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Sony Handycam® HDR-TD20V

3D full-HD camcorder with 64GB flash memory

Item # 158HDRTD20

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Our take on the Sony Handycam® HDR-TD20V

This is a camcorder that presents you with an easy decision. If you choose to buy it just for its abilities as a 2D camcorder, you'll be getting a fine value. But the Sony Handycam® HDR-TD20V is more than that - it's one of the best consumer 3D camcorders you're likely to find.

The Sony Handycam® HDR-TD20V has two full-HD sensors for high-resolution 3D imaging

The Sony Handycam® HDR-TD20V has two full-HD sensors for high-resolution 3D imaging

The choice is yours

This is a camcorder that presents you with an easy decision. If you choose to buy it just for its abilities as a 2D camcorder, you'll be getting a fine value. But the Sony Handycam® HDR-TD20V is more than that - it's one of the best consumer 3D camcorders you're likely to find.

Get the full picture

What do we mean by full picture? Let's look at one essential specification: dual, full HD (1920 x 1080) sensors, fed by dual Sony "G" wide-angle lenses. So many camcorders on the market split an HD signal into two 960 x 540 streams managed by one sensor, thereby halving your resolution when you look at the combined output. But the 'TD20V essentially captures two full-size HD frame sizes, so the final output has every bit as much resolution as two normal 2D HD signals. This creates immersive 3D captures with outstanding clarity, color fidelity, and low-light performance.

Sony Handycam® HDR-TD20V camcorder

The large LCD touchscreen displays 3D images without any need for special glasses

No glasses required

And check this out: You can watch the 3D you capture on a spectacular 3-1/2" LCD screen without any need for special glasses. Your playback will feature all the depth and dimension you've come to expect from 3D technology.

Switch hitter

If you're wondering whether you can share videos with friends who might not have a 3D-capable television, you can stop worrying. With the flip of a switch, this camcorder will play back a crisp, clean 2D signal from 3D captures. And, if you decide that what you're shooting wouldn't benefit from 3D capture, or if you need to conserve your media storage by shooting in regular 2D, you can use that same dedicated switch on the back of the 'TD20V to make it perform like a standard HD camcorder.

Memory for your memories

The Sony HDR-TD20V comes with a generous 64GB of built-in flash memory. That's enough for up to 5 hours of high-quality 3D shooting, or 25 hours of 2D HD video at the LP setting. And it takes Sony Memory Sticks and SD/SDHC/SDXC cards for even more flexibility when you can't stop the event.

Some fancy tricks, too

The 'TD20V is loaded with creative options you'll want to explore. 180 different scene combinations are available from Sony's Intelligent Auto mode, so you'll always have the right setting no matter what your surroundings and light give you. The Golf Shot option will turn a few seconds of time into 22 discrete still images, so you can take a quick moving event and dissect it for detailed analysis. Improve your audio, either by using the on-board zooming 5.1-surround mic, or by attaching a specialized shotgun or lavalier-type microphone for professional sound results.

Product Highlights:

    Storage and Formats:
    • records high-definition video to optional Memory Stick® PRO Duo or SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards
    • 64GB of on-board flash memory will store up to 25 hours of HD video, and up to 5 hours of HD 3D video
    • maximum video resolution: up to 1920 x 1080/60p (2D), 1920 x 1080/60i (3D)
    • 2 x 1/3.91" (4.6mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensors for substantially improved detail and low light performance
    • Optical Steady Shot™ image stabilization compensates for hand-held camera shake
    • Dual Wide Angle Sony G 10X optical zoom lens (17X extended mode; digital zoom [2D only] to 160X)
    • captures 20.4-megapixel still images in photo mode
    • on-board flash for still shooting
    • built-in GPS tags your shooting locations and updates your system clock
    • Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel audio from built-in zoom microphone
    • 3D-ready 3.5" Xtra Fine LCD™ (1229K dots) widescreen touch-panel LCD enables you to watch 3D without special glasses
    • face detection mode with Smile Shutter™ ensures that you will capture the fun times (2D only)
    • 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 and headphone output (stereo minijack)
    • Active Interface Shoe hosts intelligent accessories like external microphones and lights
    • 3D ready mini HDMI output (cable included) for watching your videos on an HDTV
    • AC adapter/charger and rechargeable lithium ion battery (NP-FV70)
    • A/V connecting cable
    • remote control
    • includes power cord
    • manual and software DVD
    • 2-1/2"W x 2-7/8"H x 5-1/4"D
    • weight: 16.2 oz. without battery
    • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • 3D Digital HD video camcorder
    • RMT-835 Wireless remote control with installed CR2025 Lithium battery
    • NP-FV70 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (6.8V/2060mAh/14.0Wh)
    • AC-L200D 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)
    • 7" USB adapter cable (with male USB Mini-B 2.0 connector on one end and a female Type A USB 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
    • Warranty Sheet

    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    LCD Screen Size (inches) 3.5
    Viewfinder None
    Total Pixel Count 5,430,000
    Effective Pixel Count for Video 5,020,000
    4K Video ---
    High-Definition Yes
    Aspect Ratio 16:9, 4:3
    Manual Focusing Yes
    Filter Diameter N/A
    Optical Zoom 10 x
    Digital Zoom 16 x
    Night Imaging No
    Image Stabilization Optical + Digital
    Built-in Video Light Yes
    Built-in Memory 64GB Flash Memory
    Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery 235 min
    Digital Still Camera Features
    Effective Pixel Count for Stills 5,020,000
    Built-in Photo Flash Yes
    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) 19.6
    Width (inches) 3-3/8
    Height (inches) 2-1/2
    Depth (inches) 5-5/8
    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

    3D Digital HD: The Sony HDR-TD20V utilizes two Full HD sensors to capture true 1920 x 1080 3D video. Most 3D cameras achieve the 3D effect by splitting the 1920 x 1080 signal into two 960 x 540 channels in order to squeeze them onto one sensor, thereby limiting resolution on the final output. 3D video can be viewed directly on the 3.5" LCD without the need for 3D glasses.

    Internal 64 GB Flash Memory: The HDR-TD20V has an internal 64 GB flash memory which will allow you to record up to 25 hours of 2D HD video footage (HD LP mode) or 5 hours of 3D HD video. Because a portion of the flash memory is used for system management and/or application files, the actual media capacity is approximately 59.6 GB.

    Memory Card Slot: In addition to the built-in 64 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.

    3.5" Touch Panel LCD Screen: The 3D-ready 3.5" touch panel Xtra Fine LCD screen with TruBlack technology provides excellent viewing clarity with improved resolution. You can view 3D video on the LCD screen without the need for 3D glasses. The high resolution 1,229,000 dot (2562 x 480) 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: The camcorder does not have a separate viewfinder.

    Imaging Device: The HDR-TD20V features an advanced 1/3.91" (4.6mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS imaging sensor with 6,650,000 gross pixels. The 6,140,000 effective video pixels provide excellent detail and clarity. The unique image processing system of Sony's BIONZ and ClearVid pixel array allow still image resolution equivalent to a maximum of 20.4 megapixels (6016 x 3384).

    Dual Wide Angle G Lenses: The camcorder features two wide angle G lenses for superior optical performance, accurate color reproduction, and sharp detailed images. It has a 29.8mm-298 focal length for 2D video and photos, and 33.4-400mm for 3D videos for enhanced wide angle shooting.

    Zoom: The camcorder has a 10x optical and 12x extended zoom for 3D videos. The zoom for 2D video is 10x optical and 17x extended (with Active Steady Shot). Combined with the digital zoom, the total zoom capability is 120x. 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 TD20V 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.

    Active Interface Shoe: The Active Interface Shoe located on the top of the camcorder supplies power to accessories such as a video light, a flash, or a microphone. The accessory is turned on and off as you open and close the LCD screen of the camcorder.

    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-TD20V 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, Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Sunrise & Sunset, Fireworks, Landscape, Portrait, Spotlight, Beach, and Snow.

    CinemaTone: For extra control over image expression, CinemaTone technology is used to deepen the color to re-create film-like color tones. Combined with 24p recording, you'll have some of the tools you'll need for cinematic expression.

    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 (5800K): The white balance is adjusted for the following conditions: Outdoors, night views, neon signs and fireworks, sunrise, sunsets, under daylight fluorescent lamps.
    • Indoor (3200K): 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-TD20V records 3D and 2D High Definition video in 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios with various image sizes and bit rates to choose from. A Standard Definition recording mode is also available. The following recording modes are available:

    Image Quality Bit Rate Pixels Aspect Ratio
    3D High Definition
    3D Movie 28 Mbps 1920 x 1080 16:9
    2D 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 5.1-channel Mic: The built-in 5.1-channel microphone captures sounds coming from all directions to allow you to experience your home videos the way they were experienced in real life. A 3.5mm minijack is provided for connecting an optional external stereo 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-TD20V can record still images on either the unit's built-in 64 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: 6016 x 3384, 4224 x 2376, 1920 x 1080, 640 x 360 (movie capture)
    • 4:3: 4512 x 3384, 2592 x 1944, 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-TD20V's internal flash memory or from a memory card in a slide-show fashion.   

    Battery Information

    Battery: This unit comes with an NP-FV70 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-TD20V is compatible with Sony InfoLithium V-series batteries:

    Battery Image Quality Recording Time Playback Time Charging Time
    Continuous Typical AC USB
    (980 mAh)
    3D 70 min 35 min 110 min 155 min 280 min
    HD 105 min 50 min 130 min
    STD 110 min 55 min 140 min
    (1960 mAh)
    3D 150 min 75 min 235 min 195 min 545 min
    HD 220 min 110 min 270 min
    STD 235 min 115 min 290 min
    (3700 mAh)
    3D 300 min 150 min 470 min 390 min 1000 min
    HD 440 min 220 min 535 min
    STD 470 min 235 min 580 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 TD20V 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. 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.

    USB: The camcorder has a USB Mini-B 2.0 output, an adapter cable, 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.

    Headphone Output: The camcorder has a 3.5mm stereo minijack for use with headphones. When headphones are plugged in, the camcorder's speaker is muted.

    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

    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.

    Staff Reviews

    Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

    Amazing 3D screen

    Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 4/30/2012 2:30:00 PM

    It's one thing to shoot in 3D -- it's another to actually see what the results will be in real time. When I flipped the setting on the camcorder from 2D to 3D, the monitor screen changed as well. It changed to a 3D mode that had the same apparent depth that I would see on an HDTV with 3D glasses. A definite help in planning out shots.

    There's also an indicator in the corner of the screen for the audio pickup. It shows the orientation of the 5.1-channel surround sound speakers (left and right front, left and right rear, and center). A bar graph for each source indicates how much audio's going to each channel. This helped me see the shape of the soundfield I was recording as I was shooting.

    Did I mention it's a great 2D camcorder, too?

    What are the Labs?