TRV900 Visitor's Page #7: - April 6 2001 to Jan. 2 2002

This is an archive page of older entries. The current page is here.

dear john, briliant web site i have learnt a lot from the facts sheets and comments. I recently had problems wilt the tape damagind on rewind towards the end one new tape after rewinding half this tape was not used I have spoken to sony and they say that they have not encounted this problem I mentioned about the several complaints on the web and no comments. my trv 900 was sent under gurantee in dec I have only just started to use this and the tape brand new 20 mins use on rewind got damaged I had to take this out carefully from the camera and have sent 3 tapes to sony consumers in barkskine and now awaiting to hear from them to see if this is going to be replaced.could you please e mail me and tell me if ther e is a site opened for the dcrvx2000 as i am interested in puschasing this asap i will still keep my trv 900 as a back up I do weddings as a hobby and I am doind one in Kent on sat the 14th would be very interested to hear about theDCRV2000 to know if there are any problems and if this also has a same problem on the rewind.No doubt the TRV900 is a briliant camera . 2 of these cameras are now used in goa by jornulist. thanks and await to reveive your e mail j. de souza
joseph de souza <joseph&>
maidstone kent, uk - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 11:24:07 (PDT)
DEAR JOHN, Could you please help me and e mail me if there is a site for the DCRVX2000 as I am interested in purchasing the and want to know if this is also a problem of tapes getting chewed up will be very grateful the site for the TRV900 has been briliant and the faults mainly tapes chewing up on rewind 5 mins or so thanks JOE
JOSEPH DE SOUZA <joseph&maria@milroc.freeserve>
maidstone kent, USuk - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 11:40:46 (PDT)
There are many VX2000-related webpages online, and I link to several of them in my own VX2000 webpage.
USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 13:34:09 (PDT)
I am trying to decide btween buying the Sony TRV900 and the Sony PD100A. I am having a hard time finding good information about the PD100A. I know it is the professional model of the TRV 900. Does anyone know the best site to access information from other users about the PD100A. I can find boatloads of info on the TVR900. Thank you!
Susanne <>
USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 21:04:54 (PDT)
As far as I know there is no user-based PD100 site. First, there are far fewer of them used and second, they are mostly used by professionals for whom video is their day job, not hobbyists who do video for fun and also make webpages about it.
USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 15:55:36 (PDT)
Tin Little writes that he just bought a TRV900 for "vacation and records for baby's growth," and asks for advice from the 'gurus.' Tin, the '900 is an excellent camcorder for your purposes - relatively small, lightweight and very easy-to-use. I'd recommend you spend a few hours acquainting yourself with its many features so that, when something important is happening, you already are able to use the camera easily. Think in terms of a story when you are capturing the events in your life. In a few years, or a few decades, the beautiful scenery and buildings you see on your vacations will be much less important to you than what you (you, your significant other and your child) looked like, dressed like and how you acted. The images of you son or daughter's first steps will take on even more meaning if you get a few words from mom or dad about how they feel about the event. Compelling stories are generally what interests people. Get a few good books or (if you are really serious) take a course to learn what good video looks like. Tape is cheap, but you are not looking to have a closet full of tapes that no one ever looks at. You really want short documentary stories of the life you live. Jim
StL, MO USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 05:52:20 (PDT)
Excellent site! It was the main information site for my purchase of the 900 1.5 years ago - and now I'm back seeking answers to a few questions. The camera had been working great up until the middle of March( My second son was born in the begining of March - perfect timing for the camera to break down.) Anyway the viewfinder and the LCD monitor are a blank screen as if the lens cap is still on. I tried recording, but video is black and audio records. The trouble check section in the back of the manual does have a note on this condition stating "Incorporated fluorescent tube is worn - Please contact your nearest Sony dealer."(page 129) I was wondering if anyone else has had the same problem with the 900 and is there any feedback from get it repaired. I bought the camera in Oct. 1999 from with a Federal Warranty. Now the local authorized service center refuses to continue to work on the camera due to an issue with Federal. I would like to know if anyone with a Federal warranty has ever had a problem with their warranty. I called Federal and their word is that they have never heard of the complaint that the service center claims. The service center suggests that I pay for the repair myself and deal with Federal by myself. I don't know who to trust - this is the first time I needed to use the warranty,(which was $199 for 5 years) I have been burned too many times by other service centers and now I feel like I being used again. Does anyone know of any good service centers in the NYC/NJ area? I just so frustrated with the whole matter. Thanks Mike
Mike <>
Pt. Pleasant, NJ USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 21:28:18 (PDT)
I want to purchase a TRV900. I propose to use it to record leisure activities. Can you suggest me the basic accessories I need to buy? (Like battery charger, battery, etc)
Venu <>
Cincinnati, OH USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 11:53:40 (PDT)
John, you mentioned earlier hearing of Infolithium problems (possibly the battery getting "confused"). Any news on how to "reset" them? I am getting no joy whatsoever from Sony.
Dion <>
Cape Town, South Africa - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 05:09:24 (PDT)
Look at my main page under "Tips - Maintenance - Restoring InfoLithium Battery". But if the battery's CPU is dead, I don't know of a fix.
USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 12:05:40 (PDT)
I have learned a lot from your site even though I don't have a TRV900 - I just bought a DCR-PC5. Thanks! Based in part on your discussion of external microphones, I got two Sima lapel mics. It sounds as if the microphone setup on the PC5 is similar if not identical to that of the TRV900. My main purpose was to use them for interviews, with one mic feeding into each channel of a mono to stereo adaptor. But sometimes I only need to pick up audio from one person. It sounded from your description that it would be OK to plug one mic into the camcorder stereo jack, even though the mic plug is mono. In fact, I tried this and the results sounded great. I was puzzled, though, to discover that the audio appeared on both channels during playback. My general experience with plugging a mono plug into a stereo jack is that only one channel plays back. What gives? I am worried, also, that since the camcorder supplies DC voltage through the mic jack ("plug-in power"), there might be a possibility of shorting out the voltage supply when I plug in a mono mic plug. What do you think? I guess it depends on what part of the plug connects with which conductor - a simple question that I haven't been able to find the answer to. Is the common or ground portion of the plug the part closest to the plastic case (the plug "handle"), or is it the part farthest from it? (In other words, is the common or ground portion on a mono plug the long part "upstream" of the little ring insulator or the short part "downstream" of it?) If it's the part closest, that would explain why the mono plug feeds audio to both channels of the stereo jack and why there shouldn't be a problem with shorting out the DC "plug-in power." If it's the farthest, it could be trouble. Or am I just all confused?
robert e. mintz <>
anchorage, ak USA - Sunday, April 22, 2001 at 17:06:57 (PDT)
Not to worry. The three contacts on a stereo miniplug, from the end, are conventionally called TIP - RING - SLEEVE. The camera provides a very weak DC bias to both tip and ring (L and R input channels) of a stereo miniplug. The long part (sleeve) of the plug is signal ground. Yes, plugging in a mono plug shorts out the ring connection to the sleeve (ground), but the camera is designed for that, and in fact that connection signals the camera to record the mono input signal to both L+R stereo tracks, as you observed. If you're curious, the entire mic input circuit is shown here.
USA - Sunday, April 22, 2001 at 23:11:47 (PDT)
Thanks for the very informative explanation of the microphone situation! Somewhere on your site I came across your statement that when a still is taken from interlaced video, only one field is used, and the missing lines are interpolated. A couple of questions: first, why can't the camcorder use the whole frame? Second, are you sure it's interpolated and not simply doubled? I heard the latter somewhere. Speaking of interlacing, I also read that, at least on the PC5, when the shutter speed is set at less than 1/60, full interlacing is not used and the lines from a single field are doubled (or perhaps interpolated) instead. Do you know if that's true, or do you know if it's true of the TRV900? If so, why can't they do full interlaced video at lower shutter speeds?
robert e. mintz
USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 09:46:11 (PDT)
Stills captured to memory device from interlaced video on the TRV900 are interpolated (simply doubled would look very bad). Stills captured direct to memory are always "progressive" mode, no interpolation needed. If you used both fields from interlaced-scan video you get a comb-like effect wherever motion makes the fields not line up-looks very bad. Some NLE software includes "smart" field interpolation that uses different algorithms depending on detected motion, or not, but the TRV900 is no so sophisticated. On PC5, TRV900 and all other cameras I know of, shutter speeds less than 1/60 use single-field capture, for an interpolated frame. In theory one could use progressive scan with slow shutters but in practice it is not available on consumer equipment. Something to do with existing CCD readout circuit technology; I'm not familiar with the details.
John Beale
USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 15:05:04 (PDT)
does anyone know how to use the trv900 as a webcam? In particular with hotmail's messenger.
Rajesh Prasad <>
austin, tx USA - Monday, April 30, 2001 at 19:59:22 (PDT)
Does anybody know the size of the pixel in micron on the TVR900E CCD? looking for information about the pixel geometry (pixels are rectangular instead of square). Thanx a lot!
Julien <>
lausane, Swiss - Friday, May 04, 2001 at 07:38:44 (PDT)
i have bought a sony vaio pcg-f290 but don't have the recovery disk for it with all the drivers on it. i was wondering if anyone knows where i can get hold of some either off the internet, by e-mail or near to me. sony won't give them to me unless i have proof of purchase from a shop. difficult when you bought it second hand from a friend!!! i hope someone out there can help. thanks
dominick <>
crowborough, united kingdom - Monday, May 14, 2001 at 02:38:21 (PDT)
Hi Jhon, I send you my web page in the case that you want to post it in your web. It has a lot of video frames and video files taken with my TRV 900 cheers, Manu
Manu Esteve <>
seattle, wa USA - Monday, May 21, 2001 at 21:01:57 (PDT)
Hey! One question. Is the Canon XL1 $1000 better than the Canon GL1? For independent digital filmmaking which would be best? I can not for the life of me figure it out!!!!!
amelia martin <>
ann arbor, USA - Tuesday, May 22, 2001 at 07:19:50 (PDT)
Thanks for your extensive , informative and non-commercial site. The Sony DCR-TRV900 is a new camera and media for me. If this is an appropriate area to ask questions then I ask the following: LENS—regarding the 10x optical and 48x digital ranges of the zoom—is there an equivalence to my 35 mm still camera mm reference (where a 45mm lens is called "normal", etc)? If so, on the TRV900: 1.) what mm is "normal" 2.) what is the mm range for the x10 optical and also the digital zoom? 3.) And with the attached Sony WA x0.7 conversion lens? 4.) And with the attached Sony Tele x1.4 conversion lens? TAPES—Sony mini DV tapes: 1.) I bought Sony tapes with Japanese writing on the package and instructions inside the cassette (for the Japanese market). Are there reports that these Sony dv tapes have or cause problems, or are inferior to the USA market tapes? I notice my tapes do NOT state the word "Excellence" which some new Sony advertising show. 2.) Is there a way of reading the Sony code on the tape box to see the tapes "freshness" (date of manufacture)? Thanks again, -Herb
herb grika <>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Tuesday, May 22, 2001 at 09:47:24 (PDT)
Lens questions: check my TRV900 FAQ under "Focusing and Lenses/Field of View". Tape questions: I don't know; have had no information on this.
USA - Thursday, May 24, 2001 at 00:07:46 (PDT)
I've been reviewing potential camcorders with a view toward image quality, hoping to replace my moribund Canon A1. The leading contender is the TRV900, and although I've played with it a bit in the B&H showroom, using a tape to record what I can among the crowds there, very little can be learned under such circumstances. The quality and sheer quantity of info you've compiled here on your website has given me a world of insight into what limitations and possiblities I can expect - far beyond anything one can learn from a salesman, and certainly worlds beyond what meager info Sony will reveal. Thanks.
Peter Vidor <>
USA - Wednesday, May 23, 2001 at 06:59:21 (PDT)
Hi I realy enjoy your page and i like to ask you a question i have a trv 900 and i like to know if it's possible to change the durtion of recording in the interval mode and how to do it if it's possible
herve nahon <>
france - Friday, May 25, 2001 at 08:45:00 (PDT)
the in-camera menu gives you several recording intervals from 0.5 sec, 1 sec, etc. Beyond that I don't know of a way to change it. You cannot go to one frame, if that's what you mean.
USA - Friday, May 25, 2001 at 12:03:02 (PDT)
I am experiencing audio dropouts in one frame duration about 5 times in 20 minutes. This has been going on for some time now and is becoming very frustrating. I am pretty certain that I get some random dropouts on playback but there are also some dropouts recorded on the tape. I verified this tonight by capturing a piece twice with my DV500 NLE and comparing the position of the dropout. I have read the piece on your site regarding this problem and I have examined Coaster S and see an 'A' on it. Not supposed to be prone to this problem, oh well. Has there been any further information over and above what is already on your site John? Have there been any other reports of problems from people with 'A' grade Coaster S's? Above all, do you have any advice? One big problem I can see will be persuading the repair shop that there is a problem. Any ideas? I would be gratefull if you would send me an email if you have the time to Great site John.
Steve Garratt <>
Colchester, UK - Tuesday, May 29, 2001 at 16:42:21 (PDT)
improper tape tension, tape guide alignment, and possibly head alignment can also contribute to audio and/or video dropouts. At least one other person reported audio drops despite the newer coaster part. That's all the info I have, though.
USA - Tuesday, May 29, 2001 at 19:48:23 (PDT)
Thanks John. It doesn't sound as if there is anything I can do to fix this myself. This will be the second time this cam has been returned, the first time was for gross misbalance in the in built mics. I have a show coming up and I can't guarantee getting it back in time. I'm not a happy bunny right now. But thanks for your help anyway. You have given me loads of information that I shall arm myself with when dealing with the repairers. Steve
Steve Garratt <>
Colchester, UK - Wednesday, May 30, 2001 at 03:45:56 (PDT)
In monitoring both the trv900 and vx2k sites, I have tracked with interest the tape problem with the trv900 which it appears using some precaution you can stay ahead of. I am curious though does the vx2k have the same problem? I havn't seen it reported on the sites. Does the vx2k have a different tape handling mechanism which is not suceptable to the problem the trv900 has. Many thanks for your excellent site. I have learned much. Jim
Jim <>
McCalla, Al USA - Saturday, June 02, 2001 at 13:21:53 (PDT)
I have not heard of a VX2k tape problem. Examining my VX2000 I see that the capstan has two flanges, at top and bottom, which are not present in my TRV900. Maybe this design prevents a tape feed misalignment and subsequent crinkle.
USA - Sunday, June 03, 2001 at 11:50:00 (PDT)
Hi John. DVCAM (mini) or Mini DV??? or put another way, PD100a or TRV900?? This is the question on my mind as I'm ready to purchase another camera. I presently shoot with a TRV 900 and love it but am wondering if I should pay the extra for DVCAM this time? Any comments or directions to info on this question? Also, I NLE with Canopus DV Raptor and Premiere. Is it a pain in the **** to edit with the two formats in one project? Your site is a really great resource for everyone out there in Digital Camcorder Land. Thanks so much for your helpful community service, it is much appreciated by all!
Simon <>
Campbell, CA USA - Monday, June 04, 2001 at 00:59:08 (PDT)
Thanks for your Excellent site. We are working on a remote controlled camerahead application, and would like to implement a lanc camera control as an integrated part of our multifunction joystick. The main functions we are interest in are -besides start stop recording- variable speed zoom. Preferably operated from one rocker button, similar to the one you find on the camera itself. Most lanc remotes on the market, relay on three zooms buttons one for speed and two for wide and tele. Our joy stick control must be truly one hand operational ( as we fly the airplane with the other). We like to know if Ed's LANC Controller Projects may be modified for the purpose. We are electronic engineers and are able to do some work ourselves. Kind regards Allan Kartin Denmark
Allan Kartin <>
Ebeltoft, DK Denmark - Monday, June 04, 2001 at 11:43:47 (PDT)
Your site is very informative, so thank you. I couldn't find any mention of camera failure so would like to ask if anyone has experienced this. My camera (two years old now with no prior problems) has just failed to start. Whether from batteries or mains, no signal or sound at all. Completely dead. Is there an easy fix for this even if it means taking it all the way to the repair shop? Thanks in advance. Mark
Mark Harris <>
Loughborough, UK - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 10:17:04 (PDT)
Maybe the power switch has broken? I don't know; you might try on the TRV900 mailing list run by Chris Reijnen; check my main TRV900 page under the heading "Mail/TRV900 mailing list"
USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 15:22:37 (PDT)
John, Awesome site! I'm still awaiting delivery of my TRV900. I can't wait to apply the knowledge I've gathered at your site to my new camera. I'll be checking back often! Frank
Frank Garber <>
Burlington, ct USA - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 08:16:23 (PDT)
Very helpful site. I'm entering through the back door, as a writer using video equipment for taking golf notes, but interested in the still images for books, articles, etc. I haul the equipment to golf courses and other sites, along with my golf paraphernalia, so weight is important. Stills as well as video. Is the 900 the way to go, for the $$? Thanks.
Dale Archibald <>
San Jose, CA USA - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 08:39:01 (PDT)
The TRV900 is still a good video camera, but really video (not stills) is its strongest point. If you are more interested in stills, maybe the new Olympus E-100RS which is a 1.5 Megapixel still camera that can take 15 frames per second (!) would be worth a look. See for example
USA - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 14:10:52 (PDT)
Using my TRV900 with the beach-tek XLR adapter I have found the levels to be rather low overall. I am using a Sennheiser ME80 shotgun and even with very short camera-to-subject distances the levels need to be nearly at their maximum just to get an adequate signal. Has any one else had this problem and discovered a solution?
Daniel <>
Chicago, IL USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 21:39:42 (PDT)
Great site! i bought a trv 900 1n may 01 after trawling the web for info on digi camcorders and coming across your site. It retails at £2200 thats about $2500 but i managed to get one for £2050 still not happy with this i persuaded a freind to buy it through his company this allowed him to claim the sales tax back which he refunded me so it cost me a more resonable £1700.
Joe Lovett <>
Dublin, Ireland - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 05:59:14 (PDT)
Tape Crinkle! Thank you very much, contributors on this subject. I use my camera professionally, and it didn't take long for it to start damaging tapes. Following your guide to cleaning, I manage to get rid of this problem regularly. Keep up the good work! Svante
Svante <>
Lund, Sweden - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 03:47:31 (PDT)
EXCELLENT! A simple clear format comprising every piece of useful information that a TRV900 user could want. Infact so good that I was able to go out an buy one on the basis of the information I obtained from these pages and have been in a state of giddy delerium ever since! Bless you sirs! -- Joseph
Joseph Jabbar <>
Birmingham, England - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 08:12:15 (PDT)
John, Great site. I've used the 900 for 18 months and love it. I refer to your site often. One question, do you know if the FA-P1 floppy disk adapter can be used on the new Apple G4 Titanium? Thanks Charles
Charles Egerton <>
Cincinnati, OH USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 15:20:40 (PDT)
No idea. The floppy drive for the TRV900 is made by Y-E Data at so you might try there...
USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 15:30:31 (PDT)
Hi John , WOW ! - awesome site! I am in the market for a 3 ccd prosumer camcorder , and I was pretty much locked on the TRV900E until I stumbled on the new PANASONIC MX-300 camera that everybody are talking about , the word is this camera rivales and beats even the VX-2000 on most parameters. and is priced much like the TRV900. Are you familiar with it / heard about it , what is your opinion , is it really better ? thanks for a world of information site!!!
Mike <>
USA - Saturday, June 30, 2001 at 04:20:00 (PDT)
I have heard of the Panasonic NV-MX300, but I do not believe it is available in the USA right now. I have not seen or heard from anyone who owns one.
USA - Saturday, June 30, 2001 at 09:40:13 (PDT)
HELP!! I am considering the TRV900 or should I go with the TRV30 any comments? Recommendations? Anything will be appreciated!
Damian <>
Nj USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 08:32:41 (PDT)
Thanks for a great site that has valuable tips that SONY people might not even know. I have a quick question about my TRV900. When I aim the camera at a light, I always get a green glow around the light source. Also, I think the picture in general has a bit too much green in it. Is this normal? If not, what could be the problem?
Joseph Wong <>
Sydney, NSW Australia - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 07:36:08 (PDT)
The TRV900 lens is prone to "lens flare", scattered light from various lens surfaces. The flare on this lens is greenish in color and especially noticible with strong backlight, or bright lights in-frame. Experience suggests that some particular TRV900 units have more of this flare than others.
USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 09:57:44 (PDT)
This site had me convinced that the TRV is the way to go even though the camera has now been on the market for almost 2 years. The newer TRV30 has some benefits such as USB ports but lacks the 3 ccd. Which camera will provide the best picture? Am I buying older technology with the TRV900 or will it stand the test of time, as it appears to do so as evidenced in this site.TRV900 can be found for under $1300.00 while the TRV30 is about $1600.00 Can you make a recommendation of one over the other. I like the disk feature. Is this something you use. I had thought that I was ready to make a choice until I started reviewing both cameras and their features. Does the Carl Zeiss lense make a difference? Can one really see a difference between 500 lines of resolution and 520 lines?
Damian Ameen <>
Princeton, NJ USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 13:45:07 (PDT)
I was recently editing holiday footage shot on my TRV900 using iMovie. I had a problem with one DV tape which I couldn't import DV from. All the other tapes imported into iMovie. But no matter what I tried with this one tape no clips would appear on the clips shelf. Viewing the footage through the camera or on a TV nothing appeared to be wrong with the tape. I cleaned the heads but still no luck. Does anyone know what this might be ?
Dave <snapper>
London, UK - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 19:31:58 (PDT)
please help!!! i'm a canadian documentary filmmaker living and working in india/asia for the past 20 months. i think i was locked out of my sony dsr pd100a last night. i found some humidity that had condenced and dried on the inside of my lens leaving a very noticable spot. because there is no one here (india) who know how to service this camera i decided to open it. it took forever (12 hrs) but i managed to clean it. having reassembled the unit i turned it on to find no image or vtr. no lights no control. nothing except when the eject button is pressed the transport drive will begin to sound like it is begining to eject the tape, but then it doesn't. i think the problem came when i was half way through the reasembly and i turned the unit on. i have heard that there might be some kind of reset that has to be enabled by a tech. i already have the address for the sony service in bangkok. i have to be in mongolia for august 1. there is very little time now. nervous jb
jonathan <>
USA - Thursday, July 05, 2001 at 23:55:13 (PDT)
John, What a great resource for The Sony DCR TRV 900! Thank you for all your work compiling and maintaining this site. Frank Lo Cicero
Frank Lo Cicero <onepoint at nyc dot rr dot com>
Rego Park, NY USA - Saturday, July 07, 2001 at 22:40:02 (PDT)
John, Thank you so much for your terrific and incredibly informative site! What a great job! Please, please keep it up! What a great resouce. Currently I am in a quandry. Maybe you (and others) can offer opinions. I had a fantastic Canon Hi-8 camera (Canon A1-Digital) which broke. I now have to replace it. I am tempted buy the TRV900, but am hesitant for a few reasons: 1. I hear it's not great in low light situations. 2. I hear the sound isn't terrific either. 3. I would really like to have a manual zoom. 4. I would really like to have manual adjustments for audio. 5. I'm really worried about the tape crinckle problem. My uses are the following: 1. I have a new baby, and want a good camera to tape her... 2. I work in video and want a good camera to shoot for broadcast. (I am a producer, not a shooter, but occassionally need to shoot myself, rather then hire someone -- and when this is the case, I want a camera which I can really put to the test. In other words, sometimes there are either complicated light or sound shooting conditions). I've tried the VX2000 and would like to buy it, BUT it is too big for my small hands (and I'm left-handed) and have had to rule it out. Are there other possibilities? Thank you for any help you can offer! Best, Heidi G.
Heidi Gitelman <heidi@post.harvard.edi>
Cambridge, MA USA - Sunday, July 08, 2001 at 16:51:42 (PDT)
I think the TRV900 is as good in low light as your earlier camera, although I haven't used the A1 myself. Many people are quite happy with the TRV900 sound, though it doesn't have a lot of bass response (you can add an external mic if you wish to improve things). I am not aware of any camcorder with the zoom rocker or hand-strap on the left, for left-handers. There aren't very many high-quality, small cameras, other choices might be Panasonic PV-DV950, DV951, NV-MX3000 (latter not sold in US?) If you don't need 3-CCD you might consider the TRV20 or TRV30, they are quite compact.
USA - Sunday, July 08, 2001 at 23:02:29 (PDT)
On July 31, 2000, you received an observation from Kevin O'Hanlon regarding TRV900 repeated tape transport noises even when the camera is turned off. Unfortunately, I experienced the exact problem in October 2000 and once again yesterday, July 8, 2001. The earlier problem resolved itself and therefore I did not send the camera to Sony. I did talk to a customer relations executive to place my concern on record. Yesterday, I placed the camera in camera mode and allowed it to turn itself off after 5 minutes of inactivity. From that point on it functioned normally. I am not certain if this is a real solution, since the problem may not surface again - hopefully. Since at least two of us have experienced the exact problem, perhaps there are others.
Harry Brown <>
N. Muskegon, MI USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 08:42:35 (PDT)
Probably the most thorough and extensive information on any one product.
Andrew Banks <>
Austin, TX USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 20:58:32 (PDT)
i want to edit video and make compu. animation. i want to buy digital camcorder together with video card. what shuld be the comcorder? help. thanks.
alex <>
USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 13:55:49 (PDT)
The question is too general for me to be very helpful, but you might start here: new2video.
USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 14:48:02 (PDT)
I would like to know how to change the flow of the video from Out to In as I would like to record previously made video from a VCR in to my DCR-TRV110 Sony camcorder. Having trouble finding the location of this function in the MENU. Any help would be appreciated.
Jim <>
USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 21:15:16 (PDT)
It is not a menu function. The analog video connections (S-video and composite video) are bidirectional. In VCR mode, just press "record" while feeding in a video signal.
USA - Thursday, July 12, 2001 at 13:55:17 (PDT)
I recently purchased Sony DCR - PC110 camcorder and found that the built in microphone has poor response pick up. I then purchased the recommended ECM HS1 zoom micro hoping that this would result in better sound recording, but sadly I do not see much difference between built in microphone and the zoom microphone. Perhaps someone might have some suggestions. Regards Christopher. P.S Interesting Page.
Christopher Linehan <>
Limerick, Ireland - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 04:11:05 (PDT)
Great Web Site. Learnt a lot. I have 3 questions: 1. I want to buy the memory stick so I can record the stills there and the video on the tape. I am completely confused as to what I need to purchase in order to get things to work. As of now it seems as if I need 3 items: The 64mb memory stick itself. A card adapter to fit it into the camcorder and the third item a Floppy Disc Adapter so I can transfer the images from the stick to my computer. What seemed like $80 turnrd into $250.. Do i need all that? 2. I bought a firewire card and started to download and create short video clips of my son to send to the rest of the family. I am struggling with the fact that the best compression i get in any mode seems to be about 500k / sec which seems much higher than many other quality clips I have seen that were much smaller. What am I doing wrong? Is my software not good enough? 3. Some of the videos I took of my son from the time he was 6 months came out very bad. about a third from the left of the screen going almost from top to bottom there is a bad area where it looks as big squares (kind of like as if the resolution was 20*30 in that are). everything is great now and used tio be before. Can I "fix" that? What caused it and how can I make sure it does not happen again? Thnx a bunch. David R.
David R. <>
San Francisco, CA USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 17:21:22 (PDT)
Hi all, I read the page new2video to learn about the cameras on the market. I'd like to make movies and video clips with my friends for fun. I will use Adobe products for editing everything. With U$ 600 - U$ 1000 dollars, which cameras would you guys recommend to buy? I'm completely new to video. MiniDV format: JVC GR-DVL300 at $570 or the Panasonic PV-DV100 at $630 ? (no analog input though.) MiniDV - Panasonic PV-DV910 Digital 8 models: DCR-TRV103, 110, 310, 510, and DCR-TR7000 2nd generation: TRV120, TRV320, TRV520, TRV525, TRV720, TRV820 3rd generation: early 2001, including the TRV130, TRV230, TRV330 and TRV530, also the GV-D200 Digital8 Digital8 deck, and GV-D800 deck with LCD screen PS: this web page will be the start of my "journey". Thanks a lot John for the info here.
Joao Delinger de Souza <>
Dallas, TX USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 21:17:07 (PDT)
Could you help out a person new to TRV900 use. Having problems with copying still images from mini DV tape using the floppy disk adapter. Also cannot see any images when in memory index. Thanks, Chris
chris <>
new york, ny USA - Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 20:15:43 (PDT)
Dear John; I bought my sony camcorder a couple of years ago and I love it! Only problem is the 64MB memory stick does not work when I put it in the camera?? I went to Sony and got a new Memory stick and when I put the stick in and shoot a still pic the screen flashes ( out of memory) ?? I plan on bringing the camera to sony and see why it only will accept my 4MB Stick only??? Do I need some sort of adapter for the 64MB??? I hear of people on the site referring to card readers & ATA cards ?? I'm not that tech savey but I really want to get the most out of my camera and a 64MB stick can really help me capture more Pics than ever! PLease help me before I send my camera to the big men in blue!\ Thanks ! Robert Z. Oh I also have problems dubbing over sound/ sound editing. when I go to the screen for dubbing over the sound I have trouble doing it eg: putting music over talking. can you give me the correct way to put the music over the pre recorded sound? thanks! RZ
Rob Zerilli <>
Blauvelt, NY USA - Wednesday, July 18, 2001 at 18:43:22 (PDT)
I believe that some of Sony's PCMCIA-adaptor cards for the memory stick do not work with 64MB type sticks. You might check with Sony to see if your specific adaptor supports the memory stick you have. I found the following quote from the Sony FAQ at "NOTE: The MSAC PC1 may not be able to access Memory Stick media 64mb or larger. The MSAC PC2 is needed for large capacity Memory Stick media. "
USA - Wednesday, July 18, 2001 at 19:02:41 (PDT)
Help Wanted by new user of TRV900 # 1106053 ! Need to know if anybody can help with doing a transfer of images from floppy to DV tape. Had trouble with instructions from page #112 of manual. Also could not get any images to appear on LCD when Memory Index was selected. Just got rectangles. Thanx, Bick4d.
C Bick4d <>
new york, ny USA - Thursday, July 19, 2001 at 03:00:13 (PDT)
You will find some comments in my TRV900 FAQ under the heading "Still Photos / How can I play back JPEG files after I modified them on my computer? ". Not all image applications write a JPEG that the TRV900 can read, and none of them I know of, write one that has a "thumbnail" index in a format that the TRV900's index function can see.
USA - Thursday, July 19, 2001 at 11:32:50 (PDT)
This is perhaps the greatest resource for TRV900 camcorder! Thanks so much for info. I have taken many photos using the TRV900 camcorder since I purchased it last year. My photos are posted on my web site. I would like to welcome you and all other viewers visit my photo site at Thanks again, Thomas Locke
Thomas Locke <>
Redwood City, CA USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 14:02:21 (PDT)
Hi, Steve of Steves' digicams has posted samples of the Sony PC110 megapixel stills: It has a Zeiss 10x-zoom which seems to be ok, although Steve does not even state the approximate focal length for each sample. Meanwhile several D8-cameras also offer megapixel stills, but with a "no-name" 18x-zoom. I wonder what the JPEGs at full tele of 850mm 35mm-equvalent will look like. If decent, those camcorders (e.g. TRV 730, 830) would be fantastic tele-cameras, with an aperture of 3, which is tremendous. I wonder whether there are any sample pictures on the net. Heinz
Heinz Mensing <>
Germany - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 18:13:16 (PDT)
After browsing through your site,it is as if 'it's the best since slice bread' - and Man You Are RIGHT!. Fortunately I came across a TRV 900E on an auction site and I bought it for £750 (new is £1500). Can I use this as a web cam?
Sam Raj <>
London, UK - Friday, July 27, 2001 at 08:25:05 (PDT)
Thanks for the great site. I'm impressed by the image quality of the TRV900. An article from Sound and Vision Magazine indicated the lens is from Carl Zeiss. Could anyone confirm this? The url is:,1670,_sl_SoundAndVision_sl_Article_sl_0_cm_1653_cm_155_3392_1_cm_00,00.html under digital camcorder chart. Thanks.
Dave Yung <>
Toronto, Canada - Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 11:57:22 (PDT)
Many of Sony's more recent camcorders have lenses licensed from (although not made by) Karl Zeiss. The TRV900 uses a Sony video lens.
John Beale
USA - Monday, July 30, 2001 at 09:05:58 (PDT)
This is the most thorough and nicely laid out site I think I've ever visited. I wish the world was more like this!
Scott Kane <>
Escondido, CA USA - Tuesday, July 31, 2001 at 21:01:23 (PDT)
John, Can I use my TRV900E as a web cam without keeping the camera in Record mode?
Sam Raj <>
London, UK - Wednesday, August 01, 2001 at 00:52:17 (PDT)
Yes. Check the TRV900 FAQ here:
USA - Wednesday, August 01, 2001 at 15:56:22 (PDT)
I am trying to decide if I should get the TRV-900 or something newer than 1999... is there a camera you can recommend that has features like that of the TRV-900, comparable in price, is as good as for quality, and has come out within the last year? Or is the TRV-900 still the one to buy despite its age? (Or should I just wait for the TRV-1000)? Thanks! Great site!
Mike Konstan <>
Orlando, FL USA - Friday, August 03, 2001 at 06:46:15 (PDT)
The Sony VX2000 is comparable in price to what the Sony TRV900 was, when it was new. The VX2k is a better camera (except being larger it is not as convenient for casual use). Short of that, there isn't anything clearly better, in the price range. The Canon GL1 is good but not to my mind clearly better; has its pluses and minuses.
USA - Friday, August 03, 2001 at 10:00:05 (PDT)
compliments Very good site
Jan Schoen <>
Hoorn, The Netherlands - Saturday, August 04, 2001 at 00:36:07 (PDT)
Hi. I've been puzzled by something and hope you could help. I have a Canon Elura2mc and a PC dv station. Whenever I shoot anything in non-progressive mode, with shutter speed above 1/30 [i.e., non low light condition], the export dv file to pc shows comb like horizontal defect on objects. This is noticeable even on non moving objects. Esp. pronounced on vertical feature objects. When I pan horizontally, the streaking gets worse. Funny thing I cannot see this in the camcorder playback to LCD nor TV, just the avi file I get from exporting through IEEE1394 card. Have you experienced this before?
Wonges <>
Singapore, Singapore - Monday, August 06, 2001 at 03:27:49 (PDT)
Yes, certainly. YOu are seeing both "interlaced" fields at once, because your computer monitor is a progressive-scan display. The interlaced TV does not show it because it displays the two fields at different times, just like the camera recorded them. All interlaced video works this way. You can probably select some option in your software to display only one field, if this bothers you.
USA - Monday, August 06, 2001 at 09:18:51 (PDT)
I have just stumbled on this site and was wondering whether anyone could tell me the visual difference between analogue and digital 3CCD video camera's.?
ian <>
perth western australia, wa Australia - Friday, August 10, 2001 at 21:06:58 (PDT)
Depends what kind of analog camera you mean. Hi8? SVHS? BetacamSP? MiniDV and DVCAM cameras have cleaner playback and more resolution than Hi8 or SVHS, and many say they are similar to Betacam (exept Betacam cameras typically have better lenses, etc. than consumer MiniDV).
John Beale
USA - Saturday, August 11, 2001 at 13:13:17 (PDT)
hello! I have the sony dcr-trv900 and i have a big problem! im editing with adobe premiere not that this is part of the problem. when ever i playback the footage that i shot in 16:9 mode on my tv (not a sony) there are no black bars... just a really streched out image!! it is 16:9 but its not compressed right!! can anyone help me?? thanx so much, matt
andover, ma USA - Saturday, August 11, 2001 at 14:47:23 (PDT)
That's the way the TRV900 16:9 mode works. The output is only 16:9 mode on a true 16:9 monitor, it does NOT ever add the black mask at top and bottom to the analog or firewire video out, or MiniDV recording (even though it does show them in the viewfinder). If you want the letterbox bars, you'll have to add it in Premiere. By the way, the other consumer cameras that offer "16x9" mode work this way too, as far as I know.
USA - Saturday, August 11, 2001 at 18:35:50 (PDT)
I recently purchased a Panasonic DV 951 dv camcorder. The video quality does not compare to the TRV900 that I also own. I bought the DV 951 mainly for taking stills. This is where the DV 951 shines. BTW, If anyone is looking for a used TRV900 with 5 year extended warranty from the GOODGUYS let me know.
Carl <>
LV, NV USA - Monday, August 13, 2001 at 11:21:36 (PDT)
John, I have one question for you and I hope you might have an answer. If i'm filming with my TRV-900 in direct sunlight(or if the sun is remotely in front) I get a GREEN color to all of my footage. You can see it while your filming and in the finished product and it really sucks. Please email me if you have a suggestion or a solution to my problem. thanks, Jeff Marion
Jeff Marion <>
Montgomery, Al USA - Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 01:09:24 (PDT)
Lens flare. In backlit situations, or where there is a strong light source in-frame, stray light from various lens element surfaces causes a greenish tint to the picture. This greenish lens flare is specific to the TRV900. Some particular units are apparently significantly worse than others. Short of exchanging your TRV900, only fix is to avoid backlighting or in-frame lights.
USA - Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 01:17:47 (PDT)
I think I like it! Quality lens and mechanism. But too many little buttonsw which defy quick use when the screen is closed!
Herb Grika <>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 23:28:39 (PDT)
Hi John , i really want to thank you for putting such valuable information about the TRV900 . I'm very new to this camera but doing video (event and cableTV filmworking and postproduction) since 1985 ; when i need to swith from analog to digital found your site and can decide with easy . Now i'm editing 7/week with a TRV900E and two Matrox Rt2000 workstations , my two Panasonic SVHS M9500 camcorders are getting dust in a corner , i never go back to analog again ... Thanks again John , and keep up the good work . (and sorry for the spelling , english is not my main language ;) ). Diego Pantoni
Diego Pantoni <>
Chacabuco, BA Argentina - Monday, August 20, 2001 at 11:13:23 (PDT)
I am currently in the market for buying a TRV900 and a TRV30 and a GVD800 editing unit I am involved in the production of underwater video and need a standalone system to produce videos for divers on the move (I work most days on a dive boat) so everything needs to be battery powered, I planned to use the TRV900 in a housing and use the TRV30 for other shots and as a DV source deck editing onto the D8 deck I need to produce accurately edited final videos to be output to VHS and also eventually archived onto DVD. Time for production is a limiting factor as I need to produce videos in a couple of hours including prefilmed sequences and titles incorporated with footage shot on the day of people diving, I need to hopefully have frame (or very near )editing capabilities would this combination be of use or would I need to get any other (battery powered ) equipment to enable me to do this. I would appreciate anyones comments on this as I need to make a trip to the UK to purchase all of this and need to know exactly what I need this choice of equipment has been made thro extensive trawling of your excellent site and all of its useful links,thank you greatly.
Paul Duxfield <>
Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt - Wednesday, August 22, 2001 at 08:57:47 (PDT)
After spending some time with the Panasonic DV-951, I decided to keep the TRV900 and return the DV-951. The digital stills on the DV-951 were grainy most of the time for some reason. And the video quality on the TRV900 is definetly richer in colors and sharpness. Gotta love Sony.
Carl <>
USA - Wednesday, August 22, 2001 at 13:19:08 (PDT)
Hi, John! Thanks for the hard work in coming up with a truely informative site! But the purpose of my post isn't ALL about brown-nosing: I've got a question to run by you. I've read your statement, in response to someone who was looking into transfering 16:9 video into film, that the TVR 900(and other consumer cams)loses a bit of picture quality in this mode. Why is that? Does that format simply force certain lines of resolution to devote themselves to creating the black bars at the top and bottom of the image -- as opposed to playing a role in forming a picture, like in 4:3? I know that this was the case with some of Sony's (Sony's the only brand I'm familiar with using, so I don't know about the other manufacturers) earlier 8's and Hi8's -- which offered the "theater" mode -- but I thought that their digital cameras that offer the 16:9 mode had solved this. While watching an image recorded in 16:9 by my TRV310 (a dinosaur, I realize -- which is why I accessed your site for TRV900 info!)on a standard TV, the image is "squished" because the image re-configures itself to the frame of the 4:3. ...Now I'm ALL confused! Technology's great, huh? Anyway, any information you could give me is greatly appreciated! Thanks again, John, for your effort and time.
Jeff K. <>
USA - Saturday, August 25, 2001 at 07:02:54 (PDT)
The 16:9 mode fills the DV raster, making it look "squished" in normal playback. The quality problem comes from the fact that the TRV900 does not have true 16:9 aspect CCDs. So, to generate that aspect ratio you must throw away some lines top& bottom from the CCD chips, even though you use the full raster recording it to tape. The cheapest camera with true 16x9 CCDs is around $10,000 (JVC GY-DV700).
John Beale
USA - Saturday, August 25, 2001 at 17:51:27 (PDT)
Thanks for the body of information. You really got me rolling.
Phil Bolin <>
Alexandria, VA USA - Wednesday, August 29, 2001 at 12:20:14 (PDT)
Hi from france !
trance mp3
France - Thursday, August 30, 2001 at 01:15:34 (PDT)
My TRV900 has developed an audible squeak when the record button is pressed. Do you know of an solutions other than a return to Sony?
Harry Brown <>
N. Muskegon, MI USA - Thursday, August 30, 2001 at 09:41:51 (PDT)
Thank you John for having this web site avaiable for TRV900 users. Using this web site help me to narrow down my choice to TRV900. After I got my camera it blew me away by its high quality pictures and videos, it has been a blast. One final note TRV900 only work with compact flash memory, I tried various smart media cards but all I was getting was memory error.
Abraham Bayse <>
Salt Lake City, UT USA - Wednesday, September 05, 2001 at 15:36:37 (PDT)
Hi John, Do you know how much and how long it takes to replace the LCD for dead pixel?
Sean Kim <>
Beaverton, OR USA - Wednesday, September 05, 2001 at 16:58:46 (PDT)
Sony will not replace the LCD screen for dead pixel issues under warranty. I know of no one who has paid for that service themselves, so I don't know how long it would take or how much it would cost. I assume, more that pretty much anyone would want to pay.
USA - Wednesday, September 05, 2001 at 17:43:20 (PDT)
Your web page is tops. Bought a very used and returned trv900 at fry's in portland oregon with 2 year warranty for $1099. they still have one left if any one is interested.
Bob Richards <>
Sweet Home, OR USA - Thursday, September 06, 2001 at 21:18:05 (PDT)
Why the most expensive Sony minidv cameras sucha as the TRV900 do not have a Carl Zeiss lens ?? and who makes the lnes for the TRV900 and is it any better than the Carl Zeiss lens ?? Sony brags about using the Carl Zeiss lens but do not seem to use in their expensive cameras. ??
kal Abdolall <>
USA - Monday, September 10, 2001 at 00:48:46 (PDT)
The Sony TRV900 and VX2000 use a "Sony Video Lens" which I can only assume is made by Sony. The TRV900 lens suffers from flare in backlit situations, but the VX2000 lens seems quite good. As for marketing decisions regarding licensing a Zeiss design, you'll have to ask Sony that.
USA - Monday, September 10, 2001 at 11:55:25 (PDT)
This is such a helpful site. I just purchased a TRV900 from dbuys and am expecting it to arrive within the week. Thank you for taking the time to construct this informative site for everyone. I will pass the word to people on the forum of its existence. :)
Chris Cox <>
Springfield, mo USA - Tuesday, September 11, 2001 at 07:56:32 (PDT)
Hi John, I wonder if You could help me. I bought a Nv-DS99EG and a capture card DRF-A3 with a TI-chip. I got the card installed allright after I got all the IRQ's sorted out, but when I turn on the camera the mouse frezzes and thats it. My system is WIN98 (Original) and I run a HauPauge TV-card which could interfere? Great site! I think I'll be a steady guest. If You have an idea I would appreciate it if You could drop me a mail. Greetings from Germany Louie
Ludwig Kerkhoff <>
Sankt Augustin, Germany - Tuesday, September 11, 2001 at 11:57:31 (PDT)
sorry I can't help, I am not familiar with any of that equipment. Sounds like some kind of hardware conflict, maybe a forum specific to your video capture card could help.
USA - Tuesday, September 11, 2001 at 13:58:58 (PDT)
Hi guys, great stuff! I am looking to purchase a Digital Video to start a new phase in my life of getting into creating adventure docs along with inspirations for my paintings as I am an artist. One of the big things that is a must for my choice is good qual stills so I can publish pictures of my work on my web and produce a high qual catalogue of my works and travels. I'm not sure how serious things are going to get on the photographic side but we also want to film some underwater and surfing actiona so I need to be able to get a good housing. Sound is obviously important for the adventure/nature doc thing so from what I've said what do you recommend. In your opinion, whats the big diff between the VX200, VX900 and the PC110? Excuse my naivety please and keep up the good work.
Michelle Wardley <>
Monkey Mia, WA Australia - Friday, September 14, 2001 at 21:35:33 (PDT)
The three cameras you mention are not in the same category of size, price or image quality. The VX2k has the best image, largest size (by far) and highest price. If you are using it underwater, you may find the underwater housing costs more than the camera, so I'd pay particular attention to the size issue.
USA - Saturday, September 22, 2001 at 11:14:04 (PDT)
At last I've decided on the TRV 900.Now what accessories should I add.Spare battery,Light &ect.?? Great Site. Thanks Walter
Walter <>
Fernandina Bch., Fl USA - Tuesday, September 25, 2001 at 11:50:41 (PDT)
See my "accessories" page for some thoughts. The provided battery is quite minimal, for any serious work you'll want a larger one. I've never owned an on-camera light or found use for one, but it depends on what kind of work you do.
USA - Tuesday, September 25, 2001 at 13:56:01 (PDT)
Just started using the TRV 900 and love it. Quick questions a) do any of you have experience with the Lenmar Mach 1 charger? I like the idea of being able to recharge while using the camera and this one is cheaper and looks better than Sony's. b)recommendation on a reliable tape rewinder also appreciated Thanks. Mark
Mark <>
San Francisco, CA USA - Saturday, September 29, 2001 at 13:58:30 (PDT)
I recently purchased as TRV900 and am trying to use an existing Eagle Tec PCMCIA Smart Card Adapter to capture still pics. While this adapter and smart card works great in my laptop, it will not function in the TRV900. It will not recognize the card and will not allow it to be formated. Any idea how to overcome this problem. I thought all PCMCIA adapters that fit the camera and will record JPG images would work.....??? Thanks
John <>
Harrisburg, PA USA - Tuesday, October 02, 2001 at 10:50:30 (PDT)
I'm not sure what a "smart card" is exactly. I do know that "compact flash" cards in a Type II PCMCIA adaptor will work, as do full-sized PCMCIA flash cards (much less commonly available) and Sony memory sticks in a PCMCIA adaptor. Anything else probably doesn't work.
USA - Tuesday, October 02, 2001 at 11:06:22 (PDT)
John, Many thanks for hosting your site. It was immensely helpful in learning about my TRV900. I would like to contribute an application for the camera that I haven't seen posted. I give classes to small groups. Most of the organizations that sposor the classes do not have computer projection equipment and I don't feel like laying out $2000 or so for a projector. So I have been stuck with making overhead projector slides, which are fairly expensive and not very satisfactory. I have found that my TRV900's memory mode driving a TV monitor or display is a good substitute for a computer projector. It has the additional advantantage that I can intersperse high quality video clips without needing a second set of equipment. The current procedure consists of making images on my computer, transferring them to Premiere, transferring them to the TRV900 tape and then moving them to memory. This is fairly complex. In principle one can transfer images directly to a floppy for use in the camera, but then there is no index. Do you know of any way to supply an index for such computer originated images? Thanks again.
Robert Bercaw <>
Rocky River, OH USA - Saturday, October 06, 2001 at 14:42:10 (PDT)
If you use a memory stick, or compact or standard flash card along with a card reader for your PC you can write the JPEG files directly to the memory media without the tape intermediate step, would be a LOT faster. I do not know of any application to write the index prints on the JPEG, although you could make one image which is itself an index, using eg. ThumbsPlus (
USA - Sunday, October 07, 2001 at 13:05:30 (PDT)
John excellent site! I am investigating the trv900 and am finding incredible prices for it. Are the lens by Carl Weiss? If not, what is so significant about the Carl Weiss lens that people seem to be so interested in?
Patrick Lacson <>
Santa Clara, CA USA - Monday, October 08, 2001 at 18:08:49 (PDT)
The TRV900 and VX2000 use a Sony Video Lens (not Karl Zeiss). Sony's cheaper cameras do have the Zeiss lens; I'm not privy to Sony's rationale for this. Zeiss lenses have an excellent reputation, but very often it is the CCD which is most limiting for image quality.
USA - Tuesday, October 09, 2001 at 11:09:21 (PDT)
John, Thanks for your monumental website effort.I am definitely buying a TRV900 today outdated or not! My question...a close friend is planning to buy a Canon Optura 100MC tomorrow at the same price as the TRV900 for use to video indoor judo matches and instruction.He feels this is newer tech even though 1CCD.What's your advice here?
Timothy Ryan <>
Fair Oaks, Ca USA - Tuesday, October 09, 2001 at 12:35:42 (PDT)
Sorry, I'm not familiar with the Optura 100MC so I can't comment. The TRV900 is known to be a good camera though.
USA - Wednesday, October 10, 2001 at 13:23:57 (PDT)
Thanks for answering my question and correcting me (Karl Zeiss not Carl Weiss) ;-) For those interested I just bought my trv900 at for $1250 total. I can't wait to play with it and try some of John's tips and tricks.
Patrick Lacson <>
Santa Clara, CA USA - Tuesday, October 09, 2001 at 12:47:56 (PDT)
Best of luck with your purchase. Please let me know if you are satisfied with it. If the comments I have heard about Broadway Photo are correct you may want to keep your fingers crossed.
USA - Tuesday, October 09, 2001 at 19:27:13 (PDT)
John, Thanks for your quick reply.I told my friend to purchase a Canon Optura100MC just so we could have academic fun comparing results.By the way both Patrick and I (we don't know each other)ordered from BroadwayPhoto on the same day,so you'll get a double response on their performance. tim
Timothy Ryan <>
Fair Oaks, Ca USA - Wednesday, October 10, 2001 at 15:32:39 (PDT)
John, Great site. You must spend a lot of time at this. I'm about to buy a Sony mini-dv. I've been amazed at the price I've seen TRV900s offered at. I've seen this camera offered for as low as $1199 on It makes me a bit skeptical. Where can I get the best, reliable deal? Any suggestions. I'll check back to see what kind of service your last two guests receive at How soon do you think this technology will be replaced for the same price? Since this is an older camera, should I buy a newer model? Well, thanks for sharing your hard work.
Chris keller <>
Provo, UT USA - Wednesday, October 10, 2001 at 18:19:39 (PDT)
You know the old saying, "if it looks too good to be true...". CCI Camera is notorious, I have several stories on my "letters" page about them and there are many more at the reseller ratings site. It's your choice but know what you're getting into. Re new vs. old technology, all I know's on my page. I haven't checked out the very latest gear myself.
USA - Wednesday, October 10, 2001 at 18:23:13 (PDT)
Did you say to keep my fingers crossed with Broadway Photo? What exactly have you heard about them?
Patrick Lacson <>
USA - Thursday, October 11, 2001 at 00:33:41 (PDT)
find them on and click "view customer comments". As I mention in my FAQ, I suggest you research any company you plan to order from, with ratings sites it's easy.
USA - Thursday, October 11, 2001 at 10:31:27 (PDT)
Read BroadwayPhoto ratings...scary stuff...phoned immediately and cancelled order.Thank you John.This time I am looking for reputable dealer,any advice? By the way,BroadwayPhoto admitted their TRV900 was grey market and they said that of course they have product for American market at different price than internet store.
Timothy Ryan <>
USA - Thursday, October 11, 2001 at 12:13:22 (PDT)
That's my most frequently asked question :-). My preferred vendors are listed in the first paragraph of my TRV900 FAQ
USA - Thursday, October 11, 2001 at 12:19:39 (PDT)
Partly as a consequence of scanning the exhaustive info on your site, I bought the TRV900 a few months ago, and therefore, unlike with most electronic purchases, I was not disappointed. I recently attempted to reconfigure the camera's programming to use it as an analog-to-digital converter, so that I could bring older analog recordings into my computer for further processing. I found the info on your page ( and the link to Martin Smola's pages ( helpful. I pursued their suggestions (built the kluge Lanc cable, scrambled the 900's brains), and found myself delighted with the results. Unfortunately, when I powered down the camera after my conversions session, I found that it was totally locked up; wouldn't operate or even turn on under any circumstances. Sony wanted to charge me $238.50 to service it UNDER WARRANTY, it being 1 month older than their 90-day warranty labor coverage. Then I remembered that Mr. Smola mentioned (in his inimitable Czech-English) something about an "emergency" program he had written - I downloaded it and IT WORKED! Allowed me to restore the camera to original settings - it somehow fools the camera into staying on long enough to access the memory settings and reverse whatever programming you had wrought. I can now go back and forth between digital-in and analog-in without fear, enabling it to perform such an obvious task as A/D conversion that every other Mini-DV camera they're making now has as an advertised feature. Thanks again for your extraordinary site.
Peter Vidor <>
USA - Friday, October 19, 2001 at 08:32:09 (PDT)
John,to bring you up to date on BroadwayPhoto ...both Patrick and I canceled our orders. I reordered a TRV900 from Video Direct and Patrick purchased a TRV30 from CircuitCity.I'll keep in touch.
Timothy Ryan <>
Fair Oaks, Ca USA - Thursday, October 25, 2001 at 08:33:49 (PDT)
Hi John, absolutly tariffic all the information you put together about the TRV 900. Thank´s a lot. For sure I will come many times to visit you. I work very sucessfull with my TRV 9OO. I make lowbudged movies in the manner of the filmguerilla. Every week I am on air on the Open TV -Channel Offenbach / Frankfurt - Germany. There are other guys to,o who work with the 9OO. The respons from the viewers shows that the result of this cameras give a pretty good expressions. I am happy to take part by this revolution to write new film history. Till now I gave some good exemples what is possible with this tiny camera to make great movieentertainment. With the great helpfull information of your side I can only become better. Go on, I wish you always a good time and a great thank you to you and your folks. Uwe Kampmann
Uwe Kampmann <>
Offenbach - Boomtown, Germany - Thursday, October 25, 2001 at 10:42:00 (PDT)
Brilliant. This site is a wonderful resource. Do you think Sony Corp. knows of your efforts. I imagine that they would be quite impressed and flattered. I have just purchased a used TRV900. I have a TRV9, but I do experimental video art, so the lack of manual White Bal. and Shutter speed, not to mention the paltry one CCD, leaves something to be desired. I hope to learn more as I mature with this amazing camera. Your website is an invaluable resource. I thank you. Regards, Incite:Insight
SF, CA USA - Saturday, October 27, 2001 at 13:13:45 (PDT)
Hi! Your site is very good! I have a request though. Please do Not recommend Camera City or even mention them for your readers protection. These people are criminals. I am soooo sorry I saw there site name on your site. I am currently in the process of legal action against them. They use slick tactics to relieve people of there money. To long of a story to type. Just beware!
Keith Thomas <>
Naples, FL USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 09:45:52 (PST)
I have learned so much about my camera from your info. It also helped me purchase my TRV900 almost a year by reading your site before first. Now a question: i came across this on eBay: "Steadicam / Glidecam Plans! Why Spend $100's or even $1000's -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Build your own using our plans, and under $30 in materials! Design Plans, and step by step procedure for using materials you can find at Home Depot, to build your own steadicam / glidecam device, for your camcorder. Shoot steady video shots, even while you are on the move! These plans will allow you to build a stabilizer like the Glidecame 2000 / 4000 models. We are not including any images of the device because that would give away the design. Using materials that will cost you under $30 at most hardware stores, you can build your very own stabilizing device. This is not a brace.. let's face it, those can't give you nice stable shots while walking up stairs. Why spend $500 - $1000 on a Steadicam or a Glidecam, when this device will work with cameras weighing 15lbs and below.... " ... and i wondered if you knew how to do this, or how to find out how to do this. i would love to figure out how to build my own stabilizing device to "float" my pictures. Any suggestions? Thanks again.... peter, a "prosumer" and a fan
Peter <>
los angeles, ca USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 22:19:07 (PST)
There are several websites with stabilizer plans available for free... including mine. Look at my main page under "Projects".
USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 09:57:36 (PST)
I was just in south africa visiting from the states I borrowed a camcorder from my friend there and when we got back we found it would not play, what can I do to get this tape to a v.c.r. format? Thank you. please e-mail me a Thanks again.
Jack Locke <>
troy, mo USA - Sunday, November 04, 2001 at 16:15:48 (PST)
Most likely your tape is in PAL format. Look in your local yellow pages under "Video Duplication" or "Video transfer services" to find a place that does PAL/NTSC conversions, so you can have them make a NTSC copy you can play in your VCR.
USA - Sunday, November 04, 2001 at 22:22:52 (PST)
John, nice to see a detailed site for a piece of kit I've come to love. Have one problem you may be able to help with. I've got i-Pinnicle DV Studio software, and a 1394 PCI host firewire card but the computer refuses to recognise the camera when I try to capture the video. Any suggestions? Am I missing some software for my 900E? Help I'm frustrated - it's the first thing I've not managed to do with the camera. Thanks DM
Dave Medcalf <>
Aylesbury, Bucks UK - Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 11:49:39 (PST)
I'm not familiar with the Pinnacle software or your firewire card, but the TRV900 should work like any other DV camera as far as the firewire interface goes. Maybe you can find a Pinnacle user forum online which could offer more assistance.
USA - Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 12:05:44 (PST)
John, I've had my TRV900(VideoDirect-$1529) for about a week now...also purchased the 960 battery and 4 yr extended warranty.Could not be more pleased!!! My friend bought a Canon Optura 100MC at the same time and it seems pretty puny.I am anxious to compare the images although I think I know what the result will be.Just keeping in touch and very thankful for your efforts. tim
Timothy Ryan <>
Fair Oaks, Ca USA - Wednesday, November 07, 2001 at 08:47:01 (PST)
I have used the TRV900 for about 15 months and I love it. I use it exclusively for still photos and have over 4000 on a high school sports web site. However, I am actually a novice at the best settings to use and, even though I am pleased with my current results, I may not be getting the most out of what the camera has to offer. I keep it set in the Sports mode and move it occasionally to AEA for closeups, etc. Would anyone have an idea what the optimum settings for sports action photos would be, some being outdoors and some indoors, without a flash? The photos I have taken, by the way, are at in the Photo Gallery.
Jim Thompson <>
Lawrenceburg, TN USA - Sunday, November 11, 2001 at 08:22:27 (PST)
Hi, John, What is your comment about the quality of video for TRV-900 when compared with the newest single CCD DV camera like PC110 or PC120 ? Anyone has performed a comparison ?
Wilson <>
USA - Friday, November 16, 2001 at 10:51:54 (PST)
I had a chance to use a PC110 very briefly one evening, see my low light comparison here. Beyond that I haven't used it. I believe the TRV900 is still a better camera in most conditions, but haven't done extensive tests.
USA - Friday, November 16, 2001 at 11:19:19 (PST)
Dear John, HELP! I have bougt a sony trv890 in 1999. Because it was $750,- less expensive than a TRV900. I am trying to make a living in fine arts for some years which is the reason why i have spend all my savings to this camera. When I bought it the reseller told me it was a good deal because a widget would enable the dv/in functions that the 900 had and would be about $200 extra. At that time I could not spend another $200, how silly it may sound. Bud last week I bought the widget. A DVmax it's called. The type of camera is being mentioned without reserve to be able to be enabled for dv-in. The DV-max is supposed to start blinking for 50 sec. and than you have to press a button. But after 20 sec of blinking the light stopped. Not doing anything to my camera. So the camera is still fine but the widget doesn't work. The reseller won't take it back. So I have spend a lot of money for nothing it seems. Now my question is: What other possibilities do I have to enable dv-in. How big is the risk of damaging the camera. I followed the manual very secure. Are there any other ways to get computerfilm out of premiere 5.1 to a vcr-tape? I have to do this to send in work for an assignement, and i need the money from the assignment. Please help, I'm desperate. and very, very disappointed in my camera, which of course is injust, but I really want to throw the thing to the wall. Costing me so much money, stressing me out completely. I hope you can help, thanks again. Greetz Coen
Coen <>
holland - Sunday, November 25, 2001 at 01:38:21 (PST)
I am not familiar with the DV-In Widget, because the TRV890 is not sold in the USA. However try asking this question on the TRV900 mailing list, there are many European camera users there.
USA - Sunday, November 25, 2001 at 22:16:33 (PST)
Hi Jhon, I would like to ask you the following: I am using a sony TRV 900 Pal. I would like to use my camera to record in a mDV from another mDV Sony Camera using the fire wire. The problem is that the other camera is NTSC. So I want to conect both cameras with the cable and record in my Pal camera a NTSC tape played in a NTSC camera. Is that possible. The reason I am asking that is that I remember that in the menu I have a NTSC set. I don't know if works just for seeing NTSC tapes or if we also allow me to record a NTSC tape played in another camera. Thank you very much for your help, Manu
Manu Esteve <>
Seattle, WA USA - Monday, November 26, 2001 at 22:13:28 (PST)
My information is that the TRV900E (PAL model) will record and play back an NTSC signal over firewire with no trouble. The menu selection refers to playback (analog output). See also my TRV900 FAQ under "PAL vs NTSC".
USA - Tuesday, November 27, 2001 at 10:14:32 (PST)
Thank you so much for such useful information. I'm wanted to buy my son a good digital camcorder for Christmas this year -- he's a Sophmore in college with a Film major. I don't know JACK about camcorders -- but thank goodness you do! I'll let you know how he reacts!
Twyla <>
Walnut Creek, CA USA - Monday, December 17, 2001 at 05:11:58 (GMT)
I've been waiting for new 3ccd for a long time. But I finally purchased trv900 at Good Guys for $1699 last week.I figured that new camcorder will be more expensive and I think trv900 will do what I want. The picture looks fantastic and it's even smaller than my hi-8. I order memory stick and adaptor. Does memory stick much slower than flash card?
Sean Kim <>
Portland, OR USA - Monday, December 17, 2001 at 20:10:30 (GMT)
John, Isn’t the Internet great! I was searching net for some help/information on how to get my Sony TRV20 digital tapes to DVD format, and I found you. My plans were to convert them so I could view with DVD player at the TV. Not only will DVD discs last practically forever, it will not put the ware and tear on the camcorder. Also, you have all the benefits using a DVD player such as searching, skipping, replay, playing on another DVD player at a different location, inc. I was getting ready to drop $500 on a DVD-RW thinking it would be almost as easy as taking the camcorder info, dumping it on the computer, then on to the DVD. Now that I have read about all the time spent and problems you had with you conversion, I am not so sure it will be worth it. I wasn’t planning on doing any extravagant modifications, maybe adding some titles (for right now). I mostly would be doing identical copying with no modification. Do you think it would be worth the time? Are there any programs that would simplify the process? Thanks for the help. Bryan.
Bryan Davis <,>
Cleveland, TN USA - Tuesday, December 18, 2001 at 05:33:13 (GMT)
The main bottleneck is software, and I'm sure it is improving rapidly. As of a few months ago there wasn't any easy way that also preserved good quality. The studio-released commercial DVDs have huge amounts of effort put into the authoring process, and the simple programs to make DVDs on the consumer level give you poor performance in my opinion, noticibly worse than the original DV quality.
USA - Tuesday, December 18, 2001 at 19:19:01 (GMT)
Hi, John, Something that I still not quite understand is the "Gain Shift - 0 or -3 dB". What exactly does it mean and what is the difference between the 2 choices should I expect for the video ? How about VX2000 then, the choices are 6, 12 & OFF ( for automatic gain limit ) ?
Wilson <>
Seattle, WS USA - Friday, December 21, 2001 at 03:03:02 (GMT)
hi. wonderful site. i get a trv330 camcorder with the idea to connect with an Imac, but i can«t get the images on my computer. i wonder if you have the answer why the iMac can«t read the memory stick 4k. please can you help me thanks in advance pez
pedropez <>
santa cruz, aragua venezuela - Sunday, December 23, 2001 at 03:05:39 (GMT)
Does anyone know of a place to buy a PAL version of the Sony TRV17 or TRV900 at a reasonable price. In Europe we seem to pay between 70% and 100% more for the same equipment as is advertised by numerous U.S. vendors on the web. The only problem for me is that the U.S. models are NTSC, and I require a PAL version to play tapes on local tv. Has anyone any suggestions? I really hate being ripped off.
Micheal <>
Ireland - Monday, December 24, 2001 at 18:44:51 (GMT)
A fantastic DV resource. I am looking to upgrade from amateur home video on TRV-110 to semi pro weddings & documentary. VX-2000 and good mics are the way to go but cam has been around for 18 months and I suspect due for model change. Any ideas on whether to wait for new model or jump in now?
Ray <>
Sydney, NSW Australia - Thursday, December 27, 2001 at 22:04:54 (GMT)
Hi, i would like to buy the new Handy Model name is TVR900 from USA only since it is some what friend is in usa so o would like to buy throgh him,and like to send me that thro Air parsal,so is it feasible and safe.second question is what about taxation.since i'm from india and i'll be in germany for 6months more. so please guide me for above
shashikant kale <>
Riem, munich Germany - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 15:48:34 (GMT)

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