|Sony DCR-HC30 Mini DV Handycam Camcorder|
Returns not accepted
eBay Buyer Protection
Oneco, FL, USA
|The Sony DCR-HC30 is the MiniDV Handycam Camcorder that doubles as a digital camera. It features a compact Memory Stick DUO slot which allows 640 x 480 resolution digital still image capture, which is perfect for e-mail or printing. It also includes a big 2.5" hybrid SwivelScreen touch panel LCD display, Super NightShot Plus infrared recording, USB streaming, and a professional Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens. It even includes a 3D menu system that makes adjusting the camcorder settings easier than even. Best of all, these big features come in a package that's 25% smaller than the previous year's camcorders.|
|UPC||0027242644588, 0072874402495, 072874402495, 4901780884148|
|Storage Type||Removable (Card/Disc/Tape)|
|Media Format||Digital8, Mini DV|
|Optical Sensor Qty||1|
|Lens Type||Zoom lens|
|Focal Length Range||2.3mm - 23mm|
|Focus Adjustment||Automatic, Manual|
|Lens Filter Size||25 mm|
|Lens System Features||Built-in lens shield|
|Auto Focus type||TTL contrast detection|
|Lens Manufacturer||Carl Zeiss|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/4000 sec|
|Min Illumination||5 lux|
|Min Shutter Speed||1/4 sec|
|Exposure Metering||Matrix, Spot|
|Exposure Modes||Automatic, Manual, Program|
|Memory / Storage|
|Recording Speed||LP, SP|
|Supported Flash Memory||Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic, LCD|
|Screen Details||LCD display - TFT active matrix - 2.5" - color|
|Microphone Type||Microphone - built-in - electret condenser - stereo|
|Microphone Operation Mode||Stereo|
|Microphone Technology||Electret condenser|
|Connector Types||1 x Control-L (LANC), 1 x DC power input, 1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire/i.LINK), 1 x S-Video input / output, 1 x USB, 1 x composite video/audio (input/output), 1 x microphone|
|Expansion Slot||1 x Memory Stick Duo, 1 x Memory Stick PRO|
|Battery Form Factor||Manufacturer specific|
|Battery Manufacturer||Sony NP-FM30|
|Max Operating Temperature||40 °C|
|Min Operating Temperature||0 °C|
|Effective Video Resolution||0.3 MP|
|Digital Video Format||MPEG EX|
|Still Image Format||JPEG|
|Additional Features||Auto Power Save, Backlight Compensation, Built-In Speaker, Color Viewfinder, DPOF Support, Digital Noise Reduction, PictBridge Support, Progressive Shutter System, Still Shot Capability, Touch-Screen Control, analog to digital conversion with pass through|
|Shooting Modes||Digital Photo Mode, Frame Movie Mode|
Average review score based on 20 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
(My review is based on limited exposure since the only way you can access this model's full compliment of functions is through the touch screen menu button - which wasn't available to me.)
Because I have had very good experience with Sony products for 30 years, I look to Sony first as a baseline for decision-making. 12 years ago I purchased a Sony TRV-900 (3CCD) camera for recording family events and needed digital video format for editing. It was solid, used extensively and overhauled twice($230/service). I accumulated 500+ tapes before sending it to pasture.
I purchase the DCR-HC30 30 days ago, Ebay-used, 4-5 years old, primarily as a player for offloading footage from my tape collection. Though the seller said it was in full working condition when sent to me, it arrived with a dysfunctional touch screen. The screen displayed buttons and video but did not respond when the buttons were touched (or responded occasionally when touching the screen in places where there were no displayed buttons). Upon researching the problem, I found this is a common problem with these models. I attempted the tough screen recalibration (per the instruction manual) but could not accomplish this since the touch screen was unresponsive. I tried the reset button and removal of the battery while powering on/off - and was successful once - but after one day the response to touch failed completely and never worked again. In addition, remote control via the infrared controller does not work consistently and so does not serve as workaround for me.
Though the hinged screen includes a mechanical record button (allowing you to pause/record), there is no manual way to control tape movement so as to rewind/play/ff tapes without a functioning touch screen.
Further research indicated the source of the problem was likely a break in the small ribbon cable running from the touch screen through the hinge to a circuit board in the camera. I obtained a replacement cable (surprisingly readily available) but opted not to perform the replacement procedure myself after peeking inside the camera body.
If this camera worked as described, I'd likely be very happy with it. I have been able to use it to record footage and then controlled its functionality from my laptop via the iLink (firewire) connection. All of that works fine. It does serve the original purpose I purchased it for - as a player (using Adobe Premiere via firewire connection without a problem). I am considering the purchase of an inexpensive wired remote-control for the camera (that plugs into its "Lanc" controller jack) and so may be able to salvage my deal after all.
The camera is small, lightweight and would make an excellent travel accessory, even by today's standards. For those of us that still like to shoot MiniDV tape, I'd say buy it. Just be sure you negotiate a warranty that gives you ample time to thoroughly test it before signing off on your deal.
With enough lines of resolution and digital-to-analog pass-through to bring your helmetcam signal to miniDV media (then to your PC), and an external microphone jack, the DCR-HC30 is the perfect cost-effective solution for someone looking to implement a helmetcam setup.
Unfortunately in my case, the seller sent me a DCR-HC21, which has none of those features.
If you can get one for a reasonable price, it sure beats spending twice as much on a comparably featured current model DCR-HC96 (like I ended up doing).
The Sony DCR is an excellent camcorder for a bunch of reasons. It's been replaced by more previous versions, but i still think it's great. the menu touch screen is superb, the resolution is awesome, it's got a better picture quality for stillframes... what can i say. the only thing that i could say isn't so great is that there's no headphone plug but whatever. it's still pretty good. dont go buy one though because i dont want to bid war with anyone. therefore they stink.
Camera is awesome. This is the second one I bought off E-bay. We are still using the first one and bought the second one as a spare. Camera is light weight and very small. Easy to use. We use it mainly with a helmet camera when out dirt biking. The picture quality is great. Very easy to transfer tapes to DVD's as long as you have a Sony Multi-Function DVD recorder.
Its great that this camera has audio input, but the zoom and quality are not quite as good as the HC28. My only reason to get this camera was the audio input because so many of my interviews on the field were ruined by wind and the HC28 did not have audio input for a microphone. Ah well, you live and learn.
I would have preferred to have found a camera with all the video capabilities of the HC 28 with audio input as well. This camera also takes one of the proprietary sony memory cards to take 640 x 480 resolution pictures but this feature will not be used by me, already have a Casio Exilim 7.1 megapixel camera that produces some AWESOME pictures.
If you are buying this camera for the sole reason of the mic in port, make sure you get a specialized wind filter for the microphone because the styrofoam covers kind of muffle the sound and the wind noise is still somewhat noticeable. Definitely do a little more research than I did :-)