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Sony HDR-XR500V Handycam®

120GB high-definition hard drive/Memory Stick® camcorder, GPS-enabled

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Item #: 158HDRXR5H
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Sony HDR-XR500V Handycam®

by Kristen Schaub
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.

Record your memories in high-def, then tag them with this cam's Geo-tagging feature

Sony designed the HDR-500V for superior video and photo quality using their latest camcorder technologies and premium materials. An advanced image sensor provides razor-sharp high-def videos and high-resolution still photos. Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel audio recording adds spacious sound to your home movies. The 120GB hard disk drive holds up to 14 hours of high-def video or up to 91 hours in standard-def. Plus, this GPS-enabled camcorder makes it easy to keep track of your scenes according to where you shot them.

HDR-XR500V

Advanced 6.6-megapixel image sensor and lens

Image Sensor

Sony's new "Exmor R" image sensor design places the sensor's metal wiring behind, rather than in front of, its light-gathering surface, improving sensitivity and helping you shoot clearer footage in low-light settings. Sony's premium G Lens™ helps produce crisper images, especially close up. The powerful internal processor with x.v.Color™ technology helps preserve more color detail in every shot, giving you more realistic, natural-looking footage when viewed on a TV that also supports x.v.Color. Built-in optical image stabilization actively compensates for camera shake to give you a smoother picture.


Built-in GPS receiver with photo and video tagging

The built-in GPS receiver automatically adjusts your camcorder's clock when you cross time zones, and lets you view your current position on a map on the large 3-3/16" touchscreen LCD. You can also tag your videos with your position, and then go back later to the map index and sort videos by location.


Smile Shutter

Choose manual options for more control...

An additional set of record and zoom buttons on the LCD touchscreen's frame give you more control when holding the camcorder, especially when you're shooting from overhead or at an angle. You can even program the assignable dial on the front of the camcorder to control a variety of settings, including focus, exposure, and white balance, to capture the video exactly how you want it.

Organize videos

...or select easy, automatic features

Sony's face detection feature recognizes up to eight faces per frame, and adjusts the focus, exposure, and color to capture your subjects clearly. Smile Shutter™ technology automatically captures still images when your subject smiles — even while you're recording video. The Highlight Playback feature quickly creates a short movie with music and transitions — no manual editing required. You can also use Sony's handy built-in sorting features to preview the beginning of each scene, or to easily find scenes according to which faces appear in them.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

    Storage and Formats:
    • holds at least 14 hours of HD video at maximum quality
    • holds up to 91 hours of standard quality video
    • records high-definition AVCHD video to a built-in 120GB hard disk drive or optional Memory Stick® PRO Duo™
    • maximum video resolution: 1920 x 1080
    Features:
    • 6.63-megapixel Exmor-R™ back-illuminated CMOS (4.15 effective in 16:9 mode; 3.11 effective in 4:3 mode)
    • digital photo mode takes 6-megapixel (effective) still images
    • built-in GPS receiver with video tagging and map index
    • 16:9 widescreen mode for video and digital photos
    • Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel surround sound from built-in zoom microphone
    • color viewfinder
    • 3-3/16" widescreen touchpanel LCD
    • Sony's premium G Lens™ for crisper images
    • 12X Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 150X)
    • face detection recording with Smile Shutter™ still image capture
    • Film Roll creates an easy-to-search index that shows you previews of your scenes
    • Face Index organizes your footage by which face(s) appears in each scene for easy searching
    • Highlight Playback intelligently chooses scenes for you and creates a movie complete with music and transitions
    • simultaneous video recording and photo capture
    • assignable dial for manual controls
    • start, stop, and zoom functions conveniently located on the LCD screen
    • optical SteadyShot® image stabilization
    • NightShot® mode for recording detailed videos in low-light settings
    • built-in flash
    • 10 Program AE (Auto Exposure) settings, including Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Soft Portrait, Landscape, Sunrise and Sunset, Fireworks, Candle, Beach, Snow, and Spotlight
    • x.v.Color™ technology
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • high-speed USB interface
    • Active Interface Shoe for powering an optional accessory
    • dedicated headphone jack and mic input
    • outputs: analog A/V, component, and mini HDMI
    • 2-13/16"W x 3"H x 5-1/2"D
    • weight: 16.4 oz. with battery
    • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Supplied Accessories:
    • AC adapter/charger
    • rechargeable InfoLithium® battery (NP-FH60)
    • remote control
    • audio/video and USB cables
    • Picture Motion Browser software for transferring and copying videos (Windows® only)

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

    Features and Specs
    General
    LCD Screen Size (inches)
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    3.2
    Viewfinder
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    Yes
    Total Pixel Count
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    6,631,000
    Effective Pixel Count for Video
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    4,150,000
    High-Definition
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    Yes
    Aspect Ratio
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    4:3, 16:9
    Manual Focusing
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    Yes
    Filter Diameter
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    37mm
    Optical Zoom
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    12 x
    Digital Zoom
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    24 x
    Night Imaging
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    Nightshot
    Image Stabilization
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    Optical SteadyShot
    Built-in Video Light
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    No
    Built-in Memory
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    ---
    Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery
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    90
    Digital Still Camera Features
    Effective Pixel Count for Stills
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    ---
    Built-in Photo Flash
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    Yes
    Still Image Aspect Ratios
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    4:3, 16:9
    Inputs and Outputs
    USB Port
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    USB 2.0 High Speed
    HDMI Output
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    ---
    Mic Input
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    Yes
    Dimensions
    Weight With Battery (ounces)
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    20
    Width (inches)
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    2-13/16
    Height (inches)
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    3
    Depth (inches)
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    5-7/16
    Warranty
    Parts Warranty
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    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
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    90 Days
    Image Sensor Warranty
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    ---
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • AVCHD 120GB hard-drive camcorder with attached handstrap
    • NP-FH60 InfoLithium battery pack (7.2V/7.2Wh)
    • AC-L200C AC adapter with attached 5.5' cord (DC output: 8.4V/1.7A)
    • 5' AC power cord
    • 57" A/V connecting cable (has left and right RCA audio connectors and an RCA composite video connector on one end and a proprietary connector on the other end)
    • 58" Component video cable (has three RCA component video connectors and two RCA audio connectors on one end and a proprietary connector on the other end)
    • 61" USB cable (has a USB type-A connector on one end and a Mini USB Version 2.0 connector on the other end)
    • RMT-835 remote control with installed CR2025 3V Lithium battery
    • Handycam Application Software CD-ROM
    • Operating Guide (Eng/Spa)
    • How to Use GPS booklet (Eng/Spa/Fre)
    • Warranty sheet
    • Online product registration information
    • Sony Accessories brochure
    • Wide Conversion Lens brochure
    • Battery Pack/AC adapter removal note
    • Notes on using a computer
    • Notes on using GPS
    • End-User License Agreement For Map Data For Sony Handycam Products
    • "Demo Movie" note

    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
    Inputs and Outputs Notes
    Software And Computer Information

    General Features

    3.2" Touch Panel SwivelScreen LCD Screen: The 3.2" (16:9) LCD screen provides excellent viewing clarity with improved resolution. The high resolution 921,600 pixel (1920 x 480) LCD screen rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles providing sharp and detailed images for monitoring or playback. Mirror mode allows you to view a mirror-image of the subject you are shooting in the LCD screen when the screen is rotated 180 degrees, but the image will still be normal when recorded. In addition, the LCD doubles as an "on-screen" touch panel, allowing you to navigate through the menu system by touching the LCD screen. The LCD screen frame contains zoom and recording controls for added convenience. The LCD also features an adjustable brightness and color level. You can also power on this camcorder by simply opening its LCD display (if you close the LCD while the camcorder is recording, the camcorder stops recording).

    Adjustable 0.27" Color Viewfinder: The HDR-XR500V also features an adjustable 0.27" color viewfinder (123k pixels) that lets you record and review video and still images with the LCD display closed.

    Hybrid Recording: Hybrid recording technology delivers a new level of flexibility for transferring your video footage and digital photos from the camcorder to compatible viewing devices. Hybrid Recording allows you to record to the camcorder's internal hard disk drive, or choose instead to record to removable Memory Stick PRO Duo media. You can even select from various dubbing functions to easily copy video or still images from the hard disk drive to Memory Stick media without using a PC. Images recorded or transferred to Memory Stick media can then be played directly on your PC.

    Hard Drive Camcorder: The Sony HDR-XR500V has an internal 120GB hard drive which will allow you to record video and still images. When recording video, the camcorder records in 2ch or 5.1ch audio using the built-in microphone. The video can be shot in either a standard definition 4:3 or high definition 16:9 aspect ratio.

    Drop Sensor: The Sony HDD Handycam HDR-XR500V is equipped with a Drop Sensor to protect the camcorder's internal hard disc drive. When the drop sensor has detected that the camcorder has been dropped, recording or playback may be disabled to protect the internal hard disk.

    AVCHD 1080i Format: This camcorder captures high definition video footage in the AVCHD 1080i format as well as standard definition video in MPEG2. The AVCHD format is a high definition video camcorder format used to record an HD signal in 1080i on the units internal hard disk drive using efficient data compression coding technology. MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 is used to compress the video data while Dolby Digital or Linear PCM is used to compress the audio data. The result is image resolution of approximately 4.5 times that of standard definition image quality. Using the enclosed PC software, high definition footage can be copied onto DVD media through your computer. However, DVD media containing AVCHD footage should not be used with standard DVD based players or recorders, as the DVD player/recorder may fail to eject the media and may erase its contents without warning. DVD media containing AVCHD footage may be played on a compatible Blu-ray Disc player/recorder or other compatible devices.

    6.3mm Back-Illuminated "Exmor R" CMOS ClearVid Array Image Sensor With BIONZ Image Processor: A 6.3mm Back-Illuminated "Exmor R" CMOS image sensor delivers bright, vivid, spectacularly detailed video footage, with a gross pixel count of 6,6310,000. The image sensor actually captures video at four times the density of high definition resolution resulting in a sharper and more detailed 1920 x 1080 HD picture. The "Exmor R" CMOS Sensor provides stunning detail and clarity with exceptional video up to 1080 lines of horizontal resolution in HD mode and 530 lines in SD Mode. The camcorder's 3,110,000 effective video pixels in 4:3 mode and 4,150,000 pixels16:9 mode provide excellent detail and clarity for exceptional digital video with up to 1080 lines of horizontal resolution. The 6,000,000 effective still megapixels in 4:3 mode and 4,500,00 effective still megapixels in16:9 mode provide exceptional digital still photography performance.

    • "Exmor R" Technology And BIONZ Image Processor: The camcorder's "Exmor R" technology captures images with high resolution and high sensitivity, while the advanced Sony BIONZ image processor improves camera response time and screens out noise to help ensure that the signal from each pixel is as pure as possible. The BIONZ image processor provides Data Noise Reduction, Faster Image processing, and Data compression to preserve videos and images.
    • Back-Illuminated Exmor R CMOS Sensor: Experience stunning low-light sensitivity with improved image clarity and drastically reduced grain with the newly developed, back-illuminated "Exmor R" sensor. Designed for compact cameras and camcorders, the "Exmor R" sensor relocates the photo diodes above the support circuitry, maximizing the light-gathering area per pixel so you can shoot with better results in lower lighting conditions. The back-illuminated CMOS sensor provides approximately 2x increase in sensitivity compared to Sony's existing front-illuminated CMOS sensors at F2.0

    Dynamic Range Optimizer: The D-Range (Dynamic Range) Optimizer function adjusts the exposure and contrast of an image to counter the effects of high-contrast shooting condition, allowing for a great shot every time. The D-Range Optimizer suppresses "blackout" in dark areas such as shadows and "whiteout" in bright areas such as skies. As a result, the captured image appears as natural as the original scene.

    x.v. Color Technology: x.v. Color technology enables the HDR-XR500V to capture nearly twice (1.8x) as many viewable colors as the standard RGB color range, resulting in more natural, life-like images. You can even experience this expanded color range on your HDTV when you connect your camcorder to an x.v. Color capable display monitor via HDMI.

    Professional-Quality Sony G Lens: Designed specifically to complement the "Exmor R" CMOS sensor with ClearVid array, the professional-quality Sony G Lens delivers superior optical performance. Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass reduces chromatic aberration for more accurate color reproduction with less "fringing", and precision ground optics offer stunning resolving power to bring you sharp, amazingly detailed images.

    Optical/Digital Zoom: The camcorder has a 12x Optical Zoom for bringing your subject up close. It also features a selectable 24x or 150x digital zoom. Because the picture is processed 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.

    Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization With Active Mode: Optical SteadyShot with Active Mode represents the next step forward in Sony image stabilization technology. Active Mode improves on existing Optical SteadyShot image stabilization by allowing the camera lens to shift over a greater range of motion. This allows the HDR-XR500V to compensate for greater degrees of camera shake and deliver a stunning level of image smoothness.

    NightShot: This unit is equipped with NightShot which allow you to shoot a subject in complete darkness (0 lux) using infra-red technology. With NightShot, you can record natural color images in low-light conditions without the blurring common with other low-light recording systems. You can make the colors deeper by using the built-in infrared NightShot light.

    Focus Modes: The Sony Handycam HDR-XR500V features Manual, Auto Focus, Spot Focus, and Tele Macro modes.

    • Manual Focus: With manual focus, you can manually adjust the focus of the camcorder using the touch panel. Manual focusing also allows you to control the focus in difficult situations where either the environment or the subject does not allow the camcorder's auto focus to perform optimally, such as when shooting through a window or in a crowded environment.
    • Auto Focus: You can also select automatic focusing. When using autofocus, you can choose to focus on a subject in the center of the screen or with Spot Focus, focus on an off-centered object. The minimum distance between camcorder and subject while maintaining sharp focus is approximately 7/32" (wide angle).
    • Spot Focus: You can select and adjust the focal point to aim it at a subject not located at the center of the screen.
    • Tele Macro: This feature is useful when shooting small subjects, such as flowers or insects. You can blur out backgrounds and the subject stands out clearer. You can recorded subjects as close as 17.75-inches in Tele-Macro mode.

    Face Detection Technology: Made possible by the BIONZ image processing engine, Face Detection technology recognizes up to 8 faces anywhere in the frame and by selecting the most prominent, automatically controls focus, exposure, and color to help capture smiling faces brightly and clearly for video or photography. Face Detection technology also helps make skin tones look natural without affecting other colors in the image. The AVCHD camcorder allocates encoding bits on detected face areas prior to encoding other parts of the picture, making them sharper and clearer. In still picture mode, Face Detection technology also sets the flash level to optimize picture clarity.

    Smile Shutter Technology: Smile Shutter technology lets the camcorder automatically take still photos when your subject smiles, even while shooting high definition video. You can also set the sensitivity (High/Medium/Low) and choose child, adult, or auto priority.

    Exposure Modes: The Sony Handycam HDR-XR500V features the following Auto, Manual and Scene Select Exposure Modes.

    • Manual Exposure: Manual Exposure allows you to fix the brightness of your picture manually. You can adjust the brightness when the subject is much brighter or darker than the background.
    • Auto: Select this mode to automatically record pictures effectively without the preset scene select modes
    • Scene Select Modes: The following Scene Select modes are available to suit your specific shooting requirements -
      • Twilight Mode: maintains the darkening atmosphere of the distant surroundings in twilight scenes
      • Twilight Portrait: enables you to take photos of people and background using a flash
      • Sunrise/Sunset Mode: maintains the atmosphere of situations such as sunset and sunrises
      • Landscape Mode: allows you to shot distant subject clearly
      • Fireworks Mode: select to record all the splendor of fireworks
      • Portrait Mode: brings out the subject such as people or flowers while creating a soft background
      • Spotlight Mode: prevents people's faces from appearing excessively white when subjects are lit by strong light
      • Snow Mode: help with shooting in very bright white conditions
      • Beach Mode: prevents people's faces from appearing dark in strong light or reflected light.

    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.

    Spot Meter/Focus: You can adjust the brightness and focus for the selected subject simultaneously. This function enables Spot Meter and Spot Focus at the same time.

    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.
    • Manual: You can adjust the bluish and reddish tones manually.

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

    Auto Slow Shutter: The Auto Slow Shutter automatically activates the electronic shutter to adjust the shutter speed when recording in bright conditions. The shutter speed is automatically reduced to 1/30 second.

    Geotagging With Built-in GPS Receiver: Perfect for travelers, this camcorder features a built-in GPS receiver that automatically adjusts your camcorder's clock to the proper time zone and lets you view your current location on the LCD map display, as well as "tag" your shooting locations. You can view your tagged videos and pictures via the Map Index function or after you have downloaded them to your PC using the supplied Picture Motion Browser (PMB) software.

    Map Index Function: The Map Index function uses the geotagging capabilities of the built-in GPS receiver to "tag" your shot locations on a map in the camcorder, offering a new way to easily search and find a desired scene by location or view where a scene was captured.

    Guideframe: The Guideframe displays a frame around the recorded images and allows you to check the subject's 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.

    Bravia Sync: You can operate this camcorder with the remote control of your 2008 Sony Bravia television when connected together via HDMI.

    Visual Index: The Visual Index allows you to view back six of your still images and/or videos at one time on the LCD screen from the camcorder's hard disk or optional memory stick.

    Saving Video: Due to the limited capacity of the internal hard disk (120GB), you should save the video data to some type of external media such as a DVD-R or a computer. You can save the videos recorded on the camcorder as described below.

    • Memory Stick Pro Duo: You can copy the images recorded on the camcorder's internal HDD to an inserted Memory Stick Pro Duo card within the camcorder, without the use of a PC.
    • Picture Motion Browser Software: By using the software of the supplied CD-ROM you can save images on a DVD or the hard disk of your computer. You can use several methods to do this.
      • One Touch DVD Burn: You can save images and files with ease by pressing DVD Burn button on the camcorder and using the supplied Picture Motion Browser software. This feature allows you to backup what is on the hard drive with the still images being recorded first.
      • Saving Images To Your Computer: You can also transfer and save video files that are too large for a DVD to the hard disk of your computer.
      • Creating a DVD With Selected Images: In addition, you can save images imported to your computer on a DVD. You can also edit those images.
    • VCR and DVD Recorders/Writers: You can dub images played back on your camcorder to other recording devices, such as VCRs or DVD recorders/writers. You can connect the device in either of the following ways.
      • A/V Output: The camcorder features a proprietary audio/video output, that when used with the supplied composite A/V cable or component AV cable, allows you to transfer content to your VCR or DVD/HDD recorder.
      • USB Port: You can dub to movie dubbing compatible DVD writers using the camcorder's USB port and supplied USB cable.

    Hard Disk Information: This feature allows the camcorder to display the hard disk information so you can check the approximate amount of free hard disk space left for recording.

    Formatting: You can delete all the images on the hard disk of camcorder to recover recordable free space to allow you to write in by formatting the camcorder.

    Empty: The Empty feature allows you to write non important data onto the hard disk of the camcorder. By doing this, it makes it more difficult to recover any original data from the hard drive. When you dispose or transfer the camcorder to someone, it is recommended that you perform this function. You must use the AC adapter for this function to operate.

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

    Multi-Language Menu: The camcorder allows you to select between English, French, or Spanish for the unit's menu language.

    Easy Handycam: When the Easy Handycam mode is activated, most of the camera settings are set to the automatic mode, only basic functions are available, and the screen font size increases for easy viewing. This mode makes recording and playing back recordings less intimidating, even for first time users.

    Assignable Dial: An assignable dial on the front of the camcorder can be programmed to control a variety of settings, including focus, exposure, AE (Auto Exposure) Shift, and WB (White Balance) Shift.

    Wireless Remote: The Sony Handycam HDR-XR500V camcorder comes supplied with an IR wireless remote control (RMT-835) for wireless operation of the camera when you have the camcorder mounted to a tripod or during playback when you have the camcorder connected to your television.

    Electronic Lens Cover: An Automatic Electronic Lens Cover protects the lens when the camcorder is powered off.

    Video Camcorder Features

    Video Recording: The Sony HDR-XR500V has an 120 GB hard disk drive which will allow you to record video. You can also choose to record video to an optional Memory Stick Pro Duo card. When recording video, the camcorder records audio in either 2ch or Dolby Digital 5.1 audio using the built-in microphone. When recording, you can choose to record in high definition (HD) or standard definition (SD). In the default setting, movies are recorded with high definition image quality on the camcorder's internal hard disk drive. You have the following HD and SD choices of video recording resolution quality:

    • High Definition Recording Mode:
      • AVCHD 16M (FH): movies are recorded with AVCHD 1920 x 1080/60i format with highest quality
      • AVCHD 9M (HQ): movies are recorded with AVCHD 1440 x 1080/60i format with high quality
      • AVCHD 7M (SP): movies are recorded with AVCHD 1440 x 1080/60i format with standard quality
      • AVCHD 5M (LP): movies are recorded with AVCHD 1440 x 1080/60i format with long play quality
    • Standard Definition Recording Mode:
      • SD 9M (HQ): records in high quality mode
      • SD 6M (SP): records in standard quality mode
      • SD 3M (LP): records in long play mode
    Video Recording Times
    Recording Mode 120 GB Hard Disk 4 GB Memory Stick PRO Duo
    FH High Definition 14 hr. 30 min. 25 min.
    HQ High Definition 29 hr. 30 min. 55 min.
    Standard Definition 29 hr. 30 min. 55 min.
    SP High Definition 35 hr. 50 min. 65 min.
    Standard Definition 43 hr. 40 min. 80 min.
    LP (5.1ch) High Definition 47 hr. 50 min. 90 min.
    Standard Definition 83 hr. 40 min. 160 min.
    LP (2.1ch) High Definition 50 hr. 10 min. 95 min.
    Standard Definition 91 hr. 20 min. 170 min.

    Note: The maximum continuous recording time of movies is approximately 13 hours. You can record movies of a maximum of 3,999 scenes with high definition image quality (HD), and 9,999 scenes with standard definition image quality (SD).

    Movie Dubbing: You can dub movies recorded on the hard disk of your camcorder to an inserted Memory Stick Pro Duo card within the camcorder without the use of a PC or other external dubbing device.

    Auto Remaining: This feature displays the remaining hard disk space indicator for about 8 seconds on the LCD screen in certain operating situations. You can also set the hard disk indicator to always stay on. When the remaining recordable time for movies is less than 5 minutes, the indicator stays on the screen regardless if this function is set to Auto or On.

    Wide Select: When recording with SD (standard definition) image quality, you can select the recording aspect ratio according to the TV connected. Select between 4:3 or 16:9. When in HD mode the camcorder is automatically set to 16:9.

    Smooth Slow Recording: The camcorder features Smooth Slow Recording which increases the record rate from 60 fields per second (fps) to 240 fps for 3 seconds, allowing you to capture 3 seconds of fast motion video and play the clip back in slow motion for 12 seconds. This is great for analyzing a golf swing or viewing a bird in flight. In addition, record an audio track to narrate what is being seen during the video.

    Fader Modes: You can select from "Black Fader" or "White Fader." You can add these modes to currently recorded pictures for fading in or out.

    Dolby Digital 5.1ch Recording: The HDR-XR500V will record in Dolby Digital 5.1ch surround sound with the built-in microphone. By recording in 5.1 channel surround sound, you can experience your home movies with active sounds coming from all directions. You will need to connect the camcorder to your home theater system via HDMI to enjoy the 5.1ch surround sound recording.

    Built-In Zoom Mic: The Built-in Zoom Mic feature 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.

    Face Index: Face Index makes it easy to find and play back the right video scene. Using Face Detection technology, Face Index indexes your video footage according to the faces detected in each scene. When it's time to play back video, simply search for what you want by selecting from among the detected faces displayed in the index

    Film Roll Index: Like chapters in a book, Film Roll Index helps you easily find desired scenes in video footage. When using this feature, the camcorder previews the beginning of scenes and can create scene indexes set at specified display intervals (3, 6, or 12 seconds and 1 or 5 minutes).

    Highlight Digest Playback: The camcorder selects a number of short scenes at random, puts them together, and plays them back as a digest of your high definition image quality (HD) movies with music and visual effects. Highlight Playback uses several criteria: including Face Index, Smile Shutter technology, Dual Capture and time range, to identify and compile key scenes into a short, entertaining movie complete with music and transitions.

    Note: You cannot record a scene and specify it a s highlight scene. Scenes are selected randomly and differ each time during Highlight playback.

    Create Playlist: You can create a playlist of your favorite videos for playback. A Playlist is a list showing thumbnails of the movies that you have previously recorded and selected. You can add a maximum of 999 movies with HD image quality or 99 movies with SD image quality to a Playlist. The original movies are not modified even if you edit or delete the movies in the Playlist.

    Divide Movies: The Divide Movies feature allows you to divide movies on the hard disk drive of the camcorder. You cannot restore movies once they are divided.

    Digital Still Camera Features

    Digital Still Image Recording: The HDR-XR500V can record still images on either the unit's built-in 120GB hard disk drive or on an optional Memory Stick Pro Duo memory card (sold separately). Still images are recorded on the hard disk in the default setting.

    Image Resolution: Photo mode captures high quality still images directly to a Memory Stick or the unit's built-in hard disk drive. In Still mode, you can choose one of the following resolutions: 12.0M (4000 x 3000), 6.2M (2880 x 2160), 1.9M (1600 x 1200)or 0.3M (640 x 480) for a 4:3 aspect ratio or 9.0M (4000 x 2250) for a 16:9 aspect ratio. Images are stored in the JPEG format providing easy transfer to PCs for e-mailing, printing, or sharing with family and friends. You can capture the following amount of still images to an inserted Memory Stick Pro Duo card or the camcorder's internal Hard Disk Drive when the HDR-XR500V's still image size is set to 12.0M (4:3).

    Image Size Memory Stick Pro Duo and 120GB HDD Capacity
    1GB 2GB 4GB 8GB 16GB 120GB (internal HDD)
    12.0M
    4000 x 3000 (4:3)
    165 345 670 1350 2750 9999

    Dual Record: You can capture high quality still images onto an optional Memory Stick Pro Duo memory card while recording a video on the hard disk drive of the camcorder or vice-versa. Still images are recorded at 8.3 megapixel resolution in 16:9 mode or 6.2 megapixel resolution in 4:3 mode.

    Capturing A Still Image From A Movie: You can save a selected frame from a recorded movie as a still image from the camcorder's Hard Disk Drive to an inserted Memory Stick Pro Duo card within the camcorder or vice-versa. The image size is fixed depending on the image quality of the movie. A still 2.1 megapixel image is captured from a high definition movie, a still 0.2 megapixel image is captured from a 16:9 standard definition recording and a 0.3 megapixel image is capture from a 4:3 standard definition recording.

    Copying Still Images: You can coy still images from the camcorder's internal hard disk drive to an inserted Memory Stick Pro Duo card within the camcorder.

    Self Timer: This feature starts to record your still image in about 10 seconds after the "Photo" button is depressed.

    Built-In Flash: For added clarity and detail when taking pictures in low-light situations, the built-in flash improves pictures and reduces shadows. You can set the camcorder's Flash Mode to Auto, On, or Off. The Flash Level can be set to High, Normal, or Low.

    Note: You can use the camcorder's built-in flash during video recording.

    Redeye Reduction: You can prevent redeye by activating the pre-flash before the flash is fired.

    Date Index: You can locate the point on the internal HDD or inserted Memory Stick Pro Duo card where the recording date changes.

    Slide Show: You can automatically play back images stored on the hard drive of the HDR-XR500Vor from an optional Memory Stick Pro Duo.

    Playback Zoom: You can magnify still images from about 1.1 to 5x the original size during playback on the camcorder's LCD monitor.

    Image Delete: Images may be deleted one at a time or all at once.

    PictBridge: You can print directly from the camcorder to a PictBridge-compliant printer via USB cable, even if you don't have a computer. PictBridge is an industry standard established by the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA). Through the camcorder, you can select the number of copies to be printed, up to 20, and choose to print the date and time on each picture.

    Battery Information

    Battery: This unit comes with an NP-FH60 InfoLithium battery, and the optional NP-FH50, NP-FH70, and NP-FH100 are compatible with this camcorder. 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.

    Battery Display: At the touch of a button, battery information is displayed on the LCD screen when charging and when the camcorder is turned off. The display will show how much the battery is charged, in 10% increments and the recordable time left when using the LCD screen or in the viewfinder

    Battery Life: The approximate charging, recording and play back times using the supplied battery (NP-FH60) is as follows.

    Battery Pack Charging Time Continuous Recording Time Using HDD (Memory Stick Pro Duo)
    Typical Recording Time Using HDD (Memory Stick Pro Duo)
    Playback Time Using HDD (Memory Stick Pro Duo)
    High Definition Standard Definition High Definition Standard Definition High Definition Standard Definition
    NP-FH60 (supplied) 135 min. 90 min. (90 min.) 110 min. (115 min.) 45 min. (45 min.) 55 min. (55 (min.) 150 min. (150 min.) 150 min. (150 min.)

    Note: Typical recording time shows the time when you repeat recording start/stop, turning thee power on/off and zooming.

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

    Inputs and Outputs Notes

    A/V Output: This camcorder features a proprietary Audio/Video connection for use with the supplied composite or component A/V connecting cables 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 the TV you will view your video or images on. You can also choose to display the camcorders information, such as the time code on the screen of your TV during playback from the camcorder. The supplied A/V cables have a proprietary plug on one end and male stereo RCA audio and either a composite video or component video connections on the other end. The camcorder's Component Video Output supports 480i and 1080i. The unit's composite video output will only support standard definition (480i).

    HDMI Output: High definition video can be output and seen on your connected High Definition television. using the camcorder's HDMI port. The camcorder's HDMI Output supports up to 1080i (HDV). The HDMI output can be set to 1080, 720p, or 480p. Standard Definition (DV) cannot be output through the HDMI out on the HDR-XR500V.

    Note: The camcorder does not come supplied with an HDMI cable.

    USB Port: The camcorder has a mini-USB version 2.0 jack for connecting to a PC via the supplied USB cable. Connecting the hard drive camcorder to a PC via USB allows the computer to access the information on the camcorder's hard drive. You will be able to download still images and video files to your computer. You will be able perform the One Touch DVD Burn. This will also allow you to back up the files recorded on the hard drive onto a DVD. You can edit and save your video files onto your computer, then make DVD's of them using the Picture Motion Browser software that is supplied with the HDR-XR500V. The camcorder can also be used as an external storage device, convenient for archiving, storing and transporting your videos and still images.

    Memory Card Slot: The camcorder features a memory card slot for recording video or still images using Memory Stick Pro Duo memory cards. Still images and video are recorded on the hard disk in the default setting.

    Active Interface Shoe: The Active Interface Shoe lets you mount Intelligent Accessories, such as external lights and microphones, which can help extend the capabilities of your camcorder.

    Microphone Input: The camcorder features a 3.5mm minijack microphone input for adding external microphone for advanced audio recording.

    Headphone Output: The camcorder features a 3.5mm minijack headphone output for connecting an external pair of headphones for listening to audio/video playback.

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

    Software And Computer Information

    Included Software: The included software allows you to transfer images and video from the camcorder to a computer hard drive and view and store transferred images/videos. The supplied CD-ROM includes:

    • Picture Motion Browser ver. 4.2.00
    • Music Transfer
    • Handycam Handbook
    • Product Registration

    Music Transfer: You can transfer music files from your audio CDs or MP3 files from your PC to the camcorder for Highlight Digest Playback using the supplied Music Transfer software.

    Picture Motion Browser Software: You can enjoy the following functions after installing the supplied Picture Motion Browser Software on your PC.

    • Creating a disc with one touch operation
    • Importing images to a computer
    • Editing imported images
    • Creating an AVHCD format disc/DVD-video
    • Copying a disc
    • Uploading images and videos to sharing websites

    Computer Requirements: Picture Motion Browser is for Windows users only and is not compatible with Macintosh computer.

    Picture Motion Browser (Windows only)

    Operating System Microsoft Windows XP SP3/Windows Vista SP1 (64-bit editions and Starter editions not supported)
    CPU Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz or faster (Intel Pentium 4 3.6 GHz or faster, Intel Pentium D 2.8 GHz or faster, Intel Core Duo 1.66 GHz or faster, or Intel Core 2 Duo 1.66 GHz or faster is recommended)
    Memory XP: 512 MB or more (1GB or more is recommended), Vista: 1GB or more
    Hard Disk Space Disk volume required for installation: Approximately 500 MB (10 GB or more may be necessary when creating AVCHD format discs. 50 GB maximum may be necessary when creating Blu-ray discs).
    Display/Graphics Minimum 1,204 x 768 dots
    Software DirectX 9.0c or later
    Others High Speed USB 2.0 port, Blu-ray disc/DVD burner (CD-ROM drive is necessary for installation)
     
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    Sony HDR-XR500V Handycam® Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    5 out of 5

    unbelievable picture quality

    Written By Brian, North Carolina on Sunday, October 11, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    love this camcorder!

    I made the huge leap from an old Hi 8mm to this model, and so far has lived up to my high expectations. I regret that all my old video isn't even close to this quality.

    Very easy to use, amazing images and the software update through Sony allows you to burn Blu-ray discs if you have Blu-ray burner on computer. However, I've found you can still burn true HD video onto DVD-R or DVD+R for a fraction of the cost (but much less available recording time) of recordable Blu-rays, but still must be viewed on a Blu-ray player. Can convert HD files to SD and also record onto less expensive DVD-/+R and view on any regular DVD player. This conversion usually takes as long as it took to originally record the file. Have not used the GPS feature yet, but the low light and IR no light functions are extremely good.

    Purchased the optional extended battery and would definitely recommend if shooting anything over 1 hr. Also got the boom microphone for shooting at a distance and not that impressed with it. Regular 5.1 surround sound of camcorder is very good on its own.




    14 out of 18 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great handycam

    Written By Carlos, Eagle Pass, TX on Monday, April 20, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The best Handycam ever, easiest to use and enjoy HD movies and 12
    megapixel pictures.
    5 out of 10 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Sony HDR-XR500V Handycam®

    Written By H. Paul, Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, March 17, 2009
     
    1. Still capture at 12 megapixels is probably a waste of disk space (and the extra processing time that it takes to deal with the larger pictures). Unless there is something revolutionary about the way that the camcorder would interpolate the native 6.2-megapixel still capture up to 12 megapixels, I would use the interpolation capabilities of, say, Photoshop back at home and set the camcorder to grab stills at 6.2 megapixels (native). The trailing question is whether that 6.2-megapixel mode at 4:3 is actually native, without any scaling or interpolation; there is a 9-megapixel mode at 16:9 that is probably not native, but Sony does not clarify anywhere.

    2. I cannot perceive any degradation in AVCHD image quality between (a) Steadymove ON; and (b) Steadymove Active ON. Is there any good reason to turn off Active mode (or Steadymove altogether)?

    3. The NAVTEC maps are largely disappointing. Most consumer GPS devices only reserve 1gb or so for map data, thus Sony really cheaped out with the NAVTEC maps. Don't expect any more detail than city names and the very occasional major route number, even when zoomed in to the max.

    4. Low-light sensitivity is extraordinarily good. I am anxious to read professional testing on this, but it is poised to beat professional cameras. This backlit CMOS invention might really be a no-brainer for all future camcorders. It is a simple re-shuffling of the layers in the CMOS sensor.
    98 out of 107 people found this helpful
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