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Sony DCR-HC90

alaTest has collected and analyzed 235 reviews from magazines and websites. Comments about the size and design are overall positive. The usability and image quality also get good feedback. The zoom and features get less positive views. There are mixed comments on the viewfinder and resolution.

portability, image quality, usability, design, size

battery, memory, features, zoom

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Sony DCR-HC90 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 81/100 = Very good quality.

See all Sony Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 235 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 86 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 86 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (90)

Expert review by:

Sony DCR-HC90 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder


CCDType: Single CCD, Video Recording Format: DV Tape

Able to shoot standard-definition widescreen (16:9) video. 3MP stills. Built-in flash. Excellent product design.

Video quality displayed dull colors. Stills were somewhat noisy and revealed aberrations in the details. Menu structure could be better.

With both still-image and widescreen shooting capability, this great-looking camera is a good buy, but video-quality issues keep it from being our top pick.

Expert review by:

Sony DCR-HC90


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.

Top-loading tape compartment; built-in lens cover; wide-screen LCD; novice-friendly Easy mode; crisp, colorful video; supports true 16:9 recording.

Autofocus can be slow to lock on; LCD seems small for shooting in 4:3 mode; some onscreen menus difficult to navigate; no manual shutter-speed control.

If you're ready to make the move to 16:9 videography or want to shoot a lot of romantically lit scenes, look no further than Sony's top-of-the-line single-chip Handycam.

Expert review by:

Sony DCR-HC90 First Impressions Camcorder Review


The highest camcorder on Sony's HC series' list this year, the DCR-HC90 sports a some nice new cosmetic and hardware improvements to last year's most comparable camcorder, the DCR-HC85. Although, we can compare these two camcorders based on...


Expert review by:

Sony DCR HC90


Sony DCR-HC90 MiniDV Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom.

Direct your own personal movies with the Sony DCR HC 90 MiniDV Handycam camcorder from Sony. Interactive video recording features put you in control of the show. The on screen zoom and record buttons allows you to have additional shooting flexibility...

Consumer review by:

excellent camcorder but cheep plastic's


good in low light good still picture's as well cheep

good in colour ,sharpness and contrast

it is a little big for my pocket

Consumer review by:

poor cassette mechanisme


i bought hc90 on may 2005, three days ago the cassette compartment can't close.after inserting tape there's no response at all.had to send it to sony service centre and for three months. i used sharp handycam for 4 years and there's nothing frustrating...

good video quality

poor cassette mechanisme, bad video in low light

Consumer review by:

Only had it 2 days before it broke


Bought this after reading that Canons have a bad rep with the tape loading mechanism. Well, the automatic lens cover stopped working after two days. Sony guy had me push the reset button and pull the battery. Neither worked, so he wanted me to send it...

Size, layout, LCD, low light and infrared

Automatic lens cover died after two days, poor sound quality

Consumer review by:

Best $1000 I ever spent


I did a LOT of research. I even bought a Panasonic GS250, but took it back and ate the restocking fee from Circut City when I found the DCR-HC90.

small, low light, night shot, still photos, mic in front

none that merit a con

Consumer review by:

Best camera for the money


I researched this camera all year, reading other user opinions and asking around until I was completely satisfied.

5.1 Sound, Widescreen, easy to use, great brand name

Could be smaller. Doesn't include firewire

Consumer review by:

Excellent camcorder


I am very glad I bought this camcorder, it has so many capabilities and features, it is able to record a movie on the memory sick in mpeg format or on tape that can be downloaded to a PC in avi format. It is also a very good camera for regular point...

Can record on tape or on memory stick, capable of recording with low light

So many menus and sub menus

Product Specifications

Direct your own personal movies with the DCR-HC90 MiniDV Handycam camcorder from Sony. Interactive video recording features put you in control of the show. The on screen Zoom and Record buttons allows you to have additional shooting flexibility as well as convenience. The touch panel 2.7" LCD display creates ease of control, so you can manage video recording with just the touch of a button. The DCR-HC90 features 3.3 Megapixel Advanced CCD imager for enhanced digital video and digital still photographic performance. MiniDV recording offers 3X the color bandwidth with significantly higher signal to noise ratio, so your video is consistently crystal clear. The SteadyShot picture stabilization system uses motion sensors to detect and correct any camera "shake" for smoother video quality.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Sony NP-FA50

Camcorder Features

Low Lux / Night Mode: Yes

Camera Flash

Type:Pop-up flash

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.7in
Diagonal Size (metric):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

Flash Memory

Form Factor:Memory Stick Duo
Storage Capacity:16MB


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Sony Handycam DCR

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/1.8-2.9
Max Focal Length:51mm
Min Focal Length:5.1mm
Optical Zoom:10
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:2Mpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:3.3Mpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/3"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):8.5 mm ( 1/3 ) / 8.5 mm ( 1/3" )
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:PAL
Digital Scene Transition:Black fader / Monotone 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:Flash Motion / Low Shutter Speed (LSS) / Luminance Key / Monotone / Mosaic / Negative Art / Old Movie / Pastel / Sepia / Solarization / Still / Trail
Still Image Format:JPEG


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:LCD