Sony Handycam DCR-DVD810

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.

Editors' Rating
7.0 Overall

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Review

Sony Handycam DCR-DVD810

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.

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Specs / Prices

  • Typical Price $0
  • Brand Sony
  • Type camcorder
  • Weight 400 g
  • Digital Video Format MPEG-2
  • Optical Sensor Type Advanced HAD CCD
  • Features accessories hot shoe, auto power save, backlight compensation, built-in speaker, date/time stamp, digital noise reduction
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