Brought to you by Norton Symantec
- Good quality video, Huge LCD
- Bulky, Colour reproduction, Still images only average, Lack of manual controls
The good quality video and huge LCD are countered by the lack of manual options on this DVD camcorder.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
As the top of the range DVD camcorder in Sony's lineup, the DCR-DVD905 is a predictably good performer. With excellent video quality for a DVD model, a larger than average LCD screen and convenient operating use, the package is a good bet for the amateur user who doesn't want to sacrifice quality. The lack of manual options though will deter more advanced directors.
As an advanced camcorder it comes as no surprise to find the DVD905 is big and bulky. Weighing in at over half a kilo and with a fairly large frame, this isn't the kind of camera that can be conveniently tucked into a coat pocket. The upside of having a large camcorder is the extra room afforded for the screen. Sony has included a large 3.5in LCD display, which provides roughly 75 percent more space than a regular 2.7in screen. This makes a huge difference when focusing on fine details or when using some of the more complex manual options, such as spot focusing. Like all Sony camcorders the LCD is touch sensitive, which we find useful. This also means there aren't so many buttons cluttering up the camera's body.
We were a little perplexed when we had a detailed look at exactly which manual options were on offer with the DVD905; although there are some nice inclusions there are also some glaring omissions. For a start there was the unusual but welcome inclusion of spot metering and focusing, allowing more accurate lighting and improved sharpness in video footage. There's also a great option which allows for slow motion video capture. This basically takes three seconds of footage at an incredibly high frame rate, and then plays it back more slowly over a 12 second period. Sony suggests this is useful for golfers who want to improve their swing, but it has useful applications for any high-speed motion capture.
As with any respectable camcorder the ability to change white balance, use manual focus and alter exposure are included. What is missing is the aperture, gain or shutter controls. We can't say this surprises us, as Sony very rarely include these options on their consumer level cameras, but nonetheless for an expensive model to ship without them is disappointing. Another omission is the lack of a microphone jack. Nothing unusual here, but this kind of detail is sorely missed by anyone wanting to better control the sound input. Sony does provide microphone connectivity through the Active Interface jack atop the camera, but the choice of microphone is limited to proprietary Sony products. That said, the inbuilt microphone is generally acceptable, and even provides 5.1 sound output, though this isn't terribly effective. The 10x optical zoom is about standard for this kind of camera, and was certainly zippy when zooming in and out. Sony's image stabilisation is usually top notch, and we had no problems with the DVD905 in this regard.
Where the DVD905 really shone was in the quality of its video. We're used to seeing DVD camcorders that produce grainy footage marred with compression artefacts. With the DVD905 we were hard pressed to see any signs of image degradation, especially in good lighting conditions. The tell-tale signs of MPEG2 compression were still evident on rapidly moving objects, however, with some noticeable ghosting. For the most part though, things were pretty good with a sharp picture and smooth video. Exposure and saturation seemed almost spot on, though bright colours were a little off. The DVD905 also gave an excellent performance under low light conditions, a rarity for DVD camcorders, with little sign of the speckling we frequently see. There's no video light, but should you wish to take stills there is a flash. Sony's ever-present Nightshot returns, and while it's certainly effective in complete darkness, everything turns out green.
Still pictures weren't quite of the same quality of the video. The four megapixel interpolated images generally looked decent, although we weren't particularly impressed by the sharpness or colour balance. We really missed the lack of manual options here. The pictures looked good enough on a computer screen and would probably do for a 6x4in print, though the DVD905 is no replacement for a dedicated digital camera.
Overall, the DVD905 is good for a DVD camcorder. Video quality is certainly far better than average and we really liked the huge screen. It's a shame the still images weren't up to scratch, but ultimately it's the lack of manual options that we found to the greatest limitation.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Netgear recall Arlo power adapters
- Canon Strengthens 2:3” Broadcast Lens Range
- Canon Introduces Cinema EOS C700 FF Camera and More
- Netgear Launches the Arlo Go LTE Wire-Free Camera on Telstra’s Mobile Network
- D-Link Wins Prestigious iF Design Award 2018
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- Netgear Arlo Go review: An expensive but comprehensive home security solution
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus M review: Leaner and meaner
- Frostpunk review: A richly conceived and vividly realised city sim
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies