Sony DCR-HC30 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom : Absolutely Great Camera

I own several sony electronic products including various cameras and tvs, and this model camera is a quality product. However, since it was a used model and did not include the software needed to download video i unfortunately had to return the product. The dealer/seller has an excellent return policy and so there was no problem. I would purchase electronic products from them again.

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. 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.

Sony DCR-HC30 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

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  • 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

This is a very nice compact camera and works great. However, images in bright sunlight are very washed out.

The picture shows a color lcd screen, mine is not. The remote that came with the unit either is the wrong one as shown in the manual, or does not work. The item did arrive on time an complete with cords and manual. I found that without the remote, the touch screen operation to be lacking.

I am also software engineer(5+) and have many years of building and fixing computer problems. But it was so hard for me to figure out how to transfer video to my computer. With this picture package software, it was impossible so i had to use other tools(luckly i had pinnacle software). It did not come with firewire so i wanted to use usb cable but it did not work. I had to install xp sp1(not mentioned in sony mannual) for this to recognize video transfer. Quality was bad so i bought firewire cable and card and it works fine now.

Sony DCR-HC30 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer) : I’ve been into dv for over a year now, i worked for a huge media site that did a lot of video crunching and encoding. So i’m not use to this bundled software. After a while of getting into the video editing again, i finally got the quality to come out good. The thing that is important is deinterlacing the video if you’re going to watch it on the pc. I couldn’t figure out how to do this in the software bundle they gave you, and it didn’t come out with a good resolution. ] and downloaded adobe premiere pro 1. 5, which is their newest version and is a great version. Once i used that to capture the video and also used the deinterlacing features to deinterlace the footage, it looked great. The resolution is 720×480, which is standard dv resolution.

I absolutely love this camera. With the sony name you can’t go wrong. The mini dv quality is fantastic. Little features about this camera really add up as well, such as the carl zeiss lens which makes the picture quality even better and with less glare. The internal lens cover is great, you don’t have to worry about loosing one. Touch screen is very easy to use and makes shooting that much better. Nightshot modes work very well and it’s very impressive how much light it can pick up in very low level light conditions. Remote control is very useful and is a must for any camera. One of the best features is the battery info. Not only does it tell you when your battery is getting low but it also tells you approximately how many minutes you have to work with.

This camcorder does an excellent job in normal lighting conditions considering the aperature is about 1/3 as large as my old sony trv57. For those people who are complaining about the performance in low-light conditions: what do you expect?. The lens is very small so you sacrifice significant light-gathering capability for a nice, small camera. Sony addresses this problem by allowing you to adjust the shutter speed via different recording ‘modes’. So far, i’ve found the results in low-light acceptable. I also purchased the dcrhc65 thinking the larger 1/5′ ccd would improve the performance in low-light, but it really wasn’t noticeable, so i returned it. The overall design of this camera is far superior to the hc65. All input/output cable ports are in easily accessible locations. The built-in lens cover is nice.

I’ve had this camera for 2 or 3 years and it still hasn’t let me down. I record concerts with it so it takes its fair share of abuse and its still in perfect working conditions. If you’re looking for a good camera and not looking to spend a whole lot of money you should really think about going with this camera.

Well the camera is really good, its our first video digital camera and its fairly easy to use. But the software is really bad, i spent 5hrs trying it on my mac and pc with little success so i read these reviews again and found the solution with another reviewer and used imovies on mac to upload video from tape to computer. Altho doesnt work with usb cable, has to be firewire cable. If you have a pc i feel sorry for you. You need to get different software as recommended by other reviewers. So i’m hoping it’ll be easy with the good old mac.

I was very pleased with the ease of use of this camera. It took great video and picked up sound through the built in microphone very nicely. It fits great in the hand and very lightweight. The only downside is the touch screen menu. At first, i thought it was a nice feature to have but it is very sensitive and doesn’t last long. I’ve had my camcorder for 3 years and it still records (since that button is on the camera itself) but it will not rewind, play or any other function that you want that requires the touch screen menu. Of course, the camera has a limited warrantee and to have it repaired is a minimum of $200. My next choice of camera will be with the traditional controls on the camera itself.

Do not buy this camcorder for the software. The camera works great but buyer beware – the software is useless. Sony could have done a much better job than the picture package software that is included. Help from the picture package website is virtually non-existant. If you want to edit video you need a firewire (not included) – but do not buy it from sony. They are much cheaper on amazon or elsewhere. A usb cable is included but is also useles unless you can tolerate the picture package software. An extra battery is a nice addition as well. And of course some sort of software to replace the picture package junk.

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 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.

I bought ther camera five days ago and was amazed at how easy it was to use. When i first saw all the options of the menu screen i thought i was in over my head. I just played around with them, and they were very self explanatory. The sound quality is great for an internal mic. The video quality is very good. I am very pleased with how clear the video is when i hook it to my tv and watch what i’ve shot. The zoom does get a little fuzzy at full throttle, but is very clear up until that point. Overall very good for the money.

First, i advise potential buyers to keep in mind the category of this device – simple, for quick home videos. And it is just perfect for that. Picture is definitely better than the best hi8 and the sound is very good (use 16 bit option always). Does not work perfectly at low light, but that is not expected. Handling – excellent, touch screen is the real saver, easy to use and handy. Efects – there are too many. Analog-to-digital pas through – it does not get any better than this. The best way to convert your analogue tapes to dvd. You can also make direct dvd recording from any possible source (tv, hi8, vcr. )note: i use intervideo dvd creator platinum 2 with xp home.

The video recorder worked fine almost out of the box. The battery needed to be charged. The video replays fine on the screen viewer. However it is impossible to transfer a video from tape to a cd. The documentation also says that it will take ‘hours’ to transfer from a tape to a cd. Sony should be ashamed of including this horrible junk software with their wonderful camcorder. Tape is just a method for recording. The camera gets 4 stars, the software gets negative 20 stars for all my wasted time. Don’t bother installing picture perfect software, it will not transfer from tape to cd for videos.

I got this one because of the name & the price. The lcd screen is really nice, perfect picture. All i do is make home movies with it, so i’m not really into all the editing stuff. I have taken a few pictures, and the quality is really grainy. But the way i look at it, the video quality is great, and that’s why i bought it. The menu is a little overwhelming, and i still don’t know what most of the menu items do. Overall, though, i would probably buy this item again.

I couldn’t get the microphone to work or the lip on top to hold my light fixture but the picture is good and the sound was fine without the microphone so i can use it to tape my television show but not to go out on interviews. It was packed beautifully and had all the features promised. I need to play with it more.

A best-kept minidv secret: the video ‘pass-through’ feature on the hc30 lets you connect a vcr or camcorder and digitize the signal for editing. You think it can’t make a difference?. Think againi have several dvds created with one of those usb all-in-one devices, from tapes made on my old analog camcorder. Using the usb, video quality was ok but with some artifacts and pixilazation. I then tried running the analog camcorder signal through the hc30 using the ‘pass through’ feature. What i got were zero lost frames, zero pixalization, and full screen video with no artifacts ()so it appears that using usb 2. 0 to sample analog video is not the way to go. As a result i’ve been spending evenings re-editing all my old analog camcorder tapes ‘through’ my hc30. – so don’t use the supplied usb cable. Link/firewire card and cable. I’m not sure why sony even bothered to include a usb cable and cause everyone grief. – instead of griping about the software sony bundled, spend an extra buck and go buy the ‘pinnacle studio’ or download the trial of sony vegas. Why buy a quality minidv camera and struggle editing your family movies with freeware?however: one downside to the hc30 is that mechanical noise from the camera is slightly picked up by the built-in microphone. Adding a high-quality mike like the sony ecms930c picks up the sound even more.

I just bought this camcorder yesterday, but the 24 hours that i’ve spent going through its features and video quality, i must say that i’m fairly impressed. I know it’s not at the top of the food chain, but the picture/sound quality is what i expected it to be for its class. I’m happy with the feature set; especially the 16:9 ratio mode and the spot focus/exposure setting. I could go on about this camcorder, but lets hear what others have to say. I sorta splurged, considering i’m a college student. But i feel my investment was well worth it.

It looks good and works perfect. Glad i bought it through amazon.

We’ve had this camcorder for over a year, and we haven’t had any problems with the operation of it yet. It is so compact and easy to use. It is also easy to hook it up to our television to watch the movies, or to just flip the viewfinder around and watch the movies while holding the camcorder in the palm of our hands. We are thrilled with the quality and ease of the movies we’ve recorded. There are so many functions, but they aren’t difficult to figure out. It was a bonus that this camcorder can take still digital photos, since we didn’t have a regular digital camara. But though the photos are good enough to keep, they look grainier than i would like. There is no flash, and i find the photo quality really improves when there is alot of light, especially outdoors. The memory stick this camcorder comes with can only hold about 12 photos at a time, but because you can delete the not-so-great photos on the spot, limiting it to 12 before uploading to the computer hasn’t been a problem for us. On the upside, it is a breeze to upload the photos onto our computer.

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Reviewed Item
Sony DCR-HC30 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
4 of 5 stars, based on 44 reviews