14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Great First-time user purchase,
This review is from: Sony DCR-HC40ES Digital Camcorder (Electronics)
I had this camcorder bought for me as a 50th birthday present, after doing a fair bit of research. As a first-time user of camcorders, I wanted an easy-to-use machine which had all the key features and high quality output. I have not been disappointed.
The Sony really can be used straight-from-the-box, after reference to the 'quick-start' instructions. It has a superb 10x optical zoom (up to 120x digital, but I'd ignore this, as my experince from digital cameras is that the results of
digital zoom are very disappointing in terms of image quality).
The controls are easy to use and I have experienced no problems with regard to sound or the touch screen reported elsewhere on this site. Play back through my TV (32" widescreen) was impressive also, although don't expect it to be the same as the BBC!
I'm a bit disappointed to learn that you can't transfer tape footage to your computer's hard disk for editing, though this is a function of the mini-DV format rather than a problem with the Sony I understand. You can however burn dircet to VD or DVD. I am still exploring how to use the Memory Stick, which seeems to facilitate editing but has certain drawbacks (limited capacity, loss of stero sound etc.)
To sum up, if you're thinking of taking your first steps into camcording and are pepared to go past the 'entry-level' machines, than I'd have no hesitation in recommending this machine.