Summary: Bought this camcorder about five years ago for more than a thousand dollars. Big mistake. Sony provided little support for the dvd201 then, and has none now. The software was almost impossible to use, but if you lose it, cry, nothing else works, and there is no where to get a replacement.
Cons: 250 characters are not enough to write the cons Pixela software required to download the vids to computer => NOT Vista or Mac compatible Unreliable video format and duration Expensive dvds Sony/PIxela will charge (about 80 $) if you ever loose the CD
Summary: I bought this camera back in December 2004 just before going on a trip to Europe, at the time it was the "bee's knees" in camcorders. It was the most amazing little gadget I had owned at the time, and I was thrilled with the results. I'm still very happy with the results, but there are quite a few issues with it. Firstly, you can't do anything with the video you've shot - even getting clips onto your PC is a chore.
Summary: I've had this camera for over a year. It's a gamble to use however. You'll either be able to finalize your discs with no problems and have a great little DVD of your favorite moments, or it will have an error and erase everything! It's really up to how it feels at the moment, too. You have to record without moving as well, remember, there's a tiny laser etching data inside there and any sudden turns will erase the disk.
Summary: JUST LIKE SEVERAL OTHERS I BOUGHT THIS CAMCORDER WHEN IT FIRST CAME ON THE MARKET. MINE WAS PURCHASED IN DEC. 2004. IT WORKED FINE UNTIL JUNE OF THIS YEAR. AFTER SPENDING CLOSE TO AN HOUR ON THE PHONE WITH SONY'S REPAIR DEPT. I FOUND OUT IT WILL COST $211 TO REPAIR, AND I ONLY GET A 90 DAY GUARANTEE ON THAT. MY CAMCORDER JUST STOPPED WORKING, PERIOD!
Summary: While I purchased my DVD201 almost 2 1/2 years ago, I have yet to put over 30 hours of recording on it. The problem is that the camera has a horrible time with disc access errors. I have used brand new SONY DVD-R discs (both the 1.4GB single sided and the 2.8 GB double sided), and every time it is a crap shoot as to whether it will work or not.
Summary: Users beware of this product. It is a waste of your time, data, and money. It has been to the Sony Repair Center twice and they are still unable to solve the disc error access problems when I use generic dvd discs. Their only answer is that I must use Genuine Sony Brand and the camcorder would not recognise other generic discs.
Summary: I too have suffered the same unexplained frustrations with the mini-DVD format errors, disc errors, etc that randomly and unpredictably come with this camera. I have a DCR DVD-300 which is essentially the same as the 100 and 200 series with a few more options. I would recommend a mini-DV or solid state format until this technology is perfected. Early on during my ownership of the camera which has been for over three years, I had a disc get stuck in the camera.
Summary: We bought this camcorder in 2004 when it first came out. Seemed like a decent deal at the time. First problem, have lens adapter to put additional lenses on it but can't screw them on b/c of the way the cd portion is shaped. Second and BIGGEST problem: CCD DIED. 2 years old. Used maybe 5 or 6 times. Worst use of $800 I've ever had. Now it is off warranty and Sony wants $211 to fix it. And no, it is NOT COVERED UNDER THE RECALL AS THE 200 MODEL IS.