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
Get going in HD
Memories come and go so doesn’t it just make perfect sense to capture them in the best quality possible? Like high definition. Especially if you’ve already got an HD television sitting there in your lounge. More detail, brighter colours, sharper contrast - you know the score. You don’t want 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 larking about at the beach, 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 that view of Mont Blanc on your next trip to the Alps or the fine spray from the pool as your kids divebomb an inflatable croc.
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.
There just isn’t room in the rucksack for a camcorder and camera. No worries. This Handycam lets you take really good-looking photos with sharp detail and natural colour at the touch of a button. No more fuzzy faces, diluted detail or blurred backgrounds. No more hammering away at the delete key because picture quality doesn’t measure up. You can zoom in up to an astonishing 30 times and capture perfectly defined close-ups and distant shots without losing clarity. Think how good that would be if you spotted an eagle hovering over a ridge on your next hiking trip.
No more blurry shots
Everyone knows that camera shake ruins a good photo. But how do you keep your hand still while shooting on the go or closing in on a distant subject? You don’t. Instead, rely on Optical SteadyShot, a clever feature that detects even the slightest movement and shifts elements in the lens to compensate. The result? Super steady shots everytime, especially in low light such as sunsets and twilights. And because Optical SteadyShot is always active, composing your shot on the LCD screen while moving into the best possible position is a doddle.
Get closer to the action with a 30x optical zoom Sony G wide angle lens and check out your shots on the 29.8mm Wide Clear Photo LCD touch screen. Click here for a larger image
Great shots made easy
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.
Let’s face it, we like smiles
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!
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.
Optical Zoom/Extended Zoom
Still image pixel size (recording/effective)
Full HD 1920x1080
Exmor R CMOS
Carl Zeiss lens
2.7" touch panel
Light, compact and 8GB internal memory
Full HD 1920x1080
Optical Steady-shot (O.SS)
Exmor R CMOS
Sony G lens
3" touch panel
Auto wind noise reduction
Full HD 1920x1080
Optical Steady-shot (O.SS)
Exmor R CMOS
Sony G lens
3" touch panel
Built-in projector, 5.1 ch surround sound and 16GB memory
Colour Name:Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product(What's this?)
I took this camcorder on a 2-week trip to Japan where I hoped to film some street scenes and the parades at Tokyo Disneyland. In the end, I used my Canon S95 to shoot the most videos, with far better results.
It's not a bad camcorder, but could be so much better.
Firstly the good:
Very simple to use. 6 physical buttons for stop/start, zoom, photo, mode (switch from video to photo and back), playback and power. The power is slightly redundant as it powers up when you flip the screen out and shuts down then you close it again. I found the position of the stop/start and zoom ok, but big hands will have to bend fingers too much to work comfortably.
Excellent zoom. If on a safari, you should get cracking close-ups. more reach than my S95
Lightweight. Easy to hold for extended periods without too much fatigue. Standard tripod screw is fitted.
Built-in USB. This is a brilliant idea as you can use it to sync and charge from a computer or a USB charger. There is an extension lead supplied but I found the connectors too lose. My Amazon Basics lead was of a much higher quality.
Image quality as fine in daylight, but at night I found it hunted to lock onto the parade floats and the signs in Shinjuku. There are some bad points too with the quality.
Feels flimsy. While lightweight, the plastic does feel cheap and creaks when pressed lightly. I suspect a heavy knock will break it.
Image quality can let it down. Colours can look washed out ans when zoomed in, the focus can be slow, especially when there is poor contrast.
For me, there are what mean it gets only 3 stars.
Video files. The box proudly announces "works with iMovie. In reality it should read "barely works with iMovie". I found the importing painfully slow and any form of editing causes my MacBook Pro (i5 2.3ghz with 8gb or RAM) to go to 100% cpu and the fan to hit full speed. Secondly, you cannot import video onto an iPad as it's not recognised and won't appear. S95, imports no problem.
Battery (and this is the real kicker for me). Anyone who buys electronics these days will know how the manufacturers love to upsell accessories like spare batteries. Normally the manual comes with dire warnings of what can happen if you use anything than their own make. Users generally ignore this and buy 3rd-party batteries, saving ££££'s with no ill-effect. Seeing as I would be away from the hotel for hours at a time, I bought 2 spare batteries for £25 the pair (Sony own, £80 each). All charged up and fitted, I was ready to go. Turned camcorder on, pressed record and all was well. Well for 4 seconds. Then a message popped up on the screen announcing "For use with compatible battery only" and the camcorder shuts down. Change to original battery, no issues.
I understand that Sony want to sell their own batteries, but to force a shutdown because it's not their battery is, in my view, punitive and petty. Fine, pop a warning up that could say "For best results, use Sony original battery" but let you carry on. Not a way to win customers and something every prospective buyer should be aware of.Read more ›
I bought this camcorder as my wife is pregnant with our first child, and I wanted to have something to record all the amazing moments in life that are sure to come in the months and years ahead.
This camcorder, costing around £400, sits firmly in Sony's mid-range when it comes to comsumer camcorders, and it does have a lot of features which are excellent - the Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor (great in low light) the three inch touch screen LCD and built in USB cable only a few of the features on offer. It also boasts a 8.9 megapixel still camera, and it is easy to switch between movie and photo mode as there is a "mode" button on the top of the camcorder (you can also just press the "photo" button while in movie mode and you can take still photos.
I have had a few weeks to play around with this now, and the video quality, especially in sunlight, is very good. The default HQ setting (there are three higher settings than this) will record excellently in sunlight, and decently in low light. You can manually switch on a "low lux" setting then, which will help you take better movies and photos, although this does require some illumination - recording in pitch black is not possible with this camera, as there is no nightshot function. The photos, as you might expect on a camcorder lens, can be quite grainy (especially in low light), so if you like taking still photos and only use video occasionally you might be better off getting a camera instead, although it is fine for my needs.
The 'iAuto' function Sony has is fine, and seems to work fairly well. It has recognised when I am taking landscape/portrait movies and whether I am using a tripod, or just carrying it around (it is very light and so extremely portable). The smile shutter function (not available in 50p or FX modes) is great, as it will automatically detect smiles when recording and take photos for you - so if you know someone who always blinks when having a picture taken (*ahem* my wife *ahem*) it can be really convenient and useful. You can also manually take photos in the middle of recording, which works very well.
When you have shot your masterpieces, you can view them by accessing the "event view" option. You can either go through each movie/photo individually or watch an automatically generated 'highlights' video by clicking on the appropriate option. This is great fun, and really enjoyable to watch. Sony have also made it very easy to share them online - once you have watched it, the option to save and share will come up. If you choose to save it, it will be converted into SD for upload onto youtube etc. I am unsure if you can upload HD scenarios onto video sharing sites or not, but I think you have to have it converted into SD first.
There is also a micro-usb slot, hdmi slot and microphone slot, so it is easy to connect to your HD TV with the supplied mini HDMI cable. There is also an AV cable supplied if you do not have an HDMI slot on your TV.
So, everything looks positive in this review, why is a star knocked off? Well, the answer being I feel slightly short-changed by Sony, in that the US equivalent, the HDR-CX 260, not only has 16 GB of on board storage (the HDR-CX 250, this model, has none and you need an SD card/Pro Duo Memory Stick) but also has Geo Tagging, as well as all the features of this model. The price tag, when converted into pounds, is not too dissimilar to this one either.
But, overall, while I am slightly annoyed this camcorder is serving me well, does have a lot of features and it will capture the patter of little feet for several years to come!Read more ›
We're soon to be taking a four week hiking trip in the USA and wanted to replace our suddenly broken Sony Handycam (HDR-HC7). I can't begin to praise this little camcorder enough and really recommend it highly for its price and abilities. Obviously you will need to purchase an SD card but that's standard with most photographic equipment these days. I would recommend a 32 GB card with at least a rating of 4 but go higher if you can afford to. The higher the rating, the faster data can be written to the card and this improves the HD recording speed. We bought one from Amazon for around £25 and a 32GB card will give you around 3 hours of recording on the highest HD setting available on the camera.
The camera is tiny and very light (around 400g) and has an impressive optical zoom that will easily show the tiny crators on the moon! There are smart wind noise reduction options when filming outside on a windy day and it has a decent 8.9MP still camera function. Not the highest rating, but good enough for the typical holiday shot if you're away from your 'proper' camera.
The picture quality is excellent - full HD and so easy to get off the camera and onto the PC for editing. No more having to wait for digital tapes to dump the image slowly onto the PC and it's in a format that can be edited easily by most editing packages. We use the Sony Vegas editing software which works well with HD editing and burn Blu-ray discs reliably as well...
With no moving parts, the silent moments on film really are more silent - I say this because I've been used to hearing the whirling noise of a tape on previous models. I'm also hoping that this will also make the camcorder more robust as their is less to go wrong (but this remains to be seen). Another advantage of the SD card used in this camcorder over tape is that humidy issues are reduced dramatically. Last year when we were in Florida, our old camcorder was constantly shutting down because the tape heads were getting wet with humidy.
I see this camcorder as a great tool for family functions and holiday videos, it's so small and light you'll hardly know you have it with you. For the price this really is a great buy!Read more ›