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Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

High-definition projection camcorder with 16GB flash memory

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  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Front

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Back

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Back, 3/4 view, LCD folded out

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Built-in USB connector

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Enjoy your movies almost anywhere

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Front, 3/4 view, from right, LCD open

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Front, 3/4 view, from right, LCD rotated outward

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Front, 3/4 view, from right, LCD stored

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Front, straight-on, with touchscreen display flipped 180 degrees for self-portraits

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    It projects on any nearby flat, light-colored surface

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Left side view, with LCD rotated inward for storage

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Left side view, with LCD rotated outward for monitoring

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Right

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Shown in hand for scale

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Shown in hands for scale

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    The built-in projector in use

  • Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

    Top view showing side hand strap/built-in USB

Item# 158PJ380K
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380

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-PJ380 lets you enjoy your movies anywhere you have a flat, light-colored surface

The Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380 lets you enjoy your movies anywhere you have a flat, light-colored surface.

All aboard

Cruise time! You've been waiting for months, and now it's time for you to be pampered. And what better camcorder to have with you than the Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ380? From the highly regarded wide-angle Sony G™ lens and its impressive 30X optical zoom, to the bright, clear and versatile 3" LCD touchscreen, this camcorder is made for documenting travel and vacation fun. There's a stiff breeze up on the promenade deck, but innovative touches like automatic wind noise reduction and "Closer Voice" technology keep your subjects' voices clear and intelligible. And even in low light, the 'PJ380 shines, with the light-sensitive lens feeding the camcorder's back-illuminated Exmor® R sensor.

Instant replay

Best of all, after you've spent the day playing at the port-of-call, you can set the 'PJ-380 up on your cabin's nightstand and relive the day's best moments as you project the video on the opposite wall. This camcorder includes a built-in high-contrast video projector so everyone can share in the magic without the need for wires or a dedicated HDTV.

Smile and snap

The 'PJ380 takes excellent 8.9-megapixel still shots as well, with features like tracking auto-focus and face/smile detection making sure you don't miss any of life's best photo opportunities. Sony's G lens offers a wide 26.8mm equivalent focal length when zoomed all the way out, so you'll be able to capture that impressive mountain and water vista as you're entering port.

Memory for your memories

Because this camcorder takes Memory Stick® media 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. If you don't have any cards on hand, not to worry; this camcorder has 16GB of flash memory on-board, for up to 5 hours of HD video storage in LP mode. And the 'PJ380 can 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 'PJ380'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.

Highlights:

    Storage and Formats:
    Features:
    • 1/5.8" (3.1mm) back-illuminated Exmor® R CMOS image sensor for improved detail and lower noise
    • built-in high-contrast 13-lumen projector lets you display up to a 100" image (diagonal) on just about any flat surface
    • 16GB of built-in flash memory lets you start shooting right away, even without a memory card
    • 30X optical zoom Sony G™ lens (55X extended mode; digital zoom to 350X)
    • captures 8.9-megapixel still images in photo mode
    • Dolby® Digital 2-channel audio from built-in zoom microphone (in AVCHD 2.0); MP4 recording produces 2-channel AAC audio
    • 3.0" widescreen touch-panel LCD
    • Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode and 3-Way Shake-Canceling compensates for greater degrees of camera shake than standard SteadyShot stabilization
    • face detection mode with Smile Shutter™ helps you capture subjects at their best
    • Intelligent Auto mode offers over 180 scene presets for easy, worry-free shooting
    • automatic or manual focus
    • Highlight Playback mode identifies key scenes from your shoot and creates a short movie complete with music and transitions
    • automatic wind noise reduction
    • Closer Voice feature works in combination with face detection to zero in on your subject's voice
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • built-in high-speed USB cable for video transfer to a computer
    • micro HDMI output (cable included) for watching your videos on an HDTV
    • 3.5mm stereo microphone input allows use of specialized microphones for better overall audio
    • includes AC adapter/charger and rechargeable lithium ion battery (NP-FV30)
    • operating guide
    • 2-3/4"W x 2-1/4"H x 4-15/16"D
    • weight: 7.4 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)
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    3.0
    Viewfinder
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    None
    Total Pixel Count
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    2,390,000
    Effective Pixel Count for Video
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    2,290,000
    High-Definition
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    Yes
    Aspect Ratio
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    16:9, 4:3
    Manual Focusing
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    Yes
    Filter Diameter
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    N/A
    Optical Zoom
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    30 (55ext)x
    Digital Zoom
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    6.4 x
    Night Imaging
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    Low lux
    Image Stabilization
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    Digital
    Built-in Video Light
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    No
    Built-in Memory
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    16 GB Flash Memory
    Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery
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    155 min
    Digital Still Camera Features
    Effective Pixel Count for Stills
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    2,290,000
    Built-in Photo Flash
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    No
    Still Image Aspect Ratios
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    16:9, 4:3
    Inputs and Outputs
    USB Port
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    USB 2.0 High Speed
    HDMI Output
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    Micro
    Mic Input
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    3.5mm
    Dimensions
    Weight With Battery (ounces)
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    9.3
    Width (inches)
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    2-3/4
    Height (inches)
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    2-1/4
    Depth (inches)
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    4-15/16
    Warranty
    Parts Warranty
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    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
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    90 days
    Image Sensor Warranty
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    1 Year
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • High definition digital camcorder (black)
    • NP-FV50 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (6.8V/7.0Wh/1030mAh)
    • AC-L200C AC adapter with attached 67" DC output cord (DC output: 8.4V/1.7A)
    • 40" AC power cord
    • 40" USB extension cable (Male Type A USB on one end and female Type A USB on other end)
    • 39" HDMI cable (full-sized HDMI on one end and micro-HDMI on other end)
    • Operating Guide (Eng)
    • Operating Guide (Span)
    • Limited Warranty
    • Online registration sheet
    • Accessories brochure

    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
    Software

    General Features

    Built-in Projector: The Sony HDR-PJ380 allows you to share your movies or photos virtually anywhere with its built-in high contrast projector. The 13-lumen DLP projector is built into the LCD panel, and is powerful enough to project a 100" diagonal screen. It has an output resolution of 640 x 360, and a throw distance of 1.6' and over. With a fully charged battery pack, the PJ380 can project continuously for about 90 minutes.

    Memory Card Slot: The HDR-PJ380 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.

    Built-in Memory: In addition to memory cards, you can record movies and photos onto the camcorder's 16 GB built-in flash memory. Because a portion of the flash memory is used for system management and/or application files, the actual usable media capacity is approximately 15.5 GB.

    3.0" LCD Touch Screen: The 3.0" LCD touch screen provides excellent viewing clarity with improved resolution. The 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, you can navigate through the menu system by touching the icons on the screen or by using the Multi Selector button, located beside the LCD. 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-PJ380 features an advanced 1/5.8" (3.1mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS imaging sensor with 2,390,000 gross pixels. The 2,290,000 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 8.9 megapixels (3984 x 2240).

    Sony G Lens: The camcorder features a professional-quality, wide angle Sony G lens. Sony G lenses deliver superior optical performance with brilliant, accurate color reproduction and sharp, detailed images. In both the Photo and Video modes, the 26.8mm focal length provides exceptional wide-angle shooting.

    Zoom: The camcorder's maximum optical zoom depends upon the SteadyShot setting. With the setting at Active, the optical zoom is 30x. If SteadyShot is set to Active the maximum optical zoom is 55x (Extended Zoom). Combined with the digital zoom, the total zoom capability is 320x. 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.

    Optical SteadyShot Picture Stabilization: Optical SteadyShot compensates for greater degrees of camera shake to deliver smooth video from wide angle to full telephoto shooting. In addition, 3-way Shake Canceling adds electronic roll stability for even smoother video capture. You can choose Standard mode or Active mode of Optical SteadyShot.

    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-PJ380 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. For more difficult focusing situations, you can manually adjust the focus of the camcorder.

    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.

    Auto Back Light: You can use the Auto Back Light 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. You can also display the camera settings when recording movies or photos.

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

    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-PJ380 records High Definition video in 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios with 5 image sizes to choose from. A Standard Definition recording mode is also available. You can choose from the following recording modes:

    Image Quality Bit Rate Pixels Aspect Ratio
    High Definition
    PS 28 Mbps 1920 x 1080/60p 16:9
    FX 24 Mbps 1920 x 1080/60i 16:9
    FH 17 Mbps 1920 x 1080/60i 16:9
    HQ 9 Mbps 1440 x 1080/60i 16:9
    LP 5 Mbps 1440 x 1080/60i 16:9
    Standard Definition
    HQ 9 Mbps 720 x 480 16:9, 4:3
    MP4
    MP4   1280 x 720/30p 16:9

    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.

    Closer Voice: When the Closer Voice function is turned on, the camcorder detects faces and records the voices clearly. This function cannot be activated when using an optional external mic.

    Auto Wind NR: The camcorder features an Auto Wind Noise Reduction setting which reduces noise and interference caused by wind passing over the microphones. With the Wind NR activated, you'll get clearer, more enjoyable audio.

    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-PJ380 can record still images on a Memory Stick PRO Duo, PRO-HG Duo, SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card (sold separately), or the built-in 16 GB flash memory. Still images can be recorded with the camcorder in the either Still Image or Movie mode (Dual Capture). Still images are recorded in the following resolutions, depending upon the selected aspect ratio:

    • 3984 x 2240 (16:9)
    • 2992 x 2240 (4:3)
    • 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
    • 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 (7.2 Volts, 500 mAh). 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 via USB in approximately 150 minutes. You can also charge the battery in about 115 minutes using the supplied AC adapter (AC-L200C). The HDR-PJ380 is compatible with the following Sony InfoLithium V-series batteries: NP-FV100 (3900 mAh), NP-FV70 (2060 mAh), and MP-FV50 (1030 mAh).

    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 Out: The PJ380 is equipped with a micro-HDMI (Type D) 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.

    Projector (HDMI) In: In addition to the HDMI output, the PJ380 has a micro HDMI input that allows you to connect an external device that has an HDMI output, and use the camcorder's projector to view photos and videos. This allows you to project content from your smartphone, laptop, tablet, or other HDMI-equipped device.

    Multi Connector: The camcorder features a proprietary Multi Connector for use with the optional VMC-15MR2 AV connecting cable for displaying the camcorder's contents on your non-HD 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 optional VMC-15MR2 AV 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 40" 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 PlayMemories Home software.

    Microphone Input: The PJ380 has a 3.5mm microphone input that allows you to connect an optional stereo microphone, such as the ECM-AW3. Recorded audio is greatly improved when an external microphone is used, compared to the built-in microphones.

    DC In Jack: The DC In Jack is for use with the supplied AC-L200C AC adapter.

    Software

    Downloadable Software: The camcorder has no built-in software for importing images and video from the camcorder to your computer. Instead, the PlayMemories Home software can be downloaded directly to your computer via the Internet (URL provided in the supplied Operating Guide). With PlayMemories Home, you can:

    • Import images from your camcorder
    • View images on a calendar
    • Share images on "PlayMemories Online"
    • Upload images to network services, such as Facebook and YouTube
    • Create a disc

    Compatible Operating Systems: PlayMemories Home is compatible with the following Windows Operating Systems: Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Windows Vista¹ (SP2), Windows XP² (SP3)

    ¹ Starter (Edition) is not supported
    ² 64-bit editions and Starter (Edition) are not supported. Windows Image Mastering API (IMAPI) Ver.2.0 or newer is required to use disc creation function, etc.

    Macintosh: PlayMemories Home software is not supported with Mac computers. You should use the appropriate software on your Mac to import images from the camcorder to your Mac and play them.

     
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    5 out of 5

    Sony Handycam HDR-PJ380

    Written By Ted Z, Moundsville,WV on Sunday, September 08, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This camcorder fits my needs exactly. It is light weight, easy to use, and the video quality is excellent.
    Pros:
    Projects video on any surface to give you immediate feedback of video just recorded. Allows memory card to be changed and downloaded while continuing to video.
    Cons:
    Must remove camera from tripod to change memory card.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Zoom and projection

    Written By Anonymous, Honolulu, Hawaii on Wednesday, June 12, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I purchased this as a gift for my father for a trip to Mexico. He loved it and filmed everything. The zoom had amazing reach, and surprisingly, the projection was great, although the process of getting to project is needlessly cumbersome. It works great on the ceiling of a hotel room, as well as on random palm trees on the beach.
    Pros:
    Great zoom, good stabilization, built-in projector, built in memory
    Cons:
    Switching to between built-in memory and SD card, and enabling the projector are both needlessly cumbersome.
    4 out of 5 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     

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