Sony HDR-HC9 6MP MiniDV High Definition Handycam Camcorder 10x Optical Zoom Review
The HDR-HC9 features a 1/2.9-inch ClearVid CMOS sensor that provides good clarity and detail. It delivers quality video performance at 1080p resolution in HD format, or 530 lines of horizontal resolution in SD format. The CMOS censors require less power, thus extending battery life. The 3.2 megapixels technology takes the digital photography experience to the next level. It has an ability to shoot high-resolution (6.1-megapixel) still images.
It has a 10x optical/20x digital zoom. The optical zoom helps to bring the subject closer and the Digital zoom interpolation makes extreme digital zooming clearer and distinct with minimum distortion.
The 2.7-inch widescreen (16:9) LCD screen ensures amazing viewing clarity that has an improved resolution of 211k pixels. It also provides sharp and detailed results. For multiple viewing angles the display rotates up to 270 degrees. The widescreen makes it easier to shoot in the 16:9 modes and at the same time makes it simpler to compose the shoots.
The Dual recording function lets you record video in high definition, at the same time giving you the ability to capture still photos to a Memory stick duo media, sold separately. You can also record and play back High Definition and Standard Definition video on standard MiniDV cassettes, sold separately.
The HDR-HC9 features the professional quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens that uses highly advanced optics. This delivers pictures having life-like colors and amazing quality. The T coating minimizes unwanted glare for better color contrasts.
The Active Interface shoe provides power and on/off capabilities directly from the camcorder, thus enabling the use of smart accessories like microphones and external lights.
This miniDV High Definition handycam has an HDMI connectivity that ensures video and audio connection of high quality. You can also transmit HD video form the camcorder to a compatible HDTV using a single cable. The camcorder has an IEEE1394 interface which is a high speed, bi-directional digital video/audio connection. You can transfer images from the camcorder to compatible devices, such as digital VCRs and PCs that are equipped with this IEEE1394 interface. The camcorder can be connected to your PC for easy and fast transfer of video and still images for editing, using a USB 2.0 interface.
The batteries can be charged at any time because the rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries are free from life shortening “Memory effect”. The HDR-HC9 has an AccuPower meter that displays the remaining battery time in minutes in either the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. When using the InfoLithium battery, the Stamina Battery Management System enables the camcorder to extend battery life for long and continuous recording time from a single charge. The battery information is displayed on the LCD screen, when charging or when the camcorder is turned off, by the touch of a button. The display will show how much the battery has been charged already and the recordable time left.
There are three assignable buttons on the exterior of the camcorder that can be assigned to the most commonly used functions by the user. There is a built-in flash that improves picture quality and reduces shadows, when taking pictures in low light conditions. The camcorder has a Cinematic mode that lets you create your own movies by lending a 24 frame film-like effect. There is an Easy Handycam Button that locks out most of the advanced functions of the camcorder. This lets you concentrate on the buttons that are most essential, until you get yourself comfortable with the camcorder.
If you want to easily transfer still images to your PC for emailing or printing or sharing with other Memory stick devices, you can buy a Memory Pro Duo media separately and capture still images directly onto it.
You can also change the display language from English to English (Simplified), Canadian French, Latin American Spanish, or Brazilian Portuguese.
Another interesting feature of the HDR HC9 is the positioning of the Zoom and Record buttons on the frame of the LCD screen. This feature is especially helpful when recording overhead or low angle shots.
Using the Picture Effect modes you can give special effects to your videos to make them more attractive and creative. The effects available in the Camera mode are Monotone, Pastel and Sepia and those available in the Playback mode are Monotone, Pastel and Sepia.
With direct HDMI output to your BRAVIA HDTV and other compatible HDTV screens the viewing and sharing of your photos with utmost detail and clarity is all the more easier. You can choose between standard 4:3 and widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio — and with select BRAVIA HDTV models, your photos are automatically optimized in sharpness, gradation, and color reproduction.
It has a Progressive shutter system that gives progressive scan performance, using an interlaced scanning system. This makes the digital images sharper and clearer. The Scene selection mode makes recording simpler when filming in challenging situations. You can choose from Beach, Candle, Fireworks, Landscape, Portrait, Sports Lesson, Spotlight, and Sunrise & Sunset.
The Smooth slow record function comes in handy while analyzing different subjects in motion. From 60 fps, you can increase the record rate to 240fps and capture 3 seconds of fast motion and also play the video back in 12 seconds. You can also record an audio track to narrate the video footage.
The HDS HC9 features the Super NightShot Infrared System that lets you capture video in total darkness up to a distance of 10 feet.
The Super SteadyShot Optical Image Stabalization System reduces the effects of camera shake and vibration so that the results are clear and crisp. It goes a step ahead by giving a higher level of smoothness without image degradation.
The x.v. Color technology can capture and display viewable colors as twice as that captured and displayed by a traditional RGB color standard. This gives a more natural and life-like effect to the images.
Although, the Sony HDR HC9 is a robust camcorder with lots of manual functions and an extremely good image quality, it does have a few weaknesses. The lens hood seems to obstruct the flash and the IR light. The Cam control wheel also is very small. Even though the handycam has a number of features and Sony has used high end technology in many of these features , there is not much of a difference between the HDR HC7 and the HDR HC9.
Where to Buy:
- Brand Name: Sony
- Model: HDR-HC9
- Media Type: Mini DV (HDV)
- Lens Type: Zoom lens
- Optical zoom: 10 x
- maximum_aperture_range: F/1.8-2.9
- Shooting Modes: Digital photo mode
- Video Input: Camcorder
- Display Size: 2.7 inches
- Optical Sensor Resolution: 3.2 MP
- Optical Sensor Technology: ClearVid CMOS
- optical_sensor_size: 1/2.9″
- Viewfinder Type: LCD
- Audio Input: Microphone
- microphone_operation_mode: Stereo
- Height: 3.2 inches
- Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Depth: 5.4 inches
- Width: 3.2 inches