between DV camcorders: Canon XL1, Sony
DCR-TRV900 or VX1000
I am interested in buying another video camera for
traveling. I am stuck between the Canon XL1, Sony
DCR-TRV900 and VX1000.
will be taking interior shots in low light and want
something with good sound. This is not for
production, just high quality home movies. I also
do not want to drag around a suitcase full of gear.
Price is not my first concern.
Well, gosh! The three cameras you have picked are
all pretty cool, and I'm actually considering
buying the TRV-900 because cost *is* my first
you probably know, all of these cameras are three
chip cameras, so the image should be better than
you'll get with the other consumer level
camcorders. Your home movie requirement and "not
wanting to drag a lot of equipment around" comments
on the face of them suggest the TRV-900. It's the
smallest of the three. It also does a bit better in
low light than the VX1000. The Canon is also
supposed to do better than the VX1000 in low
to that, I've seen comments about the sound on the
TRV-900 not being as good as the other two cameras.
Yet other people say it is okay; I suspect it
depends upon your expectations and experience. I
think most home users would be very happy with the
TRV-900, but professionals may not be. Like the
others it has manual gain control for the audio,
but it's accessed through a menu rather than using
knobs. You could buy a third-party add-on which
provides XLR sound connections and some gain
control, but that adds more equipment; probably not
what you want. Since you mentioned wanting "good
sound" than maybe you will find the TRV-900
VX1000 and XL1 offer great image quality and sound.
Controls are a little better than the TRV-900. Pros
may prefer the Canon's interface. The Canon is
bigger than the VX1000.
if I were going to pick one, and price was no
option, I'd get the XL1; but I'd want to buy a
couple of additional lenses to go with it which
would add another $4K to the price and make a very
big package to drag around. And I wouldn't just be
shooting home movies with it. That's probably not
the solution you are looking for.
home movies, the VX1000 may make more sense than
the XL1; it's a little smaller and less likely to
now that I've included and excluded everything,
what about the Sony DCR-PC1? It's really small and
seems like a great home movie machine (easy to
carry around, just point and shoot.) Picture
quality and sound won't rival the other machines
though, and there's no gain control for
think only you can really quantify your
requirements for sound quality and other features.
Try and get your hands on each of the cameras to
try them out. Also check out these
An XL1 user page
A TRV-900 user page
A VX1000 user page
other camera to consider; Canon just announced the
GL1, which you might think of as Canon's answer to
the TRV-900. It actually looks a little like the
VX1000 in shape, but as designed by the XL1
designer. It's a three chip camera, and the picture
is supposed to be as good as the XL1. But it has no
manual gain control for audio, so again, this
camera may be disqualified. Also, the camera won't
be released until the end of September 1999 in the
Canon's DV page.
luck and let me know what you end up getting!
a question? Send them to "Ask