Sony DCR-HC38 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder : Great Camera for the price

I bought this camera as i wanted one that was easily carried because i travel a great deal. I read all the reviews prior to buying it and it has lived up to my expectations and the quality of the videos taken is excellent. I had second thoughts about it not having a light but it takes good videos in low ambient light conditions and the ‘night shot’ feature works well. It is a very user friendly camera right out of the box. The only negative feature would be lack of a remote control but for a little more money, sony makes a model with this feature. All around good camera for the price.

This is the second camcorder i’ve owned and third i’ve used. I am amazed at how lightweight the unit is that it’s possible to record a whole fifth graders band concert without feeling one’s arm will fall offi also use linux at home on my personal computer and the camcorder just worked via the ‘firewire’ (ieee 1394) connection. This is a very important feature for me. So far it has performed flawlessly. I’ve used the 16:9 widescreen mode so the video fills our hdtv display in the proper aspect ratio (no ugly stretching).

Sony DCR-HC38 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder with 40x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

  • Make sure this fits
    by entering your model number.
  • Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens; 40x optical/2000x digital zoom
  • 1/6-inch Advanced HAD CCD imager
  • 2.5-inch touch-panel SwivelScreen LCD display
  • NightShot Plus technology and Super SteadyShot picture stabilization system
  • USB streaming; i.LINK DV interface

Bought this to download mini dv tapes from years past. The company customer service was excellent too.

I brought this camera to film moments of me and my buddies playing sports. The quality, sound and picture of each came out excellent. The stablization is amazing and the color jumps off the screen. I really love the touch screen controls on the camera. It doesn’t give you the hd quality you expect from most of the cameras out today but the picture is almost as good. It’s great for small events and its light weight and small. It has a very nice battery life. It’s easy to edit and change the video using the software provided. It uses mini dv tapes, which from what i researched seem to be the best and most popular type for a camcorder at the time.

I don’t have a huge amount of experience with camcorders, and this is my first ever use of a minidv camera. I can say it’s very easy to use, lightweight, and meets all my expectations. Also, even though it’s not advertised as being mac compatible, i had no trouble getting this to work with imovie and my mac. Imovie will import a separate clip for each time the recording was stopped. A firewire cable must be purchased separately, but a generic belkin 6-pin to 4-pin cable works fine. No need to buy a sony-branded ilink cable. Great battery life from what i can tell so far. No frills as far as accessories, though. Not so much as a neck strap, and as already mentioned, the firewire cable doesn’t come with it either.

Sony DCR-HC38 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder with 40x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer) : The sony dcr-hc38 camcorder is a great little video camera. I have used it quite often since the purchase and even for someone who is not very adept working electronic equipment, it is easy to operate yet takes great videos. I highly recommend this camera, it’s certainly worth the cost.

I have had a sony hi-8 camcorder for ten years now, and was genereally pleased with it. However, i wanted to go digital. I didn’t want to spend too much money, certainly not on my first digital venture. I did a lot of online reading, and got the impression that hdd cameras didn’t perform too well, and mini dvd limits your time, so went for minidv. I have had the camera just over a week at the time of writing. Cons: sony accessories, particularly batteries are far too expensive. I shall be looking for 3rd party sources. Cannot control playback except via touch screen lcd. Cannot charge batteries off camera without purchasing a seperate charger. It comes with some basic editing software on cd, but i cannot comment on this, as i have adobe premiere 1. 5, and i am using this with no problem at all. If you want to transfer your video into your computer, you need a firewire cable. Usually for a pc you need a 4 pin to 6 pin one. You can buy them on amazon much cheaper than the local stores, so i recommend ordering one if you decide to buy the camcorder.

Outstanding everything i expected. I am ok with stuff, but not an expert this was easy to use and great picture. Only problem did not know that i had to have firewire to get it on computer. Once i got a port it gets great pictures. Only reason i did not give it a 5.

Well, i purchased this product refurbished around a month ago. I carried this baby around with me and made multiple films in the breif period of time. I could not love a human child more than i loved this camera. But about a week ago, the camera would no longer turn on. I hope this does not discorage any potential buyers, i think that it may have been a problem with a refurbished product. I am just going to upgrade top the dcr-hc96 because of the hot shoe ability and so i can have a more versitile camera. The best feature of the dcr-hc38 is the 40x optical zoom it retains great clarity and can see farther then most home binoculars. All and all a very good camera, and would recomend to anyone who wants a very good cheap camera.

This camera is easy to use, easy to handle. I have small hands and it is lightweight, fits snugly in the palm of my hand and takes great videos. The instructions are simple and, although the camera is capable of alot more complicated uses, for a grandmother taking videos of grandchildren just for the fun of it, it works extemely well. I would recommend this highly to anyone who, like me, is a novice. I can’t imagine i will ever outgrow it.

This is my second sony minidv camera (my dad dropped and broke my first one). It works great and provides good quality. There are lots of great comments and reviews out there, and i won’t repeat all that stuff. Here are a few quick comments:- it’s small enough to fit in a belly-pack or fanny-pack. That means it’s easy to bring along. Cameras left at home don’t deliver very good results- i thought having the 40x optical zoom would be awesome. It is, but here’s my caveat – it’s virtually impossible to hand-hold the camera at full zoom and get a decent picture – even with the great image stabilization feature turned on. When you get past about 25x, you’ll need a tripod or to brace the camera on a ledge or something. – night vision (using an infra-red emitter to illuminate in total darkness) is a great feature, which most people overlook. Great stuff, as expected, from sony.

I own this camera after upgrading from my first sony: a hc21. It takes clear outdoor videos, indoors i have to turn on the ‘back light’ features to get a clear pictures. Besides, i edit the video on pc. I love the firewire port for best video quality. I make my home video look like a profesional just with this non-profesional camera. I have 2 extra batteries and an extra wall charger, for a serious amateur like me it is worthy ti get what i need. I dont want to run out-of power in the middle of an event. I can also do color correction if need it.

I purchased this camcorder to replace my 8yr old sony hi-8 video recorder as the sony was failing. I also wanted to ‘digitize’ my videosso i could download onto my computer and back them up via dvd. I read that mini-dv tapes were the best value for recording, so i opted for this unit. This is a very average, easy to use camcorder. Controls are easy to understand. All play or record controls are on the lcd. Here’s my assessment:* image quality is fair- no better or worse than my older sony unit. Being a digital camera, i expected the image quality to be much improved. * image quality under low light is fair to poor. Very grainy and sometimes hard to see.

The sony minicam that we ordered work very well. We use it to capture video for sports analysis. To do this we need a minicam that has a firewire port. The camera that we ordered was shown with the port and came properly packed and in good working order. It included a note from the vendor that if we had any problem with it, return it within 30 days. The unit is working well and we are very pleased with our purchase.

I have an hc32 camcorder and my lcd display just died without much notice (it flickered one day and became dark with red hue and died). I searched the problem and it appears that a lot of people have shared a similar story on the net. It happened to my when my camera was about two years old. Similar problems have been reported on hc42 model as well. You may want to research this problem. I am not going to buy another sony camcorder (it was my 3rd sony camcorder in 17 years. I was very happy with it till it worked. But, the lcd problem appears to be a widespread problem. Once the lcd display dies, you can’t do much as most of the controls are through the touch screen.

I found this product to be good and meets my requirements. Off-course this is a sony product. Easy to handle, operate and the quality of audio and video is really appreciative and worth the price. I feel i made a good decision by buying this product.

I had researched for 2 weeks before i made a purchase on this video camera. I was started to look for one using usb connection but the picture quality is not what i wanted. I came across with the hd type as well but according to what i read it may not have the quality i wanted and the disk space usually save up to only 30 mins of good quality video. Anyway i back to the basic and get a mini dv. In short i brought this according to all different review. I’m satisfy with the camera. It’s not really a snap to use. I had to read the manual a little bit before i know how to do play back and get it connect to the pc. That part could be because i’m not a sony person. By the way, i also brought the fire wire card along with this camera in amazon.

I agree with the first review posted here for the most part. I will add that i have tried the software and was not impressed. First, upon installation i received an error message that said the software was not windows certified, and that the installation could cause my system to become unstable. After installation, my system crashed on a daily basis. I have sensed uninstalled and contacted sony. They basically said it doesn’t matter that it is not windows certified because it is sony certified. Once i uninstalled, the crashes stopped. Will be looking for 3rd party sw to use.

The seller was completely honest. The packaging was perfect, as was the price. Our same camera’s door would not close, so this was great and arrived in time to video our son’s wedding.

This is a third minidv camcorder i’ve owned, after samsung and canon brands. Ironically, the last one i got has the least features. I was aghast when i didn’t find any remote control in the box. You have to go to your camcorder every time you want to forward or rewind your tape. Had i known, would’ve never bought. Besides, if you’re planning to use it with your wide-screen hdtv, this ain’t the right choice. You gotta get an hd camcorder. Menu system is totally touch-screen based, which is pretty awkward. You have to keep pressing your tiny lcd all the time.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Sony DCR-HC38 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder with 40x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
4 of 5 stars, based on 35 reviews