DCR-HC85 Mini DV Digital Camcorder (2.0MP, 10x Opt, 120x Dig, 3.5" LCD) - Security Camera User Rating
Manufacturer: Sony
Model: DCRHC85
Digital Zoom: 120 X
Optical Zoom: 10 X
LCD Screen Size: 3.5 in
Recording Media: Memory Stick PRO Duo|Mini DV
Audio Support: PCM
Additional Features: PC Connection|Viewfinder
Image Stabilization: Digital
Average User RatingAverage User Rating: Number of User Reviews: 5

Reviewed by: smslaman from FL on Dec 1, 2004

Experience: 6 Weeks

Strengths: Easy to use, 2 megapixel camera built in, easy to read 3.5" touch screen, records in 16:9 widescreen, Nightshot Plus

Weaknesses: Small Viewer Finder, need another battery and larger Memory Stick Duo

Summary: I love this camera. One of the first things I did was buy another battery and a larger Memory Stick Duo. I got a 128MB, which holds about 150 shots at the highest quality. If you want more you need the Memory Stick Duo Pro, which I learned after buying my MSDuo.

There are a lot of features on this camera and I'm not into constantly referring to the manual so I keep discovering all the time. Nightshot plus is really great since you can shoot in no light (image is black and white and lit by infrared) but as light increases so does the color, thus you can move from dark to light and the camera transitions to color automatically or visa versa. Navigating through the menus is a challenge at first but only because there are so many features. The buttons are also small but pretty easy to get used to. One thing that really frustrated me was being able to adjust the still camera flash to On/Off/or Auto. I combed through the menus a dozen times before I found it on the side of the camera in a convenient and easy to use spot. I really like on close still shots and movies turning the screen around so my subjects can see themselves and their smile and pose while I look through the view finder(it's a bit small). Also turning the screen to the front makes taking pictures of yourself with others very easy to line up and pose for - instead of guessing like you do with a regular digital camera.

I just shot my family vacation in 16:9 widescreen so I'm looking forward to transferring to DVD. I don't use the software included with the camera since I have Pinnacle Studio 9, which works fantastic with this camera. I catch myself saying ¡°cool¡± a lot as I discover new features while using this camera, I just hope the mic didn¡¯t pick it up to many times.


Reviewed by: bikram_das_in from MN on Sep 16, 2004

Experience: 15 Days

Strengths: Awesome Picture and Sound Quality

Weaknesses: Software is pathetic, no firewire cable supplied, 10X Optical zoom is less for a $800.

Summary: I decided to buy this camcorder after a lot of research with competing models and brands. I wanted to go for a camcorder without compromising on piture quality and I am glad I got what I wanted. The video software provided by sony is not of much use. I would have liked at least 20X Optical Zoom for $800 camcorder. I am not a fan of digital zoom since it affects the picture quality. I had heard that cacorders record motor noise. But with this sony I could not trace any backgorund noise what so ever. I would give highest rating to this one if it had a better software.

Reviewed by: wadman from VT on Jul 2, 2004

Experience: 10 Days

Strengths: This is a full featured camcorder/ digital still camera. I like it becuase it still has on the lens focusing, aux mike jack and headphonejack. Perhaps its best feature is its compact size.

Weaknesses: I am not a big fan of touch screen technology- but it is apparent that touch screen has helped Sony reduce size and weight

Summary: Sony has done a remarkable job upgrading the picture quality of this near top of the range camcorder. The optical lens is outstanding. I am also impressed by the quality of the digital still images it makes. The sound quality of the built-in microphone is okay. However using an auxillary microphone, really helps the audio come very close to cd quality sound.

If you are considering this camcorder I think you need to buy both a bigger battery and memory stick. (note: The camcorder uses the new smaller memory sticks- your old ones won't work.

I shoot using a viewfinder- not the filp out view screen. However View screen users should know that Sony has mounted a second record button on the view screen making it easier to start recording while using a tripod or your left hand.

I have been very happy using this camcorder and intend to buy one for my son.

Reviewed by: clcudw from IA on Sep 24, 2004

Experience: 3 Weeks

Strengths: Many wonderful features

Weaknesses: So much can be done with this camera. However it takes awhile to learn what menus contain the option changes I am looking for.

Summary: I really like this DV camera. I am primarily using it for gymnastics competitions but also want still photos to publish in brochures for my gumnastics club. I am able to do both without taking two cameras.

Reviewed by: c1h2i3d4 from WA on Aug 14, 2004

Experience: 45 Days

Strengths: Good Camcorder with advanced features - 2 MP Still photo, 1 MP video resolution, pop-up flash, 3.5 inch LCD,

Weaknesses: Noisy Still photos. Sony Customer Support is useless. Video editing software is also useless - Need to buy a new one. Knowledge of this camera in retial outlet & Sony Customer Service is limited

Summary: It is an excellent camcorder, but a bit costly.

You can transfer the video to computer and edit in the computer. To do this, following accessories are essential: PCI card with S video input or ilink port in your computer (if you computer does not have ilink port, buy one), ilink cable, Video editing software (Roxio VideoWave 7.0 or Pinnacle Studio 8.0.), extra battery.

optional accessories: Battery charger, memory card.

Full potential of the camcorder can be used only when connected to a HD TV. This camcorder is under used when connected to a smaller TV or any computer. Even existing DVD media has a maximum resolution of 780x600.

You need to explore lots of features in the camera by yourself. Photography enthuiasts will like this. All the best !!

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