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  • Sony DCR-HC30 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom
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Sony DCR-HC30 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom

by Sony
| 3 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • Sleek, compact MiniDV camcorder and digital still camera with 680,000-pixel CCD
  • 10x optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 120x) with Super SteadyShot image stabilizer
  • 2.5-inch rotating LCD and color viewfinder
  • Low-light recording settings, Memory Stick Duo slot, and accessory shoe
  • NP-FM50 InfoLithium Rechargeable Battery
2 used from $199.99

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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Sony
  • Model: DCR-HC30
  • Media Type: Mini DV
  • Optical zoom: 10 x
  • Display Size: 2.500000 inches
See more technical details

Read about our customers' top-rated camcorders on our review page: Camcorders

Product Details

Product Manual [4.25mb PDF]
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B0001BVXJK
  • Item model number: DCR-HC30
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,316 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: January 22, 2004

Product Description

Product Description

680,000-pixel CCD * digital photo mode * photo resolution: 640 x 480 * MPEG Movie EX * compatible with Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick PRO® Duo (8MB Memory Stick Duo supplied) * 2-1/2" color touch-panel viewscreen * color viewfinder * PCM stereo digital audio (12-bit or 16-bit) * variable-speed 10X Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 120X) * Super SteadyShot * Super NightShot Plus * auto and manual focus * shutter speeds (1/4 1/4,000) * 6 AE modes * digital picture effects * i.LINK® jack * A/V input/output, including S-video * USB interface * M-JPEG video streaming to PC via USB (Microsoft® NetMeeting® required) * Accessory Shoe * microphone input * 2-1/2"W x 3-7/16"H x 4-7/16"D * weight: 0.94 lbs. with battery * warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor

From the Manufacturer

From the Manufacturer The Sony DCR-HC30 is the MiniDV Handycam Camcorder that doubles as a digital camera. It features a compact Memory Stick DUO slot which allows 640 x 480 resolution digital still image capture, which is perfect for e-mail or printing. It also includes a big 2.5" hybrid SwivelScreen touch panel LCD display, Super NightShot Plus infrared recording, USB streaming, and a professional Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens. It even includes a 3D menu system that makes adjusting the camcorder settings easier than even. Best of all, these big features come in a package that’s 25% smaller than the previous year’s camcorders.

The MiniDV Format offers more precise image detail and color accuracy than previously possible with analog camcorders. The superior quality of digital video results from:

  • Higher Resolution -- up to 530 lines of horizontal resolution, on select models for sharper picture detail.
  • Component Color Sampling -- preserves three times more color information than analog VHS and S-VHS video, for brighter and truer colors.
  • Time Base Correction -- stabilizes the picture, eliminating video jitters.
  • Error Correction -- fills in missing video data, providing seamless, professional-looking video.

Features of the DCR-HC30 include:

Carl Zeiss lenses have an advanced optical multi-layer coating offering less glare and flare with increased contrast. This results in vivid image brilliance, true-to-life color saturation and perfect renditions of subtle tones. Digital Still Memory Mode: Capture digital still images directly onto Memory Stick media for easy transfer to e-mail, printing, or sharing with compatible Memory Stick devices.

With a press of the Easy Handycam button, most of the advanced functions of the camcorder are "locked out" leaving only the buttons essential for recording operational. Super NightShot Plus Infrared System: An advanced version of Sony's NightShot Infrared system that allows users to record natural color images in low-light conditions, but without the blurring common with other lowlight recording systems.
Battery information is momentarily displayed without having to power on the camcorder. Quickly access the battery's status by pressing the Battery Info button. The Recording Time Available is displayed in minutes on either the LCD screen or in the viewfinder. Sony's i.LINK DV (or MICROMV) interface gives you true digital-to-digital editing, without the "generation loss" of analog editing. And the i.LINK interface is compatible with a range of Sony digital VCRs, Sony edit controllers, and Sony PCs with editing software.
MPEG Movie EX Mode: Unlike earlier MPEG1 Movies, MPEG Movie EX will allow you to record 320 x 240 resolution MPEG movies uninterrupted up to the capacity of the Memory Stick Duo™ Media. These movies are perfect for emailing to friends and family. Stamina Power Management: the combination of low power consumption and an optional InfoLithium battery give Sony Handycam models incredible operating time. To keep tabs on battery life, Sony's AccuPower meter displays the number of minutes remaining -- right in the viewfinder.

And more:

    This camera can connect directly to select printers. Learn more about PictBridge.
  • 1/6" Advanced HAD CCD Imager, 680K Pixels Gross: 1/6" Advanced HAD (Hole Accumulation Diode) CCD with 340K (effective) pixels provides stunning detail and clarity, with exceptional video (up to 500 lines of horizontal resolution) and still image performance. Realize great looking digital still images utilizing 340K (effective) pixels.

  • 10X Optical/120X Digital Zoom: The optical zoom helps to bring the action up close from far away. In addition, the digital zoom interpolation means that extreme digital zooming is clearer, with less distortion than previous types of digital zooms.

  • 2.5" Hybrid SwivelScreen Touch Panel LCD Display (123K Pixels): Provides excellent viewing clarity with improved resolution. The 123K pixel LCD display makes images sharp and detailed during playback or when monitoring recording. The Hybrid Reflective-Transmissive LCD Screen provides accurate viewing in sunlight or bright light, virtually eliminating the "wash-out" common with traditional LCD Screens.

  • Digital Still Memory Mode with Memory Stick Duo Media: Capture digital still images at 640 x 480 resolution, directly onto Memory Stick Duo Media for easy transfer to PC’s for emailing, printing, or sharing with other compatible Memory Stick devices.

  • Progressive Shutter: Mechanical shutter system that provides Progressive Scan performance while utilizing an interlace scanning system. Digital still images will be sharp and clear with excellent definition.

  • Analog To Digital Conversion with Pass-Through: Convert and/or record any analog NTSC video source to digital video via the analog inputs. Analog NTSC video can also be passed through the digital Handycam camcorder directly into a PC via the i.LINK interface in real-time for easy PC editing of your analog footage.

  • InfoLithium Battery with AccuPower Meter System: Charge the battery at any time because unlike NiCad (Nickel Cadmium) batteries, Sony’s rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries are not subjected to a life shortening "memory effect." Sony’s exclusive AccuPower meter displays the battery time remaining in minutes in the viewfinder or the LCD screen.

  • Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization System: An advanced version of Sony’s SteadyShot system that controls an even higher range of shake and vibration frequencies, to achieve an even higher level of smoothness without degradation of video like some other image stabilization systems.

  • 12-Bit/16-Bit PCM Digital Stereo: 16-Bit offers the same outstanding sound quality as compact discs. 12-Bit recording enables you to add an additional audio track with compatible audio dubbing equipment or i.LINK interface compatible computers.

What's in the box:
DCRHC30 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder, AC-L25 Power Adapter/In Camera Charger, NP-FP50 InfoLithium Rechargeable Battery, RMT-831 Wireless Remote Commander Remote Control, USB Cable, MSG-M8A Memory Stick Duo Media, MSAC-M2 Memory Stick Duo Adapter, CR2025 Battery, Multi A/V Cable, LCD Cleaning Cloth, CD-ROM w/USB Driver (Picture Package Software v.1.0 for Sony).

Customer Reviews

This is a very nice compact camera and works great.
Kindle Customer
I will never buy another sony product again and will make sure no friends of mine make that mistake.
Love the touch menu and menus are intuitive and easy to use.
L. LaCour

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By L. LaCour on July 24, 2004
I am really pleased with this camcorder. It is my second miniDV camcorder, my first one was a Panasonic PV-DV910. I got the Panasonic years ago when digital camcorders first came out, and it was no good in low light. So, my main criteria in looking for a new one was...

1. Ability to shoot in low light

2. Zoom comparable to Panasonic (18x-320x)

3. Smaller size

4. Ability to download to PC

5. Ability to take still pics

I got the sony the day of my birthday with full intention of returning it if it didn't suit ALL of my needs. A group of friends rented a limo for the night, so I planned to run the sony through a series of Low-Light and Zoom tests. Here are my results:

1. LOW-Light-(5 Stars) I was able to get some great shots in the limo!!! With the panasonic I would have had to use my Light which would have been very distracting to the situation and ate up most of my battery before we even made it to the destination.

With the Sony, I was able to get great natural shots, because with the infrared light, it wasn't so obvious that i was filming.

2. Zoom- (5 Stars) At fist glance the zoom really isn't that great compared to what I have. This was the biggest question in my mind... would I miss what I currently had. We went to a bar after dinner and I was able to zoom in an acceptable distance to the band. I really didn't miss my old zoom at all. But the thing that really made me accept the low-zoom was the fact you can BUY A BETTER ZOOM!!! The lens has the capability to expand!

3. Smaller Size- (5 stars) Wouldn't want it any smaller. Love the touch menu and menus are intuitive and easy to use.

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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By maxmasa31 VINE VOICE on April 22, 2004
After doing much research on the 'net and visiting every electronics store on the island, I decided on the HC30 and I am not disappointed. I've never owned a camcorder before, so I was worried that I'd have trouble using one, but Sony has taken away any hassle with its "Easy" mode, which uses automatic settings--great for point-and-shoot novice (read: wannabe) videographers like myself.
Pros: Size (this camera is tiny compared to other camcorders in this price range), Memory Stick MPEG movie + still image recording (perfect for e-mails + websites, but not for prints), bright 2.5" touchscreen LCD, good automatic settings, excellent picture quality, Super NightShot (a MUST for single CCD cameras used in low-light settings), analog-to-digital pass-through (for recording from a VCR onto your PC using firewire), Carl Zeiss lens (hence the excellent picture quality.
Cons: Menu navigation and getting to manual controls is not intuitive and can be problematic while shooting. The optical zoom is small compared to other cameras in this class (10x vs. 20x).
It's low-light performance is mediocre, but compared to other camera's I've researched and tested, the HC30 outperforms them all with its Super NightShot.
And for anyone complaining about the poor still image quality, I will say that this camcorder, and its stills were not meant for prints, but for e-mails or the 'net. It's a given that if you want good photo quality, buy a regular digital camera--even the most ambitious of camcorders usually only come with a one megapixel sensor, which is not nearly enough for crisp photos. Don't worry, this camcorder is small enough that you can still carry around your digital camera and not be weighted down.
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68 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Maine Writer VINE VOICE on May 5, 2004
Don't buy a camcorder for the computer software. Do yourself a favor, get a Mac if you want to do any serious movie editing. iMovie (free with every Mac) is mission-critical for any home movie editor or aspiring Scorcese.
That aside, let me tell you what is right about this smartly-priced beauty. It's tiny. It has long battery life. It has a terrific, touch-sensitive display. It works great across light levels, and even has a special low-light feature that may make you look a little like a zombie, but it's terrific if you want to film those aliens stealing your trash.
The picture quality is terrific (as one might expect from Sony), the form, fit and function are first-rate, it has all the standard features you expect (including a mic-out and "hot shoe"). I can't really see spending more.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Scott on January 9, 2005
While I haven't used a camcorder since my parents' Sharp swivel screen died about 10 years ago, I can say with confidence that this is a marvelous little camcorder.

The LCD screen is very impressive. No smudges, somehow. The touch screen menu system works flawlessly, even though the "buttons" are a little small for someone with large fingers. The clarity is excellent, even in full daylight.

The menu system is pretty easy to use. It's a little confusing at first, until you realize that each mode (the mode for filming with cassette tapes, the mode for filming with memory sticks, and the edit/view mode) has it's own menu set, with similar but different menu items. Not a big deal; just takes a little time in front of the thing.

This camera is SMALL. I have to say that I didn't think that would be too big of a deal for me, but it really is nice. Now, when I see someone "lugging" a larger camcorder around (even though they're all teeny compared to the monsters from back in the 80s and 90s), I can't help but feel bad for them. This thing truly would fit in your jacket pocket.

Along those lines, there is one problem with the size. It was apparently made for people with little hands. I wear size XL gloves. The hand strap doesn't open far enough for me to get my hand into it. It's difficult for me to use the strap and still be able to reach the buttons. If it were capable of adjusting out another two inches, it would be just right.

I ordered mine with an extra battery (just a stock battery, not the 70 or 90) and a quick charger with a 12V car charger - even though the car adapter got thrown away with the Christmas wrapping paper :o(. I would definitely recommend getting the second battery and quick charger.
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