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Sony Handycam HDR-HC1

alaTest has collected and analyzed 479 reviews from magazines and websites. Opinions about the design and image quality are generally positive. The usability and portability are also mentioned favorably. There are some mixed views about the battery. There are some critical reviews about the reliability and features.

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

features, reliability

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Sony Handycam HDR-HC1 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 91/100 = Excellent quality.

See all Sony Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 479 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 211 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 211 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (102)

Expert review by:

Sony Handycam HDR-CX230


The Sony HDR-CX230 has an impressive zoom range and price tag, but its video quality is not the best.

8GB internal memory. 1080p60 video. 27x f/1.9-4 zoom lens

No touch screen. Very limited physical controls. Manual lens cover. No Wi-Fi. No mic input. No shoe adapter

The Sony Handycam HDR-CX230 ($279.99 direct) is a no-frills camcorder that does its best to pack an impressive zoom lens and 1080p60 video recording into a compact package. Don't expect a touch screen, Wi-Fi, or even an automatic lens cover on this...

Expert review by:

Sony Handycam HDR-PJ430V Review


While pocket cameras and smartphones are convenient for shooting videos that are appropriate for YouTube, you still can't beat a camcorder if you want to capture long-length, high-quality footage that you can display on a huge high-definition TV, or if...

Excellent high-definition video quality at 24p/60i/60p ; Great still image capture ; Built-in projector ; Improved optical image stabilization ; External mic and stereo headphone ports

Projected image is dim at larger sizes ; No viewfinder

Sony’s latest gen Handycam captures gorgeous HD video and JPEG stills, and it can also project your video for larger audiences right from the camera.

Editor's Choice!

Expert review by:

Sony HDR-HC1 HDV 1080i Handycam Camcorder


Video Recording Format: DV Tape, CCDType: Single CMOS Chip

Incredible video quality. Great sound.

Expensive. Most users will need to invest in new hardware to store and play high-definition video. No software included for HD video editing. Image stabilization isn't powerful enough.

Though it certainly isn't perfect, Sony's HDR-HC1 puts HD in your hand and takes home movies to a whole new level.


Expert review by:

Sony HDR-HC1 HDV camcorder reviewed


Sony's HDR-HC1 - the company's smallest and most affordable HD camcorder - is about to hit the street (er, not literally, we hope), and the lucky devils at got their mitts on a review unit. What did they think...

Expert review by:

Sony HDR-HC1 HDV Camcorder Review



Expert review by:

Sony Handycam HDR-PJ790V


With its built-in projector and 96GB of internal memory, the PJ790V may be too much of a good thing.

We won't argue the fact that the HDR-PJ790V is a great camcorder, but the lack of improvement when it comes to performance is frustrating. If you have a Sony HDR-CX760V, HDR-PJ760V, or an HDR-PJ710V from last year, then you shouldn't bother upgrading....

Expert review by:

Sony Handycam HDR-PJ650V


Sony comes up to par with the competition, but doesn't go any further.

Thus far, we've spilled a lot of virtual ink comparing the PJ650V to its compatriots from Canon and Panasonic. And what have we learned? Mostly, we've determined that there's very little difference between the three when it comes to performance or...

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Sony Camcorder Review: Sony HVR-A1U HDV


Out of the box, we first noticed, in our Sony camcorder review, that the HVR-A1U was much smaller than expected. Weighing just a pound and a half, this is just about the tiniest HDV camcorder out there. But attach the sharp lens hood, the audio jack...

True crisp color and detail Adjustable SPMTE timecode and color bars XLR jacks and stereo shotgun mic

Bottom tape loading On/off button easy to trigger accidentally Manual controls buried in menus and not on camera body

Streamlined easy to use camcorder with a Carl Zeiss lens and XLR mic; a big pro HDV camcorder in a small affordable package.

Expert review by:

Sony HVR-A1U


Streamlined easy to use camcorder with a Carl Zeiss lens and XLR mic; a big pro HDV camcorder in a small affordable package.

True crisp color and detail, Adjustable SPMTE timecode and color bars, XLR jacks and stereo shotgun mic

Bottom tape loading, On/off button easy to trigger accidentally, Manual controls buried in menus and not on camera body

Expert review by:

Sony HDR-HC1: A Quantum Leap For Video Buffs


Sony's smallest HD video camera costs upwards of $1,200, but is the way to go for serious amateur videographers looking to raise the level of their game.

The quantum leap in quality between standard video and HD will be immediately obvious to nearly every viewer

Product Specifications

Sony introduces the world's smallest and lightest high definition consumer camcorder with full HD resolution based on HDV 1080i, the Sony Handycam HDR-HC1. The ultra-compact HDR-HC1 Handycam camcorder fits comfortably in your hand, while delivering high-definition picture quality and lighting detail on both video and digital still images. The HDR-HC1 features Sony's CMOS imaging sensor technology, designed to deliver faster image processing speeds for richer colors, more vivid detail, and significantly less glare from reflected light. The Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens further enhances image clarity and richness, even when shooting in low light. The HDR-HC1 also features a 2.7-inch wide hybrid, touch-panel LCD screen1 to access menu options. You can switch between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios (in DV mode) to see exactly how your content will be viewed on television. Other convenient features include fully automatic controls, a built-in microphone for audio quality, an intelligent pop-up flash, and Super SteadyShot image stabilization. You can even record your own high definition video in complete darkness with Sony's Super NightShot Infrared System, which adds the greatest amount of range and detail to your images in low- to no-light conditions. This HDR-HC1 Camcorder comes with Vegas Movie Studio + DVD 6 and Super Duper Music Looper. Vegas Movie Studio+DVD 6 is a real-time nondestructive video editor. No matter what changes you make to your video and photos in the software, your original files are never affected! Super Duper Music Looper is a fun, easy way for children to learn the basics of music making and recording. Kids don't have to know how to read or play an instrument to make their very own songs.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Sony NP-FM50
Run Time (Up To):85min

Camcorder Features

High Definition Video Support:1080i
Low Lux / Night Mode: Yes
Widescreen Video Capture: 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

Flash Memory

Form Factor:Memory Stick Duo
Storage Capacity:16MB


Model:HDR-HC1/HDR-HC1 Ultimate HDV Starter Kit/HVR-A1E/HVR-A1U
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Sony/Sony Handycam

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/1.8-2.1
Max Focal Length:51mm
Min Focal Length:5.1mm
Optical Zoom:10
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Still Resolution:2.76Megapixel/2.8Megapixel
Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:1.2Mpix/1.98Mpix/2Mpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:2.97Mpix/3Mpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/3"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):8.5 mm ( 1/3 ) / 8.5 mm ( 1/3" )
Optical Sensor Type:CMOS
Sensor Qty:1CMOS

Optical System

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

Pro Camcorder Features


Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Scene Transition:Black fader / Monotone fader / Mosaic fader / White fader
Digital Zoom:120
Media Type:Mini DV (HDV)
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode
Still Image Format:JPEG


Image Aspect Ratio (camcorders):16:9
Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:Electronic/LCD