Shoot Full HD 1920x1080 video with a high sensitivity Exmor R CMOS sensor – increased detail and clarity even in low light. Click here for a larger image
Start filming in HD
You’ve got a high definition television at home and you know it makes perfect sense to film your own movies in HD. More detail, brighter colours, sharper contrast – who wouldn’t want that? You don’t need anything complicated or too heavy to carry in the hand. It has to be light, a doddle to use and capable of capturing all those precious memories with a flick of your finger. Everything automatic so when you see your friends doing the bunny hop at a party, you can catch them instantly. In brilliant high definition, of course.
Just like being there
So what’s the big deal about high definition? Well, quality basically. This camcorder captures four times the detail of a standard definition camcorder. That means everything you shoot looks sharper and clearer with vivid, lifelike colours and rich tones. Just try capturing the view across the rooftops on your next city break or the colourful hats at a wedding.
Easily handles low light
How many times have you filmed a child blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, only to get back home and be royally disappointed with the dark, grainy results? Low light kills detail on many camcorders. Not on this one, though, as it includes an Exmor R CMOS sensor, one of the most sophisticated low light sensors available. So when you’re capturing the end of a party or the last rays of the sun from your hotel balcony, you can be sure darkness won't hide the detail.
You don’t want to haul around a camcorder and a camera, if you can possibly help it. This Handycam lets you take really good-looking shots with sharp detail and natural colour at the touch of a button. You can zoom in up to 25 times and capture close-ups and distant shots without losing clarity. Think how good that would be on safari or your next family outing to the zoo.
Keeps things steady
Don’t worry about camera shake. Electronic SteadyShot keeps everything steady so you can shoot clearly while walking around town or when closing in on a distant subject. And because Electronic SteadyShot is always active, composing your shot on the LCD screen while moving into the best possible position is a doddle.
Selecting the perfect settings for a particular scene can be daunting. No need to worry with this camcorder as Intelligent Auto (iAUTO) does all that for you. How? By automatically recognising up to 60 scenes and adjusting settings for the best possible picture. So if you’re shooting mountains, colours and focus will be optimised for landscapes. Best of all, iAuto is quick and easy to activate - just flip open the screen, touch the start icon and shoot.
No point in squinting
We’ve all done it or laughed at someone else doing it. Squinting through a tiny screen to frame a shot or review footage. This camcorder refuses to put you in that ridiculous situation by including a large touch screen with a wide viewing angle. Compose your scenes with ease - menus and settings are just a tap away. With outstanding detail, high contrast and less reflection, gathering round the bar with your friends to share your great shots of the beach or piste is so much more fun.
They’re natural, spontaneous, here one moment, gone the next. You just don’t have time to set up for a quick smile shot so this camcorder does it all for you. Smile Shutter automatically takes pictures when people smile – great for brides and grooms, birthday celebrations and baby chuckles. Face Detection automatically adjusts exposure, focus and skin tone so everyone looks more natural. After all, the better you look, the more you like your photos!
Connect and share
What’s the point keeping all those great memories in your camcorder? Use the built-in USB cable and PlayMemories software to easily transfer video and photos to your PC, upload to the web or share on social networking sites. Ingeniously hidden in the handstrap, the cable is great for travelling as it takes up no space at all and allows you to leave your normal USB cable and AC Adaptor at home.
Your own short movies at the touch of a button
If only there was a quick and easy way to turn your latest holiday video into a professional looking movie, without having to spend ages slaving over a PC. You know, with transition effects and background music and a nice opening sequence. Highlight Playback does it all for you in a jiffy. Access directly with one touch from the Event Browse playback interface and easily create your movie using selected pictures and videos. Save as a new movie and burn to DVD or upload to social networking sites via PlayMemories Home so all your friends and family can enjoy your latest adventure.
I've had this camera for a month now and i'm very pleased with it. The build quality is excellent as you'd expect from Sony and the camera itself is very small, about the same size as a modern computer mouse. Everything is in exactly the right place and it sits very nicely in your grip when in use, the zoom lever is perfectly placed and there's an extra groove to fit a finger into. It couldn't be simpler to record with, just one push of the REC button to start and another to stop. Using the video afterwards is not quite so simple but i'll come onto that later. It has a photo mode so with one push of the MODE button it turns into a digital camera. The photos taken with this are average at best so i wouldn't want to use it as my only holiday camera but the quality of the photos are just the same as a low-end 2 megapixel phone. It's a nice feature to have if you only want to carry one camera for everything and aren't too bothered about having amazing quality. I found a much better way to get photos is simply to record some HD video for 1 second then grab an image of that when you play it back on a PC. There's no flash though so it'd be no good as a still camera in the dark.
The video quality is of a very high standard, far above what you find on other cheaper brands that have impressive specs but fall short when you compare them to a qaulity camcorder such as this. It looks as good as any TV broadcast i've seen with super sharp colours. The Exmor R sensor means it records brilliantly even in low light conditions such as when shooting indoors. It really does make a difference and that's just one thing you pay extra for over the cheap cameras that look bad indoors.
The main point to make with the video is that it is not full HD, no matter what it says on any adverts or even on the box. If you don't know or care about technical stuff then it won't matter but there are two kinds of "full" HD. One is 1080i and means the camera records line 1,3,5 etc. And then goes back and records lines 2,4,6 etc. So it only records half the image at any time. 1080P means it records everyline, all the time, giving a slightly better picture (but you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference between i and p even with 2 TV's next to each other). Before 2011 any camera saying "Full HD" was 1080p but this one is only 1080i. I did a lot of research into this before buying and even people who owned the camera and had posted videos on Youtube seem confused as to whether it's 1080p or 1080i. Look on the official Sony site and it'll tell you in the specs it's 1080i. If you open the camera up and put it on full quality it'll say i and not p on the screen. "Full HD" only means it records 1080 lines of video and not that it's progressive.
There are some great features on this camera. I noticed before i bought it that it had a built in USB cable which slots into the strap when not in use. I wondered what the point of this was but it really does come in handy because not only can you transfer files through it but it can be used to charge the camera meaning you can avoid having to carry around yet another AC adaptor with you. Taking out the memory card and plugging it into a PC to transfer the files is not recommended as i'll come to in a moment. Another great feature is the zoom mic. This amplifies the microphone when you zoom in so you effectively zoom in on conversations happening some distance away! It can be great when you're in a crowd and want to record what the guide at the front it saying or when you want to zoom in on some wildlife and hear as well as see them.
Speaking of the zoom, it goes up to 30x which is more than enough. It works up to 25x with the optical image stabaliser on and i'd recommend leaving that on. Even when i was on the back of a boat bobbing around in a rough sea it kept the image stable and avoided any annoying blurring. Again, that's why this camera costs more than some of the very cheap models you may have seen. I've zoomed in from the bottom the cliff right up into the window of a castle above and even at full zoom the picture is as good as if you're filming something right next to you. The camera records at 24Mbps at full quality, taking up around 10GB per hour of HD video shot at 1080i. This is one of the downsides of this, and any HD, camcorder. The sheer amount of time and effort it takes to use whatever you film may put some off. It's easy to just plug the camera in to a TV, or take out the memory card and plug that into an SD slot on a TV, but if you want to edit the footage you're going to need some technical knowhow. Just plugging the SD card into a PC will result in you only getting video with no sound. You have to run it through a program such as Windows Movie Maker or Sony Vegas and convert the video to make it watchable on a PC. I have a very powperful PC with a 6 core processor, 8GB of RAM, Windows 7 64-bit and even with all that it takes around 5 times longer to record a film than the length of the film. For example, a 1 hour film that you shot will take 5 hours for a very fast PC to record. If you have an average PC it'll take about 8 hours per 1 hour of video. You can always shoot in SD but then what's the point in buying an HD camcorder? 720P works best and is much quicker taking only twice the amount of time to record as the length of the video you shot.
There are some great accessories for this camera such as batteries that last for 3, 6 or even 12 hours! The 12 hour one works great but it's the size of a brick and really weights the camera down. The standard battery that comes with the camera last for around 100 minutes.
Overall it's a great camera with superb video quality and i'm very pleased i bought it.
I previously owned an old Dv tape VCR & needed to upgrade.
I tested several HD camcorders & found this one to have a silky smooth focus, which did not hunt to focus on the subject at its full focal length, which was apparent with sevearl others in the same price range. It is extremely lightweight & although not the robust around it should stand the test of time short of throwing it around.
The quality of the recording is awesome & looked amazing when viewed on a 50" TV. As an added bonus the 5.3 MP stills are suprisingly good.
I would heartily recommend this to anyone looking to upgrade to full HD as it is so small, lightweight & produces images of the highest quality
Purchased this HD camcorder as I was not happy with the blurry image from my old jvc mini dv cam. I looked at loads of reviews and this came up as a decent HD camera for the price, it turned out an excellent choice, stunning picture when connected to my 37" HD tv, IM using the FX setting, which is the best quality AVCHD recording mode, this gives about 90 mins of recording time on a 16gb sd card. I downloaded the Play Memories software to get the files on computer through the built in usb hub, and successfully copied AVCHD files to a standard DVD disc. You can do minor editing on the camera or on play memories but Im going to purchase serif software for serious editing, its on offer at the moment for £20. Note! The recorded AVCHD disc will not play on a normal DVD player, you have to have a blu ray player or playstation 3, I played my recording on my blu ray player with excellent results, even night shots with very little light were very good. I highly recommend his camcorder.