Mini camcorder holds its own against the sun

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2003, 12:00am

The VL-Z7E mini digital video (DV) camera from Sharp is not just a good-looking piece of portable property, it is a solid piece of technology that performs well.

If you are shopping for a DV camcorder, the Sharp VL-Z7E should be on your shortlist for its high-resolution video, ease of handling and operation and low price tag compared with a Sony camcorder.

At HK$6,190, it is priced higher than some JVC and Panasonic compact models but its large liquid crystal display differentiates it from the crowd.

Many users of mini DV camcorders grumble about the small displays, but Sharp's 2.5-inch colour screen gives you a clear picture of what you are shooting.

According to the product brochure, the display features a new technology that allows images to show up clearly even under direct sunlight. I put this claim to the test and found it is no exaggeration.

The Sharp VL-Z7E features a 10x optical zoom, a 1.33 megapixel charge-coupled device and a secure digital (SD) card slot for storing digital still pictures. It has both universal serial bus and FireWire connections and comes in silver, white and blue.

Sharp VL-Z7E


Price: HK$6,190

Pros: Small, light and easy to operate, outstanding video quality

Cons: The microphone and speaker just below the lens pick up sounds easily, but it can get a bit too noisy for recording on a windy day