TRV900 Visitor Archive, Page 1
March 10 - April 30  1999

This is an archive of past entries. To add a new one, return to the current page.

Thanx for you extensive research on the TRV900. It made me buy one.
Ryan Butterworth <>
Alpena, MI USA - Tuesday, March 09, 1999 at 18:34:48 (PST)
My wife will kill me if I buy a TRV900. I'm barely able to convince her to get a Canon Vistura. What a quandry! I'm very curious how progressive scan stills compare between the TRV900, Canon Optura and Vistura. I guess with those two canon's, I still need a firewire capture card to transfer to my PC, so that's +$500 which brings me closer to the price of the TRV900 anyway.
Brad Clements <>
Potsdam, NY USA - Wednesday, March 10, 1999 at 09:47:46 (PST)
i am very pleased with my new 900, however, i noticed a type of light flicker when you tap on the cassette door during shooting. This seems unusual and perhaps i could eliminate this with certain settings...
kyle moss <>
abilene, tx USA - Wednesday, March 10, 1999 at 11:18:31 (PST)
Re: above comment. You might try turning off the steadyshot mode. However the MiniDV format has extremely small tracks and vibration might cause a bad signal on the tape. My suggestion is, don't knock it in the first place :-)
John Beale <>
USA - Wednesday, March 10, 1999 at 11:56:19 (PST)
Thanks for the great website. The information was very helpful - I downloaded your earlier photos and tried several prints on a friends Epson 700 photo before taking the plunge. I bought a DV-900E last Oct/Nov and we're very happy with it. Most of the film goes on our two children, plus renovations we have been doing. Ive been pestering all the film camera freaks at work to learn about the mechanics of photography. I've also found little difference between photos in progressive scan and video mode. When I want a good still of friends, or kids, I normally just set the camera to video rather than photo, then playback on my TV looking for a good still to transfer to the PC via floppy. The biggest thing to get right is to have plenty of light, or all the rest of the techie stuff is moot!
Peter Green <>
Sydney, australia - Wednesday, March 10, 1999 at 22:12:09 (PST)
Are there any picture quality differences between Sony's IC Excellence and the Premium DV tapes?
Roger Bravo <>
Cerritos, CA USA - Sunday, March 14, 1999 at 18:34:17 (PST)
I'm inclined to doubt it. Since the MiniDV signal is stored digitally, it is either all there, or there are dropout errors. If you don't see errors with the cheaper tape, the more expensive one won't improve anything.
USA - Sunday, March 14, 1999 at 19:31:11 (PST)
Hi, Thank you for keeping a very informative site. With your help, just ordered TRV900 for my teenage son, Adam who is very much into digital camera and video work. After he gets his own 'corder any day now, we would like to be back here more often. Thanks again. Tony
Tony Hwang <>
Calgary, AB Canada - Tuesday, March 16, 1999 at 21:40:26 (PST)
I have found that a sony RME700 edit controller will control the TRV900 and also can read and edit using the TRV's timecodes - of course this is editing using the S.Video outputs.
Chris Lord <>
Dronfield, U.K. - Thursday, March 18, 1999 at 14:19:27 (PST)
The only reference I found on the web to the Sony RME700 was that Videocamera Australia reviewed it in December 1992. I assume it is a LANC controller dating to that period (well before DV existed!) Anyway, good to hear the new stuff still works with the older editors.
USA - Thursday, March 18, 1999 at 14:42:30 (PST)
Excellent web site. I have a question for anyone out there. I just received my trv900 and am practicing with the stil images. When I take and save pictures they are 640X480 but only 2.13 x 1.6 inches. However, the images that I see on your web site are mostly 640x480 and 8.88 x 6.66 in and they look sharper. Any ideas?
Robbie <>
Winchester, VA USA - Friday, March 19, 1999 at 12:17:11 (PST)
Perhaps you aren't using progressive scan, which must be set in a menu. I mention a little about this in the FAQ. Normal video (interlaced scan) isn't as sharp. Your web browser should display any 640x480 image at the same size. In Photoshop etc. or on a printout, you can specify any size you want; specifics depend on what program you're using.
John Beale
USA - Friday, March 19, 1999 at 12:31:24 (PST)
Finally a waterhole! I am going diving in the Read Sea this summer and have a MPK TRB SONY UW Housning. Here I saw the LANC connection and read that the camera has support for LANC. So I CAN control the camera with the UW housing that I have. Great! Look at the site in end July for GREAT Stories!!!
Michel Tagliati <>
Stockholm, - Sweden - Saturday, March 20, 1999 at 16:42:01 (PST)
i've noticed a flicker in my video when i shoot out of a moving car or some other type of airflow over the lens. I've heard others have also had this problem. (You can duplicate it by lightly tapping on the side of the lens) I was told that it might be fixed by having a service repair center adjust the gain in the steady shot feature. I haven't tried shooting without the steady shot yet. Does anyone else have any suggestions?
kyle moss <>
dallas, tx USA - Thursday, March 25, 1999 at 08:14:52 (PST)
I really appreciate your site. It leads me to buy TRV900. It's coming now. It was hard for me to pick one camcorder. I was considering SONY DCR-PC1, DCR-TRV10, and CANON Elura. I like the 3CCD models, but those are cost-high. Finally, I decided to pay more to buy TRV900 after making a demo-shot at United Audio Center. I ordered it from Cameraworld of Oregon at $1,999.99 including UPS.
Sean Kang <>
USA - Saturday, March 27, 1999 at 22:49:16 (PST)
Just wanted to say Hi and thanks for the very informative site. I just ordered my cam yesterday. Hope to receive it tommorow. I debated for quite a while, looking mainly at the new miniture cams. (Sony PC1 and Cannon Elura). Everything I read made me concerned that the image quality just wouldn't be there so I took the plunge and plunked down a chunk of change for new Sony DRV900. Market price was $1,849. I went ahead and splurged on additional high quality Phenoix Wide and Telephoto Lenses, a 4 year maintance agreement and a couple Filters. Biggest thing I would tell most everyone trying to purchase a cam is..... Everything is negoitable. The camera vendor I worked with wanted 6% shipping and handling (nearly $200). I paid $25.00. They wanted $500 for a 4 year maintance agreement, I paid around $250. etc. etc. etc.
Pete Vellinga <>
Fairbanks, AK USA - Tuesday, March 30, 1999 at 20:31:27 (PST)
Thanks for all the good advice, between your rave reviews and those of fellow Cassablanca owners I just had to have one so I have put the phone down 5 minutes ago and will be picking up my TRV after Easter. I'll write and let you know how it's handling !!!
Woody Perry <>
Warwick, England - Wednesday, March 31, 1999 at 02:33:29 (PST)
John, I have read, and re-read your TRV900 page- its very impressive. Am most delighted with the pics on my PAL TRV900, particularly the low light performance when I tweak the gain. One criticism is the buzzing noise of the recording head- very obvious! Is this normal? It seems to intrude into audio when recording in quiet surroundings. I'd very much appreciate your comments! Regards, Trevor
Trevor Brimblecombe <>
Adelaide, SA Australia - Wednesday, March 31, 1999 at 04:53:40 (PST)
I describe my experience with low-noise audio here: DV FAQ. Summary: I don't hear any noise on the soundtrack when recording even in quiet surrounds (although I can hear the direct motor noise live). Some others also don't hear noise with their TRV900s, but some do. Conventional wisdom is that the best sound is always to be achieved with external mics anyway. Professional productions always use external mics. I have some info on mics also.
John Beale <>
USA - Wednesday, March 31, 1999 at 10:34:53 (PST)
Thanks for a great review. I had already identified the TRV900E as the most suitable for my needs but was holding off buying until I had answers to a few remaining questions, your comprehensive review provided these. Sony should definitely put you on commission or at least provide free tapes etc. Keep up the good work.
Chris Lightfoot <>
Melbourne, Australia - Thursday, April 01, 1999 at 22:17:30 (PST)
I really enjoy visiting your website! When I first purchased my DCR-TRV900, I was looking for a place that offered tips and ideas. I found them here. I really love my HandyCam. I use mine as a digital still camera with Sony's new Memory Stick PCFlash card.
Jerry Fukuda <>
Visalia, CA USA - Friday, April 02, 1999 at 00:17:02 (PST)
Hello. I am just about to order a TRV900. I have a question. One of your loyal readers mentioned a friend of their's had his TRV900 dumped into the ocean. He had no insurance and had to go by antother one. What type of insurance would cover the camera? Your homeowner's policy? A rider to the policy? Any input would be helpful.
Jeff Jordan <>
Columbus, OH USA - Friday, April 02, 1999 at 19:31:19 (PST)
Add my thanks for your web page. I'm convinced. I intend to order one as soon as the stores open Monday. So where seems to be the best buy on one nowadays?
Tom Williams <>
Moab, UT USA - Friday, April 02, 1999 at 22:25:27 (PST)
I live in Hong Kong, where the confluence of different TV broadcast standards creates a market where all TVs and VCRs are "multisystem", with the ability to receive and playback different standards of PAL, NTSC and SECAM. The TRV900s sold here come in two versions - both NTSC and PAL. Assumming that the best picture quality is the ultimate objective, which model should I buy? My understanding of NTSC and PAL is that PAL is slightly superior in terms of maintaining correct color balance. In terms of video frame rates (per second), NTSC is 50Hz while the PAL is 60Hz. PAL seems to consume more videotape in the analog domain for a given length of record/playback time. Does this mean that PAL is superior to NTSC? I have not been able to get a straight answer from any of the salespeople from SONY regarding this question.... apparently it it's so complex that few people really understand it 100%. Any clarifications from anyone on this forum would be really appreciated !
John Hsu <>
Hong Kong - Friday, April 02, 1999 at 22:25:39 (PST)
In interlaced video, two fields make up one frame. NTSC has 60 fields or 30 frames per second, PAL is 50 fields or 25 frames per second. PAL images have more resolution both horizontally and vertically. If you aren't botherd by the lower frame rate of PAL (for some people it seems to flicker) it will give you better video quality than NTSC. (if it matters the NTSC standard is actually 29.97 frames per second.)
John Beale <>
USA - Saturday, April 03, 1999 at 00:00:43 (PST)
Add my thanks for your web page. I'm convinced. I intend to order one soon, now to convince the wife !! Cost in the UK is around 1550 to 1900, how does this compare with USA cost ? Are there any specification differences beween USA and UK/European versions other that NTSC/PAL ? .... what about accessories .... what do you get as part of the "standard" package in the USA (tapes, etc.) ?
Jim Hobbs <>
Hastings, UK - Saturday, April 03, 1999 at 14:37:15 (PST)
My (USA NTSC) camera came standard with lens hood, floppy disk drive, NPF330 battery, A/V cable (3 RCA plugs for video, L+R audio), RMT-811 IR remote w/2 AA batteries, AC adaptor, neck strap, and lens cap. There were no MiniDV tapes included. According to my service manual the TRV900E (PAL: AEP,UK) version comes also with a "21 pin adaptor" that seems to have 3 RCA jacks on one side, and I guess a 21-pin plug on the other (?).
John Beale <>
USA - Saturday, April 03, 1999 at 16:04:58 (PST)
Thank you for all your good work. I've just received my 900 from Camera World in Oregon which charged $1999.00. Because of your site, I made the right choice over the PC1. I wonder anybody knows where I can find the Sony XLR adaptor that comes with the PD100? For your information, 900E(PAL) cost US$2100, F950 battery US$105, mini DV tape Sony US$7.50 in Hong Kong.
Paddy Kan <>
New York, CA USA - Sunday, April 04, 1999 at 15:15:23 (PDT)
Last week, I shot some video at a high school band concert. When I went back to take some stills from the clip, I noticed some imperfections in the lower left corner of this image: band concert Although the shift in the lower part of the harp is obvious, enlarging the image shows several other problems. I suspect this is an example of dropout on the video tape, but I am not sure.
Harry Forsdick <>
Lexington, MA USA - Tuesday, April 06, 1999 at 03:56:34 (PDT)
Harry: what is going on (I think) is that one video track was not read correctly and the camera, detecting only garbage, substituted the previous frame's video. Since the camera was panning at the time (?) it appears to be a shift. (if you weren't panning, there's some more complicated explanation). Might be caused by dirt on the tape, dropout from the tape, or temporary head clog. Try playing the tape several times. If the exact same fault shows up each time it's on the tape, either dropout or a head clog during recording. Sony and Panasonic make MiniDV head cleaning tapes that may help if you have head clogs. PS: on Hi8 tape it is always recommended to FF and rewind each tape before recording to "retension" and this may be good practice w/MiniDV as well. If these glitches persist there may be a problem needing dealer service.
John Beale <>
USA - Tuesday, April 06, 1999 at 14:10:45 (PDT)
Hello- I just bought my camera from CCI in NYC. I paid a total of $2467.00 for the Camera, the 4 hour battery, a 5 yr extended warranty, and shipping. $1899 for cam, $99.00 for battery, and $299 for warranty plus shipping. Not a bad deal I think considering what I got, cant wait to get it in the mail. Many thanks John for such an informative site. Very well put together, A++++
Martin Gruber <>
Annapolis, MD USA - Tuesday, April 06, 1999 at 12:35:30 (PDT)
It's an awesome pages John. Thanks for inspiring me to buy this wonderful cam. My friend who work for Sony got this cam for me at a great price. I got the cam + .7 wide angle len + NPF950 batt + 5 tape + tax + shipping for around $2100. I am getting a couple more accessories, most accessories are at 50% discount from the MSRP. I also bought the 30mb Sandisk compact flash card + Imagemate compact flash card reader for around $150 including tax and shipping at I am in the process of upgrading my computer + setting up for NLE system!!! -xitrum
Xitrum Nguyen <>
San Jose, CA USA - Thursday, April 08, 1999 at 11:51:18 (PDT)
Thanks very much for your web page filled with useful information instead of dsalkes trash. Like all the other readers, I think we all really appreciate your research. The information I have obtained from your site exceeds the information that can be obtained at a Sony shop. I will be buying the TRV900 within the next month. P.S. To all Swiss readers; The price in Switzerland is SFr4598,-. If you buy it in the EU (e.g. Netherlands), the price drops by 33% without even considering the tax free allowence.
Henry Dijkstra <>
Bern, Switzerland - Friday, April 09, 1999 at 04:17:09 (PDT)
Henry, May I give you a word of caution. I had to inspect no less than three TRV900s before I found one I was prepared to purchase. Yes I know I'm fussy, but its a lot of money we are paying! Watch out for dead pixels in the viewfinder, and if possible compare several for least noisy drum/motor drive!! Good luck, I know you will be delighted with the 900. Regards Trevor
Trevor Brimblecombe <>
Adelaide, South Australia - Friday, April 09, 1999 at 06:49:02 (PDT)
Thanks for the informative site. It's been a great help during my recent research. I'm considering buying a Canon Elura, but I've seen a number of comments here about choosing the TRV900 instead. And the Elura is not among those mentioned in the Users Compare area. Any new insight into how the Elura holds up? Thanks.
David Ho
Brooklyn, NY USA - Saturday, April 10, 1999 at 23:27:17 (PDT)
The Elura is a very new model, I haven't heard yet from anyone who owns one. It is very compact. But like most consumer models it is a 1-CCD camera and the TRV900 and other 3-CCD chip cameras are definitely a cut above in picture quality (based on a brief look at it in the store). Of course there's a price difference too :-).
John Beale <>
USA - Sunday, April 11, 1999 at 00:53:09 (PDT)
Just came across your site. Great site on a camera near and dear to my heart. I have a TRV7 and have been contemplating the 900 since it came out my dilemma is wether to go to the PD-100 DVCAM version from Sony or stay in consumer format DV with the 900. I would appreciate any and all advice. I am really afraid of getting dead ended with the PD-100 and DVCAM but after hearing a recent Sony discussion of DVCAM am confused about which camera to go with. Look forward to the feedback. Thanks in advance
Robert Kanee <>
Totonto, OOntario Canada - Sunday, April 11, 1999 at 11:10:49 (PDT)
Hi, I baught and just started using after reading most of your comments on the TRV 900. I hope only that more websites have information on various other products like yours. Your info was the single most influential in my buying decision even though I read about the Pc magazine review of the digital camcorders and recommended the TRV900 as the best buy. One thing worth mentioning is you cannot dub audio on to DV recorded in LP mode and the manual says that but unfortunately I skipped that part since I thaught its straight forward. I always find that nice since there is so much of extraneos sounds when recording outdoors. Thanks again for the wonderful FAQ. You may want to provide this link for the pc magazine review on this model.
Karthik <>
USA - Monday, April 12, 1999 at 07:13:08 (PDT)
Given that many videographers, including myself, will probably be editing on a desktop digital system such as Edit DV or Trinity, in upcoming months or years, how do recordings made with the TRV900's reportedly excessive gain compare with those of camcorders that do not have this trait, *after* the brightness has been adjusted to appear optimal in such a system? Are we losing (or gaining?) any actual image information as a result, or is this tendency only a demerit if editing gear is unavailable to optimize the finished product? Reply, if you know, to: Thanks. Great site! I'm leaning towards purchasing one and will let you know what I think of it if I do. The XL-1 is very tempting for its lauded quality and artful design but I need one that I can carry unobtrusively in a backpack when travelling, the price is commensurately high, and I wonder if an XL-2 might be on the horizon now that a couple of years have passed since its introduction. Sony's smaller model is tempting as a miracle of miniaturization but image quality is my top concern.
Cary G. Robyn <>
USA - Monday, April 12, 1999 at 09:49:15 (PDT)
Hi again. Have been using my 900 for several months now, mostly for commercial production (leased-access cable tv productions and special events). I noted earlier that the image recorded from my S-VHS Panasonic 1980 seemed brighter on playback with some flicker near the top of the image. This improved only slightly when I engaged the TBC on the 1980. Any new ideas on what is causing this, possible remedy, ?. Also, recently used LP mode for recording a school play. I had an increasing number of digital artifacts toward the end of the tape...increasing in frequency the more I recorded. This problem was at it's worst when I panned. I noticed the Sony manual suggests using a special tape for LP recording. The first hour recorded was ok though. Any suggestions? Thanks for the great web site and the helpful info. Ron Harsh
Ron Harsh <>
Ft. Walton Beach, Fl. USA - Monday, April 12, 1999 at 10:12:13 (PDT)
The TRV900 is pretty smart about error correction and replaces garbage data with information from the previous frame. So, if you have a still shot you could have huge dropout losses and never notice it, but when you pan the dropouts suddenly become apparent. Increasing error rate near the end of the tape might be a tape tension issue: if you FF and rewind the entire tape before recording (equalizing tape tension), you may have better results. I have not seen many dropouts but I always try to retension the tape before using LP mode. By the way my tests indicate that SP mode is pretty good for interchangability between different Sony MiniDV camera models but LP mode has lots of errors when played back on a different camera.
John Beale <>
USA - Monday, April 12, 1999 at 12:55:59 (PDT)
Thanks for the good information. I bought the TRV900 in october 1998 (PAL version) here in Holland. I haven't read all the info on the site but till now I found some very good tips. I use the TRV900 in combination with a AV-CARD (digital capture card from Electronic Design Germany). I don't use the DV out at the moment. Go on with the site. I use the analog in of the TRV900 for recording S-VHS recordings without timecode. After recording to DV tape I can play them with timecode, so the searching via the computer is easier. Greetings, Dick Markvoort Holland
Dick Markvoort <>
Holland - Monday, April 12, 1999 at 14:19:11 (PDT)
John.... this is a great site . Do you know if there a under water housing for the 900 and where I can buy-it. Thanks for a very informative site Cheers Wojtek
Wojtek Kozlowski <>
Toronto, Canada - Tuesday, April 13, 1999 at 19:53:49 (PDT)
Thanks for this great web site. Your information about TRV900 made me want to buy one. If you provide the TRV900 manual on your web site, it would be much helpful to understand the full function and features. I'm not so good at english and I'm wonder you can't understand what I write. Regards
Youngjin Kim <>
Seoul, Korea - Tuesday, April 13, 1999 at 21:00:22 (PDT)
More thanks for an amazing wealth of info!! We plan on purchasing a TRV900 to produce a video on the history of Fisher Radio Corp. as well as vacuum tube Hi-Fi restoration. Regards - Al Pugliese, President Fisher Radio Corp. NY
Al Pugliese <>
Staten Island, NY USA - Wednesday, April 14, 1999 at 00:55:48 (PDT)
John, Thanks for a great site. I recently purchased the TRV900 based on the information you provided here. I loved the quality of the video and especially the photo feature of this camcorder. As a small token of my appreciation for your hard work :-) you should (if not already) receive the 1% cash for customer referal from "". I mentioned your name with the saleman ("Ralph"). Let me know if you have not got the money. I can do some follow up for you... Regards, Hoang
Hoang Nguyen <>
San Jose, CA USA - Wednesday, April 14, 1999 at 14:12:36 (PDT)
Comment on Batteries- I have a Sony Hi8 TRV62 and are using those same batteries (Infolithium) on my TRV900 (NPF-530,550). I have noticed that my batteries are not showing the correct time left as should. At 45 minutes left on the viewfinder, they go into the low battery mode and shut off a minute later. I have been discharging battery completely and only letting it charge for the time it needs (2.5 hours) instead of overnight and seem to be not getting any worse but still not better. Anybody with similair problems please respond! *problem started with TRV62 and not with TRV900*
Carlo Cognata <NoMoeMax@AOL.COM>
Worcester, Pa USA - Thursday, April 15, 1999 at 16:53:33 (PDT)
An excellent site on TRV900 and great help for me in the selection of a video camera. Hopefully I can contribute to this site with my own experience in the near future. thanks a lot.
Tim Wan <>
Sydney, NSW Australia - Friday, April 16, 1999 at 06:57:43 (PDT)
Great info John. I'm trying my hardest to hold off on buying the TRV900. It's probably a good idea for me to set some money aside for my kid's college education. I also noticed that several people were referred to my 1394 Matrix from your NLE page.
Patrick Leong <>
CA USA - Friday, April 16, 1999 at 08:08:36 (PDT)
Anyone have any problems with dead pixels under low light setting, with the lens cap on?
ASJ <>
USA - Saturday, April 17, 1999 at 09:45:54 (PDT)
Regarding: Watch Out for Red For some reason the camera records very red objects as if they were out of focus. Could the fuzzyness be due to the YUV format and the so called 4:1:1 sampling? Does using the still (progressive) mode eliminate the problem?
Mark Fineman <>
USA - Saturday, April 17, 1999 at 15:41:54 (PDT)
It seems there are other MiniDV cameras which don't exhibit this problem so it isn't inherent in 4:1:1 formats.
John Beale <>
USA - Saturday, April 17, 1999 at 18:18:15 (PDT)
Experiencies with the TRV900 and GV-D900. I have a Mac G3/333 with Radius Firewire and MotoDV software. I bought a GV-D900 video wakman and I am happy to inform that everything works perfectly. I can capture with Moto DV from the deck, edit in Premiere 5.1 or 4.2.1 in the computer and then record back to the deck using the Export>Radius DV command. I bought this deck so I do not have to use the TRV900 as a transpot to find the images that I want to capture and wera its' mechanisms.The Sony/Mac combination is great. Congratulations on your site and keep up the good work dedicated to the TRV 900 Fan Club.
Octavio Vallarino <>
Panama, Panama Panama - Sunday, April 18, 1999 at 13:41:43 (PDT)
So, I bought the TRV900. The users guide seems to have been translated and is not clear in its description of all camera functions. For example, in setting up the AUTO SHTR function under the MANUAL SET icon of the MENU the manual states (page 28): "Select ON and the electronic shutter functions automatically when shooting in bright conditions. Select OFF and the electronic shutter does not function even in bright conditions." What does it mean, "the shutter does not function?" On page 61 the manual states: "If you use a tape with cassette memory, you can superimpose the titles while recording or after recording." Seems as though you need to pay an additional $8.00 ($20.00 total) for a DV tape with memory if you want titles. Stupid! Even "cheap" Hi-8 camcorders allow titling with nothing more than the tape. Maybe I will feel better when I overcome my shock at some of the DRV900's design weaknesses and lack of knowledge of Sony's customer services personnel in answering questions.
Roger Newell <>
San Diego, CA USA - Monday, April 19, 1999 at 10:47:21 (PDT)
Very likely the manual was translated from the original Japanese. What they mean about the shutter is that you can enable an automatic increase in shutter speed (above normal 1/60 sec. exposure per field) in bright conditions; but this can make action look jerky so the default is not to enable the auto-increase in shutter speed. The tape title font is not very attractive anyway. If you do get a memory-chip tape, one advantage over a cheap Hi8 titler is that you can turn the titles on or off later; being stored in the chip rather than the tape, they are not imprinted permanently over your image. I'd call it a feature rather than a bug, but not a very useful feature. I shoot hand-lettered titles, or use my computer to generate them. I hope your TRV900 experience gets better from here.
John Beale <>
USA - Monday, April 19, 1999 at 11:15:05 (PDT)
i recently purchased the 900 and have had it in the shop a couple times for a problem with flicker in my video. To make a long story short, when you shoot in brighter conditions, if you don't have the shutter speed to at least 1000 and the ND filter on, you will get a flicker in the video. To show an example of this, shoot outdoors at a nice blue sky, place the shutter speed at 100 with ND filter off and lightly tap the focus ring with your finger. For a more exaterated flicker, try the shutter speed down below 100. The sony tech saw this and was really suprised. He had another on in the shop and tried it with that, and the same thing happened. I've talked to several friens with this camera and everyone of them had this problem, some worse than others. The tech replaced my lens and a pc board and said he talked to the sony engineers about it. It has helped a bit, but i still have to shoot above 500 shutter speed and always keep the ND filter ON. I'd love hear some responses about this and if enough people complain to sony, we can get a fix to this. It was explained to me that when the iris is small, it becomes very sensative to vibration and and will cause this flicker. Hece the need for the ND filter and a good UV lens to open up the iris in brighter light. cheers...kyle
kyle moss <>
dallas, tx USA - Monday, April 19, 1999 at 21:49:04 (PDT)
Here's an experiment you can try at home. Zoom the TRV900 all the way in to telephoto. Select manual exposure and adjust the aperture to f/11. Take a flashlight and look into the lens (no, not the eyepiece, the main lens at front!). If you shift your head and the flashlight around to the right angle, you ought to be able to see the six blades of the iris forming a small hexagonal hole. Shine a bright light in and you'll see it. Reach around the camera and roll the thumbwheel down, causing the display to indicate "CLOSE". You will see the iris blades close all the way shut. Now open back up to f/11 and tap the focus ring. You may see the iris move a little, or a lot. Mine moves a little on the first tap, then not at all even with as vigorous a bashing about as I dared. On video output, I see an intensity shift on the first tap, and no change or flicker thereafter. Maybe I'm just lucky that my iris is slightly "sticky" and Kyle's freely-moving one was more motion-sensitive. If you bent one of the iris blades slightly out-of-plane, it would be more sticky, but I'm sure not recommending you try that yourself :-).
John Beale <>
USA - Tuesday, April 20, 1999 at 00:32:33 (PDT)
PHOTO SITES : TRV900E shots of Hong Kong. Welcome !
Dacy Chan <>
N.T., Hong Kong - Tuesday, April 20, 1999 at 01:31:43 (PDT)
Hi! Thanks for all the information yuo provide about this great camera, John! Your website was part of the reason that I decided to buy one in Nov. -98 and I`m still happy with it. On April 13 there was a question posted by ASJ regarding "dead pixels". I found exactly the same defect in my camera also in low light mode. there was one very small bright dot that also was recorded and could be seen on a monitor. I wouldn`t have objected if it had been in a low price camera. However Sony`s repair center in Stockholm traced the fault to the green CCD and they replaced the entire prism-CCD assembly without any charge and I suppose their warranty policy should be about the same in any country. Why not ask them?
Leif Kjellberg <>
Stockholm, Sweden - Wednesday, April 21, 1999 at 07:28:42 (PDT)

[three redundant copies deleted -jpb]
John, this may be redundant, but I didn't see my just submitted query appear. Regarding your response to my quetion related to the MENU driven AUTO SHTR : In the OFF position is the shutter fixed at 1/60 sec vs auto shutter adjust in accordance with ambient light in the ON position? Does the AUTO SHTR fuction change when the AUTO-"manual"-HOLD switch is switched between AUTO and "manual?" PROGRESSIVE SCAN: Can still shots be captured in this mode? Seems that the PHOTO mode is interlace. The ELURA vs. TRV900: I compared them on the same tape under the same conditions. The TRV900 images are better, but I like the feel of the ELURA. In addition to general scenery, I used color bar and depth of field pages in my KODAD guide in low-to-high ambient light conditions. In low light ELURA images appeared more granular. In any light the diagonal lines on the roung d-of-f caclulator wheel stairsteped on the ELURA, but not the TRV900 possibly due to use of a different compression algorithm (?). I returned the ELURA.
Roger Newell <>
San Deigo, CA USA - Thursday, April 22, 1999 at 07:42:41 (PDT)
Your description of Auto Shtr is correct. Re: auto/manual- don't know, but feel free to try it and find out :-). Progressive scan: there are several different still photo modes and I think I explain all of them in my FAQ, have you checked there? Stairsteps on diagonal lines are caused by interlaced scan, as well as inferior interpolation algorithms. Single-CCD chip cameras also show color artifacts on hard-contrast diagonal or horizontal lines, that 3-chip cameras don't.
John Beale <>
USA - Thursday, April 22, 1999 at 09:31:21 (PDT)
John, therefore, in AUTO mode is it better to set the MENU driven AUTO SHTR to OFF (=1/60 sec)? Conversly, what is the downside of leaving it set to ON? Thanks again for your time and help
Roger Newell <>
San Diego, CA USA - Thursday, April 22, 1999 at 14:21:03 (PDT)
Auto-Shutter vs. not is a tradeoff: ON (auto shutter enabled, shutter rate goes up as brightness increases) means the camera will properly expose even the brightest scene you'll find on planet earth. However, fast motion may have a jerky or stroboscopic look (if you want to extract stills, this may be a benefit, because the frames will have less motion blur). You'll have to try it and see if this look is objectionable. The alternative, OFF means you'll always have 1/60 shutter for smoothly flowing motion (unless you change it manually) but very bright scenes may be overexposed (washed out colors) if you do not thread on an external ND/polarizing filter in addition to the internal ND filter. Experimentation is necessary to determine which image flaw you prefer. If you need both smooth motion and the best color quality, always use 1/60 sec. exposure, and use an external filter under bright outdoor conditions.
John Beale <>
USA - Thursday, April 22, 1999 at 14:49:03 (PDT)
I've seen a lot comments about the 900 shooting straight to 18dbs in low-light, but have heard little or no comments (maybe i've missed something) on the 'moonlight' AE setting. On 'moonlight', the camera won't go above 12dbs which is of course much more desirable. However, i've noticed that autofocus in this mode is basically un-usable, in both normal and low-light. This I believe is a defect because even in marginal light with standard auto-exposure, it may hunt for a while but will finally lock onto something. Has anyone else seen this? Am I missing something? I won't dare try calling sony on it, since every other time i've tried the *HORRIBLE* service department I've basically been blown off.
Mathew Meyerotto <>
chicago, il USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 01:25:07 (PDT)
Is there more than one Sony service department? My question to them was answered immediately. Others have emailed positive experiences also. Anyway, I think the focus issue is a "feature" instead of a "bug" :-). At least in the Digital 8 cameras, the manual says "In the sunset & moon and landscape modes, your camcorder is set to focus only on distant subjects." Seems like they mean this mode to be literally sunsets and night landscapes only, not closeups. Sunsets are a popular subject and when you think about it, there are no sharp edges in the typical sunset for the autofocus to lock on to, so they chose to preset the focus.
John Beale <>
USA - Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 02:14:40 (PDT)
Hello hope its the right forum, I would like to report a problem with Sonys iLink and Apples Firewire. I bought a Blue and White G3-300 192 ram 12,7 gb hd Premiere 5.1a and a sony trv900e DV camera, all brand new. Clean installed Mac OS 8,5,1 with Premiere 5,1a. I downloaded and installed Apple Firewire 2,0, the ATI driver upgrade, and the G3 firmware updater 1.0.2. + Quicktime 4. The problem, the computer can record DV from the camera using iLink/Firewire but the camera does not record the signal back from the computer. This problem can be fixed using a capture board with updated drivers from Radius or Firemax but thats a very large additional expense which in my opinion is uneccessary if only Apple would provide drivers with the same capabilities for Firewire/iLink and perhaps some device control. I would really like to do DV editing with just the mac G3 and the Sony TRV900E if it works Any information on how to solve this problem would be much appreciated. Respectfully Carl Joshi
Carl Joshi <>
USA - Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 16:48:50 (PDT)
I hope you haven't sold out entirely john (kidding). The problem I've had with their service is both their seeming incompetence and rude phone demeanor. I find this to be a problem with just about every other companys' service department as well as mail order (with the exception of Panasonic which have been more than helpfull and curteous whenever I've called with questions). Yes there are good customer
matt <>
chicago, il USA - Monday, April 26, 1999 at 16:45:20 (PDT)
Well John you and your excellent site sold another one. I am the proud owner of a one day old TRV900. Sony really should start paying you a small commission, or at least send you some free stuff to review for them. My only complaint, that I don't remember being mentioned, is having to charge the batteries while they are attached to the camera. I know I can buy accessories that will remedy this problem, but who wants to shell out another $60 to $160 for something that should have been included. Thanks for all the great info, John S. Wilson
John S. Wilson <>
UT USA - Tuesday, April 27, 1999 at 23:15:39 (PDT)
Great reviews on the 900 and 7000! Regarding the Digital8 7000; Someone on usenet asked the great question "When playng the standard analog 8mm or Hi8, does the 7000 digitize these tape on-the-fly during playback provided at the FireWire output?" I know it "could" do this if SONY wanted to add the feature. Qtherwise I would need anothe Hi8 playback deck to capture on the 7000. My Canon A1 Digital's heads just passed away. Thanks in advance
Dwight Goble <>
San Jose, CA USA - Wednesday, April 28, 1999 at 22:55:55 (PDT)
I cover this in my page on Digital 8 I think. Anyway the answer is yes, the D8 cameras digitize Video 8 and Hi8 tapes on the fly and send the signal out the firewire port. Two people with TRV900s asked me if you got a better digital copy by playing the Hi8 on the original camera to analog in on a TRV900, or playing the Hi8 on a Digital 8 camera into the TRV900's firewire port. I don't know the answer to this one; I'd guess you get similar results.
John Beale
USA - Thursday, April 29, 1999 at 00:02:27 (PDT)
a great page!! I have to make the decission to buy the TRV 900 for underwater recording salmon spawning behaviour. I will search throug your pages, Thanks, Manu
Manu Esteve <>
Barcelona, Spain - Thursday, April 29, 1999 at 04:47:26 (PDT)
John, A question about microphone settings. Most camcorders have a wind filter. As hard as I have looked at the menu and handbook, I've not discovered one on my TRV900, (which incidentally is quite an astonishing little camcorder compared with my previous TR3000 Hi8 ). I'd appreciate your advice on this. Thanks a lot! Trevor
Trevor Brimblecombe <>
Adelaide, SA Australia - Friday, April 30, 1999 at 01:50:38 (PDT)
Thanks for all the wonderfull just cost me AUD$3600 (US$2200 ex tax). Expect some nasty email from my girlfriend! I hope Sony never pays you a cent or ever sends you free stuff, I have had enough crap from sales reps. If it was'nt for this site I most certainly would not have spent the extra $1000 for the TRV900 over the TRV9. As for some of the complaints of Sony's customer service standards....well, welcome to the Sony family. The last time I bought Sony camera gear I spent $45 grand and it took me a month of pulling out my hair to convince Sony to let me spend my money. That was 10 years ago and I guess somethings never change. P.S. Any idea if there is software based LANC control, particularly for Mac. Once again thanks for the site, love your work.
Tom <>
Melbourne, Vic Australia - Friday, April 30, 1999 at 06:32:06 (PDT)
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