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Sony DCR-HC21

alaTest has collected and analyzed 221 reviews from magazines and websites. Opinions about the image quality and battery are on the whole positive. The value for money and usability are also mentioned favorably. The memory and viewfinder get negative reviews.

portability, usability, value for money, battery, image quality

viewfinder, memory

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Sony DCR-HC21 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 76/100 = Good quality.

See all Sony Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 221 reviews)

4 expert reviews

User Reviews  

Showing 94 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 94 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (1)

Expert review by:

Sony Handycam DCR-HC21


Review: Quick Take: The baby of Sony's consumer MiniDV line, the Handycam DCR-H21 uses the same lens and sensor as its slightly higher-end sibling, the DCR-HC32, so you can expect comparable video quality in all but darkness. Absent features available...

Expert review by:

Sony DCR-HC21 First Impressions Review - Sony MiniDV Camcorders


Sony's DCR-HC21 fills out the bottom rung of Sony's new MiniDV hierarchy this year. Released at CES early this January, The DCR-HC21 shares many specifications with last year's DCR-HC20, with a few upgrades. Most of these upgrades, however, are...

Expert review by:

Sony DCR-HC21


We assessed the DCR-HC21's color and video quality at optimal, bright light conditions of 3000 lux in a controlled testing environment. The results were similar to last year's DCR-HC20, which makes sense as the two camcorders share imager specifications


Expert review by:

Sony DCR HC21


Sony DCR-HC21 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder w/20x Optical Zoom.

The Sony DCR HC21 from Sony gives you a full-featured, compact MiniDV camcorder at an entry-level price. Highlights include the advanced HAD CCD imager, which captures stunning detail and clarity, and the digital zoom, which focuses on distant subjects...

Consumer review by:

*** Sony Handycam DCR-HC21 *** Streaming USB ***


*** Sony Handycam DCR-HC21 *** Streaming USB ***

Sony Handycam DCR-HC21 *** Streaming USB

Sony Handycam DCR-HC21 *** Streaming USB

Consumer review by:

Best camera for the money


I've been doing worker's comp fraud cases for over 5 years now and have been writing to Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and JVC to produce a more compact camcorder with all the features of the older large cameras. This one has easily filled the shoes of each...

Clean and dependable function through hours of surveillance. Very lightweight and compact and simple to use with fantastic features

Lack of color viewfinder (really, that's my only complaint)

Consumer review by:

Sony Hadndycam DCR-HC21e-Product failure


I own a 1 year old Sony handicam (DCR HC21E ).I confronted with a problem when I tried to download the content of the tape(cassette)into my system using the USB cable. After downloading a part of the content my computer got hung and stopped responding....

handy equipment

prone to failure

Consumer review by:

Completely satisfied


This was a great purchase! I can't believe what a deal it was. The picture is always clear, we don't have a problem with background noise. The touch panel LCD is great. The digital camera/camcorder option is good. The Carl Zeiss lens is outstanding.

The Carl Zeiss Lens, touch panel LCD, those two reasons were selling points for me

I have nothing to complain about

Consumer review by:

So far so good.Nice camera.


Excellent camera,low price

Transfering video to vcd not so good

Consumer review by:

I have yet to find a program to get my still pics off camera


I like the size of it. Also I like the touch screen.

How do I get the "Still" pictures off the camera?

Product Specifications

The DCR-HC21 from Sony gives you a full-featured, compact MiniDV camcorder at an entry-level price. Highlights include the Advanced HAD CCD imager, which captures stunning detail and clarity, and the Digital Zoom, which focuses on distant subjects providing clear close-up images with less distortion. The Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens offers less glare and increased contrast for vivid, more life-like color and tones. Make your personal videos complete with additional customization features such as Picture and Fader effects for creative and professional looking enhancements. Photo Mode allows you to capture and store hundreds of individual still images, and Picture Package software helps you easily organize and edit still images and video.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Sony NP-FP30

Camcorder Features

Low Lux / Night Mode: Yes

Camera Flash

Type: None

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.4cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Beach & ski / Landscape / Portrait mode / Sports mode / Spotlight / Sunset & moon


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Sony Handycam DCR

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/1.8-3.1
Max Focal Length:46mm
Min Focal Length:2.3mm
Optical Zoom:20
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:340Kpix/400Kpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:800Kpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/6"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):4.2 mm ( 1/6 ) / 4.2 mm ( 1/6" )
Optical Sensor Type:Advanced HAD CCD
Sensor Qty:1CCD

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Electronic (Super Steady Shot)/Optical (Super Steady Shot)

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Analog Video Format:PAL
Digital Scene Transition:Black fader / Monotone fader / Mosaic fader / Stripe fader / White fader
Digital Zoom:800
Media Type:Mini DV
Special Effects:Monotone / Mosaic / Negative Art / Pastel / Sepia / Solarization


Viewfinder Color Support:Black & white
Viewfinder Type:Electronic