Sony DCR-SX85


A medium camcorder from Sony

First of all, we have never been a fan of the cheap camcorders. We consider them cheap, and not 100% functional, even if they are made by famous manufacturers like Sony, Panasonic or Philips. For instance, we’ve been hearing lately some bad rumors related to Sony Handycam DCR-SX85, rumors that were telling that the quality isn’t high at all, and more than that, from its total price of $285, about 80% represents the brand and only 20% represents the quality. After all, you get what you pay for, right? This is why we was anxious to review Sony DCR-SX85, just to see if the rumors are true, and just to see if a famous manufacturer like Sony can actually produce and release on the market a low quality product.

Weak 1080 mode

sony-dcr-sx85In tests, the HD is not so impressive as the technical specifications said. Even the new DCR-SX85 can take images at a resolution up to 1080p, the reality is not so pleasant. If you take close up cadres, the quality of the image is really good. If the subject of filming is at some distance from camera, the image quality decrease dramatically. Even the full HD resolution is not able to compensate the weak quality of the entire system in these filming conditions.

Another weird thing was the fact that Sony DCR-SX85 has 2 USB ports. That was awkward, as there is no need of having multiple USB ports, especially as images can not be transferred from the camera to two PCs at once.

Low quality digital zoom


Coming back to the image quality, it’s really a pity that such a camera comes with Carl Zeiss lens. The lens do their job, but however, only until the zoom features start to function. According to the product specs, Sony DCR-SX85 is able of using its digital zoom of 2000x. Though, after our tests, once that you try to zoom an object that is further than (in order to be gentle, let’s say just) 50 m, the quality of the recording get pretty low. A big “minus” from here too.
As concerning the design of the camera, it’s pretty much the basic one: solid and classy shape. The 3” screen, though, looks well and acts well, just like it should act. Nothing impressive here neither.

Review conclusions

Unfortunately, Sony DCR-SX85 seems just to be an average camera that is good only for close ups, or just if you are going to post videos on Youtube, Metacafe and other services like these. Otherwise, if you are about to get into serious projects, then buying Handycam DCRS-SX85 isn’t worthy, especially if you like to work at a high level. Unfortunately, this model is an epic fail from Sony, failure that will surely cost them a lot in the fight for supremacy on the camcorders industry.

Technical specifications

Sensor TypeCCD
Max0.8 Million (s) pixels
Optical Zoom60
Digital Zoom2000
Recording MediaFlash Memory Card + Memory
Sensor1 Sensor
Depth in mm123.5
Type CamcorderHorizontal
Wireless InterfaceYes
Digital InputsYes
Height in mm52.2
Lowest Focal Length in mm39
Focal Length in mm2340
LCD Screen Size3
Firewire IEEE-1394No
USB portYes
Resolution in Pixel230000
Maximum Aperture Tele6
Maximum Aperture Wide1.8
Shutter Speed Fastest in Second1 / 4000
Shutter Speed slowest in Second1 / 4
Sensor Size1/8′
Type of Memory StickMS Pro-HG / MS Pro
Type of SD CardSD / SDHC / SDXC
HD Video FormatN / A
Photo Resolution Width in Pixels640
Photo Resolution Height in Pixel in480
Image StabilizerStabilizer Electronic
Capacity in GB16