Using a miniDV Camcorder
Spring 2010
The following refers to the SonyDVR-TRV33, but other models are similar.
Make sure the battery has plenty of charge when you check out the
camcorder. If the battery is low exchange it for a fresh one.
A. Load tape
Battery must be installed, or AC power connected.
1. Slide the Open/Eject switch down and pull the side of the camcorder
completely open. The cassette compartment will extend and open.
2. Push the tape into the cassette compartment.
3. Press the PUSH mark to close the cassette compartment. It will retract
4. Close the lid after the cassette compartment has retracted fully.
B. Attach camcorder to tripod (if used)
1. Extend tripod legs completely. NOTE: Don’t over-tighten anything.
2. Thread the bolt into
3. Use the small knob to
get started. Use the
large knob to tighten.
miniDV Camcorder
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C. Turn on power
1. Press the green button on the Power wheel and
rotate the wheel until the Tape indicator lights.
• Rotating the wheel again will light the other
indicators. If you accidentally set the
camcorder to another mode just rotate the
wheel again until you get back to Tape.
2. Open the viewfinder.
D. Set Camera recording mode
The camcorder can record in Normal (on the left) or Wide Screen (right)
mode. Set the mode with the Wide Select button on the right of the
E. Set up shot
Use camcorder zoom and tripod pan and tilt to frame shot
Get close. Fill the frame with important elements: empty space is wasted
space. Also, the mic will pick up the sound better if you’re closer.
Pay attention to the visual and audio background. It can distract.
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F. Test
1. Press Record and record for several seconds.
2. Press Record again to stop.
3. Rotate the Power wheel until the
Play/Edit indicator is lit. Tape controls
will appear in the viewfinder.
4. Press Rewind on the viewfinder.
5. Press Play on the viewfinder.
6. Watch and listen to see if everything is
7. Press Stop.
Rotate the Power wheel to Tape.
F. Record
1. Press Record to start.
2. Press Record again to stop.
Danger — Pitfalls!!
• Closer is better! During the interview, the camera should be as close to
the subject as possible. (In other words, don't set up far away and zoom
• Look at the picture’s background! Don’t let the background distract from
your subject.
• Beware of "back lighting!" Don’t shoot with the subject against a bright
background like a window.
• Listen for background noise! Our ears filter out background noise; the
microphone can’t.
• Speak Up! The speaker has to be loud enough to be heard.
G. Finish
1. Turn Power switch to Off.
2. Take the camcorder off the tripod.
3. Remove the tape from the camcorder.
4. Close up the tripod.
5. Put the camcorder back in its case.
miniDV Camcorder
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H. Connect camcorder to computer
Other camcorders have different methods of connecting but the basics are the
1. Load tape in camcorder
a. Slide the latch on the back of the camcorder (under the record button).
The tape carrier will open.
b. Insert the tape.
• Gently pinch the carrier lid closed to push the tape into
the holder.
• The holder will load the tape.Close the plastic door.
2. Connect camcorder to computer
a. Plug the small connector on firewire cable
into the camcorder base.
b. Plug the larger cable connector into one
of the firewire jacks on the back of the
computer, towards the bottom.
• Note: in the College of Education video
production lab the cable and base are
already connected.
c. With the camcorder power OFF set the
camera into the base.
3. Set camcorder power to Play/Edit
• Rotate the switch three times until the Play/Edit light is lit.
• NOTE: This may begin the Movie Maker Import process.
Go to page 3.
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