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Sony DCRHC40 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

3.0 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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  • Sleek, compact MiniDV camcorder and digital still camera with 1-megapixel 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
4 used from $114.99

Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

CL) Sony DCRHC40 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom

From the Manufacturer

From the Manufacturer The DCR-HC40 MiniDV Handycam gives you all the features you’d expect from a Sony camcorder in an ultra-compact design that’s as beautiful as the images it captures. It features a 1.0 Megapixel Advanced HAD imaging chip and a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens which combine to capture video with incredible detail and clarity, making every video picture perfect. It also includes a huge 2.5" hybrid SwivelScreen touch panel LCD display with a 3D menu system, Super NightShot Plus infrared recording, USB streaming, and digital still image capturing on MemoryStick DUO media. Only Sony could pack so many features in a camcorder so small.

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-HC40 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.
  • 1.0 Megapixel (Gross) Advanced HAD CCD Imager 1/5" Advanced HAD (Hole Accumulation Diode) CCD with 690K (effective) pixels provides excellent detail and clarity, with exceptional video performance (up to 520 lines of horizontal resolution). Realize great looking digital still images utilizing 1000K (effective) pixels. The Megapixel technology enhances your digital videos and digital still photography performance.

  • 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 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.

  • 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 disc. 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:
DCRHC40 MiniDV Digital Handycam, AC-L25 Power Adaptor/ 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/Driver (Picture Package Software v1.0 for Sony)

Product Information

Product Dimensions 8.7 x 7 x 5.5 inches
Item Weight 8 pounds
Shipping Weight 3.4 pounds
Item model number GRDX307
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #21,603 in Camera & Photo
#1,183 in Camera & Photo > Camcorders
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at Amazon.com January 22, 2004

Technical Specification

Warranty & Support

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


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Walsh on March 1, 2004
I needed a cam to make some movies of my new daughter. I wanted something compact so that I would never hesitate to carry it around. I also wanted to make sure it was easy to use and took great video indoors. This narrowed my choices down to the Sony PC-105, TRV22 and the Canon Optura 300 / Elura 50. Except for the TRV22, all were the vertical style which while small, were awkward to use (the Sony being the worst with its horrible zoom control). The Canon's also do not have the IR-illuminated night shot capability. So, I was all set to buy the TRV22 especially since it has outstanding low-light capability when I tried out the HC40. The HC's form factor is just so great, I couldn't pass it up. It to me seems as small as the PC105 but is the much more hold-able horizontal style everyone prefers.

So I bought both the TRV22 and HC40 and compared them at home. Yes, the TRV22 does shoot noticably better in low light conditions, but practically speaking the HC40 is good enough for me, and the form factor more than makes up for it. I'd give it 5 stars if 1) its low light ability was as good as the TRV22 and 2) if its auto focus responded a bit quicker.
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I used to have a Canon Elura 2, but I despised its nightshot capability and the battery life was dismal. I discovered this camera searching several review sites and after seeing it in person, I was sold by its compact size.

This camera is very easy to operate and the quality of footage taken with it is phenomenal. There aren't a lot of buttons on this camera, as most of the configuration settings are accessed through the screen-based menu system. I've read a lot of people find the menu system annoying, however I find that it's laid out quite nicely. Once you pick a setting, the camera will shut down other options that aren't applicable given the settings you've selected.

I'm very happy with the nightshot mode. If you've ever watched Survivor, the night shots shots taken with this camera look like.

The zoom control on the camera took some getting used to and I've found that using your right hand middle finger to control it works quite well. You'll also want to adjust the hand strap to firmly hold your hand to the camera.

I have not used the software that comes with this camera and that seems to be where a lot of the whining comes from on CNet. If you're going to get a DV camera and you plan to edit the footage, invest in some decent video editing software (or buy an iMac).
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After looking at/researching cameras for a few months, I decided on this one. Here is what I was looking for (and what I got) in this camera.

1. Small. I wanted to be able to carry it in my pocket for easy access. This is not much bigger than my digital camera. It's freakishly small.

2. MiniDV. This appears to be the dominant home camera format, and I didn't want to be stuck w/ a format that would be out of date in a year.

3. Easily transferrable to my laptop and/or DVD recorder. No problems here. Very, very simple to transfer video.

4. Video quality. I wasn't comfortable paying a bit less for lower video quality. I'm glad I chose to pay a bit more. I'm very pleased w/ the quality. No washed out colors in my experience (as indicated in some other reviews). Very crisp and clear.

5. Low Light Capability. A number of cameras in the under-a-thousand price range have trouble w/ low light. This one does a very solid job.

A Couple of Caveats:

1. I've had a bit of trouble with wind noise. Granted, I live in Oklahoma where there are perpetual 459 mph winds, but I am surprised at this. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's mildly annoying.

2. Buying this through online services offering ridiculously cheap prices is annoying at best and dangerous at worst. I tried, no kidding, 6 different stores trying to 'get a good deal.' They all had something wrong--either it was a gray market product, or it didn't come with a battery, or it was going to take a month to get it. My strong suggestion is that you pay a bit more and buy this from someone you can trust.

3. You may want to consider buying a spare battery.
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I bought this camera at a retail store the day before a trip to New Orleans. My original intent was to purchase a camera but I noticed that the DV recorder was only a little more and felt adventurous. Of course, I paid a hefty price but I wasn't able to go through amazon because it was the day before my trip. That being said, I was afraid that I had been suckered into buying something of lesser quality. Being a photographer and used to high definiton cameras I thought that the DV camcorder would be a great step down.. I hadn't really even investigated camcorders for at least 5 years. Now that I'm back from the trip having shot both indoor and outdoor scenes, and watched the results on my widescreen tv I can say that I was very pleased. The camera is very very easy to use (as are most SONY products) and the quality is superb. I'm not sure what the other reviewer is complaining about. Color and contrast are great. Low light scenes will be difficult regardless of the tool you use.. the camera can't make light where there is none.. the nightvision mode helps but takes away some color.. but overall a great camera.
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