Sonys line of digital MiniDV camcorders are all relatively the same, with slight difference between models accounting for a slight price difference. The DCR-HC36 camcorder is usually around $50 more expensive than the entry-level Sony MiniDV camcorder, the DCR-HC26. The differences between the HC26 and HC36 are pretty nominal; the HC36 offers a built-in digital camera, and a remote control both of which the HC26 does not. Both camcorders offer the same video quality, same controls, and even the same packaging.
Positive Aspects of the DCR-HC36The DCR-HC36 is an easy to use camcorder that is compact in size, making it perfect for travel. The camcorder offers reasonably quality video at an affordable price.
Negative Aspects of the DCR-HC36The built-in digital camera is a very low resolution, making the DCR-HC36 not much of an improvement over the less expensive DCR-HC26.
Video QualityThe video quality of the DCR-HC36 is similar to the video quality of other camcorders at this price point. The camcorder has a 1/6 CCD and records onto MiniDV taes, which will each hold one hour of video at the highest resolution.
Photo CapabilitiesThe DCR-HC36 has a built-in digital still camera, with the ability to save digital stills to a memory stick rather than the camcorder cassette tape. A dedicated digital still camera usually means decent quality prints, but in the case of the DCR-HC36 the stills are only 640 x 480. Photos at that resolution are no large enough to make decent resolution prints bigger than a wallet size.