21st Nov 2005

Sony DCR-TRV350 Digital8 Camcorder

Not outstanding camcorder but digital and only for $470 or so. Sony DCR-TRV350 replaces TRV250 model and is similar to TRV340. The Digital-8 format records digital video and audio on a standard 8mm or Hi-8 tape with much better picture quality than the analog 8mm or Hi-8 format. Contrary to TRV250, with DCR-TRV350 you can playback an existing library of 8mm and Hi8 analog recorded videotapes.

1/6″ 460K Pixels (effective 290K Pixels) CCD provides decent video (with up to 500 lines of horizontal resolution) in good lighting conditions.

The camcorder is provided with 2.5″ color LCD monitor (123,000 Pixels).

TRV350 features a 20x optical zoom, for those times when you want to get very close-up, and 700x digital zoom, which allows you to zoom in on subjects or pull back for wide shots. Sony DCR-TRV340 has 25x optical zoom and is more expensive. That is the main difference between them.
Sony DCR-TRV350 Digital8 Camcorder
Focal Distance: 2.5 – 50mm. 35mm Conversion: 42 – 840mm (Camera) / 42 – 840mm (Memory Mode).

Unlike the DCR-TRV250, the DCR-TRV350 features Memory Stick slot (memory card not included). So you can shoot low resolution 640 x 480 pics, save them to the Memory Stick (8 Mb), and transfer them to your USB-capable PC.

Another upgrade over TRV250 is MPEG Movie EX Mode, allowing you to capture up to 60 seconds of MPEG video and store it to Memory Stick Media. Or, convert up to 60 seconds of digital video to an MPEG Movie for e-mailing. MPEG movie can be captured onto Memory Stick.

With the USB Streaming function you can stream live and recorded moving images to PC via USB port. Stream and share content by broadcasting live video and audio, via the Internet with the USB interface. [320 x 240 up to 30 frames/sec].

Autofocus does not work well indoors, but luckily there is manual focus ring.

Unlike most of the MiniDV camcorders, the TRV350 uses only a black-and-white viewfinder, not a color one.

Another upgrade over TRV250 is Super Night Shot and Color Mode System. This feature lets you record video even when shooting in total darkness 0 lux using the camcorders infrared system up to 10 feet away. Color Mode system allows you to record in low light with full color detail by slowing down the shutter speed. (With the optional HVL-IRM Night Shot light, you can extend the range of the Nightshot system from 10 feet to 100 feet.)

Also there is built-in Light (3 Watt) for shooting in low light situations. But it is rather useless. Also there is no manual white balance and as you can expect low light (indoors) performance is of poor quality.

The camcorder analog inputs feature a built-in Analog to Digital converter that will convert your analog video/audio to a digital signal that can either be recorded to tape or passed-through the i.Link interface to a compatible computer. TRV250 does not offer this function.

Another feature TRV250 does not offer is external mic input.

Conclusion

If you don’t have enough money for mega-pixel or 3CCD camera, Sony DCR-TRV350 no doubt is a good choice.

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