2010 will wrap up in just a few months and the many HDTVs available today is just proof that 1080p resolutions are the next big deal and are absolutely essential to have in order to view the gorgeous high-definition content portrayed in Blu-ray titles and beyond. The many forms of 1080p content is already convincing enough to break away from the standard DVD formats and now the high-definition camcorders that are available today let you create 1080p content as well. Sony is one of the many companies that are developing HD camcorders and like other manufacturers, they are trying to be the ultimate companion of the HDTVs that they make. Sony camcorders including the Sony HDR-CX150 pair rather well with BRAVIA HDTVs and come with an impress set of features at an affordable price point.
Latest Update: The Sony HDR-CX150 is now on sale at Amazon.com
The Sony HDR-CX150 is a highly portable camcorder that can be held with one hand. It is also quite stylish as there is a red design in addition to the standard black. The 2.7 LCD display is quite generic in camcorders these days but this particular display has the Clear Photo technology while allows clear details in many viewing angles.
This is because the display rotates 270 degrees for flexibility. The interface is touch-driven so the menus are easy to navigate and certain features such as spot metering and spot focus are completely accessible. It is even easier to do basic operations like recording and zooming because an additional set of these controls are found on the LCD display itself allowing more ways to hold the device.
“I bought this Sony HDX150 Handycam to document a two week trip to Alaska. After a brief practice session recording a trio jam session at my home – which has been posted on Youtube – I was ready for the trip. The camcorder performed flawlessly, is so compact and light it was a perfect choice for documenting the awesome Alaskan trip. True, the still photos are not as good as those taken with the two Canon SD1000 cameras we also took with us, but still, they are not bad, and the convenience of clicking the photo button to add to the videos is great. The 16 gig built in flash memory was also a deciding factor with the purchase of this Camcorder. With an added 8gig card we were able to record over 7 hours of video and photos. When we returned home and I connected the HDX150 to our Sony Bravia HD TV with an HDMI cable I was very happy with the detail and clarity of the movies. The colors and focus were exceptional as well. A perk, and one of the factors I considered when purchasing this camcorder is that with the HDMI connection, the camcorder links to the TV and one can control both with the TV remote. Lowlight videos came out very natural and impressive. We are very pleased with this Sony HRX HD Handycam. And of course, the price was right even with the shipping charge: $485.” – R.Miller (FL,USA)
The power of the Sony HDR-CX150 lies in the CMOS image sensor which is responsible for the high quality of visuals when taking HD footage. It is called the “Exmor R” CMOS sensor and it works very well in low-light thanks to its back-illuminated feature. The lens also gives the HD camcorder an edge as it bears the professional quality of a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens. This lens is meant for compact camcorders like the HDR-CX150 and achieves the same sharpness and contrast levels that larger lenses get. It also supplies the SteadyShot image stabilization feature which compensates the hand shakes while filming by reducing the amount of blur generated. Quality isn’t sacrificed much when the 25x optical zoom is used. Even the digital zoom fairs well without producing much distortion and can go up to 300x.
The Full HD specification means that the Sony HDR-CX150 flies past the 720p camcorders by offering full support for recording 1920 x 1080 resolution videos. The AVCHD format is supported which is compatible with the Blu-ray format and the quality can rise up to 24Mbps for some really fine detail. With the Dual Record feature, 3 megapixel photos can be taken while shooting any of the high definition video formats without changing the modes.
It is fairly safe to use these high-definition formats because of its Hybrid Recording feature. The camcorder is initially set to store videos in its 16 GB internal memory. These videos can later be copied to any Memory Stick PRO Duo without using a PC.
It can even play back the high quality 1080/60p files through an HDMI cable once it is hooked up to an HDTV like a Sony BRAVIA. The x.v.Color technology kicks in to capture more color than the entire RGB range so they look even better in these HDTVs.
The Sony HDR-CX150 provides even more flexibility with 9 iAuto modes to choose from. iAuto is short for “Intelligent Auto” and it works by scanning the shot taken and automatically applying the correct scene mode while setting other parameters. There are 60 combinations possible so it is sure that photos will look enhanced in any scene. The Quick AF is about twice as fast as previous Sony HandyCams for better accuracy regardless of the environment. The Face Detection technology also sees some improvements as it has the Face Priority feature which is focuses on a single face for a number of optimizations to be made. Touching the face on the screen assigns this priority and will remember the face even if it temporarily leaves the frame.
The Sony HDR-CX150 has a rather inexpensive price tag dipping below $500. For a camcorder that has its own internal memory and some nice HD features, the HDR-CX150 is a great entry-level camcorder to get and should be rather simple for most users to try out.
Actual User Reviews:
• “Easy to use right out of the box and beautiful video. It’s amazing what they put in such a small package; it’s very easy to hold without your arm getting tired like the old camcorders. I had tried a different brand camcorder and the zoom was very choppy, but the zoom with this Sony is very smooth. I also like that it has 16GB on board so I could try it out without having to purchase media.” – E.Rochniak (NY,USA)
• “I was quite impressed with the quality of the images produced by this camcorder, even at Standard resolution. I’ve yet to try using the HD mode, but can’t imagine how these images will appear. The only shortcoming I perceive is that this camcorder doesn’t have a through-the-lens viewfinder, but with time, I’ll be able to adjust. The idea of having every image recorded to either the internal flash drive or a choice of SD or Pro cards makes this camcorder quite versatile. Having a Sony mini disc camcorder (which is operating very erraticly, and in need of service), I think having fewer moving parts to deal with is a big advantage. The capacity of the internal flash drive is more than adequate for my needs. Excellent product.” – H.Niezabitowski (AZ,USA)
• “You could not ask for a better camera for everyday use. It starts up in about three seconds which I think is one of the most important things. It’s auto focus is great. And it keeps the shot steady and works great with low light. The only problem is that the software doesn’t seem to work very well with the camera. But you can always use another cheap software or even movie maker and it works fine. GET THIS CAMERA!” – F.Levinson (USA)
• “I bought this camera a few weeks ago. I have used it for two occasions thus far. The first being the filming of my daughter’s musical. The play back from the camera with theater lights was amazing. I filmed in the available lighting of the theater and the picture was better than expected. The second occasion was filming my son’s soccer game. This was a bit of a challenge. I wanted to watch the game instead of filming. The parts that I did manage to focus on the filming came out great. The zoom allowed for across the field shots that were first rate. I would definitely buy this again.” – J.Donnelly (OH,USA)
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