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Sony HDR-HC3 / HC3E

alaTest has collected and analyzed 423 reviews of Sony HDR-HC3 / HC3E. The average rating for this product is 4.4/5, compared to an average rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders for all reviews. People are impressed by the durability and size. The portability and image quality are also mentioned favorably. Reviews are divided on the price. Many are less positive about the connectivity and viewfinder.

usability, image quality, portability, size, durability

memory, viewfinder, connectivity

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Sony HDR-HC3 / HC3E is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 85/100 = Very good quality.

See all Sony Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 423 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 328 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 234 of 328 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (94)

Consumer review by: ( review summary for Sony HDR-HC3 / HC3E


alaTest has collected and analyzed 19 user reviews of Sony HDR-HC3 / HC3E 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 Comments about the durability and portability are on the whole positive. The image quality and price are also mentioned favorably. There are some mixed reviews about the size. Some have doubts about the memory.

usability, price, image quality, portability, durability


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

This summary is based on the product: Sony HDR-HC3 High Definition Camcorder [2.0MP, 10 x Optical ) CMOS, 2.7" Widescreen LCD

Oct, 2015

Consumer review by: ( review summary for Sony HDR-HC3 / HC3E


alaTest has collected and analyzed 205 user reviews of Sony HDR-HC3 / HC3E from The average user rating for this product is 4.6/5, compared to an average user rating of 3.9/5 for other Camcorders on Views about the battery and durability are overall positive. The portability and image quality also get good reviews. Some have doubts about the connectivity. The zoom and reliability get mixed views.

usability, image quality, portability, durability, battery


98% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Sony HDR-HC3 4MP High-Definition Handycam MiniDV Camcorder w/10x Optical ZoomSony HDR-HC3 4MP High-Definition Handycam MiniDV Camcorder w/10x Optical ZoomSony HDR-HC3E (PAL) HDV Handycam Camcorder

Oct, 2015

Editor's Choice!

Expert review by: Terry Sullivan (

Sony HDR-HC3 HDV 1080i Handycam


Incredible video quality. Excellent sound. Performs well in extreme lighting scenarios.

No included software. Instructions should feature more about the benefits and details of high-definition video. Menus are still not very clear. Cheaper than its predecessor, but still pricey.

Sony's HDR-HC3 sets the bar very high, letting consumers film home movies in stunning HD quality.

Jul, 2006

Expert review by: Richard Baguley (

First Look: Sony's Slick New HD Camcorder


The HDR-HC3 brings high-definition video recording to the masses.

May, 2006

Expert review by: Denny Atkin (

Sony Handycam HDR-HC3 review: Sony Handycam HDR-HC3


intro The Sony Handycam HDR-HC3 brings down both the size and the cost of HD video to more reasonable levels. It's still not an impulse buy, but the excellent HD/SD video quality, the good mix of automatic and manual features, and the passable...

Excellent video quality; compact; supports both HD and DV resolutions; decent still photos.

No microphone jack; no 24p support; HDV editing and distribution options are limited.

Though significantly cheaper than Sony's previous consumer HD camcorder, the Sony Handycam HDR-HC3 still offers superb HD video quality.

May, 2006

Expert review by: Easy Camcorder (

Expert Review


Quick Review Camcorders: Sony HDR-HC3

Terrific HDV video at a very reasonable street price - lower than some SD camcorders, - Easy to use and handle, - Huge and sharp 3.5" LCD screen, - None of the workflow issues associated with AVCHD video

Compared to the HDR-HC1, this camcorder disappoints, - Control dial rather than the superior ring found on the HC1, UX1 and SR1, - No mic or phone jacks make this a point-and-shoot camcorder

Oct, 2006

Expert review by: Robin Liss and David Kender (

Sony HDR-HC3 Camcorder Review


The release of the HDR-HC3 has probably been the subject of more buzz than that of any other camcorder this year. Significant changes from the HDR-HC1, the camera the HC3 replaced, demonstrate the evolution in the HD market over the past year. While...

Apr, 2006

Expert review by: Best Digital Camcorder Reviews (

Sony's HDR-HC3 camcorder


Sony HDR-HC3 4MP High-Definition Handycam MiniDV Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom Sony HDR-HC3 MiniDV Camcorder Features From the innovators in camcorder technology, Sony's HDR-HC3 camcorder is the industry's smallest and lightest HDV1080i consumer-level...

Mar, 2011

Expert review by: (

Sony HDR-HC3 High-Definition MiniDV Camcorder Review


HDV/DV Recording Options One neat feature of the DCR-HC3 is its ability to record high-definition and standard video onto a MiniDV tape. Camcorder users can decide which format they would like to record in.

Feb, 2007

Expert review by: Andrew Burke (

Camcorder Review Web Exclusive! Sony HDR-HC3 Mini DV


Just plain realism is the lighting style visible in most movies and TV dramas (comedies shot with multiple cameras generally use a different approach). Realism uses the same light-painting techniques, but tones them down so that their artificiality is...

Portability ; HDMI output ; DV/ HDV switchable

Audio inputs ; Scroll Wheel

Our overall experience with the HDR-HC3 was a positive one, especially after we connected it to our 42" plasma HDTV. We liked having a 1080i camcorder literally fit in the palm our hand. Most experienced users will be deterred by the touch panel LCD...

Nov, 2006

Expert review by: CHAD SAPIEHA (

Sony Handycam HDRHC3


To heck with keeping up with the Joneses. Pick up Sony's new HDR-HC3 Handycam—the first of a new breed of compact, user-friendly high definition camcorders—and you'll not only lap the, you'll have the best looking home video of anyone you know.

May, 2006

Expert review by: Robin Liss and David Kender (

Sony HDR-HC3


The HDR-HC3 uses a 1/3" CMOS sensor, the same kind found on the DCR-DVD505. The chip in the HC3 has 2,103,000 gross pixels; 1,434,000 effective pixels in 16:9 video mode; 1,076,000 effective pixels in 4:3 video mode

Apr, 2006

Product Specifications

Changing the notion that high-definition video recording is for "advanced videographers only" Sony offers the HDR-HC3 HDV 1080i Handycam camcorder. Compared to its predecessor, this new, high-def camcorder is 26 percent more compact, packed with easy-to-use features, and more affordable. The camcorder will snuggle up comfortably next to your high-def TV with its HDMI output. Now the de facto standard in the consumer electronics industry for transferring high-def content, HDMI offers simple, one-cord connection to display devices so you can just plug and play instead of struggling with multiple cables. Your own home movies recorded with the HDR-HC3 will stand up proudly next to your pre-recorded high-definition video. The new camcorder delivers superb high-definition picture quality and lighting detail on both video and digital still images. The HDR-HC3 model features a professional-quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens and Sony's new ClearVid CMOS Sensor technology. This imager is engineered to boost picture resolution and clarity to deliver vivid colors and precise image detail. Combined with Sony's Enhanced Imaging Processor, it provides new and fun-to-use functions. The camcorder shoots four-megapixel still images, stored on an optional Memory Stick PRO Duo media card, for easy transfer between compatible devices. It has a dual record function that allows you to shoot video and simultaneously capture 2.3 megapixel stills (16:9) in high definition mode and 1.7-megapixel stills (4:3) in standard definition mode. You can also record slow motion video using the model's smooth slow record function, which plays back three seconds of video in 12 seconds - ideal for analyzing your golf swing or tennis back-hand. For quick framing and easy image sharing, the camcorder has a 2.7-inch touch panel SwivelScreen LCD featuring Sony's new Clear Photo LCD plus technology. The LCD produces bright images with high-contrast that are easy to view in virtually any environment and at any angle. Other helpful features include Super SteadyShot image stabilization, a built-in microphone for excellent audio quality, an intelligent built-in flash for well-exposed still images, and a supplied InfoLithium P battery for up to 90 minutes of continuous recording.

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):80min

Camcorder Features

Low Lux / Night Mode: Yes
Widescreen Video Capture: Yes

Camera Flash

Type:Built-in 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 / Portrait mode / Scenery / Spotlight / Sunset & moon

Flash Memory

Form Factor:Memory Stick Duo
Storage Capacity:16MB


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Sony Handycam

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 Still Resolution:2Megapixel
Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:2Mpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:2.1Mpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/3"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):8.5 mm ( 1/3 ) / 8.5 mm ( 1/3" )
Optical Sensor Type:ClearVid CMOS
Sensor Qty:1CMOS

Optical System

Image Stabilizer:Electronic (Super Steady Shot)

Service & Support

Type:1 year warranty

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Analog Video Format:PAL
Digital Scene Transition:Black fader / Monotone fader / Mosaic fader / White fader
Digital Zoom:80
Media Type:Mini DV (HDV)
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode
Special Effects:Cinematic / Flash Motion / Monotone / Negative Art / Old Movie / Pastel / Sepia / Skintone / Still
Still Image Format:JPEG


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:Electronic