The Handycam DCR-SR47 is Sony's entry-level hard-drive-based standard-definition camcorder. The main attractions are its small size, large storage capacity, and megazoom lens. It's also fairly easy to use partly because of the touch-screen-based menu navigation and partly because of its dearth of shooting options. However, as with most camcorders in its class, the video results are mediocre--especially if you're watching them full screen on a large HDTV or are used to the detail of high-definition content.
If you're not terribly concerned with video quality and want a reasonably priced camcorder that's easy to use, has a megazoom lens, and can fit in a large coat pocket, this Sony is worth checking out.
|Key specs||Sony Handycam DCR-SR47|
|Weight (with battery and media)||11 ounces|
|Storage capacity, type||60GB; Memory Stick Pro Duo|
|Resolution, sensor size, type||680K pixels, 1/8-inch CCD|
|LCD size, resolution||2.7-inch LCD, 123K pixels (touch screen)|
|Lens (zoom, aperture, focal length)||60x, f1.8-6.0, 39-2,340mm (16:9), 44-2,640mm (4:3) (35mm equivalent)|
|Minimum illumination||6 lux|
|File format (video, audio)||MPEG-2, Dolby Digital 2-channel stereo|
|Recording time at highest quality||15 hours, 10 minutes|
|Image stabilization type||Mechanical and electronic|
|Inputs/Outputs||None/Mini-USB, AV terminal|
|Battery type, rated life||Li ion rechargeable, 90 minutes|
Available in blue, black, or red versions, the SR47 is a cute little camcorder. Its physical controls are textbook camcorder design with a start/stop button at the back and zoom rocker up top in front of a shutter release for snapshots in Photo mode. The whole package is roughly the size of soda can. The hand strap is comfortable if a little low and because hard drives have become so small and light, there's barely a bump encasing it making the body mostly lens.
The battery juts from the back; below it is the Memory Stick Pro Duo card slot and power input. Up front below the lens is a small door hiding an AV output. Flip open the touch-screen display (there is no viewfinder), and you'll find a row of buttons in the body cavity for power; turning off and on display information; direct-to-DVD recording using Sony's $149 VRD-P1 DVDirect DVD burner; an Easy button that locks down the camcorder's few advanced features; and changing over to Playback mode. There's also a button that instantly adjusts exposure for backlit subjects. The last of the I/O ports are in this cavity, too: an uncovered Mini-USB port.