Top 5 Best Sony Handycam Camcorders for 5 Budgets 2012

Sony is one of the top 5 brands of best camcorders and always packs the latest essential camcorder features into every model at an affordable price. So if you are on a restricted budget, the entry level of the Sony Handycam is standard definition with a choice of 3 models.

Best Sony Camcorders 2012

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Sony Camcorder ProjectorSony Bloggie Live MHS-TS55Sony HDR-CX160Sony HDR-CX190Sony HDR-CX200Sony HDR-CX210Sony HDR-CX760VSony HDR-PJ200Sony HDR-PJ260VSony HDR-PJ710VSony HDR-TD10Sony HDR-TD20VSony HDR-XR160Sony HXR-NX3D1Sony PJ200 projector handycamSony-HDR-TD20V
Sony Camcorder Projector
Sony Camcorder Projector
Sony Bloggie Live MHS-TS55
Sony Bloggie Live MHS-TS55
Sony HDR-CX160
Sony HDR-CX160
Sony HDR-CX190
Sony HDR-CX190
Sony HDR-CX200
Sony HDR-CX200
Sony HDR-CX210
Sony HDR-CX210
Sony HDR-CX760V
Sony HDR-CX760V
Sony HDR-PJ200
Sony HDR-PJ200
Sony HDR-PJ260V
Sony HDR-PJ260V
Sony HDR-PJ710V
Sony HDR-PJ710V
Sony HDR-TD10
Sony HDR-TD10
Sony HDR-TD20V
Sony HDR-TD20V
Sony HDR-XR160
Sony HDR-XR160
Sony HXR-NX3D1
Sony HXR-NX3D1
Sony PJ200 projector handycam
Sony PJ200 projector handycam

With Sony camcorders, entry level does not mean that the camcorder is stripped of features. On the contrary, there are many features in all of these entry level camcorders.

Sony DCR-SX85 Handycam Camcorder

Sony DCR-SX85


The Sony Handycam DCR-SX45, DCR-SX65 and DCR-SX85 all record in standard definition with many of the features borrowed from the new HD camcorders. All have similar features to each other, the only difference being the flash memory available.

Highlights shared are:3.0" touch-screen display, a Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® lens, SteadyShot® image stabilization, Intelligent Auto, Dual memory card slots, an LED video light, a Built in USB Cable for easy file transfer, a zoom microphone and more.

Where these Sony Handycams differ is in the memory, as the Sony DCR-SX45 is via Dual memory card slots and no embedded flash memory, the DCR-SX65 adds 4GB of embedded Flash memory and the DCR-SX85 adds 16GB Flash Memory.

With all of these Sony Handycam camcorders under $250, there are many who would be well satisfied with the lower standard definition if restricted to a low budget.

Sony Bloggie Live MHS-TS55 2012 Model

2. Sony Bloggie Full HD Pocket Camcorders

For added convenience, a compact camcorder is similar in size to a cell phone and the Sony Bloggie HD Pocket Camcorders are very convenient for hiding away in a pocket.

Sony Bloggie Touch. Store up to 4 hours of Full HD 1080p video recorded in the web-friendly MP4 inonto an 8GB internal flash drive or snap 12.8-megapixel stills, view on a 3.0" touch screen then use the flip-out USB arm for easy file upload. Works with iMovie® The Sony Bloggie Touch while still available has been updated for 2012 by the Sony Bloggie Sport.

Sony Bloggie Sport. The attraction of the Sony Bloggie Sport for outdoor action is that it is shock proof, dust proof and waterproof and records Full HD 1920x1080 MP4 video. Strangely, the Touch screen LCD is smaller now at only 2.7 inches, the internal flash memory is halved at only 4GB and stills are just 5MP.

Sony Bloggie Live MHS-TS55. This is more like the Sony Bloggie Touch, with similar features and a bonus of live streaming capabilities. Wirelessly upload Full HD video to the Internet with Wi-Fi® enabled. Add SteadyShot image stabilization, a Sony Exmor CMOS sensor and an LED light for low-light, Auto or Macro choice and Face Detection with an HDMI output and this versatile Bloggie could be worthy of serious consideration at under $250.

3. Family Consumer Full HD Sony Handycam Camcorders

This group of Sony camcorders is the largest group offered, catering to the majority group of Full HD camcorder users, and many of them are similar to each other only different in flash memory size.

New for 2012 is the option to buy some Sony Handycam Full HD models with a mini projector added to the reverse side of the LCD viewfinder, very useful to play back your movies to the family group in large screen format without the need for a TV.

Sony Handycam HDR-CX200

Sony Handycam HDR-CX260V

At the top end of this Sony Handycam group are camcorders with all the bells and whistles, even a Full HD 3D camcorder. If you have use for these fully loaded models, perhaps hoping to moonlight at weddings or special events, the top end consumer camcorders will not disappoint, but prices rise according to features included.

To make it easier to compare similar Sony Handycam Full HD models HDR-CX190, HDR-CX200 and HDR-CX210, it will be easier to start by listing some of the main features of the Sony HDR-CX210.

Sony Handycam HDR-CX210

Recording Full HD 1920 x 1080 60i inAVCHD formator snapping 5.3MP stills with SteadyShot®image stabilization in active mode in the whole wide angle to telephoto range, a Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® lens with Exmor® R CMOS sensor, backlight compensation, gain control and low lux mode for low light shooting, intelligent auto, face detection, smile shutter™ technology, it is hard to believe that this camcorder is almost entry level for the 2012 camcorder range.

Add an 8GB internal memory to the choice of memory stick PRO-HG Duo ™ or SD/ SDHC/ SDXC memory card added to the memory card slot, and you have plenty of flash memory for the longest of shoots. A 2.7" touch screen with brightness control and grid display, 25x optical zoom, microphone level control are just a few more features of the Sony HDR-CX210.

Sony Handycam HDR-CX200

This model is almost identical in every way to theSonyHDR-CX210 with only the internal flash memory omitted, which shouldn’t be a real problem if you need to save a few bucks, but it may be prudent to buy an extra card for the flash memory stick PRO-HG Duo ™ or SD/ SDHC/ SDXC slot.

Sony Handycam HDR-CX190

Depleting the features of the Sony HDR-CX210 still further, the Sony Handycam HDR-CX190 is without Face Detection, Touch Panel Exposure Settings, Tracking Focus and the internal Flash Memory. For the difference in price of only $70 between the Sony HDR-CX190 up to the features of the HDR-CX210, the HDR-CX210 would appear to be the one to consider if finances permit.

Sony Handycam HDR-PJ200

This model is the twin of the Sony HDR-CX200 with a mini projector added to the reverse of the LCD viewfinder. For a 100"diagonal screen with a 640 x 360 resolution output the throw distance needs to be 16ft. This feature adds about $100 to the price over the Sony HDR-CX200.

If your project demands even more features than the previous camcorders offer, and budget permits, take a look at the next set of model numbers, the Sony Handycam HDR-CX260V, HDR-PJ260V and HDR-XR260V.

The Sony HDR-CX260V and HDR-PJ260V add extra features to the Sony HDR-CX210 such as upping the stills resolution to 8.9MP, adding embedded GPS, a ClearVid™ array color filter system, a larger back-illuminated Exmor R® CMOS sensor, a larger 3" Clear Photo LCD display, larger zoom, an internal flash memory upgraded to16GB and auto lens cover, and the two only differ with the mini projector of the Sony Handycam HDR-PJ260V.

The third of the HDR-260 models is the Sony HDR-XR260V, adding 5.1 Dolby stereo and a 160GB hard disc drive (HDD) to the mix.

Up the feature list further still to the Sony Handycam HDR-CX580V and Sony HDR-PJ580V models adds to the Sony XR260 features with Assignable Dial, Audio Level Display, CinemaTone Gamma/Color, a built in Flash Metering System and Magnified display for precise manual focus.

Peaking Display, Remote Commander, Active Interface Accessory Shoe, an Xtra Fine LCD display of 921K with TruBlack technology, 12x optical zoom, Active Steady Shot Mode, a 32GB Flash Memory, a 20.4MP maximum still image capture and more....

Sony Handycam HDR PJ

Sony Handycam HDR-PJ760V

4. Sony Handycam Prosumer Camcorders

Now pushing through the $1000 barrier into the serious Prosumer level is first of all the Sony HDR-PJ710V with many more shutter speed options, a manual dial for the exposure settings, a bigger still 1/2.88" back-illuminated RCMOS Sensor, extra remote terminals, the mini Projector on the reverse side of the LCD display, a 32GB internal flash memory and a color electronic view finder for precise framing.

Topping out the 2012 Sony Handycam Prosumer Camcorder range are the Sony HDR-CX760V and Sony HDR-PJ760V models, almost identical features to the HDR-PJ710V other than the 760s have a massive 96GB of internal flash memory.

Every Sony Handycam model listed here is supplied with the same built-in PlayMemories Home Lite software for the PC only to enhance and edit your movies. Download links are supplied for the full version, also a Music Transfer download and a PlayMemories Online Uploader.

At the top of this article I promised a review of a 3D camcorder, and the Sony HDR-TD20V is the 2012 version of a 3D camcorder from Sony without the need to wear Sony 3d glasses to get the best of the 3D effect. Most of the best features from the rest of this Sony Prosumer Camcorder range as listed above are present in this Sony HDR-TD20V 2012 model.

Where the Sony HDR-TD20V differs is the twin lens on the front, recording genuine Double Full HD 60p/24p in 3D, an upgraded LCD viewfinder to 3.5" which will show playback in 3D without needing to wear special Sony 3d glasses and an internal 64GB flash memory.

Sony Handycam HDR-TD20V

Sony NEX-VG10

5. Sony Inter-changable Lens Camcorders

The latest Sony interchangeable lens camcorders are the Sony NEX-VG10 and Sony NEX-VG20H models, both with very similar features.

Feature highlights of the Sony NEX-VG10 include an Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor for amazing depth of field, video recorded in AVCHD format at up to 24 Mbps with 14MP still capture, and a unique sound Quad Capsule Spatial Array stereo microphone for quality audio to match the video. An 18-200mm E-mount 11x zoom lens is included.

The Sony NEX-VG20H has similar features to the Sony NEX-VG10 and can snap up to 16.1MP RAW and JPG still images with auto Backlight Compensation, Tracking Focus, Menu Customization and Erase/Protect.

For true professional Videographers, Sony offers the Sony HXR-NX70U NXCAM waterproof and dustproof compact camcorder with 96GB of flash memory, Full HD 1920 x 1080 60/24p video recording in AVCHD format, outstanding color depth, a low lux setting for badly lit indoor scenes, a wide angle Sony G lens with 26.3mm focal length and enhanced manual controls with assignable lens ring for iris, focus and zoom settings for optimum operator control.


Top 5 Best Sony Handycam Camcorders for 5 Budgets 2012 Summary

So there you have a short rundown of all that Sony camcorders have to offer for 2012, from a choice of 3 standard definition camcorders, the Sony Handycam DCR-SX45, DCR-SX65 and DCR-SX85 and 3 Sony Bloggie HD Pocket Camcorders, the Sony Bloggie Touch, Sony Bloggie Sport and Sony Bloggie Live with Wi-Fi all at the entry level of under $300 but with a host of the latest features.

For mainstream Sony Family Consumer HD camcorders and Prosumer Camcorders, Sony offer a choice of 13 new Handycams for 2012, all with the latest features including Handycam models with a mini projector to the reverse side of the LCD screen, balanced optical SteadyShot to the upper end models, and a wide choice of internal flash memory sizes. 3D is the speciality of the twin lens Sony HDR-TD20V and a bonus is viewing 3D video without the need to wear Sony 3d glasses.

Sony interchangeable lens camcorders are the NEX-VG10 and NEX-VG20H models for the purists who work more with video but offer photography work also.

It is important to remember not to get caught up in the hype with all of these mouth watering features on offer. Buy any camcorder for only the features you will use and the purpose you will be using the camcorder for.

To help compare every Sony Handycam price on one page, see the best discounts on offer, and check the rating given to each camcorder from users of each camcorder with summaries of every model, I have found an excellent one page view of every one of these new 2012 Sony Handycam camcorders here.

Camcorder Buyers Survey

What camcorder feature is the most important to you?

  • Brand
  • Balanced optical SteadyShot
  • Larger back-illuminated Exmor R® CMOS sensor for clearer low light shots
  • 1920 x 1080 60p
  • Optical zoom
  • Large Internal Flash Memory
  • Flash Memory card slots
  • Ability to take large MP stills
  • Mini projector included
  • Wi-Fi
  • 3D
See results without voting

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