Have only had the HDR-HC9E for two weeks but I am very pleased with the superb video and audio quality. Have only used standard DV tape so far which I shall probably stick with for the ease of editing. (quality of DV picture excellent). May be tempted to try HD later. Tech Info on Amazon incorrect :- No internal memory. Still images only on memory stick. Zoom 10x optical 20x digital (not 15x and 180x) No face detection. There are plenty of manual adjustments you can play around with or just slap in on Auto for excellent results.You will not be disappointed. Fader is only disappointment has to be set each time used. Plugged into an HDTV with HDMI and the quality will astound you.
I have now been using my HDR-HC9E for several months and have nothing but praise for it. For such a small camera the spec is excellent and I am still finding more things that it can do. It has inputs sockets for an external mic as well as the 'Hot Shoe' on the top for a Sony directional mic, Lan so that the on/off/zoom/ and focus can be worked from a remote on your tripod handle, output to headphones so that you can monitor sound input with the choice of manual or auto, sound level control. I have fitted a larger capacity battery, as the standard one had the habit of running out just before the tape during a full days shooting. The Sony ones are very expensive, alternatives are a good bit cheaper and work OK. I recently took a DVD to a club night where it was projected onto a 6 x 8 foot screen, the excellent picture and sound quality was commented on by all present. Note the sound was recorded using a Rhode Stero Mic.
Great upgrade from DV tape to HDV (tape) as you have the benifit to playback your old DV tapes. The camera has super optics and the CMOS delivery excellent recordings. It also grabs a good still image. Light weight, well balanced with a great LCD screen with side controls offers great ease of use. The camera menue offers good features and the menu interface is via touchscreen. The 37m front thread mount allows you the option to add on a wide or tele lens and there is a neat feature in the cameras menu that allows you to select wide or tele when compensating for camera shake, and it works. Connections are great; HDMI, component, AV along with Firewire and USB connection together with AV/DV upconversion (passthrough) makes this a great camcorder to buy (while its still available). If you are thinking of buying I recommend the long life battery as an additional purchase - NP-FH100. Playback on a 1080 HiDef TV is breathtaking. Sony HDRHC9E Mini DV Full HD Handycam