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Sony DCR-HC42

alaTest has collected and analyzed 650 reviews from magazines and websites. Reviewers really like the battery and image quality. The value for money and portability also get good views. The reliability and viewfinder get less positive reviews.

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

features, viewfinder, reliability

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 82/100 = Very good quality.

See all Sony Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 650 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 214 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 214 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (61)

Expert review by:

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

Expert review by:

Sony Handycam DCR-SR42


Though most digital cameras produced today have sufficient resolution to make the spec itself almost a nonissue, the same can't be said about camcorders. That goes double for camcorders which record directly to hard disk or DVD, since they need...

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.

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

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 ...


Expert review by:

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

Expert review by:

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...

Expert review by:

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...

Expert review by:

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.

Expert review by:

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...

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...

Consumer review by:

very poor quality, worst tech support experience EVER!"


ideas behind the features are good, but all o... 

would have good features... if they worked

all of the functions are such poor quality as to render them useless. Upon downloading the movie files to the computer none of them are recognized until you get the proprietary software which doesn't come with the camera

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