Sony DCR-SR40 30GB Hard Disk Drive Handycam – Does it all

Most ppl buy too much camcorder and pay for capabilities they will never use. I am using the camcorder for home movies, and frankly dont have the time to do any major editing to make productions out of them. More than enough for my purposes. Had i needed to do massive editing, i would have gont a step or 2 above, but they key for me was quality of product, easy of use, quality of film. I have a sony digicam for stills and do not intend to take stills with this. Even the best camcorder stills are not at par with avg digicam stills so why pay extra to get marginally better still shot capability.

It’s interesting how people will give this a really crappy review based upon one feature, or upon the fact that they didn’t rtfm before making a purchase (or at least make an educated purchase). This is a very easy camera to use. Start up time is very quick, and how can you beat the silent operation of a hard drive based camcorder?. The touch screen is also very easy to use, but i can easily see how it can annoy some people, especially those who don’t like fingerprints on screens. Nightshot mode, as always, is an added bonus, but this camcorder could have better benefited by an accessory shoe – though nightshot is fun in low light situations, you suffer from a lack of full color range. An accessory shoe could allow the use of a light, which would add more useability to this unit. I was able to mount the drive in both windows and linux with ease. Videos are stored as mpeg-2, which is pretty universal, just drop them into your video editor of choice. The included software is little more than basic, allowing you to backup your movies, or quickly create simple dvds.

Solves the purposee of easily making movies and buring dvd’s. This is my first cam and like it. Love the touch screen menus, dolby sound and zoom. Very compact and comes with a ‘ok’ software for editing. I have used the cam for three trips till now and haven’t faced any problem.

I’ve had no problems editing content transferred from the camcorder to my pc. I don’t use the software that comes with the camcorder, i use professional editing software and i have heard it is best to buy seperate editing software when purchasing any hard drive camcorder. The video image quality is terrific. I’ve edited my scenes and put together splendid dvds, the transitions between scenes were smooth and impressive. Mpeg2 isn’t as compressed as mpeg4 (divx), however it’s still a good standard. Anyone who doesn’t get good results needs to upgrade their pc – there is nothing less than perfect about this camcorder. The optical zoom is good, although i wish it was 30x or 40x optical zoom. The digital zoom feature is limiting, but that is to be expected and is the case with any camcorder. The controls are easy to use, you can perform the basic functions, zoom, record start/stop without using the touchscreen. Advanced functions are configuration options are in the touchscreen which is easy to navigate.

I bought this for a company video recently. The good part is it’s light, touch screen, easy to use, video are clips viewable on pc with the codec installed, no need to capture it. The bad things are: it’s a bit too small to fit my hand. I was using a tripod so it wasn’t terribly bad. The software to make the dvd doesn’t seem to work, everything went thru, started processing and said there’s a file being used, rebooted, reinstall, update to the latest version still doesn’t solve it.

Want to see how this video camera performs. See our race videos with varying lighting and daylight shots at [. it works fantastic for high speed, low lighting conditions, zoom and pan. ]

  • All good except the image quality
  • Does it all
  • Excellent video quality with a good price.

I bought this camera not expecting much because it is the lowest camera in sony’s hard drive camera line. I love the zoom and the picture quality outside. Inside the quality of the picture is really grainy in low light conditions. The camera is really compact and light which makes it easy to handle and cary. I bought this camera for my wife after looking at cameras for 2 months and trying to decide weather we really needed a high end camera. She wanted the camera for taping our son who is just learning how to walk.

Several other people have already written thorough reviews so we dont need another one. I do want to point out a few things i think folks may wish to know. First off, i got this many years ago from best buy when it was brand new, and i paid considerably less than 700 dollars. Dont know why it took a price raise over the years. It has decent features but most of them would be considered standard on modern digital video cameras so this item really cant be considered special for any reason. My chief desire was an all digital system with massive storage, and a 30gb internal hard drive provided exactly that. As soon as you record the unit turns your video into mpeg2 (same standard as dvd’s) and writes it to the hard drive. When you end record mode it finishes the file and you have something neat and easy to transfer directly over to your computer for editing or publishing. This may seem basic today with all the cute little pocket cams we have, but back when the camera came out the standard at the time was still magnetic tape and you had to do the mpg conversion manually over a video cable. Too much hassle for the average person.

Functions just as advertised. Only one thing i would like better, longer battery life. The night shot function is great with a better than expected range.

Came as expected very happy with it. I hate having to leave a review for for such a simple thing.

Yes, the new generation of sony hdd camcorders do not support firewire; instead they only have usb 2. But that information is published in the camera’s specs, so buyers should be well aware of what they’re getting (and what they’re not). It’s hardly fair to buy the camera and then give it only one star because you didn’t do your homework.

Features of Sony DCR-SR40 30GB Hard Disk Drive Handycam with 20x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

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  • Built-in 30 GB hard disk drive for easy file storage and one-touch DVD burning
  • 1/6-inch, 680,000-pixel CCD for crisp images
  • 20x optical zoom; 800x digital zoom
  • 2.5-inch LCD monitor for easy viewing
  • Handycam station included

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Have found no problems at all. I have the extended battery and it works great. I am a novice at best when it comes to cameras but have a strong technical background. So importing the videos to the hard drive is very simple. Directly burning to dvd is extremely simple. The night vision is pretty cool. But does not replace an actual light. But for the price it’s awesome.

I’ve been using the sony handycam for work and so far it’s been working out pretty well. I’m not a manual reader and like things to work right out of the box. With a working knowledge of these new gadgets today, it was relatively easy to get it started. I’m able to export directly to my computer or create a dvd with only one touch of a button (although i haven’t done this yet). I like it, it’s easy to use, light weight and has a 30 gb hard drive so it never runs out of space. The only drawback is that i’m often trying to figure out where the connectors are on the camera.

I bought this camera to tape my daughters games. The quality on replayhas been awesome. Easy direction to set up and easy handling. Only issue i have had was with the program for quick dvd maker. When i have taped several things and want them on different dvd’s i have not been able to figure out the program it comes with. Redownloaded it twice thinking i did it wrong, and still had problems. Tried the directions and followed to a t and still have problems completing. So, camera is great i am not fond of download program. Wish i had , had someone show me first hand how it worked.

Out of the box this is a simple to use camera. The convenience of having the video or picture right on a hard drive is great. I did a lot of searching and this one was the most bang for the buck. Just starting to use it so can’t say much for now. My wife loved it for its size and weight.

As much as intriging a hard disk may be, you should be awre that this are pretty much first generation cameras and thus they do have some problems. Should you overcome these, you should be happy with this camcorder. More specific:-if you are an exclusive mac user then you should not buy this as it is not really compatible with apple. -it is pc compatible but you may need specific software (or settings) in some instances-if you have a new sony pc life is easier for you-you do not have to deal with tapes anymore and thus downlowding is much much faster-easy to use and good lens. -small and handyall in all a decent camera but i expected more from sony as they have proven that they can do better.

Make sure you have a dvd burner before you start trying to burn to disc, not all computers have them. Software is very easyto maneuver. You will not be disappointed.

Built-in 30 GB hard disk drive for easy file storage and one-touch DVD burning

I bought this product shortly after my daughter’s birth to capture her precious moments. It is lightweight, and easy to use. The handycam has some cool features and the online user guide is certainly user-friendly. I was able to easily burn a dvd and even create a dvd menu. The camera feature is useless. The photos come out terrible, and also very blurry, especially if the object is moving. The quality of the picture is very good during the day, but at night the backlight feature does look a bit artificial. Overall, a good camera for the price.

I am very pleased with the sony handycam dcr-sr40. Its performance at low light is good for the price. Easy to use, easy to transfer to hard drive and therefore easy to transfer to other media. Sound pickup is good for no external mic.

When i purchased this video camera, i wanted one that did it all without allot of thought on my part. With the touch sensitive screen, you can choose options from the menu without any real hassle. When your done, connect it to the computer and drop the movie into any movie software. I use imovie and it works great. The hd is amazing and the sound is very sensitive. The setting allow for even candle light. With no internal tape, transfers are very easy.

This camera has proven to be very convenient in size and features for the period of time it has worked. Feb 2007 – july 2008 with very little problems. I purchased it with no extended warranty, an extra battery and a good case for it. I have always taken care good of it , keeping the cover on and in the case when not in use. I also made sure to disconnect from computer through software before usb removal. I have used an average of maybe 90 minutes every two months since the purchase date. Im presuming most people would expect to use the same. All the features on the camera and convenience of size, hdd, extra zoom, ‘okay’ night mode, wide screen, etc. Is what may justify the price.

I bought this for my wife who teaches music and occasionally needs a camcorder to record the musical events. I filmed in low light from the back of the room with only spotlights on the cast of the musical and both my wife and i were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the output. However; several things i did not notice prior to purchase which are not show stoppers but would have influenced my decision about this camera: no usb connection on the camera. You have to put it into the docking station for the usb transfer of files to your computer. And the only other thing is that if you are running the camera off the power cord plugged into the wall – it will not charge the battery. You can switch the camera off and the battery will start charging – this again is not a show stopper but somewhat of a hassle for me. I really like the camera but these two small things distract me from an excellent rating.

For what it’s worth, the dcr-sr40 works with my macbook pro. After connecting the camera with usb 2, it shows up as a mass storage device with mpeg2 files. There’s a nice shareware app called ffmpegx that can import into a number of formats, including regular dv with audio. Quicktime can’t play mpeg2 by default, but you can buy the codec from apple ([. it seems to have a problem with muxed, audio, though, so it isn’t really a complete solution. ]

1/6-inch, 680,000-pixel CCD for crisp images

We received it at 5pm and used it at 7pm to record a concert.

We had one of those big bulky ugly sony camcorders, but for xmas, i told my husband i wanted a camcorder small enough to fit into my pocket book since i have two kids and i wanted to record all the cutesy things they do and say (one is 3 and the other is 8 months). I was happy with the size of it, the weight, the quality and the ease of use. I too think that the docking station is a bit of a hassle, but overall, i love the convenience of throwing it into my pocket book without it weighing it down and causing too much strain on my shoulder. It’s easy and handy whenever i need it and i can pretty much leave it anywhere around the house for quick use instead of lugging the other big one around the house or wherever i go.

This digital video camera has provided about 8 years of trouble free use.

The reason i pick this camcorder is because it is hard disk drive and it is way cheaper than its upper level product dcr-sr60. The camcorder is small, cool looking, easy to use but poor image qualiy. Before i bought it, i did some research. Lots of online reviews for this camcorder mentioned the image quality is poor, i just didn’t think it would be that poor. I can tell this, my canon digital camera takes better videos than this camcorder. I also found out this camcorder does take still picture, but in a very poor quality. My logitach quickcam takes better still picture than it. I was actually disappointed of sony, i cannot believe they can even produce poor video quality camcorder like this and sell for $500+. For me to choose a camcorder, video quality matter the most. Hence, if you can accept poor quality video but pay more attentions to other features, this camcorder maybe your choice. However for me, i returned the next day. I may buy dcr-sr100 which sells $300 more, i think there is a reason.

A superb piece of equipment.

The good:nice picture quality (for what it is)smooth zoomlightweight and very portablethe bad:broken out of the box (the mode switch didn’t work). Had to have it fixed right away (it was covered through warranty)menus a little complex if you’re trying to look at something quicklyin playback, the bottom of my screen has a black ‘border’ that bounces up and down. I hate it but i’m not paying to get it fixed because i’m tired of messing with it. As i type this, the battery is totally dead and unchargable. I need to buy a new battery. The software that comes with it is not user friendly at all. I’ve had nothing but problems getting the footage on to my computer.

This camcorder does capture good video. But the main drawback is that it records in mpeg2 format (dvd quality). Initially its nice and easy to capture video and watch it on your computer by downloading the files using the usb 2. It gives you instant gratification. But after capturing 4 or 5 hours of video, you will notice that your videos aren’t so great as you expect it to be. Its not the fault with your camcorder. Its because all of us shoot extra footage, unwanted scenes, shakes, etc which we want to edit. You may want to add a title or two, add transitions, add backgroud music, combine your photos with the video, etc. Basically you may want to edit your footage.

20x optical zoom; 800x digital zoom

Low light it works and produces fair results. Bright light is much better. You must use the supplied docking station to transfer as ther is no usb port on camera. There is the dc in and tv out on camera (as well as the docking station. ) 30gb hard drive is plenty. If you fill this up you are looking at 8 dvd’s and hours of transfer. The software is weak and conflicts with roxio 7. Found a simple program to burn after this. Plan on getting adobe premier elements, too. 89 less 30 mail in rebate from adobe. Much better then the software in box. My first cam as we now have a cute baby. Easy to keep it rolling and have gigs to save.

Just a little hard to download. My brother-in-law bought one after using mine. But he got the download kit from sony for recording the videos(about $200). Does ok on pictures, great on video recording. Best part, it is a 2 in 1 that fits in a regular digital camera case. The zoom is awesome on this camera. And the 30gb hard drive records forever.

Just a note: sony is now using proprietary batteries in this and other models. I bought an aftermarket backup battery, and the camera displayed ‘use sony info lithium’. Sony batteries are twice the price of aftermarket, and i’m told they are only available through sony. Still photos are dissappointing-i’ll check the manual to see if still resolution is adjustable, but i don’t think it is. Edit:9/07-i have sold this cc due to the bad video and worse still quality (less than. It looks like it will be a while before hdd catches up to hdv tape units in quality and software. Arter watching dvds from this pos on my 37′ lcd, i’d give it 0 stars if i could.

2.5-inch LCD monitor for easy viewing

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Sony DCR-SR40 30GB Hard Disk Drive Handycam with 20x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Rating
0 of 5 stars, based on 42 reviews