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Sony HDR-HC3 / HC3E

alaTest has collected and analyzed 418 reviews of Sony HDR-HC3 / HC3E. The average rating for this product is 4.3/5, 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, but reviews are divided on the price. The connectivity and viewfinder get critical views.

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 418 reviews)

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Showing 1 - 234 of 330 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (87)

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 People really like the durability and portability. The image quality and price also get good reviews. Comments are divided on the size. There are some less positive views 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 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

Oct, 2016

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 People really like the battery and durability. The portability and image quality also get good opinions, whereas some have doubts about the connectivity. Comments about the zoom and reliability are mixed.

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 Zoom

Oct, 2016

Expert review by: James Morris (

Sony HDR-HC3E - HD Camcorder


Sony's second HD camcorder aimed at consumers is a good £300 less than its predecessor, yet has even better image quality. James Morris discovers how Sony does it.

But the HC3E has one entirely new connectivity trick up its sleeve, or rather under a plastic flap. This is the first HDV camcorder ever to incorporate the consumer digital AV connection, HDMI. This will allow you to connect the HC3E to your HD Ready...

Feb, 2011

EISA Award - Best Product

Expert review by: EISA (



The making of your own HD movie has never been so affordable to video enthusiasts as it is now with the Sony HDR-HC3E, the lightest and smallest High Definition video camcorder on the market today. A new ClearVid CMOS sensor and Enhanced Image...

Jun, 2006

Expert review by: Which? (

Expert Review

  (Rating Hidden)
Feb, 2007

Expert review by: Karl Foster (



To HD or not HD? Macworld answers the question.

Aug, 2007

Expert review by: (


Oct, 2006

Expert review by: Good Gear (

Expert Review


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

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

Apr, 2007

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:


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: Asher Moses, and Denny Atkin (

Sony Handycam HDR-HC3E


Sony brings HD recording to the rest of us with its latest Handycam, the HDR-HC3E.

Records high quality 1080i HD video ; Compact ; Affordable for a HD camcorder ; Logical button placement ; HDMI and component connectors

Touch screen navigation can be cumbersome ; Difficult to share video without a Blu-ray/HD DVD burner ; No video light ; No microphone jack

Sony rates the HDR-HC3E for 175 minutes of continuous recording time. We found this to be closer to 120 minutes, but of course your results will vary dramatically depending on how frequently you start/stop recording.

Oct, 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.


Built-In Microphone: Yes
Built-in speaker(s): Yes

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:Widescreen Video Capture


Camcorder type:Handheld camcorder
Minimum illumination:5
Progressive Scan: Yes

Camera Flash

Type:Built-in flash


Colour of product:Black

Dimensions & Weight



Built-in Display: Yes
Display diagonal:6.86
Display Resolution:211200
Touch screen: Yes
Touchscreen: Yes

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


Built-in Flash: Yes

Flash Memory

Form Factor:Memory Stick Duo
Storage Capacity:16MB


Focus adjustment:Auto


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Sony Handycam

Image sensor

Optical sensor size:25.4 / 3
Sensor Type:CMOS
Total MegaPixels:2.1

Lens System

Digital Zoom:80
Filter Size:3
Focal length range (f-f):5.1 - 51
Image stabilizer: No
Lens Aperture:F/1.8-2.9
Max Focal Length:51mm
Maximum aperture number:2.9
Maximum focal length (35mm film equiv):48.5
Min Focal Length:5.1mm
Minimum aperture number:1.8
Minimum focal length (35mm film equiv):4.13
Optical Zoom:10
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 Stabiliser:Electronic (Super Steady Shot)

Other features

Focus:Full Range Auto, Manual
I/O ports:Audio In\nAudio Out\ni.LINK (DV) In\ni.LINK (DV) Out\ni.LINK (MICROMV) In\ni.LINK (MICROMV) Out\nS-Video In\nS-Video Out\nUSB\nVideo In\nVideo Out
Lens system:Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T
Media types supported:Memory Stick Duo
Power consumption (typical):8.1
Resolution:2304 x 1728

Packaging Content

Bundled software:USB Driver
Cables included:AV, USB

Ports & interfaces

DV port: Yes
PictBridge: Yes
S-Video In: Yes
S-Video Out: Yes
USB 2.0 ports quantity:1

Service & Support

Type:1 year warranty


Camera shutter speed:1/2 - 1/425

Still image

Image formats supported:JPG
Maximum image resolution:2304 x 1728
Still image resolution(s):2304 x 1728, 2304 x 1296, 640 x 480


Camcorder media type:Videotape
Camcorder tape type:HDV
Disc types supported: No

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Analogue Video Format:PAL
Digital Zoom:80
Faders:Black fader / Monotone fader / Mosaic fader / White fader
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 Colour Support:Colour
Viewfinder Type:Electronic
Viewfinder Type:Electronic

Weight & Dimensions

Height :7.8

White balance

White Balance:Outdoor, Auto, Indoor