Are you ready for your closeupPublish date: 27 May 2009 by Andrew Gould
Our first reaction, upon opening the DCR-SX40E's packaging, was one of sheer surprise at the size of this flash-based camera. It's tiny. It's almost too small. One expects a video camera to be… well the size of a video camera. Can something this size offer real performance?
With 4GB of storage, it's unlikely you'll be shooting a feature length film with it, but you will be able to record up to 3 hours of footage. Even better, because it's based on solid-state storage there are no tapes to change. If 4GB just won't cut it, Sony has included a Memory Stick PRO Duo slot, so you can expand its storage.
The DCR-SX40E features the, now ubiquitous, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens, which is a far cry from the cheap lenses you'll find on a host of other entry-level cameras. There is also a 60X optical zoom, which allows you to get right in there for those emotional ultra-closeups.
Unfortunately the imaging sensor lets this standard definition camera down a bit. It consists of a single CCD measuring an eighth of an inch, and has a pixel count of just over 4 megapixels.
You might also be a bit disappointed when viewing footage on an HD TV, as there quite a few digital artifacts lurking on the screen. But if all you're recording is the family and friends you'll probably love this tiny camera.