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Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ50V

HD camcorder with 220GB hard drive memory and built-in projector

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Item # 158PJ50V

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Our take on the Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ50V

Share your memories everywhere you go
You're on vacation with friends in Colorado, and you want to show off the camcorder footage you took of them rock climbing. But when you gather everyone around your cam's tiny LCD screen, it's just not that fun to watch. You won't have that problem when you're using the HDR-PJ50V's built-in projector. This mobile theater can project up to a 60" (diagonal) image on any flat surface. And it comes equipped with stereo speakers, so you'll hear all the action in your videos. Record gorgeous "full HD" video or capture crisp 7.1-megapixel photos. Either way, you can be sure of sharp images filled with brilliant, accurate colors thanks to this cam's advanced image sensor. Its back-illuminated design captures more light than regular image sensors, for clearer shots with less noise.

Share your memories everywhere you go
You're on vacation with friends in Colorado, and you want to show off the camcorder footage you took of them rock climbing. But when you gather everyone around your cam's tiny LCD screen, it's just not that fun to watch. You won't have that problem when you're using the HDR-PJ50V's built-in projector. This mobile theater can project up to a 60" (diagonal) image on any flat surface. And it comes equipped with stereo speakers, so you'll hear all the action in your videos. Record gorgeous "full HD" video or capture crisp 7.1-megapixel photos. Either way, you can be sure of sharp images filled with brilliant, accurate colors thanks to this cam's advanced image sensor. Its back-illuminated design captures more light than regular image sensors, for clearer shots with less noise.

Find your high-definition videos no matter where you travel
The 'PJ50V comes with a GPS chip built in to tag your vacation movies with location information. It can also display your current position on the camcorder's flip-out LCD in case you're lost. Now when you get home, you can easily search and view your movies according to where you shot them, for faster sharing with your eager friends and family.

Easy automatic settings make filming a breeze
Whether big or small, every moment is easy to capture with this cam's automatic settings. Like the face detection mode, which recognizes the faces of your loved ones and optimizes the settings, so they look clearer with more natural skin tones. The quick auto focus locks onto your subjects fast to provide accurate and consistent focus no matter where they move in the frame. Optical image stabilization compensates for greater degrees of camera shake to deliver stunningly smooth video that you'll enjoy watching again and again. Plus, the 3" touchscreen LCD makes it easy to frame and capture your best shots.

Built-in hard drive, plus more ways to share your footage
The 'PJ50V records video and photos to a 220GB hard drive, which can hold up to approximately 92 hours of video. You can also pop in an optional memory card if you need more room on the go. The built-in USB cable makes it a breeze to transfer videos from the cam to your computer for editing and storage. Or use the mini HDMI output to share your video with friends and family on your HDTV's big screen.

    Storage and Formats:
    • records high-definition video to built-in 220GB hard drive memory
      • holds almost 92 hours of HD video at the lowest quality setting
    • also accepts optional Memory Stick® PRO Duo or SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
    • maximum video resolution: 1920 x 1080
    • 4.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS image sensor (2.65 effective) for improved detail and lower noise
    • 12X Sony G optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 160X)
    • built-in projector lets you project up to a 60" (diagonal) image on any flat surface
    • built-in GPS receiver with video tagging and map index
    • simultaneous video recording and photo capture
    • Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel audio from built-in zoom microphone (built-in speakers provide stereo playback only)
    • 3" widescreen touchscreen LCD
    • built-in flash to illuminate dim settings
    • optical SteadyShot® image stabilization with Active Mode
    • face detection mode with Smile Shutter™ still image capture for better-looking people shots
    • Golf Shot captures a few seconds of motion as a sequence of up to 22 still images
    • Intelligent Auto mode for easy filming
    • autofocus tracking locks onto a moving subject and keeps the subject in focus
    • Sony® Picture Motion Browser software for photo editing on your compatible Windows® computer
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • high-speed USB port and built-in cable for video transfer to a computer
    • mini HDMI output (cable not included) and component video output (cable included) for watching your videos on an HDTV
    • remote control
    • accessory shoe lets you add on an external mic, video light, and more
    • headphone and microphone inputs
    • also includes AC adapter/charger and rechargeable lithium ion battery (NP-FV50)
    • 3-1/8"W x 2-5/8"H x 5-1/16"D
    • weight: 14.3 oz. without battery
    • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • Digital camcorder (black)
    • NP-FV50 Lithium-ion battery (6.8V/980mAh minimum)
    • AC-L200D AC adapter with attached 67" DC output cord (DC Output: 8.4V/1.7A)
    • 62" AC power cord
    • RMT-835 Wireless Remote Control (with installed CR2025 Lithium battery)
    • 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)
    • 58" Component video cable (with 3 RCA component video plugs and stereo RCA audio plugs on one end and proprietary plug 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)
    • Sony Handycam software on CD-ROM
    • Operating Guide (Eng/Span)
    • Limited Warranty card
    • Online Product Registration card
    • Accessories brochure
    • Notes on the built-in USB cable
    • EULA for map data sheet
    • "Filmy" info sheet

    Featured Video:


    Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ50V Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (1 Review)

    Another brilliance from sony

    Allen from West Hempstead , NY on 10/28/2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    A lot of people will find this product very useful, convenient and handy. One can shoot and watch immediately using the projector. You can record for hours and hours.(Think of how much recording you can do with 220GB even in high def.) As an educator it is a must have. This handycam will also be valuable for people of different walks of life.I saved about $150.00 buying from Crutchfield when they had sale.(Thanks C'FIELD) No regret. Sony has done it again.

    Pros: A lot of GB FOR A HANDYCAM,WOW! A projector, besides it is HD from sony

    Cons: Haven't found one yet


    Hands-on research

    Product Research

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

    General Features

    Built-in Projector: The Sony HDR-PJ50V Handycam allows you to share your movies or photos virtually anywhere with its built-in high contrast projector and stereo speakers with Clear Phase technology. The DLP projector is built into the LCD panel, and is powerful enough to project a 60" diagonal screen. It has a throw distance of approximately 18" to 9'. With a fully charged battery pack, the PJ50V can project continuously for about 1.5 hours.

    Global Positioning System: The PJ50V 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.

    Recording Media: The HDR-PJ50V can record video and photos onto its internal 220 GB hard disk drive (HDD). There is also a slot for 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" Clear Photo LCD Plus touch panel display provides excellent viewing clarity with improved resolution. The high resolution 230,400-dot (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-PJ50V features an advanced 1/4" (4.5mm) "Exmor R" CMOS imaging sensor with 4,200,000 gross pixels. The 2,650,000 effective video pixels provide excellent detail and clarity. For still images, the unique pixel array of Sony's ClearVid and the Bionz image processing system allows the camera to produce the equivalent of 7.1 Mega-pixel resolution (3072 x 2304).

    Sony G Lens: The camcorder features a professional-quality, wide-angle F1.8-3.4 Sony G lens for superior optical performance. The lens delivers brilliant, accurate color reproduction and detailed images.

    Zoom: The camcorder has a 12x Optical Zoom (17x extended optical zoom) for bringing your subject up close. Combined with the digital zoom of approximately 13.3x, the total zoom capability is 160x. 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.

    Note: When SteadyShot is set to Active, the optical zoom is limited to 12x (no extended optical zoom).

    Optical SteadyShot Picture Stabilization: The Optical SteadyShot picture stabilization system uses innovative 3-way shake-canceling and electronic roll stability to eliminate unwanted picture shake without compromising picture quality. 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. You can select which faces (children or adults) you want to detect with priority, if desired.

    Focus Modes: The Sony Handycam HDR-PJ50V 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.
    • 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 record subjects as close as 9-7/8" in Tele-Macro mode.

    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.

    Exposure Modes: The Sony Handycam HDR-PJ50V features the following Exposure Modes:

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

    White Balance Adjustment: You can adjust 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. The grid divides the frame into 9 areas (3 x 3).

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

    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 Sony HDR-PJ50V Handycam records high definition video in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (AVCHD) and standard definition video in MPEG2-PS. You can select a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio and 60p or 60i frame rate for HD recordings. You have several choices of video resolution quality: PS, FX, FH, HQ, and LP. The approximate recording time for each recording mode is:

    Recording Mode4 GB
    Memory Card
    16 GB
    Memory Card
    32 GB
    Memory Card
    220 GB
    Internal HDD
    High Definition
    60p Quality
    PS (28 Mbps)
    1920 x 1080
    15 min75 min150 min18 hrs
    Highest Quality
    FX (24 Mbps)
    1920 x 1080
    20 min85 min180 min21 hrs 20 min
    High Quality
    FH (17 Mbps)
    1920 x 1080
    25 min120 min245 min29 hrs
    HQ (9 Mbps)
    1440 x 1080
    50 min210 min430 min51 hrs 10 min
    Long Time
    LP (5 Mbps)
    1440 x 1080
    5.1 ch
    90 min370 min745 min88 hrs 20 min
    Long Time
    LP (5 Mbps)
    1440 x 1080
    2 ch
    90 min380 min770 min91 hrs 30 min
    Standard Definition
    HQ (9 Mbps)
    720 x 480
    5.1 ch
    50 min220 min445 min53 hrs
    HQ (9 Mbps)
    720 x 480
    2 ch
    55 min225 min460 min54 hrs 30 min

    Fader Modes: You can record a transition between scenes, using a white fader or a black fader.

    Built-In Zoom Mic: The built-in Zoom Microphone allows you to record sound with directivity as you move the power zoom lever. The Zoom Mic feature can be turned off, if desired. The microphone reference level can be set to normal or low. If you encounter wind noise on the audio track while recording, you can reduce the effect by activating the Wind Noise Reduction feature.

    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.

    Dual Recording: You can record high quality photos during movie recording. The photos are 3072 x 1728 when recording in 16:9 or 2304 x 1728 when in 4:3.

    Capturing Still Images From Video: You can capture still images from movies recorded with the camcorder. 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. The image size is fixed, based on the image quality of the movie:

    • High Definition (16:9): 2.1M (1920 x 1080)
    • Standard Definition (16:9): 0.2 M (640 x 360)
    • Standard Definition (4:3): 0.3 M (640 x 480)

    Divide Movies: The Divide Movies feature allows you to divide movies on the inserted memory card. You cannot restore movies once they are divided.

    Highlight Playback: The camcorder can select scenes at random, puts them together, and plays them back as a digest of your HD movies and photos with music and visual effects. You can set the playback range of the highlight from the saved movie clips on the memory card, select a theme, and use music or the original sound. If you like the Highlight Playback, you can save it and watch it repeatedly.

    Digital Still Camera Features

    Image Resolution: Still images are recorded in the following resolutions:

    • 4:3 / 7.1M: 3072 x 2304
    • 16:9 / 5.3M: 3072 x 1728
    • 4:3 / 1.9M: 1600 x 1200
    • 4:3 / VGA (0.3M): 640 x 480

    Images Stored on Memory Card: The number of highest resolution photos that can be stored on a memory card or on the internal memory is as follows:

    Memory Capacity7.1M (4:3) Photos
    2 GB Memory Card560
    4 GB Memory Card1100
    8 GB Memory Card2250
    16 GB Memory Card4500
    32 GB Memory Card9200
    Internal 220 GB HDD40,000

    Smile Shutter: When the Smile Shutter feature is activated, the camcorder takes a still photo automatically when a smile is detected. The Smile Shutter can be activated only during movie recording (Dual Capture), or can be "Always On," capturing a photo whenever the camera is in recording mode. You can set the "Smile Sensitivity" at Normal Smile, Slight Smile, or Big Smile.

    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-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 HDR-PJ50V is compatible with Sony InfoLithium V-series batteries:

    BatteryImage QualityRecording Time
    Playback Time
    Charging Time
    (980 mAh)
    (1960 mAh)
    (3700 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 Output: The HDR-PJ50V is equipped with a mini-HDMI (Type C) output for connecting your camcorder to an HDTV. 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: This camcorder features a proprietary Audio/Video connection for use with the supplied 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 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. Both composite and component video cables are supplied with the camcorder. When using the component video cable, you can set the output resolution to 480i, 1080i/480i, or 1080p/480i. An optional A/V connecting cable with S-Video is also available.

    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. You can edit and save your video files onto your computer, then make DVDs of them using the supplied Picture Motion Browser software.

    Microphone/Headphone Jacks: The camcorder is equipped with a 3.5mm microphone input with plug-in power. For more critical audio monitoring, a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack is provided.

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

    Software and Computer Information

    Creating a Disc: There are several methods for creating an HD or SD disc from your movies or photos. You can save HD images on a Blu-ray disc or an AVCHD-recording DVD disc. SD movies can be saved to a Standard-definition DVD. The Disc Burn function can save movies and photos to a disc automatically with one touch.

    Saving to External Devices: You can save high definition movies directly to an external device without the use of a computer. Some external devices require an optional USB Adapter cable (VMC-UAM1), others can use the built-in USB cable of the camcorder or the device, and some require the use of the supplied A/V connecting cable. In addition, you can use the camcorder's playback features to access videos stored on the external device for playback on your TV.

    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.5.5
    • Handycam Handbook
    • Product Registration

    Picture Motion Browser Software: You can enjoy the following functions after installing the supplied Picture Motion Browser Software to your PC (Windows only):

    • Creating a disc
    • Importing images to a computer.
    • Viewing and editing imported images
    • Uploading movies and photos to websites

    Computer Requirements for Picture Motion Browser (Windows Only):

    Operating System Windows 7
    Windows Vista SP2 (Starter editions are not supported)
    Windows XP SP3 (64-bit editions and Starter editions are not supported)
    PMB is not compatible with Macintosh computers.
    CPU Intel Core Duo 1.66 GHz or faster, or
    Intel Core 2 Duo 1.66 GHz or faster
    (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz or faster is required when processing FX or FH movies, and Intel Core 2 Duo 2.40 GHz or faster is required when processing PS movies)
    Intel Pentium III 1 GHz or faster is sufficient for other operations
    Memory Windows 7 or Windows Vista: 1 GB or more
    Windows XP: 512 MB or more (1 GB or more recommended)
    (256 MB or more is sufficient for processing only standard definition movies.)
    Hard Disk Disk volume required for installation: 500 MB
    (10 GB or more may be necessary for creating DVD discs, and 50 GB maximum may be necessary when creating Blu-ray discs.)
    Display/Graphics 1024 x 768 or higher
    Applications DirectX 9.0c or later
    (This product is based on DirectX technology. It is necessary to have DirectX installed)
    Others USB 2.0 Hi-Speed port
    Blu-ray/DVD burner
    CD-ROM drive (for installation)
    Either NTFS or exFAT file system is recommended as the hard disk file system.

    PMB Portable: With PMB Portable, which is pre-installed on the camcorder, you can play back or upload your images to the web by connecting your camcorder to a computer away from home. PMB Portable is compatible with Windows and Macintosh (OS X v10.5-v10.6). The supplied PMB software (on CD-ROM) is not compatible with Macintosh.

    Our Product Research Team

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    Staff Reviews

    Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

    Projector feature delivers as promised

    Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 12/23/2011 11:00:00 AM

    I have to admit, the projector feature on this camcorder is pretty cool. It only took me a minute or so to set up the HDR-PJ50V to display an image on the lab wall. When you're ready to go to projector mode with this camera, be sure to check page 32 of the manual. There are just a few buttons to press, but why waste time with trial and error?

    Just like with old-school overhead projectors, the darker the room, the better the image. But even in a partially-lit room, it was easy to make out the video. There's a sliding focus control for the projector on top of the view screen that's pretty sensitive. I didn't have to do a lot of fiddling to get the picture set right.

    I may be showing my age, but I remember the school A/V Club having to wheel overhead projectors around on metal carts. Amazing to think that this camcorder can do essentially the same thing -- and I can hold it in one hand.

    What are the Labs?