You can find copies of user manuals for the following manufacturers at the following websites:
Sony: It appears that UK users must pay for a reproduced manual (http://www.sony.co.uk/support/faqinstmanuals.asp), however the US site offers this free service www.iq.sony.com
tip: you need to enter the entire code. they seem to be broken into 3 parts - the first part denotes whether it's a hi8 or DV cam (DCR for DV, CCD for Hi 8 and ACC for accessories), then TRV or HC (HC for handicam), then a 2 or 3 digit number. For example DCRTRV140
Panasonic: For US models, the following link lets you download copy manuals in pdf format. You can search by model number or browse by type: http://service.us.panasonic.com/operman/default.aspx
UK owners can use the following link: http://www.panasonic.co.uk/customer-...oad-centre.asp
Canon: For US models, follow this link - http://www.canondv.com/downloads/product_manuals.html
Guess what, UK users are expected to pay for copies of manuals: www.canon.co.uk/media/brochures
tip: it seems that although the model numbers are different, there's normally a UK equivalent.