Sony has camcorders in virtually every category. And for 2011, the HDR-CX160 is the latest addition to Sony’s ultra-compact, entry-level suite. This high-definition model showcases a sharp 3” touch-screen, 16GB of internal memory, 42x extended zoom and an optical image stabilization feature. It also has a 3 megapixel still camera.
The HDR-CX160 has new tracking focus feature that will soon be a standard feature on all Sony’s HD models. The feature is similar to the AF/AE tracking option found on Panasonic camcorders as well as select Vixia models on Canons in 2010.
The Sony HDR-CX160 is the perfect liaison of Brains and Brauns. It looks great on the outside and is accompanied by Sony’s quality features and components that will make this a wonderful tool for filming.
This delicious looking model has a 3” touch-screen that has colors that are life-like and true. As this ultra-compact handy-cam fits very easily into a lady’s hand, you access controls through the very intuitive touch-screen. Less menu buttons on its chassis will allow for a sleek finish.
The HDR-CX160 has a patented Clear Photo LCD Plus™ which displays a 230K pixel resolution. This beautiful screen allows you to tilt it 270 degrees for you to record at different heights in your hand or on a tripod. It has exceptional zoom quality. The zoom balance button sits on the top of the camera which makes it easy to hold it lower than eye-level. Its optical and digital zoom works together to give you 42x extended zoom to get you closer to the subject, which will be great for vacations.
Although the HDR-CX160 is small, it is able to capture a bigger area with its Wide Angle G Lens. This will be very helpful if you got front row seats but do not want to miss any bits of the actions on the sides. You therefore, will have the option of using it at home or at the Empire State Building and take home a piece of the view with this. It records on 1920×1080 resolution and you are able to adjust this through its menus.
This Handycam is equipped with Steady Shot™ image stabilization w/Active Mode that you will be most thankful for. Especially if you might be a first-timer to video-recording or taking this to a fast-paced sports game, there will be a lot less noticeable shakes.
There is a Tracking Focus and Face Detection features that pair up with the image stabilizer to push the filming quality even higher. You will be able to keep your subject in focus when are filming. Sony also added the Wind Reduction feature for clear voice or sound recording when filming outdoors.
When you are filming in a low-light environment, the Sony HDR-CX160 has a back-illuminated “Exmor R” CMOS sensor works well. There is an optional external video light to assist you otherwise. Otherwise you also have the option of activate the Intelligent Auto which helps to pick one out of the 90 different scene combinations that are also available. This will be an awesome feature for you if you like to just point-and-film. Plus, you can run a playback via HDMI on your HDTV. You will also be able to do a quick check on the spot with the Event Browse group photos/videos feature, like a still camera, instead of going home to do a pre-run before your audience arrives.
If you are a professional runner, golfer or sportsperson, the Golf Shot and the Slow Motion feature will be very handy to study your running gait, or your swing shot in detail to improve your efficiency. The HDR-CX160 captures a few seconds of motion as a sequence of up to 22 still images, which can be viewed/printed individually or as a composite “sequence shot” image. You will also be able to plug your camcorder directly in to the PC or your TV right away for immediate coaching purposes. Very convenient!
The Sony HDR-CX160 is high-definition in your pocket. This entry-level model is stylish and gives you great video and still picture quality. You will be able to do short filming without the need of any extra memory cards and still have the option of taking longer videos with them. It comes with very interesting and helpful features that will assist in producing better footage before you upgrade to a higher-end model.
This ultra-compact model is saddled with a feeble serving of external controls and manual controls are limited as opposed to those pro-consumer models. The touch-screen controls are easy to use and the image stabilization and slow motion features are something to behold. Its intended audience would usually someone who wants to do filming but do not want the bells and whistles or a thick manual to look through.
Actual user review:
• “I’ve owned and tested a new Sony CX series camcorder each year since the CX7. I’m extremely impressed with the Sony CX160 for ground footage. Testing it the other night when my friends rode bulls for the first time (“Dysfunctional Bull Riding” on YouTube) I was impressed on the active steadyshot being able to minimize my hand held shaking while the camera was heavily zoomed in. The low lux made the above video super bright even in a dark arena. The external mic is nice to have back on a consumer level CX series camera. I personally don’t like the built in USB cable since I tend to mount my cameras in boxes and helmets but for the average Joe, it’s nice not to look for a USB cable. The other plus with this camera is you can now charge through this cable. Therefore a standard USB charger port in your car or computer can charge the camera. This takes longer than the standard Sony charger but nice in a pinch. I’ve noticed the USB downloading speeds are extremely slow in this camera. It takes a minute or so to download a 200mb clip from internal memory. You also can not run the footage straight off the camera like you could with the 150.
Overall I’m going to keep this camera for ground footage but going back to my EIS based Sony HDR-CX150 camera for extreme sports. “ – Chandler (AZ,USA)
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