Sony Handycam DCR-HC51 reviews: MiniDV storage SD camcorder

139 customer reviews
Photo of Sony Handycam DCR-HC51 Camcorder
  • Photo of Sony Handycam DCR-HC51 Camcorder
  • Photo of Sony Handycam DCR-HC51 Camcorder
  • Photo of Sony Handycam DCR-HC51 Camcorder
  • Photo of Sony Handycam DCR-HC51 Camcorder
  • Photo of Sony Handycam DCR-HC51 Camcorder

This camcorder is a good all rounder.

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8.6 out of 10 based on 139 reviews.
Sony Handycam DCR-HC51: Horizontally held, 40x optical zoom camcorder using . See full product description

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Some customer reviews of Sony Handycam DCR-HC51

Most helpful reviews

Lenny , London Experienced amateur

Score 3.0/10
Good points:
If the image is terrible then it doesn't matter if anything else is good... It's a camcorder the image quality is the point!
Bad points:
the image is terrible!
Overall rating 3.0
Ease of use 7.0
Image quality 1.0
Battery life 6.0
Weight 6.0
Value for money 2.0
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0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Review date: 27 Mar 2010

vicky , barnsley Experienced amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
easy to use with a good quality play back.
Bad points:
I can no longer use my fiewire to get my footage onto my computer. I have been told this is a common fault. this is a shame because it is a value for money camera. i have only had it 16 months before this broke! so maybe not so good value if i need to buy another camera?
Overall rating 9.0
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 9.0
Battery life 10.0
Weight 10.0
Value for money 9.0
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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 26 Jan 2011

Purchaser Just point and shoot

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
lightweight, point and shoot, clear pics.
Bad points:
Reviewer left no comment
Overall rating 9.0
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 8.0
Battery life 9.0
Weight 9.0
Value for money 9.0
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Review date: 20 Apr 2010

Bernard, St.Austell Keen amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
This replace's a HC19E, the HC51E is lighter,better zoom, better reproduction of subject to be filmed and sound quality.Also the veiwfinder is very useful. Helpful hints CD.
Bad points:
No remote handset, not able to download to a computer.
Overall rating 9.0
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 9.0
Battery life 8.0
Weight 9.0
Value for money 9.0
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Review date: 12 Jul 2010

Ryan , Winchester Keen amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
Very simplistic design allows general ease of use and its light weight gives for great dexterity with fairly comfortable grip. I found that the built in lens cover was one of the most beneficial factors for capturing footage as you do not get the knocking and obstruction with a free hanging lens cover. The LCD screen is touch which is sensitive and has excellent calibration whilst being mobile i.e. moving the screen around. You also have the option to use the view finder which works fine. The auto-focus is as good as most handheld camcorders, which is really good. Its compatibility with extra lenses works really well, with the right size of course. Playback is quick and easy too, and to a good standard.

Overall, definitely worth the purchase for a pretty basic but reliable and effective camcorder with good quality capturing.
Bad points:
It lacks compatibility with other accessories, such as microphones, and it is not quick to access the settings like white balance or manual focus for adjustments; fairly quick but lots of on-screen navigating. The zoom is fairly standard, nothing special; recommend to not use the zoom and much as possible for best results.
Overall rating 9.0
Ease of use 8.0
Image quality 8.0
Battery life 7.0
Weight 9.0
Value for money 10.0
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Review date: 12 Feb 2010

Geoffrey, Seaton Devon Keen amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
good all-rounder .
Bad points:
Difficult to reach control on top.
Overall rating 9.0
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 10.0
Weight 10.0
Value for money 9.0
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Review date: 11 Feb 2010

allan, leeds Experienced amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
easy controls, light and compact design
Bad points:
I can't get hold of the cable that you use to connect to a computer, this should be supplied with the camera at the point of purchase
Overall rating 9.0
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 9.0
Battery life 9.0
Weight 6.0
Value for money 9.0
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Review date: 04 Mar 2010

Product Features

Resolution quality SD
Resolution (Pixels) 800x400
3D No
Optical zoom ratio 40
Media format MiniDV
Connections Firewire
Shape of camcorder Horizontally held
Digital zoom ratio 2000
Type of image stabiliser Electronic
Widescreen recording Yes
Shortest shutter speed (Fractions of a second) 1/3500
Weight (g) 390
Screen size (Inches) 2.5
Maximum aperture telephoto 4.1
Maximum aperture wide 1.8
Lowest focal length (Millimetres) 36
Highest focal length (Millimetres) 1440
Type of chip CCD
Release date 2008-01-21

Also known as: Sony Handycam DCR-HC51E, Sony DCR-HC51E, MiniDV Handycam HC51.

Camcorders Buying Guide  

Manufacturer's Description

Fun, affordable shooting with crisp video quality and high zoom.

  1. Standard Definition video recording on affordable DV tape
  2. 800k pixel CCD sensor
  3. Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens with 40x optical zoom / 2000x digital zoom
  4. Super SteadyShot for improved video stability, especially in low light
  5. 2.5” LCD touchscreen
  6. Colour viewfinder
  7. Start / Stop and Zoom buttons on LCD screen frame
  8. Up to 14 hours STAMINA continuous shooting time (with optional battery)
  9. DV (i.LINK) connection for video editing with connected PC (output only)

We searched for this product high and low,
from House of Fraser to Tesco,
no one is selling it, we're sorry to say,
not 417 retailers nor anyone on eBay,
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