Sony HDR-CX550V


A 200 fps new camcorder

Thanks to “Golf Mode”, this camcorder allows you to replay ultra detailed images. The wide-angle and the horizontal image stabilizer are also very impressive.

The features of this HD camcorder include much memory (64 BG in fact), a new powerful image stabilizer, a wide-angle optical zoom up to x12 and a slow mode able to cut the movements of 200 fps.

At a time when the SLR nibbles away at the heart of professional camcorders (video HD especially), the HandyCam range is enriched with more advanced technologies and features, including a “Golf Fashion” as the best improvement. With the Golf mode, the camera is able to capture a continuous stream of images at 200 frames / s and not only to record them, when you press the Record button. However, besides slow precision, this method can decompose your movement in several poses, aligned side by side on single photo, a bigger and a wide angle at the same time.

A wide-angle camera

Sony-HDR-CX550VSony HDR-CX550V is based on the sensor called Exmor CMOS R. This is the proprietary technology for Sony’s image grain bluffing, when camera was tested low light conditions for this review. Another pleasant surprise for us is the focal origin which starts at 26 mm and 29 mm, which makes this video camera a really wide angle gadget. It’s a real pleasure to have this feature, since we know that most camcorders simply zoom out a maximum of only 40 mm, much narrower. However, what it gains in perspective, the HDR-CX550V loses while zoomed , since it is “only” x12, x60 cons on entry-level models of the brand, equipped with a sensor less efficient and a lower resolution. Finally, the new Sony camcorder has a triple optical image stabilization able to reduce the blur and includes 16 GB of internal flash memory. This camcorder has been available since March 2010 for about 800 €.

Geotag for the videos

The Japanese manufacturer Sony provides two higher-end models, the HDR and HDR-CX550V, which include all the features of the CX305, but with a larger sensor (6.3 mm instead of 4.5, so most light), an improved resolution (6.3 megapixel video camera and 12, respectively, against 4.2 and 7.1 MP), a more comfortable display (3.5 inches and 921,000 pixels instead of 2.6 inches and 230 000 pixels). They also offer more functions: GPS to geotarget the videos, color filter and switch manual for advanced settings such as aperture and shutter speed setting. Finally, they provide a dual headphone input and audio. The reviewed camcorders have a lot of features but all these measures have a cost: € 1,400 for the CX-550 V (with 64 GB of flash memory included), and € 1,500 for the CX550V (which integrates a disk 240 GB hard drive). They have also been available since March

Positive points (pros)

* 3 optical image stabilizers and improved sensitivity;
* 200 fps slow motion for detailed movies;
* Internal Storage + Card Reader with 64GB included;
* Sony sensor that has prof its power and potential;
* Wide-angle very rare in video mode!

Negative points (cons)

* Optical zoom limited up to x10 or x12, depending on the model;
* 2.6 inch display a little bit small;
* High price;

Technical specifications

Sensor type: R Exmor CMOS;
Optical Zoom: 12X;
Recording Media Photo: Integrated flash memory / Memory Stick;