Pros Excellent picture and sound quality, amazing features
Cons No SVHS side control in NLE program
Summary Before I purchased this deck I read the dozens of bad reviews it had received, but since it was the only deck in its price range with the features I wanted, I took a deep breath and plunged in anyway.
I'm glad that I did.
I have had this machine for over 2 and a half years now and it gets about six hours of use five to six days a week, and it has never given me a single moment's trouble.
The ability to capture from both the miniDV and the SVHS side via firewire is simply amazing and it eliminates any need for an analog capture card in most cases, as all one has to do is connect to any desktop with the minimum system specs via firewire and you are ready to go. Your favorite edit software will recognize it as a "valid" source deck...away you go.
The only drawback I have found is that the SVHS side must be started and stopped manually when you capture, but it's not too big of a deal.
The built in time base corrector on this deck is rock solid.
My only other complaint is the lack of a front panel jog-shuttle dial and I would have been grateful for a rear mounted firewire connector.
But overall I think that the SR-VS30U is, pound for pound and dollar for dollar, the 800-pound gorilla of source decks.
I love it.
Pros Great when it works
Cons Frequently claims heads need cleaning
Summary Within a month after purchasing this machine it stopped working saying the tape heads needed cleaning. I returned it to factory and they called and told me to stop using Sony tapes because they were not any good. After being serviced it worked for another month and started doing the same thing. I now use it to copy VHS tapes into my computer using the JVC's firewire port.
Pros Good for Mini DV tape to download to computer via Fiirewire. EZ to use.
Cons Eats tape and expensive to repair with at least 1 week downtime in shop.