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Sony DCR-HC42

alaTest has collected and analyzed 673 reviews of Sony DCR-HC42. The average rating for this product is 3.5/5, compared to an average rating of 3.9/5 for other Camcorders for all reviews. Reviewers are impressed by the size and image quality. The price and portability also get good feedback. The viewfinder and reliability get negative reviews, while opinions are divided on the battery.

usability, portability, price, image quality, size

reliability, viewfinder

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Sony DCR-HC42 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 81/100 = Very good quality.

See all Sony Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 673 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 611 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 409 of 611 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (62)

Consumer review by: ( review summary for Sony DCR-HC42


alaTest has collected and analyzed 6 user reviews of Sony DCR-HC42 from The average user rating for this product is 4.5/5, compared to an average user rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders on People really like the size and portability. The price and usability are also mentioned favorably. Many are critical about the reliability.

image quality, usability, price, portability, size


100% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the product: Sony DCR-HC42E Handycam MiniDV Camcorder [1Mp, 12x Optical, 2.7" Wide Hybrid LCD]

May, 2015

Consumer review by: ( review summary for Sony DCR-HC42


alaTest has collected and analyzed 393 user reviews of Sony DCR-HC42 from The average user rating for this product is 3.5/5, compared to an average user rating of 3.9/5 for other Camcorders on Reviews about the size and image quality are generally positive. The price and portability are also appreciated, whereas comments are divided on the color. There are some negative opinions about the viewfinder and reliability.

usability, portability, price, image quality, size

reliability, viewfinder

74% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Sony DCR-SR42 30GB Hard Disk Drive Handycam Camcorder with 40x Optical ZoomSONY DCRHC42E Digital MiniDV PAL Handycam(R) CamcorderSony DCR-HC42 1MP MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/12x Optical

May, 2015

Expert review by: Tracey Capen (

Sony DCR-SR42 30GB Hard Drive Digital Camcorder (0.68MP, 40x Opt, 2000x Dig, 2.7


When you're recording a special occasion, keeping things simple is the safest way to go: Just point, press a button, and let the camcorder do the rest. That's the approach championed by Sony's DCR-SR42 Handycam ($540 as of April 24, 2007), which...

Powerful zoom ; Touch screen eases menu navigation

Lacks white balance calibration ; Low-quality still images

May, 2007

Expert review by: CNET (

Sony Handycam DCR-SR42


Given its mediocre video quality, the Sony Handycam DCR-SR42 seems overpriced for what it delivers.

Compact and lightweight; large storage capacity; bundled dock; built-in lens cover

Mediocre video and still photo quality; no wind filter; small, fingerprint-magnet touch screen LCD; software free for Windows but $100 for Mac

Feb, 2007

Expert review by: ( - Sony DCR-HC42 MiniDV Handycam


Although the Sony DCR-HC42 is a lightweight in both price and heft, it's far from lightweight in quality. In our tests, we rated the $560 DCR-HC42 ...

Jun, 2005

Expert review by: Richard Baguley (

Sony DCR-HC42


Photograph: Rick Rizner

Active Interface Shoe (hot shoe) ; 2.7-inch widescreen LCD

Image stabilization is electronic, not optical ; No manual controls ; Dock required for video transfer ; Images have purple fringing ; Poor low light performance

Jun, 2005

Expert review by: Michael Perlman (

Sony DCR-SR42 Camcorder Review


The DCR-SR42 is Sony's entry-level hard disk drive (HDD) camcorder. Retailing for $549, the camcorder clearly demonstrates the pricing stratification in the market. Of the three leading standard definition formats, HDD camcorders are almost always the...

Nov, 2007

Expert review by: Matt Culler (

Sony DCR-HC42 First Impressions Camcorder Review - Sony MiniDV Camcorders


Starting with an MSRP of US$600, the DCR-HC42 is the cheapest Sony MiniDV camcorder this year to exhibit Sony'snew widescreen LCD screen, which is, in all honesty, pretty cool. It also sports the same redesigned exterior found onthe DCR-HC32 and...

Feb, 2005

Expert review by: Easy Camcorder (

Expert Review


The DCR-HC42 is the midrange camcorder in Sony's 2005 DCR-HC series. Like the rest of the DCR-HC line this model is fairly easy to use, with great automatic controls and the Easy Handycam mode. Easy Handycam leaves all image quality control decisions...

Automatic Controls, -LCD, -Zoom Toggles, -Widescreen

Manual Controls, -Low Light, -Menu, -Video Performance

Dec, 2004

Expert review by: Michael Perlman (

Sony DCR-SR42


The DCR-SR42 is Sony's entry-level hard disk drive (HDD) camcorder. It may not be the best entry-level HDD overall, but it's a decent value for the money.

Nov, 2007

Expert review by: Robert Ellis (

Sony DCR-HC42


At first glance, the Sony DCR-HC42 looks promising enough. It's compact, sports a 2.7-inch widescreen LCD, and shoots colorful, vibrant video outdoors. Unfortunately, it suffers from very noticeable purple fringing, a distracting purple glow that...

2.7-inch widescreen LCD ; Active Interface Shoe (hot shoe)

Images have purple fringing ; no manual controls ; image stabilization is electronic, not optical ; poor low light performance ; dock required for video transfer

The DCR-HC42 is virtually identical in appearance with the DCR-HC32, with well-placed controls, and the same slightly awkward power switch and eject lever. There are only a few buttons and controls on the body of the camcorder, with most options...

Jul, 2005

Expert review by: (

Sony DCR HC42


Sony DCR-HC42 1MP MiniDV Digital Handycam Camcorder w/12x Optical.

Capture and transfer video images quickly and easily with Sony DCR HC42 MiniDV Handycam camcorder. Its professional quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens captures brilliant images with life-like color and tones while the advanced HAD CCD imager provides...

Product Specifications

One step ahead, the DCR-HC42E Compact DV camcorder from Sony uses the full width of a 1megapixel CCD to always capture and playback your images in true 16: 9 widescreen. A high picture quality for both movies and still images are guaranteed and true 16: 9 movies can be played back to the full on a home theater system. Your camcorder is always ready to shoot and playback. The Handycam Station is a powered cradle for the DCR-HC42E that features an i.LINK connection for digital video editing on a PC or to copy footage to a DVD recorder, as well as USB for Web streaming purposes. Multi AV (Analog, S-Video and Audio) is also featured for dubbing to analog tape, as well as playing back movies or still images on a TV. Throughout connection, the camcorder's "infoLITHIUM" battery is powering up, ensuring that the docked Handycam is charged and ready to be picked up and used at any time. The DCR-HC42E Handycam provides true 16: 9 widescreen recording, taking advantage of the full width of the 1Megapixel CCD, results in a wider angle of view than 4: 3 methods. This is ideal for playback on today's popular widescreen TVs and for widescreen playback on the camera itself the camcorders also feature a 2.7-inch Wide Hybrid LCD monitor that ensures that a bright, clear picture can be viewed anywhere, even at high contrast locations. Start and stop record controls and a secondary Zoom button are conveniently placed on the Wide LCD frame for quick access when viewing the subject on the display or for during difficult shooting situations, even when you are holding the camera above your head. The DCR-HC42E features a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens, with a 12x Optical Zoom capability and a filter diameter of 25mm. This ensures that your footage will be of pin-sharp quality, even when you are zooming in from a significant distance, while the sizable lens guarantees a bright picture.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Sony NP-FH40/Sony NP-FP50

Camcorder Features

Low Lux / Night Mode: Yes

Camera Flash

Type: None

Digital Storage Media

Type:Hard disk drive

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.5in/2.7in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.4cm/6.9cm
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/Beach / Candle / Fireworks / Landscape / Portrait mode / Snow / Sports lesson / Spotlight / Sunrise / Sunset / Twilight mode


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Sony Handycam DCR

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/1.8-2.5/F/1.8-4.1
Max Focal Length:36mm/76mm
Min Focal Length:1.9mm/3mm
Optical Zoom:12/40
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Still Resolution:0.34Megapixel
Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:260Kpix/690Kpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:1Mpix/680Kpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/5"/1/6"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):4.2 mm ( 1/6 ) / 4.2 mm ( 1/6" )/5.1 mm ( 1/5 ) / 5.1 mm ( 1/5" )
Optical Sensor Type:Advanced HAD CCD
Sensor Qty:1CCD

Optical System

Image Stabilizer:Electronic (Super Steady Shot)

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 / White fader
Digital Video Format:MPEG EX/MPEG-2
Digital Zoom:2000/480
Media Type:Hard disk drive/Mini DV
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode/Digital photo mode / Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Flash Motion / Low Shutter Speed (LSS) / Luminance Key / Monotone / Mosaic / Negative Art / Old Movie / Pastel / Sepia / Solarization / Still / Trail/Monotone / Old Movie / Pastel / Sepia
Still Image Format:JPEG


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:LCD