Visit our Business Solutions website >>

Sony HDR-HC3 / HC3E

alaTest has collected and analyzed 409 reviews from magazines and websites. Reviewers really like the color and size. The image quality and portability also get good reviews. There are some mixed reviews about the reliability and value for money. The connectivity and viewfinder get critical comments.

usability, portability, image quality, size, color

memory, features, zoom, 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 409 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 293 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 197 of 293 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (115)

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


alaTest has collected and analysed 18 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 4.1/5 for other Camcorders on

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

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

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

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


alaTest has collected and analyzed 169 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

usability, portability, image quality, battery, resolution

value for money, zoom, features

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

Editor's Choice!

Expert review by:

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.


Expert review by:

First Look: Sony's Slick New HD Camcorder


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

Expert review by:

Sony Handycam HDR-HC3


With their long lens barrels and boom microphones, first-generation consumer HD camcorders such as Sony's HDR-FX1 and JVC's GR-HD1 looked like something your local TV news cameraperson would carry. The Sony Handycam HDR-HC3, on the other hand,...

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.

Expert review by:

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...

Expert review by:

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...

Expert review by:

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.

Expert review by:

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

Expert review by:

Sony HDR-HC3 HDV 1080i Handycam Camcorder


Sony's new consumer-level HD camcorder may impress with its miniature size or incredible picture, but its most endearing feature is the simplicity of its interface. You'll find yourself noticing the precision 1080i resolution as an afterthought.

The still camera capabilities are nothing to write home about. While it's nice that you can take pictures while recording, the resulting pictures are no better than any other camcorder's digital stills, which is to say, mediocre at best. Your stills...

Expert review by:

Sony HDR-HC3 camcorder review


Compact size, Outstanding video quality, Easy handling, Good low light performance

No full manual control, No microphone jack

Expert review by:

Sony HDR-HC3


The Sony HDR-HC3 is an excellent entry to the HD video camera market. At a price comparable to similar high-end Mini DV camcorders - and with quality ...

Crystal clear video, decent still pictures, slimmest HD camcorder around, price

Video transfer software and cables not included, lacks advanced controls, only offers interlaced HD pictures

A great entry to the camcorder market that's perfect for those with HD televisions.

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