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Sony DCR-HC40

alaTest has collected and analyzed 356 reviews of Sony DCR-HC40. The average rating for this product is 3.8/5, compared to an average rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders for all reviews. Opinions about the design and image quality are on the whole positive. The size and portability also get good feedback. Opinions are divided on the price, and some have doubts about the connectivity and viewfinder.

usability, portability, size, image quality, design

battery, zoom, viewfinder, connectivity

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Sony DCR-HC40 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 78/100 = Good quality.

See all Sony Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 356 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 251 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 143 of 251 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (105)

Consumer review by: ( review summary for Sony DCR-HC40


alaTest has collected and analyzed 48 user reviews of Sony DCR-HC40 from The average user rating for this product is 4.0/5, compared to an average user rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders on People really like the price and portability. The size and image quality also get good opinions.

usability, image quality, size, portability, price

85% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the product: Sony DCR-HC40ES Digital Camcorder

Jul, 2015

Consumer review by: ( review summary for Sony DCR-HC40


alaTest has collected and analyzed 85 user reviews of Sony DCR-HC40 from The average user rating for this product is 4.0/5, compared to an average user rating of 3.9/5 for other Camcorders on People really like the size and price. The image quality and portability also get good comments, whereas some have doubts about the viewfinder and zoom.

usability, portability, image quality, price, size

zoom, viewfinder

80% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Sony DCRHC40 MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical ZoomSONY DCR-HC40E MiniDV PAL Handycam(R) Camcorder

Jul, 2015

Editor's Choice!

Expert review by: Jan Ozer (

Samsung SC-D6040 DuoCam


Good quality audio and video ; new controls on LCD panel

Some usability issues

The Sony DCR-HC40 produces good video quality for an entry-level camcorder.

Nov, 2004

Expert review by: PC Magazine (

Sony DCR-HC40 MiniDV Handycam


Good quality audio and video; new controls on LCD panel

Some usability issues

The Sony DCR-HC40 produces good video quality for an entry-level camcorder.

Sep, 2004

Expert review by: (

Sony Handycam DCR-HC40


Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more.

Compact and lightweight; solid video quality and low-light performance; accessory shoe; on-camera editing mode.

Sometimes awkward touch-screen controls; prone to recording popping noise from zoom toggle; bottom-loading tape; no wind filter for microphone; short battery life from included cell.

The DCR-HC40's touch screen can be inconvenient to use, but this affordable compact camcorder's footage in automatic mode isn't likely to need many adjustments.

May, 2004

Expert review by: Easy Camcorder (

Expert Review


Although the DCR-HC40, as the top of this year's HC line by Sony, includes an improvement in CCD size and still capabilities from its fellow camcorders, its performance is remarkably similar to the DCR-HC30, which nearly serves to render invalid any...

LCD quality, - Ease of use, - Decent low light and video quality

Zooms, - Still options, - Mediocre manual control

Nov, 2004

Expert review by: Robin Liss (

Sony DCR-HC40 First Impressions Camcorder Review - Sony MiniDV Camcorders


At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Sony introduced five new MiniDV camcorder's including the middle of the line DCR-HC40. The DCR-HC40 replaces last year's DCR-TRV33. At a selling price of $700, the DCR-HC40 is Sony's lowest priced Megapixel...

Feb, 2004

Expert review by: (

Sony DCR HC40


Sony DCR HC40 is a MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder with a 10x Optical Zoom.

The Sony 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...

Consumer review by: visorup (

Image stabilisation input and output options punch hard


This is one of four Cams I own the others are all Panasonic, well panny's are in my experience far more reliable than Sony plus give a lot more bang for buck. The reason I own this HC40E is I needed a helmet cam, so AV IN and Lanc control plus small...

For hand held video this cam rocks in it's price range

Touch screen can be a pain at times

Jun, 2010

Consumer review by: kchesire (

wish i could have bought something else


It was the first camcorder i ever bought, the picture quality is just too poor indoors unless you provide artificial lighting and the still images even in good light are not sharp, i cant recommemd this to anyone.

light weight and compact

too much noise, cant download from tape, poor picture quality in low light

Sep, 2006

Consumer review by: Rich Hill (

Solid video quality with an appealing price.


Having been out for a few years, the savings you'll make purchasing this video camera, along with the sharp video quality, overcome design and perfomance quirks.

Sharp video, Media Stick Duo slot, touch-screen is very useful

Bottom-loading, mediocre still quality

Jun, 2006

Consumer review by: lenniaj (

It records video, that's where things stop


Sony dropped the ball on the software interface. If all you want to do is record, great. Just don't expect to edit or use on a computer. It's next to impossible to capture and work with. I don't recommend this camera and regret my purchase.

Nice size, OK to use

No software support

May, 2006

Product Specifications

Sony DCR-HC40E compact MiniDV Digital Handycam provides a combination of high picture quality and ease-of-use. It features a new horizontal body design and incorporates a range of enhancements including Carl Zeiss lens, NightShot Plus, Easy Handycam operation and Memory Stick Duo slot. The new model is not only compact and lightweight, but is ergonomically sound. It incorporates touch-screen technology for access to the Handycam menu system and a built-in lens cover for enhanced convenience. Among the advancements, one in particular is the new NightShot Plus system that allows for recording in darkness, while delivering more natural colors to videos. That ensures no residual images even when shooting fast moving objects. To provide beginners with a one-stop solution, the new Easy Handycam button simplifies the choice of menu features with a limited set of commands for basic operation on the LCD screen in large, easy-to-read characters. With almost all settings on automatic, learning to shoot videos is much easier. The camcorder can resume to the normal function Regular Mode, making the model perfect for both beginners and advanced users. The DCR-HC40E comes equipped with Sony's new video editing software - Picture Package - that offers an extremely easy way to create music videos on Video CDs. By connecting the Handycam with a PC via a USB or i.LINK (IEEE1394), users can modify their videos with music or special effects and burn the videos directly onto Video CDs. The DCR-HC40E offers Sony's unique Mega Pixel Engine and a 1 Mega Pixel CCD for high definition videos and excellent color reproduction with an ultra compact Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar Lens for superior image capture. The Mega Pixel Engine uses ultra high speed signal processing to convert analog signals to digital signals at high speed, resulting in superior color reproduction. In addition to providing true 16: 9 wide screen mode by using the whole area of the Mega Pixel CCD, it also allows for direct recording in 16: 9 mode onto the tape. Users can take full advantage of the wide screen functionality to play back videos on 16: 9 screen televisions.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Sony NP-FP50

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 / Night plus mode / Portrait mode / Sports mode / Spotlight / Sunset & moon / Super night mode/Beach & ski / Landscape / Portrait mode / Sports mode / Spotlight / Sunset & moon

Flash Memory

Form Factor:Memory Stick Duo
Storage Capacity:8MB


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Sony Handycam DCR

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/1.8-2.3
Max Focal Length:32mm
Min Focal Length:3.2mm
Optical Zoom:10
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:690Kpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:1Mpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/5"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):5.1 mm ( 1/5 ) / 5.1 mm ( 1/5" )
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Qty:1CCD

Optical System

Image Stabilizer:Electronic (Super Steady Shot)

Service & Support

Type:1 year warranty

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Analog Video Format:NTSC/PAL
Digital Scene Transition:Black fader / Monotone fader / Mosaic fader / Overlap fader / Random / White fader / Wipe fader/Black fader / Mosaic fader / Overlap fader / Random / White fader / Wipe fader
Digital Video Format:MPEG EX
Digital Zoom:120
Media Type:Mini DV
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode / Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Card Mix / Chroma Key / Flash Motion / Low Shutter Speed (LSS) / Luminance Key / Mosaic / Negative Art / Old Movie / Pastel / Sepia / Solarization / Still / Trail
Still Image Format:JPEG


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:Electronic