"The Point & Shoot of Camcorders.Great for family events"3.0 starson by webserf
Pros: Almost too light, this camcorder is great for soccer games, casual wedding videos, school events. With easy set up and use, this is sure to please most any casual user. Good battery life and allows Standard Definition Playback.
Cons: Only 16 Gigs of storage for video. Record/Zoom buttons not good for large hands. Mic performs poorly in windy conditions. Does NOT come with mini-HDMI cable or "starter" SD card. No viewfinder. No Apple/Mac Software. No separate charge cradle.
Summary: Overall, this camcorder will please the casual user. From the camcorder, you can still playback in Standard Def which is still important given a large population of standard def TV's out there. Of course playback in 1080i HD, (of course since this is a 1080HD output camcorder).
Do NOT consider this camera for its manual settings capability, because you will be disappointed. The time it takes to set it up manually, you would miss the shot you are trying to achieve. Enjoy it in "auto" mode, and enjoy a good compromise of image quality and personal event enjoyment. For those of us who do the video/photography, you know what I mean. We spend more time/effort trying to capture the event, than we do, enjoying the event. For example, you can manually focus a shot, you will miss the shot trying to wade through the menu to set it. The point is, there is NO physical manual focus ring. It's done by touching the LCD screen. Also there is no provision for external microphone, or flash, that I'm aware of (still learning the camera)
The HDR-CX150 is great for family events, such as outdoor sporting, camping, etc., or for indoor school plays, as long as the lighting is reasonably good and you shoot in "auto". Low-light performance is not the best, but acceptable in most situations. The controls are not large-hand friendly, making it difficult to activate the record and zoom controls!
At this point, weight is a non-issue, with camcorders barely 8-12 oz. As a matter of fact, now they are too light, and maintaining shake, is just as hard whilst holding the camera up for shooting. We are now at a point that arm-ache comes from holding the camera in a certain position, and Not from weight. The auto-focus can lag a bit on transition shots, and this can be a nuisance. There are no short-cut buttons for the most-used features of a camcorder, such as manual focus, white balance, iris control and the like.
The on-board memory (16 gig) is Too Small.
Also, the fact that Sony refuses to support Mac Software, may sway me away from keeping it, unless I can find a software solution.
Sony does not supply a charge cradle for the battery, a big disappointment, as you cannot have a spare battery on a charger, while using the camera. (I would assume Sony sells a charge cradle?) Out of the box however, you must charge all of your batteries, when the camera is not being used.
The supplied battery seems to do a good job, and provided several hours (about 3) of initial use.
What you get in the box:
Component (RGB) Cable
Composite (Yellow, Red, White) Cable
Battery and power supply cable.. (battery must be charged ON the camera)
Sony (Windows ONLY) VIdeo Software.
Nice (almost required) additions would have been a Separate Battery Charger, HDMI cable, MAC software, carrying pouch, and lens cleaning supplies.
Overall, I would recommend this for the family that wants to capture family memories in HD, as long as they realize there are limitations in control, and limitations in video quality.
I would highly NOT recommend this for the enthusiast, or pro user, for obvious reasons.