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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera, limited audio, projector too limited
The Sony PJ220 is an HD Handycam sporting all the usual features, but with one extra -- a built in projector. The superb picture is near broadcast quality and can easily be tweaked in iMovie, Final Cut Pro or your favourite video editing software. However, the lack of a microphone input means that this camera can never be used for more than general background noise or for...
Published 20 months ago by Martin Turner

versus
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is it worth it for a projector?...
More and more gadgets and gizmos keep getting added to cameras and camcorders it's getting difficult to compare one against another. This is an example of that trend. And I have to ask why? The camcorder appears pretty close, if not identical, in specification to the Sony CX280 Full HD Handycam - Black (27x Zoom), which is a decent camcorder for its price range. So is the...
Published 19 months ago by John


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera, limited audio, projector too limited, 28 Mar 2013
By 
Martin Turner "Martin Turner" (Marlcliff, Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony PJ220 Full HD Handycam with Built-In Projector (27x Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Sony PJ220 is an HD Handycam sporting all the usual features, but with one extra -- a built in projector. The superb picture is near broadcast quality and can easily be tweaked in iMovie, Final Cut Pro or your favourite video editing software. However, the lack of a microphone input means that this camera can never be used for more than general background noise or for close face-to-face filming if you want speech to be audible. The tiny built in projector is surprisingly effective in a moderately dim environment but, again, the lack of an input means that you are limited to only watching what the camera has recorded, rather than being able to show off your edited results or use it as a handy projector for a laptop.

Picture quality
This is a 1 CCD not a 3 CCD camera, which means that, technically, it will not produce a 'broadcast quality' image. That said, I was very surprised by the clarity and sharpness of the image, though less thrilled with the colour fidelity and the slight tendency to over-expose on faces. The lens gives 32x zoom with a maximum width of 29.8mm equivalent. 30mm (which is what it is really) means you can get close enough to be able actually pick up someone talking in a relatively quiet venue without introducing too much distortion on the face. At the long end the image is pleasantly stable thanks to the SteadyShot image stabiliser.

You can also take stills with it, at 8.9 MP, although the result may be no better than your smartphone which may well have a higher resolution.

There are white balance, exposure and focus controls available through the menu, though they are fairly cumbersome to get at and rudimentary. You have no control over focal depth except automatically through the exposure control.

Overall the picture is sharp but the ability to deal with extremes of light and shade is limited. It records in 50 frames a second progressive, giving a smooth, film-like look if you want it, though it takes up twice as much memory on your SD card as 50i.

Audio quality
The audio quality on this camera is amazingly good -- but as the microphone is mounted into the camera and you can't add an external microphone, it's only useful for capturing speech in close-up, or general background sound. There is a 'zoom-mic' function which changes the pattern of the microphone pickup, but this does not fundamentally change the audio problem here. This is a problem common to most consumer video cameras, but it's worth thinking about because the simple addition of a microphone input can make the difference between being able to film and edit quite a competent video and only being able to capture general footage which you then have to narrate.

Projector
The projector is tiny and built into the reverse of the viewing screen. It's surprisingly bright, and great for reviewing as a group what you've filmed. I understand that more expensive versions of this camera allow you to use it to project from your computer. This one, unfortunately, only projects what is on the camera.

Controls and ergonomics
Only the zoom, photo capture and start stop have physical controls on the camera. Everything else is through the menus which you reach via a joy-stick type toggle. This works well enough -- better than many touch screens I've seen, once you're used to it -- but it effectively means that you can't change any of the settings while filming. There's a physical focus control for the projector which works reasonably well.
This camera fits nicely in your hand and, thanks to the image stabilisation, produces a fairly decent picture with a bit of practice. It's amazingly light, and has a USB cable built into the carrying strap, so you'll never find you haven't got the cable to charge it.

All in all
All in all this is a clever little device, but if you actually like the projector feature then you'll probably want to spend a little more and get a more expensive version of this camera which allows you to project from a computer as well. If you're serious about anything beyond vox-pops and background footage, you should also be looking for a camera with a physical microphone input.
If you mainly want a camera for personal use -- recording lectures, interviews, family moments, concerts or sports events, for example -- then this one could be just the ticket, and the ability to quickly project what you just recorded opens up many possibilities.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is it worth it for a projector?..., 17 April 2013
By 
John "John75222" (Leeds, Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony PJ220 Full HD Handycam with Built-In Projector (27x Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
More and more gadgets and gizmos keep getting added to cameras and camcorders it's getting difficult to compare one against another. This is an example of that trend. And I have to ask why? The camcorder appears pretty close, if not identical, in specification to the Sony CX280 Full HD Handycam - Black (27x Zoom), which is a decent camcorder for its price range. So is the addition of a projector worth the extra £100? On this outing I would have to say no.

The projector is limited in its ability to project onto anything other than a pure white matt surface in almost total darkness. Increase the background light and it significantly impacts on the clarity of the image. To project to a decent size and maintain definition is another problem. If the surface you project onto is anything other than a matt white it's not rocket science to realise it's going to affect the colours in the projected image. Next problem you have is sound quality; it's not good, and the louder you have it the tinnier it sounds. Add into this mix battery life issues when you use it as a projector and you begin to wonder why Sony bothered to introduce this range. Basically if you're going to use it as a projector you need to be near a power point, or carry a couple of spare batteries as it sucks power like a vampire loose in a blood bank. A worry for me would also be what happens when (not if!) the projector bulb goes and needs replacing - cost?

Also, yet again, no memory card or built in internal memory like the Sony Handycam PJ260 Full HD Camcorder with Built in Projector - Black (16GB, 8.9MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD and you need memory to record.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camcorder, is the projector necessary?, 23 May 2013
By 
Mr. T. S. James (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony PJ220 Full HD Handycam with Built-In Projector (27x Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been a user of Sony camcorders for a few years so know what to expect from their products and generally I'm not let down in terms of the features and quality of the video. This camcorder is an upgrade over my CX130 which I've had for the past two years and retains many of the same features.

It shoots video in full HD at 50P if required, has optical image stabilisation, a wide angle lens and something new to me is the built in projector. The video quality overall is great and I use the camera mainly for vlogging and so on, I always get compliments over the video quality. I mainly shoot indoors and this does a pretty good job in low light settings. I'm able to connect this up to my Mac and import the footage quite easily into Final Cut Pro X so no issues there. The wide angle lens is something I always appreciate as I have to have the camera quite close to me so the more I can fit in the image the better, however I would like it to be slightly wider than it currently is. I only say that because I trialled a Panasonic entry level model and it had a lens that was slightly wider which I liked. As for the projector, it's a nice touch but I don't really know when I would use it. I guess it's ideal if you holiday a lot and want to show friends and family the footage that you've taken, but I suspect most people would just transfer it to a laptop or something, but it's there for a quick fix if you need it. The quality is okay, it's obviously just meant to show your footage and not to be taken seriously as a projection system and it works without any issues. The flip out screen is an issue for me, my old Sony camcorder has a 3 inch touch screen, whereas the screen on this is smaller and has controls to navigate the menus. A small issue I'm sure and not something that will bother most people but it just seems that Sony have removed touch screens from their consumer lineup now and I wish they'd add it back in.

This would make a great camcorder for most people wanting great video quality, ideally suited for family use due to the built in projector to share your video. If you don't need the projector or don't think you'll use it then you might be better off going for a model that doesn't have it for a cheaper price.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technology is great, 16 April 2013
By 
A. J. Parkes "sekrapa" (Dudley, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony PJ220 Full HD Handycam with Built-In Projector (27x Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The last video camcorder I had fitted in a suitcase, had massive batteries that plugged in the back and used tapes. How times have changed. This is a tiny unit compared, and houses tons of wizardry in the electronics.

This is a full HD camcorder that records directly onto SD card, so you will need to get one. At least a 16Gb card, probably more as recording movies in full HD will take up some space quickly. There is an easy stop/start recording button that is operated with your thumb, and the zoom is on top of the unit access by your finger, as the unit is held in place with a strap round your hand. There is a built in lens cover, which is better than a removable one as it will not get lost. A slide by the lens opens and closes the cover. The side opens up to reveal a nice colour screen to show you what you are recording, and a neat feature is that by turning it so that the screen faces forward, you can see what you look like on camera for self-recording - neat idea.

Picture quality is excellent and smooth, sound a little disappointing, but still acceptable for a small unit. A really cool feature is the projector. You can project what you have recorded on to a flat surface like a wall or ceiling, a slider above the screen is used to ficus the image. Its a quick way of showing what you recorded to friends and family, but not as good as a TV screen as the colours are wishy washy and the image not too sharp, you need a very dark room for best results.

I did not like the fact that you have to charge the battery inside the unit, no taking it out to charge and the menu system is not the easiest to navigate, Apart from that, a very good family camcorder.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great kit, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Sony PJ220 Full HD Handycam with Built-In Projector (27x Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Fab cam corder - light and easy to use. Would recommend 100%

Projector is an ok idea but a gimmick more than an essential
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4.0 out of 5 stars SONY- Good all round camcorder., 14 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Sony PJ220 Full HD Handycam with Built-In Projector (27x Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
It is compact, easy to use and gives good results. It also fits easily into your pocket. However, in strong sunlight it is not always that easy to see the subject matter in the screen.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Handycam, 24 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Sony PJ220 Full HD Handycam with Built-In Projector (27x Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
My first attempt using a small video camera
Problem setting up as my fingers are rather large to control the small buttons
It's a pity I could not try before my purchase
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4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD CAMERA FROM SONY, 10 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony PJ220 Full HD Handycam with Built-In Projector (27x Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
This is my second camera my first one was Sony CX130 the camera is ok but I still like my old one because of easy use and picture quality Sony never lets you down, I am very happy with it for the price I paid for it,thank you again Amazon Mr Sheikh
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Video Clarity, 12 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Sony PJ220 Full HD Handycam with Built-In Projector (27x Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I like the video clarity , But the only drawback is , the image gets distorted if it is Zoomed.
If you purchase for Video shooting it is the best , not suited for taking photos like a camera.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT FOR THAT HOLIDAY, 18 April 2013
By 
Sue (C.I.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony PJ220 Full HD Handycam with Built-In Projector (27x Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
HDR-PJ220E - Camcorder - High Definition with projector

SONY HDR PJ220E

As someone who has never used a camcorder before, I was amazed just how small this is. It was amazingly light and I could actually put it in my pocket.

I usually just take still photographs so this was a real learning curve for me. I did think the controls were slightly flimsy but I presume this is to keep the weight down. However the Carl Zeiss lens was top notch and for me the `steadyShot' technology built in was a bonus because the images I got were fuzz free and it was a smooth operation.

I went to our local wildlife park and videoed the flamingos. I captured incredible detail with a real depth of colour both of the birds and of the water. I was really very surprised at the quality. It was great having the wide angle coupled with the 32 zoom lens ideal for a wildlife situation. The microphone built into the machine was fine but not exceptional.
The controls were quite intuitive but I thought the Sony manual which came with it slightly confusing. When playing back on the computer, you do need to install the software supplied.

The camcorder automatically turns on when you open up the screen and if you have forgotten to open the lens cover or forgotten to put in the memory card, a warning will come up.

Switching from wide angle to zoom a breeze just flip the switch

Unfortunately rather disappointingly the battery charge did not last very long at all so I have now ordered another through Amazon. One good thing about Sony is that they seem to keep the same type of batteries for their Handycam range so when I go away I will borrow my daughter's spare batteries as she has a Handycam albeit a different model. I would mention that there are different batteries available for this range and the more you pay the longer your battery life will be. The battery has to be charged in the camcorder which can be a nuisance but I believe it may be possible to buy a stand- alone charger.

I used a Sandisk Extreme 45mbs class 10 SDHC 16GB card purchased from Amazon and this was perfect.

All in all I was very impressed with this camcorder but I do feel that the built in projector is rather superfluous and is a bit of a gimmick. I did find it difficult at first to use the projector as the instructions weren't brilliant but I did get there in the end. The projector would probably be good fun if you were showing off your images to a group of young friends.

As a newbie to camcorders, I was impressed with this Sony, small and light, image quality superb, easy to handle and easy to use, good software to playback on the computer. Next time, I would choose Sony again but without the projector facility.

Update I have just come back from a cruise and I certainly won't be taking a stills camera again. This handycam was absolutely perfect and really came into its own. It captured the moment and so easy and light to operate. I took it everywhere with me as ultra light and compact. Even when moving for example we went on a little road train there was no blur and I am a beginner to video! When I came home and played back the video on my computer, it brought the whole holiday to life something my SLR didn't do. The quality and colour reproduction was fantastic and I am now reliving my holiday - absolutely amazing. I should have bought one before! Also whereas I said earlier the battery power was poor, I think it was because I kept playing the video back being a newcomer. On holiday I didn't feel the need to and it was great, I just plugged the battery in each night so I was ready for action the next day. It hardly took anytime to recharge.
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