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Sony Handycam® HDR-CX220

High-definition camcorder with SD/Memory Stick® memory card bay

12 Reviews

Item # 158CX220K

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Our take on the Sony Handycam® HDR-CX220

The Sony Handycam® HDR-CX220 may sit at the budget end of Sony's camcorder lineup, but it sure doesn't act like it. This is a camcorder that checks all the tick-boxes on your wish list: Full, lush 1080/60p recording? Yes. SteadyShot™ image stabilization that tames the shakes on zoomed-in shots? Another win. And don't forget, the 'CX220 records in both high-detail AVCHD 2.0 and Internet-friendly MP4, so you'll have the format you need for every occasion.

The Sony Handycam® HDR-CX220 camcorder has its own USB cable built-in

The Sony Handycam® HDR-CX220 camcorder has its own USB cable built-in.

Check your wish list

The Sony Handycam® HDR-CX220 may sit at the budget end of Sony's camcorder lineup, but it sure doesn't act like it. This is a camcorder that checks all the tick-boxes on your wish list: Full, lush 1080/60p recording? Yes. SteadyShot™ image stabilization that tames the shakes on zoomed-in shots? Another win. And don't forget, the 'CX220 records in both high-detail AVCHD 2.0 and Internet-friendly MP4, so you'll have the format you need for every occasion.

Challenge buster

With a high-quality Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® 27X zoom lens, you'll be set for all the shooting challenges you might encounter while traveling — or during family outings — or documenting sporting events. The camcorder is designed to perform with distinction in low light, while being handheld and zoomed in. An intelligent auto mode will take the guesswork out of camera settings, and dedicated scene modes will help you present specific opportunities, like sunrises, or fireworks, or beach settings, to their best advantage.

Convenience and creativity

The 'CX220 records to commonly available, inexpensive SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick memory cards. Keep several on hand and you'll never miss a fleeting moment. Highlight Playback mode turns the camera into your personal video editor, identifying and compiling key scenes from your shoot and assembling them into a short, entertaining movie — complete with music and transitions.

Should you wish to share your raw footage with others, you can connect to an HDTV via the camcorder's HDMI output. A built-in USB cable conveniently connects the 'CX220 to your household's computers. And the camcorder will directly connect to an external hard drive without the need for a computer, for archiving your videos. 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 'CX220's handy playback controls, and display those files on your HDTV via an HDMI connection from the camcorder.

Product Highlights:

    Storage and Formats:
    • 1/5.8" (3.1mm) back-illuminated Exmor® R CMOS image sensor for improved detail and lower noise
    • 27X Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® optical zoom lens (32X extended mode; digital zoom to 320X)
    • 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
    • 2.7" widescreen LCD
    • SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode and 3-Way Shake-Canceling
    • face detection mode with Smile Shutter™ helps you capture subjects at their best
    • Intelligent Auto mode 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
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • built-in high-speed USB cable for video transfer to a computer and charging via a PC
    • micro HDMI output (cable included) for watching your videos on an HDTV
    • operating guide
    • 2-5/8"W x 2-1/4"H x 4-15/16"D
    • weight: 6.3 oz. without battery
    • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • High definition digital camcorder (black)
    • NP-FV30 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.2V/3.6Wh/500mAh)
    • 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

    love the convenience of the size of the camera and the ability to record to a chip, versus an internal HHD. Have had it for a month now, and have few complaints.

    lead cinematographer of kids' performances, Denver, CO


    Sony Handycam® HDR-CX220 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (12 Reviews)

    don't buy this

    Crutchfield customer from Bloomingdale on 8/1/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Don't buy this camera because it does not even come with wall ac charger.



    Sony Handycam® HDR-CX220

    Crutchfield customer from Everett Wa. on 7/31/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have enjoyed the simpleness of this camera-I feel that a movie card would have been nice with product. Also when you get it on sale beware of just the camera & nothing else-you get what you pay for--outside of that the camera as I said before is a great buy & you won`t be disappointed with it --TAKES GREAT PIC`S. & MOVIES...

    Pros: Great pictures--&Movies--light weight & easy to work & Handle--GREAT FOR ON THE GO & TRIPS

    Cons: No movie card & everything else is an accessory to buy separate--bummer

    Has what I need

    Doug from Knoxville, TN on 7/4/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I wanted a camera I could take with me skiing to get the shots that my Sony Action Cam wouldn't get. It has no bells or whistles. I wanted a zoom, got a 27x zoom. I wanted a screen to see what I was shooting and it has that. It's not a touchscreen, but it is exactly what I needed. It doesn't have a projector or a hot boot, but I didn't need that either. It shoots great footage and does very well in low light. It comes with a cable to plug it to my TV as well as a USB cable for charging on my computer. They say you get what you pay for, but for what I paid for this camera I got more. I'm happy with the purchase and got everything I needed without wasting money on a more expensive camera with features I didn't need. At this price, if I drop it in the snow and ruin it, it's still a great buy.

    Pros: Lightweight, good zoom, small and easy to carry and use.

    Cons: The battery only last over 3 hours and less in the cold, but I replaced the battery with a stronger one and I'm happy.

    Sony HCR-CX220

    lead cinematographer of kids' performances from Denver, CO on 6/10/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    love the convenience of the size of the camera and the ability to record to a chip, versus an internal HHD. Have had it for a month now, and have few complaints.

    Pros: the small size, the ability to record in Hi Def. Can't beat the cost for what you get.

    Cons: if the screen is open for too long, it falls asleep and you have to close it to cycle through it starting up again. Haven't found another way to "wake it up", battery life seems to be about 2 hours of record time

    Lightweight Handycam

    WayneC from Palmer, AK on 6/3/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Excellent compact, lightweight cam recorder for travel and at home casual activities. Long overdue addition for our fire and casualty insurance documentation.

    Pros: Size and weight increase its ease of use. Compatibility with other Sony products for sharing recordings

    Cons: Small and hard to read function selector

    Great little camera

    Ajswen from Orlando, fl on 5/20/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Image quality is surprisingly good. I found the audio to be exceed my expectations. The smile capture is a nice feature however I found the still pics to be of average quality. Great bang for the buck.




    Mike from Manitowoc, Wis on 5/19/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Once I figured how to use the menu button all went well. Very fast delivery. This could be updated once I've had the chance to use the camera and download the pictures.

    Pros: Ease of use

    Cons: Instruction booklet needs to be rewritten to make it understandable. Would be nice if a AC adapter would be included.

    Great lil camcorder.

    Mike C from Joliet, Il on 5/12/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchase this Little Giant to document progress on the updating of our new house. From the ease of set up, to the ease of use, and on top of that the great picture it produces. I would recommend this camera anybody looking for a nice point and shoot zoom camera with a high definition quality picture.

    Pros: Setup, ease of use, the picture quality.

    Cons: Non as of yet.

    My Sony Handycam HDR-CX220

    Wilfredo from Sabana Grande, PR. on 5/12/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    One of the best purchases I had made in the last couple years. Very good price for a very good handy cam camera.



    Great quality video and pictures, easy to use camcorder.

    Eutex from Houston, TX on 5/2/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice compact camcorder. Excellent quality pictures and HD video. Convenient high capacity SD card (32 GB). Can't complaint.



    Great value for a full HD camcorder

    Jay from Kadena AB, Japan on 3/21/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I've used this camcorder twice briefly so far, taking video of my two cats. I look forward to taking this on a trip to Ireland next week!

    Pros: Clear steady video and good sound without using a tripod. It does not have a touchscreen, but utilizes a small button next to the screen to navigate through the menu which is very easy. Mini HDMI to HDMI cable included! Product only took one week to arrive at an APO address!

    Cons: Not really a con, but I wasn't prepared for how small and light the camcorder is!

    Best Value Out There

    MRC from Setauket, NY on 3/7/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I spent a good amount of time researching the new 2013 camcorders from all of the major manufacturers. If you look at the history of past products from other manufacturers, Sony and Canon are the only 2 to consider. Canon unfortunately includes the worst batteries with their camcorders as last years models were lucky to get 30 minutes with stock batteries. The 2013 line ups it to a whopping 60 minutes. The included battery with the CX220 gets 90 minutes and there are plenty of aftermarket batteries which work perfectly in Sony camcorders for under $20. with that said the camcorder does everyting the average consumer needs without breaking the bank. The video is crisp and clear and the lcd screen is the same. I've recorded in outdoors and indoor low light settings and the video is perfect. I also like that the LCD screen is not a touch screen and the menu button is a snap to use. This is a great camcorder priced well below any other manufacturer with similar specs. Dont hesitate to buy it.

    Pros: Crisp clear video, ease of use, value for money

    Cons: None


    Hands-on research

    Product Research

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

    General Features

    Memory Card Slot: The Sony HDR-CX220 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" LCD Screen: The 2.7" LCD 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 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: The LCD does not feature a touch screen function. This camcorder does not include a separate viewfinder.

    Imaging Device: The HDR-CX220 features an advanced 1/5.8" (3.1mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS imaging sensor with 2,390,000 gross pixels. The 2,150,000 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).

    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 27x. If SteadyShot is set to Standard or Off, the maximum optical zoom is 32x. In addition, you can magnify images further by extending the wide angle (32x 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.

    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-CX220 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-CX220 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. The following recording modes are available:

    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   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.

    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-CX220 can record still images on a Memory Stick PRO Duo, PRO-HG Duo, or SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card (sold separately). 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 an optional AC adapter (AC-UD10). The HDR-CX220 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: The CX220 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.

    Multi Connector: The camcorder features a proprietary Multi Connector for use with the optional VMC-15FS 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-15FS AV cable has a proprietary plug on one end and male stereo RCA audio, RCA composite video, and S-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.

    DC In Jack: The DC In Jack is for use with the optional AC-UD10 AC adapter.


    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.

    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 verify what’s in the box, 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.