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  • Sony DCR-HC32 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder w/20x Optical Zoom
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Sony DCR-HC32 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder w/20x Optical Zoom

by Sony
| 4 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • 1/6-inch CCD imager with 680K (gross) resolution
  • MiniDV recording format offers up to 500 lines of horizontal resolution
  • 20x optical zoom with Super SteadyShot picture-stabilization system
  • 2.5-inch touch-panel SwivelScreen LCD
  • Super NightShot Plus Infrared System captures natural-looking video in low light
3 used from $149.99 1 refurbished from $249.00


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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Sony
  • Model: DCRHC32
  • Media Type: Mini DV
  • Optical zoom: 20 x
  • Display Size: 2.5 inches
  See more technical details

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

Product Details

Product Manual [5.03mb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 3.5 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B0007M3PKI
  • Item model number: DCRHC32
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,337 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: January 28, 2005

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

Sony's DCR-HC32 MiniDV Handycam camcorder stands out with high-end digital imaging features at an affordable price. Super NightShot infrared system enables you to capture natural-looking video in low light conditions. The Super SteadyShot picture stabilization system uses motion sensors to detect and correct camera shake for smoother video recording. Tele Macro Mode zooms in for close-up shots to bring out the subject in vivid imagery--making it stand out from the background.

This fully-equipped camcorder comes with easy solutions to transfer images and video recording to your computer. USB streaming allows you to broadcast live video to family and friends, and i.LINK DV interface provides a connection from the camcorder to a variety of compatible devices. Memory Stick Duo media compatibility provides yet another way to easily transfer still images and compact MPEG Movie EX video to your PC for e-mailing and printing.

Features of the Sony DCR-HC32
1/6-Inch Advanced HAD CCD Imager, 680K Pixels Gross
1/6-inch 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.
The Sony DCR-HC32
Super SteadyShot picture stabilization system corrects camera shake for smoother video recording.
MiniDV Recording
Offers up to 500 lines of horizontal resolution, three times the color bandwidth and a significantly higher signal/noise ratio to provide spectacular video performance.
20x Optical/800x Digital Zoom
The optical zoom helps to bring the action close up from far away. Digital Zoom Interpolation means that extreme digital zooming is clearer, with less distortion than with previous types of digital zooms.
Super SteadyShot Picture-Stabilization System
Picture-stabilization system that uses motion sensors to detect and compensate for camera shake without compromising picture quality, as some other digital stabilization systems do.
Professional Quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar Lens
Carl Zeiss lenses have an advanced optical multilayer coating that offers less glare and flare with increased contrast. This results in vivid image brilliance, true-to-life color saturation, and perfect renditions of subtle tones.
i.LINK DV Interface
A digital high-speed bidirectional interface provides Audio/Video communication between two compatible devices. This connection allows for pure digital transfer between devices equipped with an IEEE1394 interface, such as camcorders, digital VTRs, capture cards, and PCs.
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 in real time through the digital Handycam Camcorder directly into a PC via the i.LINK interface for easy PC editing of your analog footage.
InfoLithium Battery with AccuPower Meter System
Charge the battery at anytime 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 either the viewfinder or on the LCD screen.
2.5-Inch Touch Panel SwivelScreen LCD Display (123K Pixels)
Provides excellent viewing clarity with improved resolution. The high-resolution 123K pixel LCD screen rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles, providing sharp, detailed images for monitoring or playback.
Digital Still Memory Mode with Memory Stick Duo Media
Capture still images at 640 x 480 resolution, directly onto Memory Stick Duo Media for easy transfer to PCs for e-mailing, printing, or sharing with other compatible Memory Stick devices.
Stamina Battery Power Management System
Using the optional NP-FP90 InfoLithium Battery, the DCR-HC32 can continuously record for up to 8 hours on a single full charge, providing extra-long battery life.
Super NightShot Plus Infrared System
With Sony's Super NightShot Infrared System you can capture natural-looking video, even when shooting in low light. Record subjects up to 20 feet away using the built-in infrared system, but without the overall monochrome color common with earlier low-light recording systems.
Tele Macro Function
Useful for shooting close up shots, but without having the camcorder casting a shadow on the subject. Images shot in the Tele Macro Mode will have the subject properly focused with the background unfocused so that the subject stands out.
The Sony DCR-HC32
The included Handycam Station makes connecting your camera to a TV or computer a snap.
Handycam Station
The supplied Handycam Station provides quick and easy connections to a TV for viewing or to a PC for editing and sharing video. Just placing the camcorder on the Handycam Station instantly makes the connections. No need to search for cables or wires when charging or playing back.
USB Streaming
Stay connected to family and friends by broadcasting live video with audio over the Internet using the USB interface. You can even play back your favorite recorded scene on the camcorder's tape. It's like having your own video-conferencing system.
Program AE (Auto Exposure) Modes
Program AE modes make recording easy even when filming in challenging situations. Choose from Portrait, Beach & Ski, Sports Lesson, Landscape, Spotlight, and Sunset & Moon modes.
End Search
Automatically advances the videotape to the last five seconds of the recorded scene. This prevents accidentally recording over previously recorded videos.
Picture Package Software
Easily organize still images and video, and turn them into stunning music videos using the supplied software.
Fader Effects
Enhance your personal videos by adding professional-looking fader effects. Choose from Black, Mosaic, White, Monotone, and Stripe.
Battery Information
At the touch of a button, battery information is displayed on the LCD screen when charging or when the camcorder is turned off. The display will show how much the battery is charged in 10-percent increments and the recordable time left when using the LCD screen or in the viewfinder.
Manual Focus
Allows the user to manually adjust the focus of the camcorder using the touch panel. Manual focusing also allows the user to control the focus in difficult situations in which either the environment or the subject does not allow the camcorder's autofocus to perform optimally, such as when shooting through a window or in a crowded environment.
Easy Handycam Button
Using a camcorder can be intimidating for some people, so with a press of the Easy Handycam button, most of the advanced features of the camcorder are "locked out," leaving only the buttons essential for recording operational.
Picture Effects
Get creative when recording or playing back your videos with Sony's Picture Effect Modes. Effects available in Camera mode: Negative Art, Sepia, Monotone, Solarize, Pastel, and Mosaic. Effects available in Playback mode: Negative Art, Sepia, Monotone, and Solarize.
What's in the Box
Sony DCR-HC32 MiniDV Handycam camcorder, AC-L25 power adapter/in-camera charger, NP-FP30 InfoLithium rechargeable battery, DRCA-C121 Handycam Station, RMT-831 Remote Commander remote control, stereo AV cable, USB cable, lens cap, shoulder strap, CD-ROM with USB Driver (PicturePackage Software version 1.5 for Sony)

Product Description

Sony DCR-HC32 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder w/20x Optical Zoom

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

The video looks great.
Captain Bones
The Samsung 353 was also in the running but one look in the store and I knew Sony was the way to go.
Andy
The software is horrible and Sony tech support just plain lousy.
VM

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Andy on March 5, 2005
I almost purchased the 42 instead of the 32, but after checking them out at the store I decided on the 32. The Samsung 353 was also in the running but one look in the store and I knew Sony was the way to go. I am glad I decided on the 32 because the only real difference was the CCD, which is 340k instead of 680k effective. It turns out the 32 does such a good job with the 340k I can't tell the difference, and for $150 less. The other only real difference is the color viewfinder on the 42, but who uses a viewfinder anymore. It doesn't come with a firewire (iLink) cable so be prepared to purchase one, especially if you have a mac. I am happy with our choice and look forward to many edited videos to share with the family.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Julie J on January 13, 2006
Just an FYI for some of the previous reviewers: the problem of CCD failure that affected earlier versions of this Sony camcorder line is not an issue in the 2005 models. For complete information on the Sony CCD problem, see;

[...]

Functionally, this is a great camcorder for the price. The ergonomics are particularly nice - very comfortable and easy to use. Good low light performance. Just wish it had a colour viewfinder and that Sony had included a small Memory Stick.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Captain Bones on July 1, 2005
I wanted a miniDV camcorder that had a Analog to Digital passthrough capability so that I could convert all my old Hi8 tapes to DVD's. I wanted one that was small and light, had a large zoom range, and was good on batteries. After agonizing over choices between Canon ZR, Elura models or the Sony HC32 I finally settled on the Sony. So far, no regrets.

- The video looks great. Colors appear very accurate and bright. I just turn on the camera and it does all the work. I don't mess with manual features much. If you do, this is probably not the best choice of cameras.

- The management of the battery is uniquely good with Sony camcorders. You get a constant rundown of how many minutes of battery life you have left that is pretty accurate. The optional extended batteries are expensive, but provide amazing battery life. Even the small battery that ships with the camcorder gives me over an hour of use.

- The camcorder is very small yet is still comfortable to hold.

- The LCD screen is top notch.

- The Analog to Digital Passthrough works great. I converted a 2 hour tape to my Mac with no problems. The audio and video remained in sync for all two hours.

- I cannot hear any camera noises on the tape. Some people complain about the built in microphones picking up camcorder noises on these little camcorders. I looked for it and did not hear any, even after transferring video to my computer.

Some other thoughts on the camcorder.

- The touch menu system is not so bad, easier than most other camera menu systems. The only problem is that certain options go away when you are not in the correct mode.

- The camera does fine with low light until it is dark enough to want lights on in the room.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By collageart on February 20, 2006
This is a very good camera for the price range. I have always had good luck with Sony products, unlike some of the reviewers here. The resolution of the viewer window and the image quality itself is more than what I would expect from a camera in this price range.... it's pretty decent. For what most people use DV cams for, this is camera doesn't suck at all.
I like how tiny it is. It doesn't go much past the palm of my hand when I'm holding it. Also it was very easy to figure out just by exploring the menu on the touch pad. Color graphics & icons on the menus add a nice touch. A beginner could start filming very soon after opening the box, I think. The camera feels sturdy in my hand, I mean I don't feel like the viewer window is going to break off when it's open or that I could easily break the buttons with normal use.

As others have mentioned, you have to buy a 4 to 6 firewire if you have a mac because the iLink cable that comes with it is a S-video input for TVs. Also the battery that comes with it is the 30 minute battery but I would have bought an extra one anyway because you never want to wait around while your only battery is charging. The software CD is a do-it-yourself install, at least for Mac. It might not be for PC. I'm used to being guided through the installation process... (since at least the early 90's!) but I had to drag the folder to my hard drive my darn self. A minor thing but I would have expected more from a major company like Sony.
But the reason I give it a 4 star rating instead of 5 is because the firewire goes into the base, not the camera so you cannot have the camera on a tripod while it's connected to your machine.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Deepak Sanan on April 24, 2006
The sony dcr hc32 is one of the sleekest cameras for it's price. However, I find the little touchscreen to be a tad difficult to use without a stylus (wonder why Sony couldn't include one). If you have stubby fingers like me, it takes a while to get used to the tiny menu buttons. Inevitably, the screen gets covered with thumbprints. I started using the top-eraser of a small pencil.

Sony is also notorious for not providing larger optical zoom, even on its high-end camcorders. In fact, this camcorder fares better than some of the more expensive Sony mini-dv's. Though 20x is probably okay for casual use, it would help to have some more. Lastly, be aware that the package with the extra battery and docking station is not worth much. I was irked to find that the battery can only be charged while its loaded onto the camcorder (which can then be set in the dock or take ac power directly). This stupid feature means you cannot charge a battery while simultaneously recording off a second one, basically defeating the purpose of an having extra battery.

I would recommend considering the Canon zr600 which is cheaper, has more optical zoom and widescreen recording capabilities. It is almost as small, but I think it still lacks an external battery charger.
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