Pros Quality of the video was extremely good,
Microphone does a very nice job of recording,
Audio quality surprising good,
Zoom Lens & Image Stabilization,
Auto focus is good,
Large Internal Memory 16GB,
Camera is easy to use.
Cons Records in 1080/60p Takes up a lot of memory fast,
There is also a constant clicking sound when the low lux is turned on.
Summary This is my first Sony in a very long time. It is a very nice camcorder with some nice features. I video high school theater and I like to use a small camcorder as my fixed wide shot camera. I decided to give this camera a test at a recent event.
While the camera fits nicely in my hand, it is difficult to use the top zoom switch with the same hand holding the camera. It is not impossible, but it will cause severe camera movement. Also, it is almost impossible to hold (this or any) camera steady when zoomed all the way in, so I would recommend a tripod (or monopod) if you are shooting from a long distance.
The lens on this camera is quite good and produces sharp, clean video. The auto focus seems to be fast enough and stays locked on even while moving the camera to another subject. In normal lighting conditions, the pictures and videos are wonderful In low light there is a little noise, but that is true of most cameras. The auto focus is good, even in low light once the focus has been achieved. The microphone does a very nice job of recording too. I was pretty impressed.
One anomaly I did notice was playback on the camera. When I shot video of people on stage with stage lighting and played it back on the camera I was very disappointed. It looked like the auto-while balance was way off. But when I played the video on my computer, the colors were what I expected. So while the LCD produces a nice image, the colors seem to be off (in that situation). In normal outside light, it seemed fine. There is a low light setting that I did not use in this case as I was going in and out of the theater.
I do not like the menu system. You can play, record, zoom (via switch), photo and switch to projector with real buttons, everything else is done on the touch screen. With "fat" fingers it is hard to maneuver. I end up pressing the wrong screen button all the time. There is even a calibrate function, to calibrate your screen touching, but that didn't help much.
This camera has a projector. It is pretty useless in my opinion. If you are within a few feet of the wall or screen, it is bright enough. But because of the inverse square law for light, the brightness drops off very fast as you get further away from the screen. Since you can't make it brighter, you can't make the image large enough for a lot of people to watch easily. If you don't mind, you can watch the equivalent of a about a 24" TV.
The camera has internal memory of 16GB. That should get a little more than an hour of the highest quality video. I really like having that as a backup to using a 32GB card, in case something goes longer than expected or even if I were to forget to put a card in the camera. All cameras should have a reasonable amount of internal memory now-a-days. Too bad the included battery doesn't last that long.
All the cables you might need are included. Not all manufacturers do that anymore.
*Note, before you will buy this sony camcorder, I suggest check for best deal at my blog: hdhandycam.blogspot.com/p/sony-hdr-cx260v.html
I highly recommend this camera even if it is not perfect.
Pros Good video quality
Tap to Focus
1/8' Mic input
Cons Touch screen response time is slower than expected but it is decent
Pros good in low light
Cons audio is poor to non existent
Summary would not buy again. I should have bought the JVC.
My other camcorder died after 9 great years and countless hours of recordings.(By the way it was a JVC) I researched on line for a new one. I had just had shoulder surgery so I had to do it on line. I read the reviews for this and thought this is what I need. I called the sony store and over the next few days discussed various options. At that time I explained to the salesperson the reason I just did not go to a local store and purchase one is because I just had shoulder surgery and could not drive and would not be able to drive for weeks and out of sheer boredom I thought that I would do my homework before hand. I ordered this and it was several weeks before I even opened the box. I had some family over and I went to set up the lighting and to test the volume. Picture was fine, adjusted for the lighting well but the volume was almost non existent. I tried to adjust it but could not make the volume any higher. I called tech support who walked me through what to do. I again tried to record, still barely any volume. I again called tech support and they again walked me through it. Still low volume. Had me reset to default settings, still lacks volume. So they say, it must be not working. Duh. And they will send a box for me to mail it to a REPAIR shop and in 7 - 10 days they will fix it and mail it back. This is a brand new camera with 3 minutes of testing one two three on it and you want to repair it instead of replacing it. Had I bought it at a store, I would have returned it. But since I had it over a month, they will only repair. Since I only have TRIED to make it work and it doesn't, who knew that I would expect both audio and video quality. I can't say whether it is a good camera. I know the one I have sucks and their customer service is worse. So far, I have spoke with at least 10 different person, all with thick accents that you have to try and understand. Anyone want to buy a camcorder, new and still in the box.
Pros Great HD
Nice amount of manual features
Easy access and viewing of what you've taken
Built in USB (on the strap) makes putting your things on your computer easy
Touch to focus
Can take photos and video simultaneously
Cons LCD can be hard to see in bright sunlight
The zoom can really degrade the picture, and make video really shaky
Low Light abilities are minimal
Depending on your video quality settings, you run out of space fast
Manual controls can unfocus the picture
Summary After searching the net for camera after camcorder after everything else, I found the HDR-CX260v. This camcorder has a variety of features that help to satisfy my needs. I like to take good quality pictures, and make short movies. (Not just home movies). The HD on this camera is pretty nice. It is crystal clear on my mid-sized laptop and pretty good on my TV. All of the pictures I took with natural daylight, came out much better than I had expected, although not amazing.
If you accompany this camera with a tripod or extra lights then your results will be worthy of small film festivals. The cameras used in my school's film class are slightly worse than this camera, proving the quality of its video.
The touch screen is very nice, and is usable even with thin gloves. The layout of the buttons can at times be a strain on your hand, but I find that my fingers rest close naturally. The adjustable strap and hold of the camera are comfortable for hours of shooting.
The built in media viewer is organized nicely, and can be changed in the settings to different layouts. With the built in USB cord all you have to do to put the files on your computer are plug it in and turn it on. The process is very simple.
One small problem I found with the uploading to a computer, is that it must be strictly through the program that comes with the camera, otherwise, you will end up with "undeletable" ghost files on your camera's hard drive. The sound may also disappear on your computer.
One of the cons of this camera also happens to be a pro. The adjustable LCD screen is all but unseen in bright sunlight, but if angled properly you might be able to see it. I love the adjustable LCD, because for awkward shots (placing your camera on the ground to get a shot upward), you don't have to lay on the ground to see the screen. You simply angle the LCD and vuala you can see the shot without getting on your knees.
The hard drive space on the camera is only 16 gigs. This means that unless you have an SD card plugged in, you won't be able to shoot much video. There are settings that can degrade the quality of the video to get more footage, but I don't recommend it. You will end up with grainy footage.
The manual touch to focus is great for shooting video, but can wreak havoc in still pictures. I have found after looking through my pictures, that many that I thought were focused aren't at all.
One of the most disappointing things about this camera are that both pictures and video suck in low light conditions. Video is very dark and hard to see, while pictures come out even worse: very grainy and noisy.
The final problem I have with this camera is the fact that Sony has recently discontinued them. This means that prices will drop, but that there won't be many more made.
Overall the HDR-CX260V is a great camera for a better price. Perfect for high school film students, and people who want high quality home videos. It is $389 on amazon, so get them while you can!