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Sony Handycam® HDR-CX260V

High-definition camcorder with 16GB flash memory

2 Reviews

Item # 158CX260V

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Sony Handycam® HDR-CX260V

Fore! Your tee shot is peeling off into the forest boundary again. What are you doing wrong? You were having a good round until 30 minutes ago, now everything's out of whack.

The Sony Handycam® HDR-CX260V, with the touch-screen LCD display deployed

The Sony Handycam® HDR-CX260V, with the touch-screen LCD display deployed

Any way you slice it

Fore! Your tee shot is peeling off into the forest boundary again. What are you doing wrong? You were having a good round until 30 minutes ago, now everything's out of whack.

Wait. You've got your Sony Handycam® HDR-CX260V camcorder in your daypack. With its innovative Golf Shot mode, you can record your next power swing and take it back to the club pro for a quick critique later. It might not save you this round, but look to shave some strokes down the line.

Another typical day for the Sony Handycam® HDR-CX260V. After all, its typical days consist of expertly documenting your exceptional days. With its Intelligent Auto mode seamlessly selecting from almost 180 different scene combinations to make the most of what you're shooting, how can you help but preserve the unique character of your special days? Even in low light, the 'CX260V shines, with the Sony G™ lens feeding the sensitive back-illuminated Exmor® R sensor. And the 30X optical zoom lens is perfect for getting up close to the action.

The Sony Handycam® HDR-CX260V

The 'CX260V is compact yet full-featured

The director calls "action"

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

Where or when

The 'CX260V has a built-in GPS receiver that will give you your current location on the LCD display, tag your location on your captured video, and set your camcorder's system clock based on your current time zone. A map index screen on the LCD gives you a handy way to browse your travel footage according to where you shot it.

Memory for your memories

Because this camcorder takes Memory Sticks® and SD cards, you can customize the amount of storage you have — with just a few cards you'll have hours upon hours of capacity waiting for when you need it. If you don't have any cards on hand, not to worry; this camcorder has 16GB of flash memory on-board, for up to 4 hours of HD video storage in LP mode. And the 'CX260V will also copy your memories to an external hard drive without the aid of a computer. For that, you'll need an optional USB adapter cable available from Sony (the VMC-UAM1 cable). Here's another trick: you can access media on that hard drive using the 'CX260V'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.

Product Highlights:

    Storage and Formats:
    • 1/3.91" (4.6mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor for improved detail and lower noise
    • 30X Sony G™ optical zoom lens (55X extended mode; digital zoom to 350X)
    • captures 8.9-megapixel still images in photo mode
    • built-in GPS tags your shooting locations and updates your system clock
    • Dolby® Digital 2-channel audio from built-in zoom microphone
    • 3.0" widescreen touch-panel LCD
    • optical SteadyShot® image stabilization with Active Mode and 3-Way Shake-Canceling
    • face detection mode with Smile Shutter™ guarantees you capture the fun times
    • Intelligent Auto mode for mistake-proof shooting
    • autofocus tracking locks onto a moving subject and keeps the subject in focus
    • Golf Shot mode captures a few seconds of motion as a sequence of up to 22 still images for in-depth analysis
    • Highlight Playback mode identifies key scenes from your shoot and creates a short movie complete with music and transitions
    Connections, Supplied Accessories and Dimensions:
    • built-in high-speed USB cable for video transfer to a computer
    • external microphone input (stereo minijack)
    • mini HDMI output (cable included) for watching your videos on an HDTV
    • includes AC adapter/charger and rechargeable lithium ion battery (NP-FV50)
    • includes A/V connecting cable
    • includes manual
    • 2-1/8"W x 2-1/4"H x 4-7/8"D
    • weight: 7.23 oz. without battery
    • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • High-definition flash memory camcorder (Black)
    • NP-FV50 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (6.8V/1030mAh/7.0Wh)
    • AC-L200C AC Power adapter with attached 67" DC output cord (DC Output: 8.4V/1.7A)
    • 62" AC power cord
    • 57" Composite video cable (with RCA composite video plug and stereo RCA audio plugs on one end and a proprietary plug on the other end)
    • 39" HDMI cable (with full-sized HDMI connector on one end and a mini-HDMI connector on the other end)
    • 5' USB extension cable (with male Type A USB connector on one end and female Type A USB connector on the other end)
    • Operating Guide (Eng/Span)
    • Online registration sheet
    • Accessories brochure
    • Warranty Sheet

    Sony Handycam® HDR-CX260V Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (2 Reviews)

    Sony Handycam HDR-CX-206V

    WeRmudfun from Salem, NH on 8/17/2012

    My wife and I were looking for a camcorder that was capable of filming at 1080P for posting to YouTube. We do a lot of mountain hiking and needed something compact enough to fit in my side cargo pocket of my hiking pant. This camcorder fit what we were looking for and then some. The one thing we were worried about was that the housing appeared to be cheap, but after I tripped and fell on top of it (I'm 6' 180 pounds), we're not as concerned. Our YouTube video will cover the features. Some of them we have no need for. You can go to our YouTube channel and see the vised we made with this camcorder, it's listed in their description boxes.

    Pros: Light weight, Compact, Shoots excellent video, Easy to use touch screen

    Cons: 300X Digital zoom is too shaky even on a tripod. You can turn that feature off though

    Sony CX260V

    Windecker from Harrison Ohio on 6/25/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased the CX260 to replace an older High 8 Sony Handycam so I could get high def video. The unit is tiny, almost too small but I think I will like the size after using it more (all of them are small these days). The video quality is very good and so far I am happy with the performance overall. Battery life is good with the stock battery and the controls are easy enough to use. The HDMI out is in an odd place but usable. I purchased this unit for the manual zoom and 32X optical zoom. The zoom works great for videoing aircraft but the manual focus eludes me and seems useless. I could not get it to maually focus while videoing a night flight. Auto worked "OK" but was off just a little, manual would only allow me to set focus to like 5 meters or less? So far though the auto focus works well with the intended use during the day. The low light function does not seem to do much, or maybe I am expecting more than it is designed for. There is no remote with this camcorder which is a mistake, it should be included. I think the projector version comes with a remote (costs more money though). Overall I am happy with the video quality but not happy about the manual focus not working well and how to select/adjuste it. Also a much needed item for using this unit (or any with no view finder) is a LCD screen hood. I borrowed one and found it to make outdoor moving target shooting much more doable. Without the hood, my wife and friends could not keep the aircraft in view

    Pros: Good video quality, smart camcorder, adjusts various functions as needed, battery is good, good zoom

    Cons: Manual focus is hard to navigate to and seems hard to use, no remote control, not wifi, no view finder


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    LCD Screen Size (inches) 3.0
    Viewfinder None
    Total Pixel Count 5,430,000
    Effective Pixel Count for Video 2,230,000
    4K Video ---
    High-Definition Yes
    Aspect Ratio 16:9, 4:3
    Manual Focusing Yes
    Filter Diameter N
    Optical Zoom 30 x
    Digital Zoom 11.6 x
    Night Imaging No
    Image Stabilization Optical + Digital
    Built-in Video Light No
    Built-in Memory 16 GB Flash Memory
    Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery 155 min
    Digital Still Camera Features
    Effective Pixel Count for Stills 2,230,000
    Built-in Photo Flash No
    Still Image Aspect Ratios 16:9, 4:3
    Inputs and Outputs
    USB Port 2.0 High Speed
    HDMI Output Mini
    Mic Input 3.5mm
    Weight With Battery (ounces) 8
    Width (inches) 2-1/2
    Height (inches) 2-1/4
    Depth (inches) 4-13/16
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 90 Days
    Image Sensor Warranty 1 Year

    Product Research

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

    General Features

    Internal 16 GB Flash Memory: The Sony HDR-CX260V has an internal 16 GB flash memory which will allow you to record 1920 x 1080 Full HD video and sharp 8.9 megapixel still images. Because a portion of the flash memory is used for system management and/or application files, the actual media capacity is approximately 12.8 GB.

    Memory Card Slot: In addition to the built-in 16 GB flash memory, the camcorder has a slot for a memory card. You 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.

    3" Touch Panel LCD Screen: The 3" touch panel Clear Photo LCD Plus screen provides excellent viewing clarity with improved resolution. The high resolution 230,400 pixel (960 x 240) LCD screen rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles providing sharp and detailed images for monitoring or playback. In addition, the touch panel LCD allows you to navigate through the menu system by touching the LCD screen. The LCD also features an adjustable brightness and color level. You can also power on this camcorder by simply opening its LCD display.

    Note: This camcorder does not include a separate viewfinder.

    Imaging Device: The HDR-CX260V features an advanced 1/3.91" (4.6mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS imaging sensor with 5,430,000 gross pixels. The 2,230,000 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).

    Wide Angle G Lens: The camcorder features a professional-quality Wide Angle Sony G lens designed specifically for compact camcorders. It has a 29.8mm focal length (35mm equivalent) in Photo and Video modes for enhanced 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 Standard or Off, the maximum optical zoom is 55x. Combined with the digital zoom, the total zoom capability is 350x. 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.

    Global Positioning System: The CX260V is equipped with a built-in GPS which receives location data from any of the 24 GPS satellites located above the earth and records it onto your movies and photos. You can locate movies and photos with embedded GPS data on a map. You can also use the data to display a map of your current location. The camcorder can use the GPS data to automatically set the clock and the time zone.

    Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization: Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system compensates for greater degrees of camera shake to deliver smooth video from wide angle to full telephoto shooting. The 3-way Shake-Canceling adds electronic roll stability for even smoother video capture. 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-CX260V features Auto Focus and Manual Focus modes. When using Auto Focus, you can choose to focus on a subject in the center of the screen or with Spot Focus, focus on an off-centered object. If you are recording subjects other than people, you can touch the subject on the touchscreen, and the camcorder will adjust the focus automatically as it moves within the frame. For more difficult focusing situations, you can manually adjust the focus of the camcorder using the touch panel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Video Camcorder Features

    Video Recording: The HDR-CX260V records High Definition video in 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios with 4 image sizes to choose from. A Standard Definition recording mode is also available. The following recording modes are available:

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

    Built-In Zoom Mic: The built-in Zoom Microphone allows you to record sound with directivity as you move the power zoom lever. The camcorder's microphone level can be set to Low or Normal. A 3.5mm minijack is provided for connecting an optional external microphone.

    Closer Voice: When recording people and faces are detected, the Closer Voice feature records the voice more clearly. Closer Voice is only available when using the built-in microphone. It will not function when an external mic is used.

    Divide Movies: The Divide Movies feature allows you to divide movies on the internal flash memory of the camcorder or on an inserted memory card. You cannot restore movies once they are divided.

    Smooth Slow Record: Fast-moving subjects and actions which cannot be captured under ordinary shooting conditions can be shot in smooth slow-motion for about 3 seconds. The 3-second movie is recorded as a 12-second slow-motion movie.

    Golf Shot: Using the same technology as the Smooth Slow Recording, the Golf Shot feature captures a few seconds of motion as a sequence of up to 22 still images. These images can be viewed or printed individually or as a composite sequence shot image. This feature is helpful in analyzing a golf swing, tennis serve, or other fast action.

    Digital Still Camera Features

    Digital Still Image Recording: The HDR-CX260V can record still images on either the unit's built-in 16 GB flash memory or on an optional memory card (sold separately).

    Image Resolution: Still images are recorded in the following resolutions, depending upon the selected aspect ratio:

    • 16:9: 3984 x 2440, 2816 x 1584, 1920 x 1080
    • 4:3: 3008 x 2256, 2112 x 1584, 640 x 480

    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 HDR-CX260V's internal flash memory or from a memory card in a slide-show fashion.   

    Battery Information

    Battery: This unit comes with an NP-FV50 InfoLithium battery. The InfoLithium system exchanges data about its actual power consumption with the camcorder for a more accurate estimate of recording time available. Cold temperatures will increase battery consumption. The battery can be charged in the camera using the AC adapter, or via USB. The HDR-CX260V is compatible with Sony InfoLithium V-series batteries:

    Battery Image Quality Recording Time Playback Time Charging Time
    Continuous Typical AC USB
    (980 mAh)
    HD 145 min 70 min 225 min 155 min 280 min
    STD 155 min 75 min 240 min
    (1960 mAh)
    HD 300 min 150 min 465 min 195 min 545 min
    STD 325 min 160 min 490 min
    (3700 mAh)
    HD 600 min 300 min 925 min 390 min 1000 min
    STD 650 min 325 min 980 min

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

    Input and Output Notes

    HDMI: The CX260V is equipped with a mini-HDMI (Type C) output for connecting your camcorder to an HDTV. A 39" HDMI cable is included with the camcorder. You can set the HDMI output resolution to 1080p/480p, 1080i/480i, 720p/480p, 480p, or 480i, depending upon the capability of the TV's input. The Auto setting will output the signal according to the TV's capability. When connecting the camcorder to a Bravia Sync-compatible TV via HDMI, you can control play back on the camcorder by aiming the TV's Remote Commander at the TV.

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

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

    Microphone Input: A 3.5mm minijack microphone input is included for connecting an external microphone. When an external mic is connected, it takes precedence over the built-in microphone.

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

    Installed Software

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

    Our Product Research Team

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