High Definition Camcorder
Not Bad for the Features
My tried and true Sony DCR-SR200 finally died, so I needed a new camcorder for a friend's wedding.
I got the HDR-CX260V/B and it's pretty darn good. Here's what I like about it:
01) Love that 55x extended zoom! Came in verrrry handy when filming the bride and groom at long distances away.
02) Included battery has decent duration
03) Switches on fairly fast (Faster than the SR200) and ready for action
04) Video at 60p and 60i is quite good
05) Lightweight and small (could be a problem for people with larger hands or longer finger spans)
06) Fairly intuitive menus
07) Nice wide-angle lens came in handy
08) I'm super glad that Sony did not require software to transfer files to the PC. I just set the camcorder to USB Mass Storage and then dragged and dropped files like I would a flash drive.
09) LCD screen can be flipped forward as a mirror image so I could record myself for lectures
10) Smooth Slow Recording came in handy when filming a pelican diving into the water
11) Decent videos in low light. Yes, it is grainy, but better than nothing and is better than what my wife was getting with her NEX-7 camera at ISO 3200.
12) Smile detection is pretty darn good.
13) Wide to telephoto is smooth and quiet
Here's what I didn't like about it:
01) If the internal memory is running out during recording, you get a warning message. UNFORTUNATELY, it won't automatically switch over to the internal memory. You have to get into the menu and manually switch over. In my case, I was at the cusp. I had just enough internal memory left to film a particular part of the wedding festivities, but had it gone on another minute, I would have lost the moment! Going into the menu and searching for the section on changing from internal to external memory takes precious time to do!
02) When it's time for playback, you will have to remember if your footage was located in the internal memory or external memory. Once again, you have to go into the menu to manually switch over.
03) When it's time to connect the camcorder to transfer to PC, you have to go into the menu and manually select which memory to transfer from. Note this only applies in USB Mass Storage mode. This is the mode I use. I do not know what would happen if you installed Sony's software.
04) At extreme magnifications, there is purple fringing in high contrast areas. In the case of my friend's wedding, the transition between the minister's shirt and jacket (white and black, respectively) had that purple edging. (Please see attached)
05) If you want to delete files, you have to PLAY the file then quickly hit the Trash icon. I just wish that there was a separate Trash icon somewhere on the screen besides in Play mode.
06) A bit pricey, but I bought it because there was a sale at the Sony Store and it was $100 off, so it was worth it for the features that I needed.
07) No Night Shot Plus like my SR200!!! This is now only available in the very high end Sony camcorders!
August 15, 2012
No shutter speed
I purchased this camcorder to make videos of golf swings. This camcorder is ill suited for that purpose. You can not select the shutter speed for the shooting mode so the club is very blurry on the downswing. This is frustrating since in the Sony's list of specifications it states that you can use anywhere from 1/60 to 1/10,000 in six different shooting modes. Steer clear of this camcorder if you have a similar purpose.
July 30, 2012
Purchase which available
Technically good but not photographer's choice.
No view finder for outdoor shooting, no thread for lens filter or hood, unreliable lens shutter for long term use,no hot shoe for flash, no separate battery charger. Its a feather-weight camera difficult to hold in hand for shake-less video. Overall performance good compared to the price.
March 22, 2012