Cheap DVD-based camcorder
- For $499, it's a bit of a bargain
- Below average video performance, occasional audio issues, poor stills mode, lacking in additional features
The DCR-DVD610 is far from great, but at this price it's kind of hard to go wrong. If you want a DVD camcorder that will do the basics and would prefer to spend as little as possible, it will get the job done.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
The Sony DCR-DVD610 is an entry-level, standard-definition DVD camcorder aimed at the 'casual' demographic (i.e., undemanding customers). What it lacks in features and image quality it makes up for in price: a cool $499. While the super-low price point is bound to attract some, most users will be better off reaching deeper into their pockets for something a little more advanced. Nevertheless, it should prove satisfactory for the occasional no-frills home video.
The main advantage offered by DVD camcorders is that you can pop your recordings straight into a DVD player without mucking around with computers or cables first. This makes them ideal for casual shooters and older or younger users who might not feel comfortable with the editing process. Unfortunately, the Sony DCR-DVD610 leaves a lot to be desired in other areas: apart from the affordable price, convenience is one of its few strengths.
As its name suggests, the DCR-DVD610 is a downgraded version of the DCR-DVD810, which retails for $200 more. However, a lot has been stripped away from this model to achieve the lower price-point. In addition to ditching the DVD810's 8GB of internal flash memory, the DCR-DVD610 also suffers from cheaper components. Its smaller 1/8in CCD sensor has an effective pixel count of just 800k (compared to the DVD810's 1.07 megapixels). Subsequently, its image capabilities are decidedly under par, especially when it comes to still pictures (in this area, the DCR-DVD810 has roughly three times the resolution). It also lacks an active interface accessory shoe, and has an inferior 2ch inbuilt microphone. On the plus side, the DCR-DVD610 does benefit from a powerful 45x optical zoom, which is bound to frequently come in handy.
Both cameras look virtually identical to one another, sporting the same dimensions and black-and-silver aesthetic. Measuring 55x89x130mm and weighing under 500g, DCR-DVD610 fits comfortably in the hand without feeling too flimsy. The camera's electronic stabiliser does a good job of recording smooth, shake-free video, though you'll naturally need a tripod when using the higher zoom magnifications. Rather coolly, Sony has seen fit to include a traditional viewfinder on this model, which allows you to close the 2.7in LCD display and save on batteries. (Unfortunately, it can't be swivelled up or down, which limits you to front-on shooting.)
As you'd expect, video quality is not a strong point with this camera, with the inadequacies of the single CCD sensor readily becoming apparent. Naturally, the low-grade sensor struggled particularly in dim lighting, returning poorly coloured, noise-filled results. The average user should be able to live with these shortcomings, however, as they won't be attempting to capture award-winning video. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the camera's still picture capabilities, which are woefully poor. At 0.3-megapixels, its output is barely worth posting on Facebook.
Like its DVD810 sibling, the DVD610 includes a memory card slot for Sony's proprietary Memory Stick format. A 4GB Memory Stick can store 58 minutes of video at the highest quality setting. Conveniently, you can also transfer footage from Memory Stick directly to DVD in-camera.
As mentioned, the DCR-DVD610 lacks an external microphone jack or accessory shoe, which means you need to make do with the included 2ch zoom microphone. This is another major stumbling block with this camera: the microphone gave a below average performance in noisy environments, and we occasionally heard mechanical whirs and buzzes in our audio.
While it lacks many modes and features found on other Sony handycams, the DVD610 still benefits from some user-friendly features. These include Face Index (which detects human faces in your footage and presents them as thumbnails for playback convenience), Easy mode (which adjusts all camera settings for you) and added software support for quick, hassle-free YouTube uploads.
The DVD610 is compatible with all standard 8cm discs, including DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD+R DL. Recording times range from 20 to 325 minutes, depending on the video quality and type of disc used.
Join the newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Apple iMac Pro
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Sport AT
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Toys for Boys
ESET Smart Security Premium
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET Internet Security
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Tivoli PAL BT
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 3 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 4 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 5 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
Latest News Articles
- Arlo announces 4K HDR wire-free security camera system
- Navman introduces the MiVUE dash cam
- Uniden adds Artificial Intelligence functionality to Wired surveillance range
- Logitech announces Logitech Rally
- Swann launches new wireless camera with Alexa integration
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?