I compiled a list of North American Digital8 camcorders with the analog passthrough feature when I was looking for one. There may be a few more; if you know of one let me know. The key words in the manuals seem to be "signal convert" while in their marketing they use terms like "analog-to-digital pass-through".
Note: This list applies only to North American (NTSC) models. The foreign PAL variants with "E" on the end of the model name (for Europe) differ due to import taxes (thanks Richard_G). Any other variants from other regions of the world may also differ.
Models with Pass-through
- DCR-TRV230, DCR-TRV330, DCR-TRV530 (manual PDF HOTLINK)
- DCR-TRV730, DCR-TRV830 (manual PDF HOTLINK; they share their manual with the 828, which I can't find as a North American model)
Models WITHOUT pass-through which are sometimes claimed to have it (non-exhaustive)
- DCR-TRV480 (no S-Video)
Note regarding the model numbers
Sony's model numbers worked like this... DCR-TRVabca = higher number was more expensive / fancier feature set for that year's range of models
b = this number plus 1998 is the release year
- The first year's models were from 1999, so b=1, so DCR-TRV110, etc.
- The 2005 model year breaks this pattern. It should be the 7th generation, but is numbered as the "8 series".c = always 0 for the American models?
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Last edited by Brad; 25th Apr 2021 at 20:09. Reason: Added "List of" to thread title; 2021-04-12 clarity re: regional variation; 04-13 manual HOTLINKS, better formatting, explanation of model #s
I think PAL camcorders with passthrough are pretty rare, if they exist at all. There is a reason why but I can't remember. I know there's PAL DV walkmans, namely GV-D200E and GV-D800E which can be used for this purpose, and also include TBC and DNR (don't know how effective).
For NTSC, isn't there an issue with black level when using this method though?
It's only the high end PAL ones that have passthrough, most of the consumer level camcorders don't. The reason is down to the import tax applied to them. The tax applied to a video recorder is higher than that applied to a camcorder. As a camcorder with passthrough has a video input, it can be used as a video recorder as well as a camcorder. Very few consumers that buy a camcorder will ever use the feature so Sony had it disabled on the PAL models to keep the import tax and hence the retail price down. No point in selling something at a higher price than an equivalent from their competitors with a feature that 99% of customers are never going to use.
@Richard_G Thanks for the detailed explanation, that's exactly what I recall reading about. Do you know if those high-end models provide any stabilization features on analog input?
No idea. I've got a VX2000E which has passthrough as standard and a DCR-TR8000E with passthrough enabled with an external widget (something you used to be able to buy to enable it on PAL versions that didn't have it as standard). There is no mention of TBC in the manual for either. I've also got a pair of VX1000E camcorders but even they didn't have passthrough.
If there's one thing that pisses me off, it's being told I'm wrong by people who are, in fact, wrong.
Page 74 of the US manual confirms that I'm correct and that you either suck at reading or have never heard of NTSC/PAL and didn't bother to check what those mean before telling me I'm wrong.
Having said that, I will change the original post to be more clear. (Done. Added color-coding, bolding, and more information -- gleaned from the other posts in this thread, which JimTheGreek could have easily read.)
Last edited by Brad; 13th Apr 2021 at 07:39. Reason: 2021-04-13 changes are marked in RED.(Formerly vaporeon800)