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Thread: SONY/JVC HDD Camcorder Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default SONY/JVC HDD Camcorder Advice

    Please could owners of Sony HDD Camcorders give me the benefit of their experience.
    I am about to buy a digi-camcorder and have opted for a HDD version and hence either a Sony or JVC. Read all the reviews especially those on this site but despite all the info I need some hands on opinions and not a dry tech review.
    I need a camcorder for the following reasons:
    1. To record frequent bouts of travelling home and abroad where I will film a lot of scenery (mountains and stuff) and 'life' (gondolas in venice, animals in a zoo, girlfriend and me in front of famous places).
    2. Occasional family events in doors mainly - normal indoor lighting (family dinners, embarassing people by filming them - that kind of thing)
    3. The odd portrait or talking to camera indoors or out to send to friends or family when away.
    Therefore the way I see it I need a decent size memory capacity (ie a 30gb+ hd) so that I can store several days worth of footage at a time, decent battery life and decent video and sound quality both indoors and out.
    So please bearing in mind my camera's proposed uses and the fact that I am not overly fussy - I want the footage to be clear and watchable on a widescreen tv or laptop via DVD or cables - what do you guys think?
    I keep getting my decisions turned around, first the JVC MG77 then due to quality issues the SR90 then due to size issues the SR70 (compactness, ease of use and low weight for my girlfriend to use and that 60gb of space for a 1-2 month long trip which is at least a once a year thing for us) - thing that keeps putting me off is the quality in differing light.
    The MG77 has a wind cutter - very important!
    The MG77 and SR70 are compact and light - I've played with both and size is perfect.
    The SR90 is a little over budget and I think slightly bigger & heavier than my perfect size choices above.
    Everything says Sony but I have a few misgivings...
    Is the SR70's quality good enough? Its probably my preferred choice but like I said I want fairly decent footage indoors and out with wind noise not too intrusive. Does the LCD perform well enough out to not miss a viewfinder?
    Do the Sony's have wind cut or if not has outside wind been not much of a problem in your footage outdoors?
    Does the SR90 mic on top do a good job and not pick up the movement of nearby hands and fingers?
    I'd really appreciate the advice that you can give and am sure this will help others make a good choice. Sorry for the rather long message!

  2. #2

    Default Better of the 2 worst

    Hi, I had just got a DCR-SR70E after investigating between the JVC and SONY. Honestly JVCs look better on the specifications list, but the image quality was questioned a lot. So that put me away from the JVC (also the memory of my last JVC camcorder dying during the first week of my summer holiday). SR70s 60GB HD has also attracted me as I usually have 4-5 weeks long summer holidays. Now, SR70 is unfortunately only the better of the 2 worst HDD camcorders because:
    - Its lens' angle is not wide enough. Only 46mm. I have already placed an order for the VCL-0630X 0.6x wide angle convertor to get 27.6mm wide angle lens. The camera is compact, so even with the converter on, it will still be compact and light. Even my 4 year old daughter can use it.

    I also don't understand why Sony didn't fit a USB port on the camera body itself. The docking station have the USB port. Hoping the 60GB disk will not fill up quickly, otherwise it may become frustrating finding the docking station every time I need to transfer the videos to my PC.

    Dolby stereo sound quality seemed decent. But it doesn't have a noise filter.

    In low light/dim conditions it can still focus accurately without hunting much. My previous (RIP) JVC camcorder used to hunt a lot.

    In very dim conditions NIGHTSHOT PLUS comes handy despite its almost monochrome picture.

    It is a brand new camera, I can't say much about its quality. It is made in Japan. My 11 year old 8mm Sony handycam is still working (you need muscular arm though).

    Transferring the videos to PC is very quick and it cuts down the capture & rendering time a lot as the videos are already in DVD format! HDD is a smart choice. It can record 40 hrs in LP mode, and 20 hrs in standart, 14 hrs high quality (1megapixel?) video. That's equivalent to at least a dozen DV tapes. No worries about changing tapes, head cleaning, rewinding, overwriting previous recordings etc.

    Sony UK is also giving 50 GBP cashback until Jan 2007 that drops the price down to 427 GBP.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Alpie; 11-23-2006 at 01:48 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    My advice? Get tape DV cam. When a drive is full and no pc is near...well you cant just pop in a blank tape. Dv also has the edge in quality probably, by a small amount.

    Maybe I am just being technophobic but i am not convinced that consumer dv cams are better or best for most people.
    Last edited by Mark W; 11-23-2006 at 12:45 AM.

  4. #4



    I am planning to go on a holiday and would be outside during the day. Will the battery supplied with the camcorder last that long? Did you also buy a spare battery with your sony sr70e? If yes, do you anywhere i can buy an alternative to the original sony np-fp90 battery.


  5. #5

    Smile Fp91

    Hi again,

    Yes I have immediately purchased an original Sony NP-FP91 battery. I payed total 18.50 for it on . It arrived in about 1 week. The bundled battery shows about 105 mins when fully charged. And the FP91 shows 340 minutes.

    I highly recommend the VCL0630X converter (from Amazon UK 39.46 free shipment) as it increases the viewing angle about 40-50%. I didn't notice any distortion. I always keep it on the camera. Arrived in about 1 week.

    Now it became a nice camera. I still wish it had a USB port on the camera body.

    Have a nice holiday.

  6. #6


    thanks for the prompt reply alpie.

    Have you had any problems in charging the battery? I have just finished reading

    Would you say you have had no problems with this battery whatsoever?


  7. #7


    NP-FP91 is an infolithium Sony battery. I don't understand why those people had issues with it. Maybe they are using an FP91 "compatible or equivalent". How much can you save by buying 3rd party batteries anyway? Just get the original battery for 18.50... It is dirt cheap IMHO.

    After charging it once I have recorded about an hours video and transferred the video to the PC while SR70 was running on that battery. It is still running fine.

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