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Sony DCR-SR42 30GB Hard Disk Drive Handycam Camcorder with 40x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

4.2 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews
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  • 30 GB built-in hard drive; record up to 20 hours
  • Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens; 40x optical/2000x digital zoom
  • 2.5-inch touch-panel SwivelScreen LCD
  • Super SteadyShot picture stabilization system
  • Handycam Station included; one-touch disc burn
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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

Sony Dcr-Sr42 Hard Dr Camcorder

From the Manufacturer

You’re always making memories. So don’t stop capturing them. The DCR-SR42 Handycam contains 30 GB of built-in Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage for up to 20 hours of recording time (LP). A generous 2.5-inch touch-panel LCD monitor keeps all the controls at your fingertips, while 40x optical and 2000x digital zoom keep all the action up close and personal. And when it comes time to share your memories, it couldn’t be easier than with the one-touch DVD burn capability and the Memory Stick Duo media slot. The DCR-SR42 puts the simplicity back into shooting and sharing your videos.

DCR-SR42 Highlights

1/6-inch Advanced HAD CCD imager 1/6-inch Advanced HAD (Hole Accumulation Diode) CCD with 340K effective pixels provides stunning detail and clarity for exceptional video (up to 500 lines of horizontal resolution) and still image performance.

40x optical/2000x digital zoom The optical zoom helps to bring the action close up 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.

Professional-quality Carl Zeiss Vario- Tessar lens Carl Zeiss lenses have an advanced optical multi-layer coating for increased contrast. This results in vivid image brilliance, true-to-life color saturation and perfect renditions of subtle tones.

2.5-inch touch-panel SwivelScreen LCD The 2.5-inch LCD screen provides excellent viewing clarity. The high-resolution 123K pixel LCD screen rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles and provides sharp, detailed images for monitoring or playback.

Handycam Station included Simply placing the camcorder on the supplied Handycam Station cradle provides quick connections to a compatible TV for viewing or a PC for editing and sharing, all while charging the battery so your camcorder is always ready to go.

Memory Stick Duo media slot Capture still images up to 640 x 480 resolution, directly onto Memory Stick Duo media for easy transfer to PCs and emailing, printing, or sharing video and images with other compatible Memory Stick media devices.

Super SteadyShot picture 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.

On-screen zoom and record buttons For additional control of the camcorder, the DCR-SR42 features zoom and record buttons on the frame of the LCD screen. This allows the user more flexibility when holding the camcorder, especially in overhead or low angle shots.

USB 2.0 interface USB 2.0 interface provides an easy way to connect your hard disk Handycam to the computer and fast transfer of video and still images for editing. The camcorder can also be used as an external storage device, convenient for archiving, storing and trasporting your videos and still images.

DVDirect compatibility The DVDirect system allows for easy transfer to a stand-alone DVD burner via USB 2.0. The VRD-VC30 allows for easy transfer of video for DVD Burning. While the VRD-MC3 allows for seamless transfer of both video and still images for archiving on a DVD.

Easy PC backup Easily back up your footage to your PC using the supplied software. The footage will be stored on your PC's hard drive for archiving purposes and viewing at a later time; the footage is stored by date allowing for quick access. In addition, only new footage is transferred to your PC each time you backup your footage.

One-touch disc burn Easily burn a DVD copy of your footage using the supplied software. Simply connect your DCR-SR42 to your PC via the Handycam Station and supplied USB cable, and press the one-touch disc burn button.

HDD Smart Protection A unique Shock Absorber protects the Hard Disk Drive from physical damage if the unit is dropped. When the 3G Sensor detects a drop (loss of gravity), the power to the Hard Disk Drive is turned off in order to prevent damage; during this time the DCR-SR42 remains powered on and recording video to the built-in buffer. Once the unit has recovered from the drop the buffer is then recorded to the Hard Disk Drive.

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.

Additional Features

  • Manual focus
  • Scene selection modes
  • Picture effects
  • Fader effects
  • Battery information
  • Easy Handycam button
  • InfoLithium battery with AccuPower meter system
  • Tele Macro function
  • Multi-language menu

Product Information

Product Dimensions 7.6 x 7 x 6.5 inches
Item Weight 13 ounces
Shipping Weight 2.4 pounds
Item model number DCR-SR42
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
Customer Reviews
4.2 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #15,278 in Camera & Photo
#811 in Camera & Photo > Camcorders
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at Amazon.com April 18, 2005

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Wells on April 5, 2007
I got this camcorder a few days ago. It is very user friendly and simple. This is great for those of us that are not the most savvy. Sadly user friendly can also be a curse. Even though the picture quality of the video is great(still shots not so great, but thats not why I got a camcorder) special effects and other features are lacking. So if you want a camcorder thats easy to use and will make great home videos this is a good buy. You'll have few worries and no tapes. Easy DVD burn(just one button). If you want features and loads of them you may want to browse some other models. No light, but good night vision. No view finder, but the lcd screen is pretty good, I could even see it well outside with the sun hitting it. No adjustments to still picture quality. No special effects built into the camcorder. But really easy to use.
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I wasn't originally planning to buy a hard drive camcorder (was mostly looking at mini-dv), but I saw this one at a discount at Circuit City, so that's why I purchased it.

After using this camera, I realized that it would have been a big mistake for me if I got the mini-dv tape camera. The advantages of convenience of a hard drive camera by far outweight the extra price (sometimes as low as 50$).

The best thing I like about this camera is of course the convenience of not having to buy tapes, and the ease with which the videos are transferred to the computer. I also really like the fact that I can review the clips on the camera right after recording, or earlier clips on the drive, without having to wait for the tape to rewind and trying to catch the right moment.

I also think that the audio is very good, the sound is clear and it records very quite sounds which make the videos even more interesting.

The other great thing I like about this camcorder is its powerful 40x zoom. I read a review here claiming that it's only a 25x zoom, but it still is really powerful and allows me to zoom up on people's face when they are so far that they wouldn't even be able to see that i have a camera. High flying airplaines can also be zoomed up to a full screen and I don't use the digital zoom.

There are other great things I like about this camera but I am sure it will be covered in other reviews so I am going to list some things that I thought were its weak sides.
First of all, the camera doesn't have a viewfinder which means that in order to see what is being recorded, one has to keep the LCD screen open, which uses the battery power pretty quickly.
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OK, I have to start by saying I have not actually used this product. However, I have to comment on the review that says Sony is falsely advertising a 40x zoom. Unfortunately, the reviewer does not understand what 40x means, and since this is likely true of many readers, I wanted to clear this up.

If you read the specifications, you will see that this Sony camera has a lens with a minimial focal length of 36mm and a maximum focal length 1440mm. To calculate the zoom multiplier, divide the maximum focal length by the minimum focal length. In this case, 1440 / 36 = 40 so indeed the Sony camera has a 40x lens.

So, what happened when the reviewer "GAB" went to the video store and compared this to the JVC and other models? The answer is, he only compared the maximum zooms of the different cameras. The JVC, for instance, turns out to have a greater maximum zoom. JVC's camera specs for this model indicate it has a minimum focal distacne of 2.3, and a maximum of 78.2. You can't really compare the focal length numbers since the cameras are on different scales, but you can apply the same formula to the JVC, in which case 78.2 / 2.3 = 34, so indeed the JVC has a 34x zoom, as advertized. However, to completely compare the lenses, you should also zoom ALL OF THE WAY OUT, and compare those pictures as well. If you do this, you will find the Sony gives a much wider view than the JVC. In other words, the Sony has a wider angle lens than the JVC. So, if you are close to the subjects you are viewing, you will get much more in the picture with the Sony than with the JVC.

The bottom line is that zoom multipler on any camera lens is the ratio of the widest angle to the strongest zoom. Which is more important is up to you. Do you plan to shoot more indooors than out?
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I had to think twice about getting this camera due to the price, but I'm glad I did. I have had it since last December. I used it at Christmas time and was able to store quite a bit of video on it, before downloading it to my computer and adjusting it. You can adjust features yourself or just use the Easy mode. The camera does such a great job of adjusting itself most of the time during Easy mode, that I haven't bothered with other features, except for the night vision. That does come in handy when taking night shots, though the video is black and white when using the night vision feature. Downloading is SO easy! Battery life is long. Video quality is great. My only complaint is that still pictures are very grainy and pixelly. I was hoping for just one camera that would give me good stills and good video. For some reason that holy grail has yet to be achieved. But as a camcorder, the quality of this product is excellent.
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