High Definition Camcorder
It's a better camera than I am a videographer
I'm a no-nothing about photography but nevertheless want the best quality videos even in less than ideal conditions. In automatic mode the CX260 is constantly adjusting its capture settings go achieve the best possible quality. The result is VERY impressive and good enough for YouTube.
May 10, 2013
Great camera, but beware of limitations of HD
- I love the quick start. It's on when you open the screen, you just have to push record - with my old unit I had to open it, turn it on, open the lens cover etc. (sometimes startup wasn't instant, but it's always been pretty fast)
- Disappointing manual - it's in multiple languages and covers a whole bunch of different camcorders. Not only does this waste paper but it makes for a difficult read.
- In low light you have to remember to change to low light mode, as the auto setting doesn't work well in low light. (It's easy to change modes though, but easy to forget you're in the wrong mode too)
- Unfortunately editing any HD video is a challenge if you want to make a DVD for a DVD player, even with a quad core i7 machine with all the bells & whistles. It's fine if you want to publish for viewing with a computer, but getting HD onto a DVD produces very poor results. I know DVD's aren't HD, but you'll get much worse than SD on a DVD. Not Sony's fault. DVD burning & 3rd party editing software is the issue. Dual layer DVD's help, but you'll still never get the quality of a Hollywood SD DVD. So if you want HD for burning DVD's you'll be disappointed with all HD camera's. Not just low quality, but unusable for the most part. So much for putting your HD video onto DVD for gramma to watch like you could do in the old days. (I haven't tried AVCHD burning yet, or BluRay because of the cost)
- You can easily snap pics with this unit during video recording (if you're in one of the lower res modes) but they're no where near the quality of the video. The stills you take are almost 9 Mpix but I'm really disappointed with the quality of them. It seems like they all look grainy like they didn't get enough light - almost like the auto settings don't work for stills while filming, and they're in the wrong capture mode. It's easier to just use a video editor on the video and extract stills, since the quality of them will be much better.
- disappointed that the 16 GB of internal memory only appears as 12 GB. Memory isn't that expensive so you wonder why they charge so much to include this tiny amount? Also unsure if it auto switches to a card if it fills up the internal memory. It would be nice to copy video between internal and cards, but still not clear if that's possible, and the manual has no information on it.
- hand strap easily goes in front of the lens - fixed with a piece of tape. Unsure why they don't include a wrist strap too, just so you don't drop the unit by accident.
- it would be nice if it came with a case and second battery for the price. And a charger. This isn't exactly an inexpensive unit - and comes with nothing but cables you don't necessarily even plan to use.
- AC charging is SLOW - as in hrs. And you must plug it into the camera - which is an accident waiting to happen.
- AC adapter is HUGE relatively. Given that you want a small camcorder it's annoying that you have to use so much space for the AC adapter - on vacations etc.
- some video is great quality but has lots of shaking along edges - making it useless. So much for my African safari footage. Looks great on little LCD, but at home on the computer it's unusable. I'm not sure of the issue since it does this with closeup and far shots, but not always. Very disappointed with that - unsure if that's just because of the poor state of HD technology, but it makes me wish it was a SD camera - since I never had ruined video with my old camera. I think HD still has a long way to go before you get good enough quality.
- earlier reviews are a little strange - you don't buy a camera without an eye piece then complain it doesn't have one. I never used the eye piece on my old camera since it was too awkward to look through, and it's likely why they aren't including them anymore. Same with filters etc, most people don't want them on this type of unit, so it's best if reviewers mentioned things about the unit, not about fantasy units that don't exist.
I'm hoping I can figure out why some of the HD video is such poor quality and has strange shakes in it, even for relatively still filming. It's not the mode, lighting, or hand shakes - you can tell it's some issue with the camera. I don't think it's defective, it might just be a limitation, which of course is sad if Sony doesn't mention it upfront.
Bottom line: great design and functionality. I'm just not sure that HD technology is up to speed for the sensors and for the editors. All these commercials saying "this commercial was shot with this camera" (non Sony) fail to mention that they were edited with expensive pro systems worth $10-$200k. And you'll never be able to edit them in full HD.
May 24, 2012
Happy with its performance. Beutiful and clear pictures and video...satisfied with the purchase..though I think the price is a bit high. I would have expected option to use physical filters to this camera...like wide angle attachment.
A good buy....would recommend to anyone.
February 25, 2012