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Camcorders Reviews
15,611 Reviews PC Advisor Best Buy Award

Sony HDR-TG3 review

£649 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Sony

Our Rating: We rate this 5 out of 5

The stylish, petite Sony HDR-TG3 is an HD camcorder that ships with a generous 4GB memory card, enough for about half an hour of footage recorded at full high-definition quality.

The stylish, petite Sony HDR-TG3 is an HD camcorder that ships with a generous 4GB memory card, enough for about half an hour of footage recorded at full high-definition quality.

Sony is promoting the HDR-TG3 as: "the world's smallest and lightest high definition camcorder". Measuring a scant 63x32x132mm and weighing in at just 240g, the dinky Sony HDR-TG3 lives up to that claim.

The Sony HDR-TG3 achieves its diminutive stature by eschewing the more traditional MiniDV tape for a miniscule Memory Stick Pro DUO card. Solid state as a storage medium has really come into its own in recent months and the Sony HDR-TG3 acts as a showcase for the advantages solid-state has to offer.

The Sony HDR-TG3 ships with a generous 4GB memory card, enough for about half an hour of footage recorded at full high-definition quality.

It's not just small; the Sony HDR-TG3 is good looking too. The vertical form factor is made out of scratch-resistent titanium in a gun-metal styling and sports a flip out 2.7in LCD touchscreen. This takes care of most of the menu options leaving the body of the camera free relatively clutter-free, sporting just a record button and zoom ring.

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Although it keeps controls to a minimum, the Sony HDR-TG3 houses plenty of sockets tucked away under various flaps: USB, audio out, S-Video out, Component video out; it even has a built-in HDMI output socket so you can hook it up directly to a high-defintion television. A dock is also provided so you can easily hook it up to your computer.

The Sony HDR-TG3 records 1920x1080 full HD video (also know as 1080p). It also acts as a 4Mp stills camera, and is capable of taking 2.3Mp stills while you are recording video footage.

The optical system is a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar with a 1.8-2.3 F and 10x optical zoom.

Although the small form factor ensures that the recorded footage is no match for a larger, more professional model (such as the Sony HDR-FX1) we have to admit to being impressed by the quality of the Sony HDR-TG3. This is all the more remarkable because no other upright camcorder has truly impressed us in terms of image quality before.

NEXT PAGE: image quality, and our expert verdict > >

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Sony HDR-TG3 Expert Verdict »
Sony HDR-TG3E Scores 9.0 out of 10 based on 138 reviews
1920x1080, 1080p HD camcorder
1/2-1/800 shutter speed
Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar with a 1.8-2.3 F and 10x optical zoom
1/5.0 ClearVid CMOS Sensor
USB, audio out, S-Video out, Component video out, HDMI out
Dolby Digital 5.1ch
3ch, zoom microphone
built-in speaker
2.3Mp stills camera
2.7in LCD touchscreen
63x32x132mm
240g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 10 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 10 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 10 of 10 overall

We were truly and genuinely impressed by Sony's HDR-TG3 camcorder. Small upright camcorders all too often sacrifice video quality and provide gimmicky features, but the Sony HDR-TG3 is a triumph of automated functionality and good quality in a small form factor. Highly recommended.

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