excellent camcorder. bought to make myself feel better about missing my son growing up due to me working away from home. it is making superb home videos so far, brilliant quality in light and dark situations.
superb build quality and great amount of control via physical buttons. i previously tried a panasonic and hated the plasticky build feel and most of all the amount you had to do on the useless touchscreen for basic functions. although you can get pretty technical with it, it's simple and automagical enough for wifey to pick up, point and shoot.
PROBLEMS - some retard decided to put the MF assist button in a ridiculous place, so basically if you want to use manual focus (its a good idea a lot of the time if you find autofocus bouncing around a bit) you need 9 inch fingers to reach the assist button to get MF right (or crash zoom instead). i don't have big hands but neither do most japanese folks so why they did this, i have no idea.
also, the stabilisation is noticeably worse than the similarly priced panasonics (i tested v770), which is able to shoot amazingly smooth moving video - honestly that system is magical. however this is due to the sony having a vastly superior sensor which takes up more space meaning less space for motors and little faeries to stabilise the image. it's still ok, just next to a panasonic camera you can really tell the difference. i heard the Sony BOSS was pretty good, again this is only available on lower end cameras with cheaper sensors and i haven't tried that.
This camcorder has absolutely delighted my family and me with the outstanding, clear images that it produces. It is totally incomparable to other camcorders that I have used in the past. We have always been happy with our cheaper camcorders, but with this, the difference is startling.
In terms of size, it isn't too massive - there is a lot of technology packed into a fairly small space. It is perhaps a little larger than I am used to, but it is certainly manageable and portable still. It isn't the lightest in the world, but again, it isn't so heavy that it will not be portable. So in terms of size and weight, it is absolutely fine and I am happy to carry it about or in my backpack when we are out hiking etc.
The camcorder has a 12X optical zoom and the digital zoom is 24X. I managed to zoom in on a buzzard flying above the fields and landing in a tree where I live, and detail that I got is stunning. It looks so clear and professional - certainly better than anything I have ever produced before! The stills I have produced are in great detail and again, probably better than most stills I have produced on dedicated cameras.
This camcorder has NFC and wifi transfer options which is an added convenience. It just adds to the appeal of the whole thing, because it is possible to share your images quickly with family and friends.
Overall, I am absolutely delighted with this camcorder. It is producing brilliant results - I really can't criticise it in any way - it has exceeded every expectation I have ever had in terms of quality (and my expectations were high).
First a bit of context. I have owned a number of camcorders over the years and use them for family stuff but also for making band videos and short films. The holy grail for amateur short film makers like me is getting footage that seems as cinematic as possible. I know a decent film maker should be able to achieve this with a nail file and a mobile phone, but some of us subscribe at least a little but to the “all the gear and no idea” philosophy. Another thing I like is a decent sized, weighted camera with a big lens. Palm sized camera’s may be all very well for holiday videos but they feel insubstantial and capture very little light. I want depth of field AND I want people in an audience to think there’s a semi-pro filming the band…not one of their mates. This may sound stupid but if you’ve ever been in that situation you will understand (or perhaps I worry too much about what other people think). Until now the camera that best ticked those boxes was the Panasonic DVX110; a big lens, 25P, pro-looking, game-changer. It broke my heart to let it go but HD had arrived and I couldn’t afford the updated model, so I’ve been stuck in a world of palm cams ever since. I’ve looked at DSLR cameras but the form factor is wrong and the cost prohibitive. So now I have a 900 and I have to say I’ve pretty much fallen in love with it. It’s not the size of a DVX or a proper semi-pro but it dwarfs a palm-camcorder and has just the right weight to it. Everything feels of a decent enough quality with that right snaps and clicks. It has a load of manual controls and a 62mm lens which just seems massive after my time in the wilderness. It also films at 25P and in – that other holy grail – 120 fps slow motion. Bad points? Well, for a camera without XLR inputs, assignable buttons or the capacity to take SLR lens’ it’s pretty expensive. It's also not 4K so its probably only got a couple of years in it. There’s also the fact that it uses a new format XAVC which you cant use on most editing systems or for that matter on many cards (even Sony’s own ones!) – buy a fast SDXC card for that (SDHC wont work whatever the speed). The slo-mo is very short too, perhaps 3-4 secs burst and the quality grainy and not in any way HD (that said the results are still amazing!) In conclusion then, a great jump up for those who feel hampered by consumer handycams but perhaps not for those who want to make semi-pro short films with audio.
Finally got my hands on a test unit and as soon as I started to use the camcorder disappointment filled my heart!!! I was expecting the ultimate from Sony in the HDR CX900, but all I got was a poor copy of the Panasonic HD X920. This unit is not worth the asking price of £1600. Anyone paying more than £900 for this item has paid over the odds and will regret the day they purchased it. Overall an average camcorder with an exorbatent asking price.