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-   -   Is this a dead camera? Sony DCR-TRV33 (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-trv950-pdx10-companion/142215-dead-camera-sony-dcr-trv33.html)

Matt Clem January 23rd, 2009 12:33 PM

Is this a dead camera? Sony DCR-TRV33
My camera has served me well for years (just to get that out of the way).

Last week I was shooting and I saw greatly reduced color depth (almost balck & white) thru the view-finder & on the monitor. I turned the camera off, ejected the tape, snapped it in again and all was right with the world.

The next day color was gone again, but this time it wouldn't come back. There was also a bright shadow wisping to the right of bright objects.

Now the bright shadow that eminates from bright objects goes all the way across the screen.

I loaded a shot avi on YouTube-
YouTube - Test1 2009 01 22 23 04 38
-that I recorded direct to the computer via firewire.

Any thoughts? Is it time to go shopping? Thanks for your help...


Colin McDonald January 23rd, 2009 01:20 PM

I have no idea what is wrong with your camera.

You MIGHT be able to get it fixed, but it could easily cost the price of a better camera, and then you wouldn't know how long it would be before something else went wrong.

While your TRV33 kept on going and you were happy with it, I would have said "stick with it", but now there's an easy answer to your question "Is it time to go shopping?"

I sympathise - I recently lost a dearly beloved TRV25E. Sometimes, as I run laughing gaily through the woods with my Canon HV30, I remember all those good times with the Sony, but life goes on.

If you still want to stick with tape (like me), then now is a good time to buy while there is a good range of gear still available. You can always plug in an Hard Disc recorder to the FireWire output (I have a Firestore). Sony still make great cameras but I went with Canon.

Oh, and there's this HD thing...

Matt Clem January 23rd, 2009 06:28 PM

Thanks for the kind words Colin. They help in times like these...

OK, I gotta ask (just before I start digging thru the archives here); Why did you stick with tape? I (as a very analog guy) have wondered if recording to hard disk or flash memory might be an advantage... Tape is (and has been) a hassle, is it better?


Bill Koehler January 24th, 2009 01:41 AM

Watched the video, Matt. Ouch.
Hate to bear bad news, but I think the TRV-33 is about done.
Given its age, it would likely cost far more to fix than replace it, assuming they can still get parts.
I have a TRV-320, for what that's worth. It still works :-)

What I've updated to is the miniDV tape based Sony HDR-HC9.
I went with it because I wanted something that I could:
1. Plug a LANC zoom+focus controller into (2.5mm stereo minijack)
2. Could plug a microphone, RODE Stereo Video Mic, into. (3.5mm stereo minjack)
3. Could plug headphones into (3.5mm stereo minijack)
4. With all that plugged in I could still get an A/V signal out for an external monitor.
5. Had a viewfinder in addition to the LCD screen.

Just about everything else:
1. No LANC controller support, or they changed the physical plugin connection.
2. Frequently the external microphone plugin will be manufacturer proprietary.
3. Frequently the viewfinder has been eliminated.

The advantage of a flash or hard drive based camcorder is:
1. Breaking free of the 60 minute time limit imposed by a tape cartridge.
2. Far faster speed of loading footage into the computer.

The advantage of a hard drive over flash is greater capacity.
The advantage of flash over a hard drive is no moving parts, insensitivity to shock and altitude. Hard drives don't like being over ~9,000 feet MSL for instance.

The advantage of tape over flash or hard drive is you slide that write protect tab, put it back in its case, label it, put it on a shelf, and there's your archive.

I most frequently shoot events from a fixed, tripod mounted, interior location, capturing direct to my laptop computer.
The laptop frees me from the 60 minute limit of a tape.
In fact, I almost never actually have a tape in the camcorder.
And I archive the footage to an external USB hard drive.

Your needs are likely different from mine.
What do you need?

Colin McDonald January 24th, 2009 04:33 AM

I stuck with tape, or rather, the option to record to tape, mainly for archiving (at work everything filmed is kept forever), but I sometimes record straight to laptop, DVD recorder or Firestore instead of (or as well) as tape.

Personally, I'm not quite sold on cards yet. They seem relatively expensive, and constantly having to clear footage off them seems a bit of a chore. I can film something on tape and then go straight on to the next project and catch up when I have time.

Matt Clem January 24th, 2009 08:15 AM

SO the main reason to stick with tape is archive? And you see no loss of resolution when going straight to flash or laptop?

What about the ones that record straight to dvd? Any advantages?


Colin McDonald January 24th, 2009 11:54 AM


Originally Posted by Matt Clem (Post 1000178)
SO the main reason to stick with tape is archive?

And convenience to some extent - the cameras I have are designed to record to an internal tape drive, but the laptop or the Firestore is something else to carry and set up.


And you see no loss of resolution when going straight to flash or laptop?
A DV or HDV signal from a camera is the same whether recorded on tape, flash or hard drive. I am led to believe HDV is better quality than AVCHD, though I should say I have no experience with AVCHD.


What about the ones that record straight to dvd? Any advantages?
Not for me. When I record to DVD, I use a free standing player which uses standard size 4.7GB DVDs and I can choose the compression rate and get a reasonable recording time and quality.

I am not wildly enthusiastic about the amount of video and audio compression that goes on in HDV but if you look at clips posted here they look pretty good. If I could afford it I would prefer to have a camera like the XH-G1s where I had the option of uncompressed output. I slum it with an XH-A1 and a couple of HV-30s.

Bill Koehler January 24th, 2009 05:19 PM


Originally Posted by Matt Clem (Post 1000178)
What about the ones that record straight to dvd? Any advantages?

Advantage: You can pop the disk out and into your home player and play it immediately.


1. Remember to take the time to finalize the disk before popping it out.

2. Typically a bit harder to get the footage into the computer. YMMV.

3. The camcorders that record to mini DVD typically have far shorter record times than using miniDV tape. As an example, look at this:

HDR-UX20 | HDR-UX20 High Definition DVD HandycamŽ Camcorder | Sony | SonyStyle USA

If you look under the specifications tab, it lists the record time in the highest quality mode to a dual layer miniDVD disk as just 25 minutes. Fortunately that model also accommodates recording to either an internal 8 GB flash memory or to an external MS Pro Duo slot, so it provides some options.

But if it was a model with ONLY DVD recording and your doing an event, you had better bring a stack of miniDVD disks and time your disk swaps well.

Almost forgot - recording to miniDVD is also going to be the most shock sensitive recording method around.

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