Sony Handycam DCR-DVD810 review: Sony Handycam DCR-DVD810

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Three options for media storage. Easy to pick up and start shooting. Lightweight and comfortable to hold. Copes well with variable light conditions.

The Bad Colours look washed out overall. Zoom is noisy. Footage shot to DVD can look mottled.

The Bottom Line Won't please everyone, but good for quick-and-dirty, flexible shooting.

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Compared to their hard-drive and tape companions, Mini DVD camcorders get a rather bad rap. Tales of file errors, confusion over having to finalise discs and difficulties editing footage are common. Worst still are the anguished requests for help when discs containing baby's first steps succumb to the disc malfunction monster.

Despite such woes, DVD cameras certainly have their place; the main advantage is being able to pop out the disc and instantly view your footage by chapter on a PC or DVD player. But the format has so many critics that the products can be a tough sell.

Sony's latest DVD cams address these concerns by offering three formats — discs, inbuilt flash memory and Memory Stick — in one hybrid device. Previous hybrid models have only allowed still images to be stored in the flash memory, but these babies accept video footage on all three formats.

Design
Disc-toting camcorders can often look a bit awkward with their circular drives tacked onto the side of the product's body. The DCR-DVD810 thankfully doesn't suffer from this affliction — its disc section nestles nicely against the main body of the camcorder, with no funny-looking protruding bits that are uncomfortable to hold. The slim width reduces the overall weight to 400 grams without the battery, which is light enough not to cause fatigue during tripod-free shooting.

The hinge on the 2.7-inch touchscreen LCD feels a little flimsy, but the screen itself is easy to use, with menus laid out simply and settings broken into logical categories. If you're frequently switching between media for your movies and stills, you'll need to get into the habit of selecting the right one before you start recording.

Features
The AU$799 DCR-DVD810 is one of two standard-def models in Sony's latest DVD/flash range , and offers a 4.2mm CCD sensor, 1.1-megapixel resolution, 25x zoom and 5.1-channel sound.

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Where to Buy

Sony Handycam DCR-DVD810 - camcorder - storage: flash card, DVD

Part Number: DCR-DVD810

Typical Price: $799.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Optical Sensor Type Advanced HAD CCD
  • Type none
  • Width 5.5 cm
  • Depth 13 cm
  • Height 8.9 cm
  • Weight 400 g