Sony HDR CX130 review


A new entry level camcorder from Sony

Sony’s Handycam HDR-CX130 model is, along with the CX160 and XR160, a new entry in the world of camcorders. It boasts on simplicity and good performance. But does it really deliver? Let’s see our test and review.

Good characteristics for this price

First of all, here are the product’s specifications: 3.0″ Clear Photo LCD PLUS display (230K), 3-megapixel images, 920 x 1080 Full HD video recording, wide angle G lens, Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD memory card slots, back-illuminated “Exmor R” CMOS sensor, 42x Extended Zoom, F/1.8-3.4 maximum aperture range, 52.5mm x57mm x123.5mm, 313 g, InfoLITHIUM with AccuPower Meter System (NP-FV50), TypeA mini-AB/USB2.0 Hi-speed (mass-storage/MTP), BRAVIA Sync, mini-HDMI, operating guide, AC adaptor (AC-L200), BIONZ Image processor, USB Connection Support Cable, Power Cord and CD-ROM (“Handycam” Application Software). PMB Ver. 5.5 supports Windows XP Service Pack3, Windows Vista Service Pack 2; the Windows 7. PMB software is not supported by Mac OS.

Face detection included

Sony-HDR-CX130The Sony HDR CX130 camcorder features, among others, face detection, image stabilization, intelligent auto, auto lens cover, date/time stamp, power save mode, media/battery indicator, built-in USB cable, multiple language display (English, simplified English, Brazilian Portuguese, Canadian French and Latin American Spanish).
We have to say that we were very pleased by how small and light the Sony Handycam HDR-CX130 is; this makes for a comfortable gadget to carry around. Moreover, it is a simple-looking camcorder, with no extra frills like logos and over-the-top text. The product is available in 3 colors: black, silver and blue. The 3″ touchscreen wasn’t that responsive, but it didn’t become annoying like other models. The menu system was very easy to use.

Stereo microphone

Below the lens you’ll find a stereo microphone, on the right side sits a compartment for A/V out and DC-in and on the back you’ll discover a slot for the battery, indicators for modes and a record key; the shutter and the wide/tele toggle option are close to the latter. The LCD touchscreen sits on the left; the body of the camcorder features the power button, playback button and the speaker. The slots for the SD cards and the Memory Stick Pro Duo as well as the tripod mount are to be found on the bottom.

Some images look bad

Image quality for still pictures was decent: photos appeared bright and colors looked fairly good, but overall they were similar to ones taken by a cheap digital camera. On the plus side, there was no noise both when shooting a video or snapping a picture. 3.3-megapixel images looked really bad, with almost no sharp edges or details visible.
We also tested Handycam HDR CX130 ability to record videos. Their quality is good, details are visible and sharpness is also present in the review time. Videos we took indoors offered a nice perspective and great details of what we didn’t really get to see with our own eyes. The wide angle of HDR-CX130 was perfect for shooting videos of our colleagues or families.

Fast autofocus

The autofocus works quickly and accurately and the exposure is mostly good. Also, standard image stabilization works pretty well.
The camcorder comes with four shooting modes: photo, Smooth Slow Record (there are 3 seconds of motion playback at a speed of 25%), movie and Golf Shoot (2 seconds of motion captured as multiple frames). The manual settings are as follows: exposure compensation, white balance and spot meter/focus. The battery life is 150 minutes.

Review conclusions

In conclusion, the conclusion of this review and after our test, we can say that the new Sony HDR-CX130 is an acceptable camcorder at a good price. But if you want a more advanced device with better performance, you should consider other options.

Technical specifications

Sensor TypeCMOS
Maximum4.2 million (s) pixels
Optical Zoom30
Digital zoom350
Recording MediaMemory Card
Sensor1 Sensor
Depth in mm113.5
Type CamcorderHorizontal
Wireless InterfaceNot
Digital InputsNot
Height in mm52.5
Lowest Focal Length in mm36.5
Focal Length in mm1095
LCD Screen Size3
Port IEEE-1394Not
USB PortYes
LCD Monitor Resolution in Pixel230000
Maximum Aperture Tele3.4
Maximum Aperture Wide1.8
ResolutionFull HD
Shutter Speed fastest in Second1 / 10000
Shutter Speed slowest in Second1 / 30
Sensor Size1 / 4 ‘
Type of Memory StickMS Duo / Pro Duo
Type of SD CardSD / SDHC / SDXC
HD Recording FormatAVCHD
Photo Mode Resolution Width in Pixel2122
Photo Mode Resolution Height in Pixel1584
Image StabilizerOptical Stabilizer
Capacity in GB0