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on 31 December 2010
We bought this camcorder shortly before our wedding as we decided it would be a better investment than hiring a very cheap professional for the day.

My brother-in-law shot our wedding and got some great footage and we took it away on our honeymoon and got some great films and photo's with it too!

Overall we have been very pleased with the following qualities:
1 ~ The inbuilt hard disk is brilliant - well worth the little extra and so much easier and cheaper than multiple SD cards. But you can still use them too!
2 ~ The zoom is very impressive.
3 ~ The image quality when played back on a HD TV using HDMI cable is brilliant - so much better than watching my Dad's mini-VHS tapes being played back in our video recorder when I was a kid. Which is my last experience of a camcorder.

Area's for Improvement:
1, The screen can be difficult to see in bright sunlight.
2, With such a good zoom lens you need a really steady hand when shooting on full zoom to avoid any movement of the picture you are framing.
3, The instruction manual is very basic and am still trying to get to grips with everything it can do.
4, Hope to find a solution to setting the autofocus as had a few problems getting the camera to focus quickly enough at times.
5, The standard battery only last 2 hours so do buy a bigger one (see recommendations below).

Overall I am very happy with our purchase - and given that this is a bottom end HD camcorder it performs to our satisfaction.

Recommendations:
1, Don't buy the Sony LCS-X10 Handycam Soft Carry Case as recommended by Amazon as this case is far too big for this camcorder. Sony LCS-X10 Handycam Soft Carry Case for SR37, SR57, SR77, XR105, XR200, XR520, CX105 - Black

2, DO BUY a HDMI cable e.g. Neet® FLX - Mini HDMI to HDMI Cable - (2m) - 1080p Full HD - v1.3b - Type C (mini 19 pin) to Type A (std 19 pin) - Professional HDMI Lead

3, DEFINITELY BUY - this is an essential - with a battery of approx 4 hours Battery for Sony Type NP-FV70, 6,8V, Li-Ion
I got this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0036B4ETS/ref=oss_product

4, And to make charging easier - the standard kit only allows you to charge a battery whilst fitted to camcorder and not whilst filming - this pack allows you to charge a spare battery and still use camcorder: Ex-Pro Sony NP-FV50, NPFV50, NP-FV70, NPFV70, NP-FV100, NPFV100 Digital Camera Battery Travel Charger, UK, USA, Canada & Europe - 2 Hour Fast Charge

5, Finally, this bag works perfectly too: Padded Anti-Shock Case for Panasonic SDR-S15 HDC-HS60, HDC-SD10, HDC-SD60, HDC-TM10,SDR-H85, SDR-S26, SDR-S50, SDR-T50, HDC-TM60, Flip Video Ultra High Definition HD F260B-UK series,Canon LEGRIA FS20, FS21, FS22, FS36, FS37, FS200, FS305, FS306, FS307, ...
22 Comments| 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 July 2010
This is a great peice of kit, bought from Amazon with the usual excellant service thrown in.

The large (120GB) hard drive is a god send as it means you can record for long spells without having to download or change your memory card.
I also have a spare SD card, but have not so far had to use it.
As an example of the Hard Drive size, I recently used the camcorder throughout a fornight's holiday in Switzerland and still had spare capacity on the hard drive at the end of it.
Of course the hard drive does add a bit to overall weight and dimensions, but the Camcorder is still very small and fits into the hand very comfortably.
The additional weight is in reality only a few grams above that of a non hard drive model, and if anything the extra weight makes it feel more solid and robust.

The camcoder is very user friendly, and although I did read the instructions when it first arrived, I think I could just have easily picked up on the functions by simply picking up the machine and having a go.
The on-screen menu took a little getting used to at first, but once I had used it a couple of times it became second nature, and I wouldn't want anything different now.

It is however good that you have the option of using either the on-screen menu or the manual (on the body) controls for the basic commands (record - stop recording - zoom in or out) as different situations require different usage.

As stated in other reviews I have read for this model, recording in low light is not brilliant, but has proven to be adequate, but this would appear to be the same with all other models up to the price range from what I have read (and I must state that my intentions for using the camcorder were not for occassions where dim lighting was the norm, so I have not refelcted this in my overall scoring).

The quality of the HD recordings is suberb, but even on occasions where I have used the non-HD settings, I have not been disapponted in the output quality.

I only have 2 gripes about this model. The first is that it would be a useful addition to have the lens cover open & close aoutomatically when turning the machine on and off. But at least it has a lens cover.
The second is that the battery supplied does not give sufficient power to ensure a full days recording.
I would therefore recommend buying a second battery, which should be considered when assessing the cost before buying.
I myself have bought the Sony NP FV70 - Camcorder battery Li-Ion 2060 mAh, which I use as my main battery with the original NP FV50 battery as back up.
The larger NP FV70 battery last all day and more under usual sight-seeing usage, and I have not actually had cause to use the original battery as back up as yet.

Despite the 2 gripes (see above) I have given this model a five star rating as it has otherwise more than met my requirements and expectations.
11 Comment| 81 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 November 2010
I am so totally impressed with this camcorder. First of all, I ordered it on Thursday and it arrived on Saturday with free supersaver delivery. We weren't going to try it out until Christmas, but just couldn't wait. So, we set it on charge and it was on full battery within only a few minutes. I hear that the battery life isn't great - but haven't used it for long enough yet to say either way. Once I turned it on, it was magic. It was so clear, the zooming kept it clear (even from across the room I could see the smallest hairs on my dad's face). The microphone doesn't pick up any annoying background noise in a direction you aren't pointing, which was great because we had the tv turned on and it didn't ruin the sound at all. When we put the video on the laptop to see if it was as clear as it looked - it totally was. Loving the HD on it - and how easy it is to use! Highly recommend this camcorder - so simple, so effective, just brilliant!
0Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 November 2010
This item Sony Handycam was bought as a present for my husband who is a very good still photographer and has always "poo poo-ed" the use of video but he has certainly changed his mind after useing "my Sony" as he calls it the ease of use and as he says who needs a manual the operation is so easy and the results are just fantastic.Anyone who is new to camcorders should seriously give this model a try believe me you will not be dissapointed.You have superb HD recording at the touch of a button,and direct on to a 120gig hard drive (no messing with tapes or such)fits into the palm of your hand with perfect ease and with a built in image stabalizer I think that it would be more difficult to make a bad recording than a good one.All in all a very good buy.
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on 29 December 2010
This is an excellent product. (Bought from Amazon at 1730hrs on a Friday, arrived 1030 on the Saturday. Postage/Carriage was approx £4). Immediately easy to use press and record feature. no nonsense. Crisp playback on HD which was worth the extra few pounds. The touch screen interface is easy to operate and i have found my way around mostly without having to refer to the instructions.
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on 26 March 2011
For sheer usability straight from the box, this little machine is hard to beat. It is so compact and yet so powerful. I used it at a recent 40th Birthday 1 day after I bought it and it was so easy to use, very discreet and the final images shown on a sony bravia HD TV is outstanding. Very quiet in use, I especially like the very short start up time when the touchscreen is flipped out. Easy to navigate through the menus, easy to download footage. Great Buy. Do not hesitate any further. I did a lot of research before buying my HD camera and have made a super choice. Enjoy!
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on 30 June 2010
I have only had this camcorder for a short while but I am very impressed, the picture quality on a TV screen is superb. The ability to store on Hard Drive and have an SD card as well is brilliant. I use the SD card to store still photographs. I previously used a Sony camcorder with DVD storage which I found nothing but hassle although a cheaper option.
The still photograph facility is also pretty good. The weight and size is good
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on 8 July 2010
What more can you say, we didn't even have to read the instructions and it was so easy to use and has an amazing quality picture! Its not the top of the range but for a family this is just what you need to record school shows and growing kids.
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on 24 January 2011
My first video was this...
(...)

Had no trouble at all shooting with this camera. The auto focus went a bit wild on the starlings as you can see but if you can focus in on one thing (the boat) then you'll have more luck.
At first some of my shots had my finger on! You have to learn how to not to put your fingers near the lense!
Good luck - the quality is fantastic! So light I have to put it in a heavy bag to make sure I've still got it!
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on 23 May 2011
Brilliant Excellent item once in your own hand, Top Dog Out the Lot of HDD Sony Camcorders with it features if you ask me. What more could you ask for-30-50hours recordings on 120GB on it own without the 4766 photos from Sony 8GB memory card. Check this item out on Sony website for more info as i be on here all day. Since i seen some comments reviews on some Sony case are too big for this over £500 camcorder, as you don't want your camcorder to move around while in storage; i would recommend-Sony LCS-U5 camcorder case as not only it fast double ziped for opening, it also attached to your belt as well carrying it over your shoulder. With my camcorder and i can still carry a spare battery-Sony NP-FV70 and it got a spare memory card slot pocket and HDMI/USB cables zip pocket. However, you wont be able to fit your AC mains cable or the owner manual in this case, but who need the manual as my 7year old kid can use this camcorder without me being around.
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