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|Storage Type||Removable (Card/Disc/Tape)|
|Media Format||Mini DV|
|Optical Sensor Qty||3|
|Lens Type||Zoom lens|
|Focal Length Range||4.3mm - 51.6mm|
|Focus Adjustment||Automatic, Manual|
|Lens Filter Size||52 mm|
|Auto Focus type||TTL contrast detection|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/10000 sec|
|Min Illumination||4 lux|
|Min Shutter Speed||1/60 sec|
|Memory / Storage|
|Recording Speed||LP, SP|
|Supported Flash Memory||Memory Stick|
|Viewfinder Diagonal Size||0.55"|
|Screen Details||LCD display - TFT active matrix - 3.5" - color|
|Microphone Type||1 x microphone - built-in - stereo|
|Microphone Operation Mode||Stereo|
|Connector Types||1 x Control-L (LANC) ( sub-mini phone stereo 2.5 mm ), 1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire/i.LINK) ( 4 pin FireWire ), 1 x S-Video input / output ( 4 pin mini-DIN ), 1 x composite video/audio (input/output) ( RCA phono x 3 ), 1 x headphones ( mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm ), 1 x microphone ( mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm )|
|Battery Form Factor||Manufacturer specific|
|Effective Video Resolution||0.4 MP|
|Digital Video Format||DV|
|Still Image Format||JPEG|
|Additional Features||Backlight Compensation, Built-In Speaker, Color Viewfinder, Demonstration Mode, LCD color/brightness/tint control, Still Shot Capability|
|Shooting Modes||Digital Photo Mode, Normal Movie Mode|
Average review score based on 20 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
Arguably one of the finest 3-chip cameras around even though it's more than 5 model years old. The picture quality of this camera will blow the doors off of any single chip camera. The Sony has many wonderful features like Super Steady Shot, an extra large flip-out screen and fantastic picture quality. Although it's big for a hand-held it's balanced nicely and when used on a tri-pod the top-access of the tapes is a god-send! Other nice features are (optional) manual control of exposure (perfect for shooting theatre), focus and sound (mike) level. The combination of the '900, Azden's ASGM-1 "shotgun" microphone, VZ-ROCK's Rocker Zoom and my Bogen tripod with fluid head make it a fantastic tool for shooting just about anything.
My one gripe with the camera is I could wish for finer adjustment of manual exposure. It appears to step in 1/2 F-stop increments which is regretably quite noticeable. They're fixable in post-production but...
Make sure the camera is not worn out though. Replacing worn-out heads is likely a $$$ proposition. Camera's that are being sold by their original owners and show well in pictures with little rubbing wear or scuffing are probably better bets. Look for cameras with cases too since that's often the sign of conscientious owner. Buying from pawn shops can be a bit iffy since they know little about the use or condition of the camera.
This Sony camcorder, discontinued years ago, includes all of the features even a serious videographer would probably want. It competes with many of the much more expensive models but can be found for $500-$600 on eBay. If you can find one, grab it. They go fast. Combine this with a Bogen Manfretto tripod (such as the 3011, which can, with the head, adjust up to 71"!) and a decent head for video, such as the Manfretto 3130, and you're in business. I bought one of these camcorders years ago and have never had a problem, but as they get older, you must be aware of problems that come with age, so be sure to find one that's been carefully inspected. It's best you buy from a reputable seller with a near-perfect rating. You usually cannot go wrong.
There is a site managed by John Bealle that is devoted to the TRV 900, and you can received numerous tips regarding accessories that you might consider adding on once you start using the camcorder, but I found the built-in microphone is quite good, which is one of the strongest features of this camcorder. The LCD viewing screen is quite large, which is another real plus. Moreover, you do not have to remove the camcorder from its tripod head to change tapes, another convenient feature. Finally, I especially enjoy the ease at which the top rocker-like button allows you to zoom in or out very smoothly; the action is just wonderful. There are also wide-angle and fish-eye lenses available for these cameras, but check out John Bealle's site for the best quality accessories. There are numerous reviews of TRV 900 accessories on this site.
These days you must take care in choosing a camcorder that is compatible with various kinds of software, but since I use a Macintosh laptop (MacBook), I have had no problems in using the camcorder with Final Cut Express, and in older Macintosh laptops such as a 12" Powerbook G4, I've also had success using it with Final Cut Pro.
I generally have limited my uses of the TRV 900 to filming school plays and concerts that my kids have been in. Each year, I also videotape our university's concerts associated with our annual Delta Blues Symposium and have gotten excellent results. Moreover, I've used this at the annual King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas (now called the Arkansas Heritage and Blues Festival). as usual, the color and audio is excellent, and I'm frequently surprised how much better quality of recording I'm able to get compared to others at the same venues who use expensive Canon GLs and even the upgraded XL-1 Canon models as well as those who use the more expensive Sony VX2000 or VX2100 (all of these are very good, by the way). For the money, you just cannot go wrong with a good old Sony TRV 900. If you see one and are in the market, get it before it's gone!
Trustworthy and performs well in any number of conditions & environments. I'm a videographer running a 1 man 2 camera setup, this is the one I fix on the tripod because the auto function helps when I run it on 'autopilot' as I walk around with the main cam on steadi-unit. Also, this works easy with an external mount mic. Great pic quality, 3CCD is a must, usual Sony intuitive controls. I love this!
I first saw a Sony DCR-TRV900 in a store ten years ago and was dazzled. Adding 3CCD imaging to the compact HandyCam design made it a real breakthrough...great video from a handful of camera. I got one at work and loved it, then found one for myself on eBay. Both have served me well. Mine did require a repair a few years later, and I had Sony do it.
I've shot projects at work-- training, documentary, promotional and family video. I edit with Final Cut Express.
I use it with a Dynatran AT-858B tripod and a Manfrotto 3126 head. I'm also using a VZ-Rock zoom controller, a wide angle supplemental lens and an A-T U100 wireless mic (also via eBay); they all work well, and together they provide a professional look and sound on a budget.
The DCR-TRV900 was one of my best buy ever. The handling is great and the results are impressive. Given the choice, I'd select a 900 over a 950. It just feels better in the hand.
And the Bealecorner website (http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/) is the best resource out there for this model. John Beale put a lot into it.
If you can find one that someone bought new and never got around to using more than twice...and they are out there...this is a great choice in an NTSC camcorder. /srp
Even better than 90% of modern consumer camcorders, is Sony's 12 year old DCR-TRV900. It was the first Sony produced consumer/prosumer 3 CCD camcorder. With 3 quarter inch CCDs it separates the three colors to their own processor for capture giving a much higher signal to noise ratio as well as deeper richer colors. What I especially appreciate is the low light imaging by the Sony cameras in general and the Sony 3 chip cameras in particular. The difference it has made to our church service recordings without special stage lighting has been nothing short of remarkable. We started out with a borrowed DCR-TRV315 then moved up to a used TRV900. Shooting the stage speaker from the back of the auditorium the most immediate improvement was the reduction in grain and the clean low light imaging on the TRV900 versus the TRV315.