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Customer Review

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent camcorder for recording life's special moments, May 21, 2014
This review is from: Sony HDRPJ810/B Video Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With a good months of use with the camcorder I feel comfortable writing a review. I will update as necessary.

Balanced Optical Steady Shot:
The entire lens and sensor mechanism is contained within a gyro and free to rotate. It makes it look like an eye if looking at the camera from the front.
I have never used a system which works so well. Even at 200mm effective focal the image is totally stable handheld. This system makes all other in lens or in body stabilization systems look primitive.
This type of stabilization is superb for walking, and you can eliminate the Steadicam with this type of system, it is the same effect.
TIP: This feature is a top reason to buy this camcorder (or another with it).

* Suitable for maybe 30 to 50", not 200" as advertised.
* Only suitable in dim environment (nighttime house with lights off). Not suitable for showing in medium light conference room with windows and blinds pulled.
* Magnification is small, when you project on a wall it needs to be quite a ways off. I think this is done to mask low resolution and also reduce how bright it needs to be. The image doesn't have much detail.
* Can use external video source.
Works better than I would expect from a tiny projector built into a camcorder, but I question the value in most cases since most people will use this within their home and have access to an HD TV which will be much better.

Video Quality:
The quality seems good for the intended purpose. This is not targeted towards indie film makers, but for parents videoing their kids' soccer game, etc. For the intended market I think it is excellent. It looks nice on an HD TV and that is all that matters.

The video looks pretty good, even in low light. Again, the sensor isn't much larger than many cell phone sensors, so don't expect magic, but it does a good enough job for the intended function.

Lens Quality:
The lens has a great zoom range from wide to telephoto, and the stabilization makes it very usable over the entire range. This is where this camcorder shines relative to a cell phone or other cheap recording device.

Touch Screen:
Appears to be resistive, and not very sensitive. I often have to push on it multiple times to get it to register my touch. Probably because I am used to capacitive screens which don't require physically pushing on the screen.

Charges over USB. Uses dongle tucked into hand strap. Really neat idea.

Camera turns on automatically when you open the monitor or extend the viewfinder.

Was easy to use the Sony App on my phone and tap NFC point and my phone opened up App and went into remote viewfinder. Takes a few seconds, but it is handy to be able to control the camera remotely. I think in the case of a camcorder I would probably just use the flip out screen 99% of the time, but still a neat feature to have.

Why is this camera 24 MP? It needs maybe 4 MP due to the sensor size. Whatever, it is what it is, but it is just marketing to sell so many MP. Stills are point and shoot quality, not great, not terrible. Don't view at the pixel level at 24 MP or you will be disappointed.
Still performance is not a reason to buy this camera.

Exposure Control:
This is very awkward. At first I thought it had no exposure control, but it is buried in the non-intuitive touch menu interface. The default automatic mode is going to be ideal for most, but you can go in and manually set exposure if you want to.

Who is this camcorder for?
Probably a parent who wants a good quality camcorder for videoing kids events. Probably doing a lot of hand-held work, and probably not adjusting manual exposure much. They don't need the larger sensor for low light or shallow depth of field. Wants much higher quality video than a cell phone (nice zoom lens and stabilization).

I give it 5 stars, despite my drawbacks, as it does a wonderful job at what it is intended to do. Capture life's special moments.
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