Excerpt: The Sony Handycam DCR SR42 which I received as a gift from my girlfriend is an excellent digital video camcorder for anyone. It has a number of features and functions such as different effects you can input while recording, 40x optical zoom, 30GB Hard drive, additional memory slot, and a touch screen LCD display. However, that is not all. It has an easy mode – which makes it very simple and easy-to-use for the new or average user.
Summary: If you are willing to forgive the sub par visuals, the DCR-SR42E is a pretty decent camera; especially for inexperienced users. However, there are plenty of similarly priced non-HDD cameras on the market that will give you a superior performance.
Pros: Small and attractive design, 30GB hard drive, very user-friendly, 40x optical zoom.
Cons: Only 0.68 megapixels, camera is too light, poor stills mode.
Summary: The Sony DCR-SR42 Handycam camcorder (available for around £300 online), reduces arcane recording features to a minimum and saves files to a hard drive so there's no need to buy Mini DVD discs or MiniDV tapes.