In the early part of 2011, Sony unveiled the Sony HDR-XR160, the new high-definition model which showcases a 160GB hard drive and a 42x extended zoom. It is also accompanied by a Dolby® Digital 5.1 channel recording mic and Clear Phase stereo speakers that will give you true-to-life sound. The HDR-XR160 records in 1080/60p and is capable of doing an immediate playback via HDMI on your HDTV.
The Sony HDR-XR160 is a sleek and chic ultra-compact model that is easy on the eyes and also easy on the pocket. You will also come to find that although the HDR-XR160 is small in size, it is not small on its quality and features.
The tiny Sony HDR-XR160 is quite big on performance. It gives you the option of zooming in 42x if you are far away from your focus point. This 42x extended zoom works in conjunction with the 30x optical zoom while still maintaining HD quality. The zoom control can be access manually from the zoom balance button on the top of the camcorder and also through the touch-screen controls. You might prefer using the top balance button as its more ergonomic when you are holding the camcorder at a lower position in front of you.
If you are trying to film in a wide open space, the HDR-XR160 uses the Wide Angle G lens which helps you accomplish as much as you can. This model gives you very accurate and brilliant reds, blues and greens. And because Sony understands that it’s not only about the lens that provide the truest color, it’s sometimes about the equipment used for playback or sometimes even the cables used that have an effect on the colors that is projected on your TV screen. Therefore, the HDR-XR160 provides manual controls that will allow you to fine-tune the end color effect or image during playbacks.
The Sony HDR-XR160 uses Back-illuminated “Exmor R” sensor, which allows you to shoot better in low-light conditions. There is also a built-in LED light that will assist in extreme low-light environments. If you are using a camcorder for the very first time and do not know which function to choose, you’ll appreciate the Intelligent Auto. This IA selects a scene mode based on your environment from 90 different scene combinations. For those who are familiar with a point and shoot camera, this is similar to their scene modes, for example, Landscape, Backlight or Portrait.
For some new parents, you might appreciate Sony’s Optical Steady Shot Image Stabilization with Active Mode. So go and enjoy your child’s singing performance or ‘professional gymnastic’ performance and smile and chuckle at the same time. Let the HDR-XR160 handle the shakes in a greater degree and not worry about blurred images later. You do not have to worry about keeping in focus with the Tracking Focus feature. You can activate this feature together with the Smile Detection feature that allows you to keep your object in focus even if the object leaves the frame.
Since this camcorder is loaded with a huge hard drive space, Sony’s anticipated the need for a Browse Groups photos/videos by dates that lets you search in the most efficient manner. It also has a Highlight Playback feature that will help you edit longer footages into short playbacks with music or transition at an exact scene.
You are able to access a lot of these features through the 230K pixel 3” touch-screen easily. The screen size is an increase from its previous model, the HDR-XR150. It also rotates 270 degrees for more viewing angles.
The HDR-XR160 comes with a 160GB hard disk drive where you get you record and store up to 54 hours of HD video footage which is convenient for vacationers. You might also know that sometimes hard drives are more susceptible to damage as oppose to flash memory. So Sony’s developers came up with HDD Smart Protection to prevent loses or damages if the camcorder is accidentally dropped.
The Sony HDR-XR160 records with a Dolby® Digital mic in 5.1 channels surround sound without an external mic. This model comes with Clear Phase stereo speakers to give you stereo sound during playbacks on the camcorder.
For some gadget users who are familiar with the wind reduction feature, they might be really worried that this feature might not only cut the wind out, it may also cut the precious voices or exciting background noises out as well. The HDR-XR160 has a great Wind Reduction feature that actually works well and you won’t have to worry about cutting important sounds out.
Some Great Extras
The Sony HDR-XR160 has a very special feature that coaches or the like will appreciate very much. It’s called the Golf Shot feature. This works on the slow-motion capture capabilities of Smooth Slow Record. The Golf Shot captures a few seconds of motion as a sequence of up to 22 still images, which can be viewed for analyzing or even filming in slow-motion for laughs.
It takes great looking 3 megapixels still images for your convenience. No need to carry another point and shoot around this time!
This HDR-XR160 comes with a built-in USB cable that will allow you to make transfers without the PC straight so you won’t have to remember to bring even more cables along.
The Sony HDR-XR160 is one of the best looking, affordable, ultra-compact handycam in the market. Its chic and sleek outlook will turn heads when you take it out to use. The interface is intuitive and very user-friendly. Manual controls are easily accessible and some of the features that come with this HDR-XR160 makes it more likely for its owner to hand it over to the next person to do some short filming so the the audience can finally put a face to that ‘back-ground’ voice they’ve been hearing for a while now. Bloggers may like to use this camcorder because of its tiny size. This little model, though small, has big features and quality enough for the regular moms and pops, students or regular vacationers. Of course, never be limited by these stereotypes. Re-read the above features if you have to and know that the Sony HDR-XR160 is for you.
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