Fri, 25 Apr 2008 Sony HDR-TG3 Review
Can Sony's ultralight camcorder square up to larger HD offerings?
- Manufacturer: Sony
- Pros: Small and lightweight, lightening fast automatic focus, instant on recording, 4GB Memory Stick DUO included, stylish, Component and HDMI-output
- Cons: Lacks manual controls, no DV-in so you can't use it to record, HD clips can only be captured on a Intel Mac
- Price: £649
- Star rating:
Sony is selling the HDR-TG3 as "the world's smallest and lightest high definition camcorder", and at 63 x 32 x 132mm and just 240g, this dinky model certainly lives up to that claim.
The HDR-TG3 achieves its diminutive stature by eschewing the more traditional MiniDV tape for a miniscule Memory Stick Pro DUO card. Solid State as a storage medium has really come into its own in recent months and this device acts as a showcase for the advantages solid-state has to offer. The HDR-TG3 ships with a generous 4GB memory card, enough for about half an hour of footage recorded at full high-definition quality. Note that you'll need an Intel Mac to capture HD clips though.
It's not just small, it's good looking too. The vertical form factor is made out of scratch-resistant titanium in a gun-metal styling and sports a flip out 2.7in LCD touch screen. This takes care of most of the menu options leaving the body of the camera free relatively clutter-free, sporting just a record button and zoom ring.
Although it keeps controls to a minimum, it houses plenty of sockets tucked away under various flaps: USB, audio out, S-Video out, Component video out - it even has a built-in HDMI output socket so you can hook it up directly to a high-defintion television. A dock is also provided so you can easily hook it up to your computer.
The HDR-TG3 records 1920 x 1080 full HD video (also know as 1080p). It also acts as a 4mp stills camera, and is capable of taking 2.3mp stills while you are recording video footage.
Sony's HDR-TG3 camcorder packs a lot of punch in a small shell