specs for Sony DCRTRV120 Digital Camcorder (Discontinued by Manufacturer):

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  • Digital 8 format
  • 25x optical zoom and 450x total zoom
  • IEEE 1394 (FireWire) interface
  • SteadyShot electronic image stabilization
  • NightShot infrared system

Comments from buyers

“Job well done!!
, Vendor recommended.

I am only 13 years old and i purchased this camera because me and my friends wanted to make movies. I use it every day and have had it for 8 months. It can be used for stop motion animation with clay and legos at 8 fps and is 30 fps during normal record. The remote is great for seting up the camera and then starting it when your also in the movie scene. Slow motion is cool to and the night shot feature is great. Night shot has a 10 foot range out side and from personal experience it has over a 50 foot range inside because it can bounce off walls. Night shot is even better with the night shot upgrade attachment (sold sepretly, boost to 100 feet outdoors and over 300 feet indors) also in playback mode the buttons light up orange, a bug plus. Also the 25x optical gives you close ups at great quallity. For example you can zoon into someones pupil from 10 feet away with that much zoom and then 450x digital degrades quality but is helpfull for those far away shots. Super steady shot is great image stabilization to.

Seller was on time and exactly as described. All is in working order, have already copied several hi 8 tapes to disc for archiving.

I had bought this handycam on my daughter’s birthday. I am very happy with performance especially with digital effects and supreb zooming technology.

I recently purchased this to replace my old canon hi8 camcorder. I’ve been always the fan of canon camcorder but this is very solid and high quality camcorder. I have lots of old 8mm & hi8 tapes and this is a great camcorder to transfer them to dvd or upload to pc (since this camcorder is digital8). Being able to digitally transfer your old 8mm & hi8 tape to pc is a great function to have. This also has amazing zoom and very good video quality. I am very satisfied with the purchase.

Digital home video is the wave of the future, and this camera truly expresses it. This camera comes close to perfect. It offers excellant picture quality. The quality is so good i compare it to twice the quality of a full size vhs camera (no not vhs-c). This camera has everything you need. An explanation of the features: video format: digital 8: digital 8 is a digital signal recorded onto a high band 8mm tape. There is less degradation as the film is played over and over because it’s all digital. Audio: 16 bit pcm stereo: this meaens that even with that little microphone on the front, you’re getting much better quality than with a 8mm or hi8. And it records with 2 channels instead of 1. Maximum ccd resolution: 460,00 pixels: thats a freaking ton of resolution for a home video camera.

I got one of these used a few years ago after doing some research into the features and reputations of similar cameras. I’ve had no problems with it. Video quality is excellent, and it works seamlessly with imovie, which i use for editing. I disabled the digital zoom (which degrades the picture quality); 25x optical zoom is already impressive, especially with the steadyshot camera-shake compensation. The camera operates surprisingly well with low light, even without engaging nightshot. The ‘digital still photo’ feature on any video camera is essentially a gimmick, so i’m not counting this camera’s poor still-photo quality in my rating. Even the cheapest pocket digital camera will take a better still photo than a high-priced video camera — so hey, buy a used dv camera and get yourself a cheap still camera to go with it. I’ve found digital-8 highly convenient, because i can get hi-8 tapes in many stores that still don’t carry minidv tapes. I only wish the camera were super-tiny, but hey, it’s not a cutting-edge supercamera — it’s a good, solid camcorder.

I bought this camcoder 1 month back and am totally satisfied with the quality of the video – even which are taken indoors on cloudy days.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Sony DCRTRV120 Digital Camcorder (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
5 of 5 stars, based on 12 reviews