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Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V 32 GB Flash High-Definition Camcorder (Black)

Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V 32 GB Flash High-Definition Camcorder (Black)
Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V 32 GB Flash High-Definition Camcorder (Black)

Product Added : April 15th, 2013
Category : Camcorders

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Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V 32 GB Flash High-Definition Camcorder (Black)

Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V 32 GB Flash High-Definition Camcorder (Black)

The HDR-CX500V employs an advanced “Exmor R” CMOS sensor for excellent low light, 1920 x 1080 high definition video and 12 megapixel still images all to 2GB of internal flash memory. In addition, a built-in GPS receiver Geo-tags7 your videos and photos.

  • 1920 x 1080 high definition video recording
  • 12 megapixel still image capture
  • 1/2.88″ “Exmor R” CMOS sensor for superb low-light video
  • Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization w/ Active Mode
  • 1080/60p playback via HDMI™ and compatible HDTV

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What customers say about Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V 32 GB Flash High-Definition Camcorder (Black)?

  1. 133 of 139 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellant Low Light Camcorder, September 22, 2009
    Jeffrey Wortner (Tampa) –

    This review is from: Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V 32 GB Flash High-Definition Camcorder (Black) (Electronics)

    I bought this camera last night and am so impressed with it I wanted to post an initial review ASAP since the camera is so new and there are so few reviews out there for it.

    To begin, I am new into the HD video, but am a techie and have done a lot of research. My primary objective was to get a camera that took good low light video, so video in my living room with the kids with normal evening lighting looked good. Also important to me was ease of use so my wife can easily grab it and catch the kids and also a small size for ease of carrying to Disney and such.

    After doing a lot of research, I initially bought the Panasonic HDC-HS250. One of the popular camcoder web sites claim the new Panasonic cameras with 3 sensors to be the best low light cameras.

    Well, I had nothing to compare it against, but I was VERY disappointed in the video taken in my living room with normal incandesant lighting with this Panasonic. I spent about 1 week learning all the camera settings, and no mode or setting improved the low light video. It was fuzzy and grainy with washed out color. Based on the reviews of this CAM being so good at low light, I was beginning to wonder if I just had my expectations to high for this technology, and this was about as good as you get in this range of camera.

    I was also not real happy with the outdoor video. While it was mostly good, the greens were far to vivid/bright, and just did not look natural.

    I was about ready to settle for this camera, and then this past Sunday I had family in town. After dinner I took a lot of video in the living room of the family. Apon playing it back I was just disgusted in the quality. I then saw the Sunday add for Best Buy which had this new Sony camera which claimed 2X better low light. I searched the internet for reviews, only finding initial reviews with no actual tests since the camera was so new.

    I decided to buy the Sony and compare it to the Panasonic. I got the camera home last night and was happy to learn that the charger plugs directly into the camera without removing the battery, so I was able to use the camera immediately (The Panasonic has a goofy system where you have to remove the battery and place in a separate charger, and then you can EITHER charge the battery OR run the camera, not both.).

    It still wasn’t dark but I took some video and pictures and toyed around with the menu system (I am a man so of course I didn’t read the manual!). I found the menu system easy to navigate, with nothing terribly hidden or buried in layers to access. There are some features that I found I will need to read up on, and the MY CAMERA feature very confusing, but I suspect will be very useful after I read up on it and learn how to use it.

    I hooked the camera to the HDMI of my 720P TV and was just FLOORED with the quality of the images and video! This is the feeling I hoped to have when I first watched the video from the Panasonic that I never had.

    OK, so it is around 7pm, still light out but no direct sun in the house. I have big windows so this presents a tricky backlighting issue for most cameras. The video and picture from this Sony were just a true as life. The camera handled the tricky lighting automatically with no manual backlighting adjustments. I couldn’t wait for dark to test the low light but I was really confident that I had a winner here.

    While waiting for dark I test the still pics in both video mode and normal camera mode. The pics were FAR superior to the other camera. I just bought a Nikon D5000 SLR, so I have pretty high standards for my pics now, and this camera takes very good pics in either mode. I am not sure if it has a faster shutter mode (probably is) because the pics were a little subject to blurring from movement, but over all they were as good or better then my old Cannon S45 5 MP camera that took some darn good pics.

    So now we come to the true test that I have to believe is very important to most average consumers that want to take family video, Low Light.

    I was beginning to wonder what the reviewers meant by low light in their reviews. They had all types of fancy tests and terms which I am sure are good BUT please just tell me how the video in my living room at night will look with normal lighting! ! ! ! !

    So let me tell you this, this camera capture video in low light as good or better them my normal sight. The video of my daughter playing looked exactly like it did for real in that kind of lighting setting, all without setting a thing. Then there is LOWLUX mode should you need it which takes two taps to set while recording (I think this takes the camera from 60 frames to 30 frames and probably something else too). This setting is for extreme low light and works wonderfully. I even went into the girls room after they were sleeping. The only light was from the hallway light…

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  2. 69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Superb Video Camera, September 17, 2009
    Angelo Akrobrat “akrobrat” (Fayetteville, AR USA) –
    This review is from: Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V 32 GB Flash High-Definition Camcorder (Black) (Electronics)

    I am not a professional videographer and am therefore writing this review from the perspective of an average user. I have owned the camera since the day after it was released and have used it quite a bit. I will also continue to update this review as I spend more time with the camcorder.

    Decision to buy
    I debated between the Sony HDR-CX500V, Canon VIXIA HFS100 HF S10, and Canon VIXIA HFS10. I chose the Sony model because of its HD image quality and powerful feature-set, including the 3″ touch-screen LCD screen, 32GB of on-board flash memory, 12MP still camera shots, dual capture mode (video & 8MP still shots simultaneously), etc. I also wanted a camera that had built-in memory but not in the form of a hard-drive, tape or DVD – I’ve come to learn the hard way that the fewer the moving parts, the less likely my friends are to turn the device into a snazzy paper-weight. The 3-way shake-cancellation was the icing on the Sony cake.

    Size / Comfort / Ergonomics
    The camera is very compact, and one might be taken back by its small form factor. The hand strap is quite comfortable, adjustable, and secure. As expected the buttons to record, zoom, and swap between photo / videocamera mode are nicely placed for thumb and forefinger. I wonder, however, if someone with large hands may find the button manipulation a bit awkward – but that may be the case with most newer compact video cameras.

    Camera / Image / Sound Quality
    - I was impressed by the quality of the video, including the various HD options. Of course Standard Mode didn’t look good on my HDTV, but it’s nice to know that one can capture movies in lower quality if one is running low on memory. A min-HDMI cable can be used to view footage directly on a HDTV.
    - There doesn’t appear to be any distortion around the edges of the video footage.
    - Low-light performance is spectacularly good, beating my expectations.
    - The 12MP shots look crisp and even the 8.3MP pictures while shooting video look quite good. The flash is more powerful than most camcorders I considered.
    - I would like to get a wide-screen lens but I’m unsure of which one to pick. Sony VCL-HGA07, Sony VCL-HGE07, or something else. Any recommendations?
    - The zoom microphone is good and sensitive enough for home use.

    Useful Features
    - When I first showed my dad some freehand footage of my neighborhood, he thought I was using a tripod! That is how well the 3-way shake-cancellation feature performs. For novices, the 3-way feature operates in 3-dimensions (up and down, side to side, back and forth) and stabilizes any erratic, staccato movements. This feature becomes much less effective when fully zoomed in.
    - The small wireless Remote Control is handy, but there isn’t anything exceptional about it compared to other manufacturers.
    - Instant start-up upon opening the LCD screen. Flash memory also makes the overall recording process very fast.
    - The slow-motion capture allows a few seconds of video capture in, just that, “super slow motion.” Makes sense for sporting / high speed events, where a parent can capture a child’s new baseball swing or triple lutz in great detail
    - “Face / Smile Detection” recognizes faces and even creates an index of faces on the LCD. Clicking on a person’s face will take one directly to that person’s scene in the video footage. Very nice when kids want to see themselves in a long video!
    - “Face Priority” allows the user to prioritize a particular face with respect to focus / exposure. Haven’t used it yet so can’t comment further.
    - GPS retains the geographic coordinates of the location (called “geotagging”) where the picture / video was taken, and throws it onto a map viewable on the LCD or on your computer. It still feels a bit gimmicky but it can be quite useful for someone who travels a lot (especially on road-trips) and doesn’t want to keep manual tabs on where the shots were taken.
    - The Assignable Dial can be used to assign manual controls, and can be maniuplated by the right-hand thumb.
    - One-touch disc burn requires a particular Sony DVD burner, which is an added expense.
    - Haven’t used the accessory shoe yet, but will update this review when I do.

    The battery lasts about 90 minutes during continuous…

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  3. 49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Superb indoor /low-light performer, November 22, 2009
    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V 32 GB Flash High-Definition Camcorder (Black) (Electronics)

    Customer Video Review Length:: 3:54 Mins

    When shooting indoor family/people scenes, the CX500V delivers an impressive quality of video that I was never able to achieve with my previous HD camcorders. Gone is the orange-tinted graininess. In its place is an output that is smooth, well exposed, and exhibits a nice color balance. Yea!

    Outdoor video results are also excellent but probably no better than the other current technology HD camcorders out there.

    An unexpected bonus on the CX500V is the stabilization. It dampens ordinary handheld movements to such a degree that they are almost no longer a distraction factor. For “action” shooting it is amazing. For example, I recently shot some one-handed videos of my nephew “roller skiing” while riding alongside him on a bicycle (I know this sounds stupidly dangerous, but it was in a controlled area). The resulting video was so smooth it looked like the camera was on rails. Kudos to Sony engineers on this feature.

    Here’s my Pro/Con list…

    - superb low light/indoor performance
    - ready to record almost instantly after flipping open the screen.
    - amazing stabilization
    - superb low light/indoor performance
    - fully integrates with Sony DVD Direct units. I have an earlier VRD-MC5 that worked well with older, non-AVCHD formats. I plan to upgrade to the VRD-MC6 or VRD-MC10 for AVCHD compatibility.
    - very good battery life with the standard (included) battery. Will probably buy a generic brand spare as a back-up.
    - superb low light/indoor performance
    - face detection… it really works well. Assures a nice exposure and crisp focus on the faces. Also, I get a kick out of seeing the little squares move around the screen while shooting.
    - did I mention superb low light/indoor performance? :)

    - the input timer on some touch-screen menu features (example: scroll) reverts too quickly for my taste. I wish this lag was user adjustable for slower brains and reflexes.
    - Memory Sticks are the Betamax of flash memory. Come on Sony, just adapt SDHC so your customers only have to buy one type of memory for all their gadgets.
    - I wish this had a headphone audio jack for playback listening or monitoring recording.
    - the customizable roller wheel is on the left side of the battery making one-handed thumb adjustments impossible (unless you have a prehensile thumb).

    In summary, the CX500V is a wonderful unit and its low light capabilities are best in class. I am very pleased with mine and would recommend it to others.


    Note: The “Nite Ize” Backbone case, model BB-20, ($19), fits the CX500V like a glove. See my video review for details on this case. It’s available here on Amazon.


    UPDATE (November 29, 2009)
    Purchased a Sony NP-FH70 battery to augment the supplied battery. Physically the same size as the supplied battery but with twice the life (4 hours vs. 2 hours).

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