Rated 2 out of 5 by P514HDM Excellent image stabilization, but thats about it!
Bought this camcorder for the size and image stabilization which is excellent, however the clear image zoom, is not very clear when fully zoomed in. Why can't we get more optical zoom with a viewfinder? 30x or even 20x? What's the problem Sony? Backlight compensation not good with this camcorder. Also optional external mic is necessary as the built in mic has very low volume. Never had a use for the projector, you can leave that off and give me more optical zoom. I'm willing to pay more for more optical zoom, just need a small size camcorder with a viewfinder that has a decent amount of zoom and a decent image with the same image stabilization.
October 19, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by thabg007 Misleading specifications
I ordered this camera to replace my hdrcx580v because i wanted remote control, projector, and nightshot. It has a video light but it does not function as a flash for still pictures. It has a flash option in the menu's but it is grayed out and when i try to click it a message pops up saying function not available . My hdrcx580v from 2012 video light also functions as a flash so why not on this camera 2014? the projector has a sharp image, remote control works fine. It has a view finder but no options in the menu to use it, closing the screen turns the camera off instead of turning on the view finder. But what really made me upset about this camera is the in the specifications on this website it list nightshot Infrared as a feature. THIS CAMERA DOES NOT HAVE NIGHTSHOT!!!!! I checked every menu, i spent my tax refund for this camera and it does not have the features i need such as flash for still pics and nightshot, so i will exchange it for HDR-PJ790V which has nightshot, flash for still pics
February 17, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by HorseMoney More Zoom Please!!!!
First off the PJ810 & PJ650 have the best image stabilization of any of the other more expensive camcorders I've tried and it has a viewfinder. Stabilization is very important because I only shoot by hand, I don't even own a tripod. I bought this camcorder because it advertised a little more zoom. I've been using two PJ650's one with and one without a teleconverter lens which makes it a real pain switching back and forth, since since you no longer have full range zoom with the teleconverter lens. The quality of the zoomed in video is poor. Looks like the same camera as the PJ650 but even zoomed out the image quality seems poor compared to the PJ650. Might just be me. I was surprised it doesn't come with a sun visor of any type. The volume of the recorded video still seems low compared to my old cameras and the viewfinder is still very tiny and lets too much light in around it just like the PJ650. Can someone tell me why they can get 30x optical zoom on the camcorders without a viewfinder but only 12x on the ones with a viewfinder??? SONY MORE ZOOM WITH A VIEWFINDER PLEASE!!!
April 28, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by fchixon Great video camera, slow still camera
We bought this as a family camera for Christmas and it is a nice change from the phone video and DSLR video camera we had been using. The image stabilization is great and far superior to the still cameras we had been using for video.
the projector feature is fun and the kids enjoy being able to project what they have shot and show others.
The still camera has great image quality but is so slow as to be almost unusable since the camera is busy while it stores the picture. That seems like a software fix from Sony to resolve that. It should just snap a picture and be ready for the next one. If it were that good, then I would not need to carry two cameras. I fear that this camera will get no software updates though and will never be fixed.
It does add one more thing to our camera bag, but the video quality is so much better that it is worth it. It is certainly better for long format video than our other devices have been. It also has me change the way I think about video since I see how good it can be with proper gear. My other cameras are fine, but you end up needing a tripod and needing more setup for longer movies.
February 17, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by SilverFox05 Creates Great Family and Vacation Videos
I purchased the Sony HDR-PJ810/B as a replacement for the Sony HDR-SR12. This review describes the comparison between those two cameras, and provides a summary of my experiences with the PJ810/B. The HDR-SR12 is a 6 year old model that stores up to 1080i video on a 120 GB internal hard drive.The HDR-PJ810/B can store up to 1080p video on removable SD cards, or on its internal 32 GB solid-state memory.
The "BOSS image stabilization with active mode" is great. Even at 12x zoom, it is possible to shoot hand-held video that rivals the stability of tripod shots. I have even been able to emulate SteadyCam walking shots, with some success. By comparison, the stabilization feature of the SR12 could not handle hand-held telephoto shots.
The video shot with the PJ810/B is as good, or better than the video from the SR12. Colors are realistic, and sharpness is good. Video shot indoors in ambient light is pleasing. Even pictures shot while touring a cave are successful. The SR12 had a feature called "Night Shot" which provided a monochrome green image for use in no-light situations. I always ended up editing those shots out of the final videos. The PJ810/B does not have "Night Shot," and that is OK.
The auto focus of the PJ810/B is very dependable. Even in shots with multiple objects, the camcorder usually picks the object I had in mind for the focus target. In the rare case where the camcorder picked the wrong object, you can double tap the LCD screen to identify the desired object.
1080p vs. 1080i
The PJ810/B can shoot 1080p. The difference between 1080p and 1080i is that the frame rate of 1080p is 60 frames per second, while the frame rate of 1080i is 30 frames per second. 1080p video consumes more storage than 1080i. 1080p also requires more bandwidth for playback, which can overwhelm some computers. For shots of landscapes, there is not much visual difference between 1080p and 1080i. Shots of sports activities may benefit from 1080p.
Wide Angle Lens
The wide angle lens setting is wider than any prior video camera that I have owned, and it does not introduce a fish eye distortion. The wide angle is great for shots of vistas and buildings.
LCD and Viewfinder
One of the reasons that I did not buy the cheaper HDR-CX430V was that the PJ810/b has a viewfinder in addition to the LCD screen. That decision was good. The LCD washes out in bright sunlight, and the viewfinder saves the day.
The 5.1 sound quality is good. In addition the PJ810/b eliminates more wind rustle than the SR12 eliminated.
Size and Weight
The HDR-PJ810/B is smaller and lighter than the SR12. It is a pleasure to carry around for a full day. By comparison, the SR12 became painful to carry through a long day of vacation shooting.
The NP-FV50 battery that comes with the camera provides about 2 hours of active use. The battery is sufficient to power a full day of casual vacation shooting. I bought an NP-FV70 battery with the expectation that I would need the extra capacity, but that is not the case. Since the NP-FV70 is larger in size and weight, it usually just sits unused in the camera bag.
The hand-strap contains a built-in USB cable, which can be used to recharge the battery, while the battery is in the camera. This arrangement works very well. At the end of the day, I plug the powered-off camera into my laptop's USB port. Recharging takes several hours. I bought an external wall-outlet battery charger, but my experience is that I do not use it.
Transferring Video to a Computer
The PJ810/B can transfer video from the camera to a computer by using a WiFi connection, and a corresponding Windows application. This method works well. At the end of a shooting session, I place the camcorder near the computer, and select the camcorder menu item for transferring video to the computer. The rest of the process is automatic, and the camcorder powers down, when it is finished.
Using the iPhone as a Remote Control
There is an iPhone app for controlling the camcorder. The setup and use is a little awkward, but the app comes in handy for video selfies, when no one else is available to press the trigger.
The time required for power-up is a couple of seconds. That time is much faster than the time required for the SR12. Similarly, the time required to commence recording a video is much faster than the sluggish action of the SR12.
This camcorder is a winner. The ultimate test is the number of video sequences that end up on the cutting room floor, because of shake, poor exposure, poor focus, dead batteries, or opportunities that were lost before the camcorder was ready. The HDR-PJ810/B is nearly guilt-free of those sins.
October 19, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Ozarkhillwilliam Good camera
Has some good features. It will be interesting to see the model that replaces this one and what it offers.
February 22, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Ironmanley Solid Handycam
I got this camera to film my daughters soccer games. Great when used with a fluid action tripod. Great camera, but wish it had a remote control that could be used from a greater distance. Remote control needs to zoom and open quicker via the remote control. The projector option was well worth the investment. We use it to project onto the garage door at night and enjoy home movies as well as our Blu-Ray's.
September 27, 2014