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on October 2, 2012
I've had this model for about 6 months now, so I've used it enough to give an informed opinion by this point. I bought this only to capture memories of our kids growing up. I did not buy this for extensive or special editing, special effects, etc. - I just wanted something that is good quality, is 1080 HD, etc. where I can watch our kids growing up and capturing memories. I am pleased with this camcorder, and offer a few comments for those considering this model:

1) I have no complaints about picture quality - it works well for what I need, under indoor and outdoor conditions.
2) Very easy to use - open the screen and it comes on and boots up quickly.
3) It's very light compared to my older Sony Handycam (which used tapes). Sometimes I think too light and somewhat cheap feeling, but everything has gotten so small now, I guess that is the way of things - particularly in this price range.
4) I selected this model because I did NOT want internal flash memory like the next model up (the 210). If the internal memory were to go bad in time, I would rather it be a card that I can throw away rather than having something go bad inside the camera. I can always get a new card. The next model down (the 190) does not have the touchscreen input, nor the spot-focus, nor the HDMI cable to connect to your HDTV.
5) VERY IMPORTANT - Sony (and some other manufacturs too I think) - have what is called "Direct Copy". What this means is that I can connect my portable 1 TB hard drive straight to the camcorder, and not need a computer. I can then access all the videos on the hard drive in full HD and connect the camcorder straight to our HDTV with the HDMI cable. So over time, you can use the portable hard drive to store the videos, and use the camcorder to access them and play them on the HDTV using the camcorder software. I cannot stress how important this is, at least to me, because this solves the storage issue and eliminates the need for a computer or laptop in-between, and not having to use special software, etc.

Not all hard drives will work. I use a 1 TB Western Digital My Passport, USB 3.0 Western Digital My Passport 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive - WDBBEP0010BSL-NESN (Silver). Also, you must use the Sony cable VMCUAM1 Sony VMCUAM1 USB Adapter Cable to connect the USB cable to the hard drive. If you don't use the Sony cable it won't work, even though the ends may fit properly.

I have a 32GB card, which good for about 6 months give or take. What I do is transfer the videos to the hard drive, and then back up the hard drive using our network storage.

Anyway, I don't mean to get too wordy about this - but this really is a big deal and I think it should be noted. Not having to have a computer is a big deal, IMO. As long as you don't max-out your memory card it doesn't matter, but once you have too may videos for the card to store, that is when this matters the most.

Note that two other reviews here talk about the built-in projector. The CX200 does NOT have this feature.

I would certainly recommend this, and I would purchase this again.
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on October 24, 2012
I did quite a bit of research on camcorders before purchasing. I looked at all the different Sony models as well as some other brands, but sony seemed to be the leader when it came to consumer level HD camcorders. And they have quite a bit of models.

I compared three different models sold by amazon and decided to go with this one despite it not having some of the bells and whistles the newer models have. The newer models come with some GPS thing that allows you to embed your location in the video, others have projectors, but other then that they're basically the same. You can also pay more money for camcorders with built in memory, but I actually prefer the external memory only option. This way I don't have to worry about the internal memory going bad and since I'm more a hands on guy, I can remove the SD card, put it in my PC and do any editing I want. Sony does provide software to transfer the video to your PC, but I've never been a fan of pre-packaged software that's bundled with hardware.

To watch the recordings I actually load the SD card into my PC and then copy it to a USB thumb drive and watch it on my LG BLUE RAY player (which has a USB port). The video format this camcorder records in is called ACVHD and the file extensions are .MTS, which I had never heard of, but I purchased some video conversion/editing software called Wondershare (which works awesome btw) and converted the MTS format to an MKV format (which is an HD format suited for playing on TV's). If you were to try and play the MTS file directly on your TV (without the camcorder) it wouldn't recognize it.

I bought a 32gb SD card and even at the highest hd quality the card will hold 3 hours worth of video. I also bought two extended Wasabi batteries, and each one will last 6 hours at the highest recording quality.

The camera on this thing works great and all in all this product does exactly what it says it should. I would absolutely recommend this camcorder to anyone looking for an HD capable camcorder but doesn't want to spend more then $300.
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on January 14, 2013
This is my 5th Sony Camera, yes all the previous ones are still working. I wanted to move up to 1080p video and this one meets the bill. It is the lightest one I've ever had, starts up quickly and takes great video. The optical zoom is 35x so its crystal clear.

UPDATE February 15: I've been using the camera for almost 3 months now and I am very impressed with the video and audio quality. At the end of December I recorded my daughter's Christmas program at the church from a second story balcony about 250 feet away from the stage, I was able to zoom in and see her face and all its high definition glory from that distance. The audio from that distance sounded as if I had used a boom mic from 10 feet away, amazing.

The standard battery lasted almost the entire program which was over 2 hours long with continual start stop zoom in zoom out which would have killed the battery on my other cameras (which are all tape driven). I purchased a 32 gigabyte class 10 SDHC for the camera and I can get 10 + hours at the highest resolution.
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on February 3, 2013
Takes great quality both video and stills. But I don't think they adequately disclosed that the camera comes with zero SD memory, which MUST be purchased separately to use the camera. Also, Mac owners, the format is not compatible with your computer. You will need conversion software like Handbreak.
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on May 8, 2013
I've loving this video camera. It's got some great features, but I can also put it in manual mode and take care of all the little things like white balance myself. I like that, and as someone who worked cameras for local news broadcasts, the amount of manual control you can get out of this little guy is pretty great. Plus my wife can throw it into full auto mode and make some decent recordings herself.
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on December 23, 2013
I've never owned a camcorder before, and I've found this very difficult to learn to use. I like the small size of this device, but the image quality isn't what I hoped for, even though I have set it at HD. Worst, though, is that the supplied user manual is a garbled mess. I've read it from front to back a couple of times, but I still don't understand it and can't find answers to my questions, although I generally haven't had trouble learning to use other electronic devices. If you already know everything there is to know about Sony Handycams, or if you never read instructions or user manuals, this might not bother you, but it's an insurmountable problem for me.
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on April 20, 2013
If you are looking for a terrific camera for uploading to the internet or watching on a computer, this is perfect. The volume, picture, zoom and lighting is perfect. Couldn't have asked for a better camera . I Bought a tripod to go with it and one of the longest lasting batteries to make sure it would go the entire 2 hours. It did with no problems. Downloading to my computer was easy.

It will even take pictures while you are shooting video. Or you can shoot a shot during editing! I Love it.

I would recommend this product to the majority of video users.
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on December 15, 2013
this replaced a jvc that i did not think was good enough. the jvc was a lot cheaper and i thought that spending more money would get me better quality but for 200-300 price range you only get ok not great. one thing I can say is outside videos are much better than indoor. the more light the better.
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on March 22, 2013
Considering this cost me less than $200, I think it's a great camera. I positioned it about 15 feet away from my subject in a box of a room with horrible acoustics and the audio turned out fine, even though it doesn't have an external mic mount. The picture is pretty good, too, for personal and basic business video.
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on January 2, 2014
Am so glad I bought this, my other camera died, : (
This is a much better replacement, has all the bells and whistles I wanted. Didn't realize it had a touch screen when I ordered it, a surprise plus!
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