- Decent quality, good battery life
- Optical zoom could be larger
Feature packed and with decent quality, the DCR-DVD805 is a good buy
Price$ 1,499.00 (AUD)
Sitting roughly in the middle of Sony's new lineup of DVD camcorders is the DCR-DVD805. At the consumer level, the difference in quality between Mini DV and DVD cameras is now slim enough to make DVD models a consideration. If you can afford the extra cost and can sacrifice on image quality, we thoroughly recommend DVD cameras over Mini DV. Mini DV frankly cannot compete with the simplicity of DVD.
The DCR-DVD805, like every other Sony camcorder we have tested, is of very good build quality. Finished in an attractive silver/grey combination the DCR-DVD805 is a world away from such tacky eyesores as Samsung's VP-D3521. Like most of Sony's new breed of camcorders the DCR-DVD805 has a touch screen LCD, which apart from making the camera an awful lot easier to use, means that the usual plethora of buttons can be cleared away into the on-screen menu. An LCD viewfinder is also provided, which conveniently flips up when required. Despite the inclusion of a larger than average battery, Sony have managed to tuck it unobtrusively away into the chassis. The camera is generally comfortable to hold with all the buttons placed intuitively. One minor annoyance is the camera's slightly bulky frame. When this is combined with its weight of 510g the DCR-DVD805 isn't as portable as some other cameras we have seen.
Using the Camera
Sony has implemented a new on-screen menu for this latest wave of cameras, which we felt was actually more of a hindrance than a help. A bizarre multi level interface with scrolling wheels, numerous pages of buttons and quasi-3D graphics left us dizzy and confused. Why everything couldn't have been in the same format is beyond us. As nice as the touch screen LCD is, we found the poor layout of the settings negates the advantages such a system provides. Thankfully, for users who don't care about accessing advanced functionality, Sony has included an "easy" setting. This removes all the complex options, enlarges the size of the on screen icons (as obviously if you're a simpleton you also have poor eyesight) and fixes all the settings to default. The LCD itself is of a good quality and while not as big as on some of Sony's other cameras, performs well even in direct sunlight.
As well as offering video the DCR-DVD805 also boasts still image capture. Photos can be taken at up to 3 megapixel size, and either stored on the DVD itself or copied to the Memory Stick Duo slot. The camera has a built in flash and offers several customization options. The quality of the pictures is a little disappointing however, with over-saturation and poor colour reproduction. That said, it would be good enough for a few holiday snapshots. When actually shooting video we recommend using the highest quality settings, which will provide about 40 minutes of capture on a double-sided DVD. We found the camera's battery life will last long enough to shoot two of these discs. The quality of the video is fairly good, if a little grainy in low light. This is especially noticeable when using the night shot mode, though considering the power of the infrared transmitters on camcorders, this is only to be expected. We were disappointed with the camera's zoom power. At only 10x optical zoom the DCR-DVD805 falls well behind the abilities of many other camcorders.
Sony has included a couple of nice extras on the camera. One of these is a four-way microphone, allowing for the encoding of Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. The second is an Active Interface Shoe, to which wireless microphones and high powered lights can be attached. When you've finally finished shooting video the camera can prepare the disc for use in a DVD player. Like most DVD cameras, the DCR-DVD805 offers the ability to prepare an on-screen chapter menu to make selecting video clips all the more easy. Photos are collated into a slide show.
Overall, the DCR-DVD805 is represents a good purchase for budding home video enthusiasts. It's not really a budget purchase, but the simplicity of DVD and the camera's decent picture quality make up for the initial outlay.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro finally adds 4K video support for local files
- HBO brought its best shows to life at SXSW with an awesome escape room
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTSenior Automation Test AnalystNSW
- FTSalesforce Senior Developer | Solution DesignerQLD
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistVIC
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTHyperion SpecialistNSW
- FTEDRMS Officers roles - APS3/APS4/AP6ACT
- FTAgile CoachACT
- CCChange AnalystQLD
- CCSolution Designer (Teradata) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTField Deployment EngineerNSW
- FTInfrastructure Analyst - Storage & Backup SystemsNSW
- CCChange LeadNSW
- FTService Desk OperatorsSA
- CCSenior Network Architect l CCIE R&S l Cisco ACINSW
- FTSenior Oracle DeveloperVIC
- CCDomino SpecialistVIC
- CCChange AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Project Manager - Applications - Data ReportingNSW
- FTSQL Server DBA- 2016 RDBMS, SSIS, SRS, Certified DBANSW
- FTField Hardware Deployment EngineerNSW
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- FTSenior Web DeveloperVIC
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW