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Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

High-definition camcorder

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  • Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

    Front

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

    Back, 3/4 view, with LCD display flipped out

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

    Back, with battery

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

    Front, 3/4 view

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

    Front, 3/4 view, touchscreen display angled outwards

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

    Front, with flip-out LCD touchscreen display rotated forward

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

    left side view

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

    shown in use

Item #: 158CX200
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200

by Woody Sherman
Sony

Shoot videos for posterity — or posting online

From birthday parties to YouTube™ antics, camcorders let you capture moments you can share with friends and family, or the world at large. Most newer camcorders save your videos to built-in digital memory or a removable memory card. Some models come with a built-in hard disk drive that gives you much more storage. For maximum portability, check out our smaller cams that fit into a pocket or purse. For high-def videos that look awesome on your HDTV, go for a slightly larger model with a better lens and image sensor.

The Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200, with the touch-screen LCD display deployed

The Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200, with the touch-screen LCD display deployed

Preserve a perfect day

You pull out from the checked ground cover to reveal the picnic basket. A hand reaches in to take out the lunchtime goodies. A squeal of laughter makes you turn and go full wide — and your son's face fills the frame.

Another typical day for the Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200. After all, its typical days consist of expertly documenting your exceptional days. With its Intelligent Auto mode seamlessly selecting from almost 60 different scene combinations to make the most of what you're shooting, how can you help but preserve the unique character of your special days? Even in low light, the 'CX200 shines, with the Carl Zeiss® engineered lens feeding Sony's sensitive back-illuminated Exmor® R sensor. And the 25X optical zoom lens is perfect for getting up close to the action.

The Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200 in typical use

This camcorder stands ready for action

The director calls "action"

Did we say action? This camcorder is made for it. With SteadyShot® Image Stabilization, you can jog right alongside your running toddler and bring home images that keep him stable in the frame. The innovative 3-Way Shake Canceling feature works to remove all the shimmies that can dog other camcorders.

Memory for your memories

Because this camcorder takes Memory Sticks® and SD cards, you can customize the amount of storage you have — with just a few cards you'll have hours upon hours of capacity waiting for when you need it. And the 'CX210 will also copy your memories to an external hard drive without the aid of a computer. For that, you'll need an optional USB adapter cable available from Sony (the VMC-UAM1 cable). Here's another trick: you can access media on that hard drive using the 'CX200's handy playback controls, and display those files on your HDTV via an HDMI connection from the camcorder.

The producer is built-in

Don't feel like editing your footage? Highlight Playback mode will identify and compile scenes from your day of shooting and make a short, engaging movie complete with music and transitions. You can even select the scenes you want in your day's highlight reel.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

    Storage and Formats:
    Features:
    • 1/5.8" (3.1mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor for improved detail and lower noise
    • 25X Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® optical zoom lens (30X extended mode; digital zoom to 300X)
    • captures 5.3-megapixel still images in photo mode
    • Dolby® Digital 2-channel audio from built-in zoom microphone
    • 2.7" widescreen touch-panel LCD
    • optical SteadyShot® image stabilization with Active Mode and 3-Way Shake-Canceling
    • face detection mode with Smile Shutter™ guarantees you capture the fun times
    • Intelligent Auto mode for mistake-proof shooting
    • autofocus tracking locks onto a moving subject and keeps the subject in focus
    • Highlight Playback mode identifies key scenes from your shoot and creates a short movie complete with music and transitions
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • built-in high-speed USB cable for video transfer to a computer
    • mini HDMI output (cable not included) for watching your videos on an HDTV
    • includes AC adapter/charger and rechargeable lithium ion battery (NP-FV30)
    • 2-1/8"W x 2-1/4"H x 4-1/2"D
    • weight: 6.2 oz. without battery
    • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    General
    LCD Screen Size (inches) 2.7
    Viewfinder None
    Total Pixel Count 1,500,000
    Effective Pixel Count for Video 1,310,000
    High-Definition Yes
    Aspect Ratio 16:9, 4:3
    Manual Focusing Yes
    Filter Diameter N
    Optical Zoom 25 x
    Digital Zoom 12 x
    Night Imaging No
    Image Stabilization Optical
    Built-in Video Light No
    Built-in Memory None
    Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery 105 min
    Digital Still Camera Features
    Effective Pixel Count for Stills 1,000,000
    Built-in Photo Flash No
    Still Image Aspect Ratios 16:9, 4:3
    Inputs and Outputs
    USB Port USB 2.0 High Speed
    HDMI Output Mini
    Mic Input No
    Dimensions
    Weight With Battery (ounces) 7.7
    Width (inches) 2-1/2
    Height (inches) 2-1/4
    Depth (inches) 4-9/16
    Warranty
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 90 Days
    Image Sensor Warranty 1 Year
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • High-definition flash memory camcorder (Black)
    • NP-FV30 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (7.2V/500mAh/3.6Wh)
    • AC-L200C AC Power adapter with attached 67" DC output cord (DC Output: 8.4V/1.7A)
    • 62" AC power cord
    • 57" Composite video cable (with RCA composite video plug and stereo RCA audio plugs on one end and a proprietary plug on the other end)
    • 39" HDMI cable (with full-sized HDMI connector on one end and a mini-HDMI connector on the other end)
    • 5' USB extension cable (with male Type A USB connector on one end and female Type A USB connector on the other end)
    • Operating Guide (Eng/Span)
    • Warranty Sheet

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    General Features
    Video Camcorder Features
    Digital Still Camera Features
    Battery Information
    Input and Output Notes
    Installed Software

    General Features

    Memory Card Slot: The Sony HDR-CX200 Full HD camcorder can record video and photos onto Memory Stick PRO Duo and PRO-HG Duo cards up to 32 GB in capacity, as well as Class 4 or faster SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards up to 64 GB.

    2.7" Touch Panel LCD Screen: The 2.7" touch panel LCD screen provides excellent viewing clarity with improved resolution. The high resolution 230,400 pixel (960 x 240) LCD screen rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles providing sharp and detailed images for monitoring or playback. In addition, the touch panel LCD allows you to navigate through the menu system by touching the LCD screen. The LCD also features an adjustable brightness and color level. You can also power on this camcorder by simply opening its LCD display.

    Note: This camcorder does not include a separate viewfinder.

    Imaging Device: The HDR-CX200 features an advanced 1/5.8" (3.1mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS imaging sensor with 1,500,000 gross pixels. The 1,310,000 effective video pixels provide excellent detail and clarity. The unique image processing system of Sony's BIONZ allows still image resolution equivalent to a maximum of 5.3 megapixels (3072 x 1728).

    Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar Lens: The camcorder features a professional-quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens designed specifically for compact camcorders.

    Zoom: The camcorder's maximum optical zoom depends upon the SteadyShot setting. With the setting at Active, the optical zoom is 25x. If SteadyShot is set to Standard or Off, the maximum optical zoom is 30x. Combined with the digital zoom, the total zoom capability is 300x. Because the digital zoom processes the image digitally, the picture quality deteriorates the more you zoom in. The power zoom lever can be moved slightly for a slow zoom, or moved further for a faster zoom.

    SteadyShot Picture Stabilization: SteadyShot picture stabilization system uses motion sensors to remove unwanted picture shake without compromising picture quality like some other digital stabilization systems. You can choose between Standard SteadyShot, Active SteadyShot, or Off.

    Face Detection: The camcorder's Face Detection technology recognizes faces and optimizes the camera settings for videos and still photos. Videos and photos recorded using Face Detection are indexed according to the faces detected in each scene. This allows you to search for what you want by selecting the faces displayed in the index.

    Focus Modes: The Sony Handycam HDR-CX200 features Auto Focus and Manual Focus modes. When using Auto Focus, you can choose to focus on a subject in the center of the screen or with Spot Focus, focus on an off-centered object. If you are recording subjects other than people, you can touch the subject on the touchscreen, and the camcorder will adjust the focus automatically as it moves within the frame. For more difficult focusing situations, you can manually adjust the focus of the camcorder using the touch panel.

    Spot Meter: You can adjust and fix the exposure to the subject, so that it is recorded in suitable brightness even when there is strong contrast between the subject and the background, such as subjects in the spotlight on a stage.

    Scene Selection Modes: The following Scene Selection modes are available to suit your specific shooting requirements: Auto, Night Scene, Sunrise & Sunset, Fireworks, Landscape, Portrait, Spotlight, Beach, and Snow.

    White Balance Adjustment: Sets the color balance to the brightness of the recording environment. Your choices are:

    • Auto: The white balance is adjusted automatically.
    • Outdoor: The white balance is adjusted for the following conditions: Outdoors, night views, neon signs and fireworks, sunrise, sunsets, under daylight fluorescent lamps.
    • Indoor: The white balance is adjusted for the following conditions: Indoors, party scenes and studios where lighting conditions change quickly, and under the video lamps or incandescent-like color lamps.
    • One Push: The white balance will be adjusted according to the present ambient light.

    Back Light: You can use the Backlight function to adjust the exposure for backlit subjects.

    Guide Frame: The Guide Frame displays a frame and grid around your subject and allows you to check the horizontal and vertical position.

    Data Code Function: The camcorder automatically records time codes along with the images you shoot, so you can display the date and time during playback or editing.

    Protect: You can protect movies and photos to avoid deleting them by mistake.

    Direct Copy to External HDD: With an optional VMC-UAM1 USB adapter cable, you can save movies and photos on an external hard disk drive (HDD). Once you have saved them to the HDD, you can also playback the images and videos through the camcorder to a connected HDTV.

    Power On By LCD: You can set the camcorder to automatically power on when you open the LCD, and turn off when you close the LCD.

    Video Camcorder Features

    Video Recording: The HDR-CX200 records High Definition video in 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios with 4 image sizes to choose from. A Standard Definition recording mode is also available. The following recording modes are available:

    Image Quality Bit Rate Pixels Aspect Ratio
    High Definition
    FX 24 Mbps 1920 x 1080 16:9
    FH 17 Mbps 1920 x 1080 16:9
    HQ 9 Mbps 1440 x 1080 16:9
    LP 5 Mbps 1440 x 1080 16:9
    Standard Definition
    HQ 9 Mbps 720 x 480 16:9, 4:3

    Built-In Zoom Mic: The built-in Zoom Microphone allows you to record sound with directivity as you move the power zoom lever. The camcorder's microphone level can be set to Low or Normal.

    Divide Movies: The Divide Movies feature allows you to divide movies on the inserted memory card. You cannot restore movies once they are divided.

    Digital Still Camera Features

    Digital Still Image Recording: The HDR-CX200 can record still images on a Memory Stick PRO Duo or SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card (sold separately). Still images are recorded in the following resolutions, depending upon the selected aspect ratio:

    • 16:9: 3072 x 1728 (16:9), 1536 x 864 (16:9)
    • 4:3: 2304 x 1728 (4:3), 640 x 480 (4:3)

    Capturing Still Images From Video: You can capture still images from recorded video. The image size is fixed depending upon the aspect ratio of the movie: 1920 x 1080, 640 x 360, or 640 x 480. The recording date and time of the captured photos is the same as the recording date and time of the movie. If there is no data code on the movie, the recording date and time will be the date/time you captured the photo from the video.

    Self Timer: This feature allows you to record a still image about 10 seconds after the "Photo" button is depressed.

    Slide Show: You can automatically play back images stored on the memory card in a slide-show fashion.   

    Battery Information

    Battery: This unit comes with an NP-FV30 InfoLithium battery. The InfoLithium system exchanges data about its actual power consumption with the camcorder for a more accurate estimate of recording time available. Cold temperatures will increase battery consumption. The battery can be charged in the camera using the AC adapter, or via USB. The HDR-CX200 is compatible with Sony InfoLithium V-series batteries:

    Battery Image Quality Recording Time Playback Time Charging Time
    Continuous Typical AC USB
    NP-FV30
    (500 mAh)
    HD 95 min 45 min 135 min 115 min 150 min
    STD 105 min 50 min 145 min
    NP-FV50
    (980 mAh)
    HD 180 min 90 min 255 min 155 min 280 min
    STD 200 min 100 min 280 min
    NP-FV70
    (1960 mAh)
    HD 375 min 185 min 525 min 195 min 545 min
    STD 415 min 205 min 565 min
    NP-FV100
    (3700 mAh)
    HD 745 min 370 min 1045 min 390 min 1000 min
    STD 830 min 415 min 1120 min

    Auto Shut Off: When powered by the battery the camcorder can be set to turn off automatically if not used for 5 minutes.

    Input and Output Notes

    HDMI: The CX200 is equipped with a mini-HDMI (Type C) output for connecting your camcorder to an HDTV. A 39" HDMI cable is included with the camcorder. You can set the HDMI output resolution to 1080p/480p, 1080i/480i, 720p/480p, 480p, or 480i, depending upon the capability of the TV's input. The Auto setting will output the signal according to the TV's capability. When connecting the camcorder to a Bravia Sync-compatible TV via HDMI, you can control play back on the camcorder by aiming the TV's Remote Commander at the TV.

    A/V Output: The camcorder features a proprietary Audio/Video connection for use with the supplied A/V connecting cable for displaying the camcorder's contents on your television. You can change the aspect ratio of the camcorder's video output from 16:9 or 4:3 according to the screen aspect ratio of your TV. You can also choose to display the camcorder's information, such as the time code on the screen of your TV during playback from the camcorder. The supplied A/V cable has a proprietary plug on one end and male stereo RCA audio and RCA composite video connections on the other end.

    Built-in USB: The camcorder has a built-in male USB Type A plug and a 5' USB extension cable (Type A USB female-to-Type A USB male) for connecting to a PC. Connecting to a PC via USB allows you to download still images and video files on the memory card. You can edit and save your video files onto your computer, then make DVDs of them using the downloadable Picture Motion Browser software.

    DC In Jack: The DC In Jack is for use with the supplied AC adapter and charger.

    Installed Software

    Installed Software: The camcorder has built-in "PlayMemories Home" (Lite Version software that allows you to import images and video from the camcorder to your computer, and view and store transferred images/videos. It is compatible with Windows 7 (SP1), Vista (SP2), and XP (SP3) operating systems only. You can use iPhoto and iMovie software for importing video and photos on a Mac.

     
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    Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200 Reviews

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    4 out of 5

    Sony camcorder

    Written By Elizabeth, Belmont, CA on Tuesday, December 11, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The pictures I took while video recording were awful. Not sure why. Have to check with customer service or the owner's manual. Also I think the camcorder with a built-in memory is better as I almost ran out of memory space on the separate memory disk. Otherwise as always, an excellent Sony product.
    1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Sony Handycam® HDR-CX200, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_158CX200/Sony-Handycam-HDR-CX200.html ).