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on February 11, 2012
I just purchased this video camera on Monday evening, Feb. 6, 2012 from Beach Camera and received it today. I have only been able to work/play with the camera for a few hours, but these are my experiences so far.
1. This was my first experience ordering from Beach Camera, through Amazon. Was a little concerned at first when product didn't ship for a couple of days, but when they did ship, it must have been shipped two day priority, because it arrived halfway across the country by Saturday. Package arrived in perfect shape and sealed in factory condition. So far, impressed by Beach Camera and their service.
2. Camera is physically much smaller than I expected. It feels about the same size of a can of soda laying on it's side. Very nice! My last video camera was a Panasonic mini dv. That camera was a decent size, but this Sony is even more compact and fits very nice in my hand. The controls, zoom, photo button and record button all line up nicely and are easy to use. The camera feels solidly built, just as most sony products.
3. One item that I was concerned about was whether there was an available SD or memory card slot to add memory. The Sony website doesn't really make it clear whether there is that feature, or if it's just the internal memory. Well I can positively confirm that there IS a SD memory card slot on the bottom side of the camera. A little door flaps open and you insert the card. It probably accepts a memory stick too, but I only tried a SDHC extreme memory card 16gb card. Worked perfectly!
4. Now, for the feature that was the biggest hit with my family.... the built in projector! This is truly amazing technology. I projected a few of the short movie clips I just took, onto a large empty wall, and we were all totally amazed at the quality and sound. I backed up about 15 feet from the wall and projected an approximate image of 8 feet across. I am impressed at the image it can project at such a distance. Our wall is painted a medium brown color and it still looked good. Of course it would look even better if the wall was white or was actually projected onto a movie screen. Sound is pretty much what you'd expect from a pair of small speakers, sort of tinny, but it was pretty loud and definitely good enough to sit around and listen to our home movies. Good job Sony!
5. As for the quality of the video, this is what I've experienced so far. I played around briefly with the top two quality settings, 60i and 60p. I hooked the camera directly to my HD tv via the HDMI cable that came with the camera. The 60p looked slightly better, but both videos looked great. The video I took was at night, with only interior lighting on and it still looked great. I can't wait to see what daytime video looks like. It was super easy to view the video on the tv. As soon as I plugged the camera into the tv, the tv recognized the device and displayed exactly what was on the LCD screen. The only annoying thing was the sound coming out of the video camera and the tv at the same time, gave it an echo sound. I'm sure there is a way to turn down the sound on the video camera when plugged into the tv, just haven't figured it out yet.
6. Another feature I love is the crispness of the LCD screen. The high resolution of the screen makes the image so clear and easy to view. Love it! The only minor complaint I would have of the screen is the touchscreen feature. So far it seems like I have to press on the screen twice in the same spot to activate what ever button I was trying to push. Maybe it's just me being to careful and not wanting to press to hard on the screen or the screen isn't as responsive as it needs to be. Either way, I'm sure after a little more use, I'll get use to it and it won't be a big deal.
7. As for software, there is no cd/dvd's that come with the camera. There is a "lite" version of Home Memories software that comes preloaded on the internal memory of the camera. When you first plug the camera into your computer, you upload the software and install it. The software then offers to download additional features from it's servers. I downloaded and installed the additional features and it worked perfect. I have a computer with windows 7 that is about 4 years old. The software looks pretty basic, but it does do a nice job of importing and organizing your old photos and then imports your new video and pictures from the camera. I haven't worked with it enough to know how easy or hard it is to edit video or burn discs. I was able to import the new video clips I recorded tonight and was able to play all of the clips, including the highest quality video on my computer no problem. I played the video in both windows media player and in the Home Memories software and both looked really good!

Overall my initial impressions are very good. The still picture quality appears to be average to good for a video camera. Definitely not as good as a stand alone digital camera, but truthfully I haven't taken very many pictures, so maybe it will be better than I think. I plan on buying an extra high capacity battery, since I have never had good luck with batteries lasting very long, plus it's always good to have a backup.
One feature I haven't been able to figure out yet is what happens when you're recording video and either your internal memory or memory card gets full, does it switch over to the other memory seamlessly? Or does the recording stop and you have to switch to the other memory. When i determine the answer to that question, I'll post an update.
In summary, this appears to be a high quality camera that seems appropriately priced for the features it has. I definitely recommend it. My kids can't wait to make home movies with their friends and have a movie/popcorn night and watch their creations projected larger than life up on the wall!
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on September 20, 2013
My mom is technologically challenged. I still have to set up recordings for her on the DVR, but this she was able to figure out without problems. I left her the camera when I went into the hospital to have my son and she had no problem using the camera for recording and watching video. I've used it and love it. I love how I can just open it and start recording and then close it and it turns off. When you have kids--you want to be able to grab the camera and start recording right away. This camera not only does that but the video is gorgeous.
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on May 13, 2012
I have had this camera about 2 months and have not found a single thing wrong with it.
I am a semi-pro photographer filming and photographing weddings, parties. style shows and many other things.
I just finished a weeding where this Sony HDR-CX580V worked outstanding.
Yes it will not automatically switch to the SD card when the memory fills, but never in my life have I recorded and event of over 4 hours. It only takes 4 or 5 seconds to switch, which is plenty flexible for me.
This last wedding I did 2 weeks ago was outside and I feared the wind would be a problem. I use wireless mikes for most of the wedding, but several scenes without the wireless showed no wind problems. I don't use the ridiculous 5.1 sound. I also don't use the ridiculous GPS feature.
The picture quality is as good as advertised. They are near 30mb with very true color. I typically use a Nikon D200 DSLR and find, to the naked eye, there is little difference.
Both versions of the "PlayMemories Home" software loaded with no problems. I used this software to review and transfer all files to hard drive and that works easy enough. I use dedicated software for editing pictures and videos so I don't use the included software for these task.
I highly recommend this camera.
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on February 8, 2016
Expensive item carefully shipped – camera not only works perfectly, but did not expect item to arrive with bag, battery, memory card, and mini tripod. Ecstatic!
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on November 7, 2016
everything as expected
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on December 2, 2013
Great video and sound reproduction. Easy to use. Be ready to order accessories like a mini HDMI cable and higher capacity batteries with a charger.
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on September 19, 2013
not only does it capture excellent video, it does great stills. I am a professional cameraman and don't want something I have to fool with to take home movies, this is tooooo convenient, I can carry it every where and what good is a camera that is in the closet?
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on June 16, 2012
Overall, I am very happy with my latest purchase of the Sony Handycam HDR-PJ580V. I've had it for just under one month, have made two completed FCPX projects and am working on the third. After looking at several camera brands and models, it came down to three cameras: the Sony Handycam HDR-CX580V, the HDR-PJ580V, and finally the HDR-PJ710V. I discovered that the HDR-CX580V and the HDR-PJ580V are identical except for the projector. The HDR-PJ710V, which also has the projector and costs much more, comes with a few different upgraded features which didn't convince me to spend the extra money. Here are a couple extra features that I found on the HDR-PJ710V that the HDR-PJ580V doesn't have:
1) CMOS Sensor - 1/2.88"
Res: 6.65 megapixels
2) Min Focal Length: 3.8mm
Max Focal Length: 38mm
3) JPEG 6544 x 3680,
JPEG 4672 x 2628,
JPEG 4912 x 3680
But, that simply didn't make a big difference to me.
I like the fact that the Sony Handycam HDR-PJ580V works perfectly well with Final Cut Pro X, iMovie and iPhoto. The HD quality, color and the stabilization feature are excellent. The owner's manual is not as detailed as I would have liked, but Sony on-line real time support has been excellent for what I didn't understand or for what wasn't included in the manual. For example, there is no on-screen button that tells you when to change from the internal memory to your flash memory card. The manual does not explain this. However, there is a very small "pin-like" icon (the GPS Triangulating Meter) in the upper left hand corner of the screen, which allows you to view the time remaining. Just gently press the icon and you will see the remaining time for a few seconds.
Another feature, the projector, which works very well, is somewhat limited to the raw footage you shoot, or perhaps what you can edit on the camera itself in terms of what you can project. I was hoping that after I edited my FCPX projects, I would be able to import the footage back into the camera for showing on the projector. Not the case...this camera does not allow for that.
One more thing that may be my doing: I noticed that while I'm filming video and totally unaware of it, I apparently am also producing a number of still photos, which are then uploaded to iPhoto when I connect my camera to the computer. I don't know why this is happening yet.
Overall, I found that this was a best buy for my criteria which was 1) able to use with FCPX, 2) not too expensive (under $1,000.00), and reliable with good customer support. Also, I have had good luck purchasing from amazon.com in the past. This was no exception. They had the best price for what I wanted and are a trusted commercial web entity .
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on November 8, 2013
This cameras is great except one thing that drags it down. You have to use Sony's proprietary software for viewing the videos. That works well if you don't want to share them. Unfortunately that often isn't the case. If you want to use a more common video format you'll need to buy some software to do the conversions.
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on August 4, 2013
This does amazing things. It converts your simple videos into a production, on its own. it grabs snapshots out of your videos, when it sees a face. It has convinced me as well as my friends that there is hope for middle priced video. Only have it a few days, but it is as decribed in the reviews- Very Cool.
I will need some time learn more about it, but so far it works great
PS- The projector is eqully as good and the battery life is excellent
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