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Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ540

High-definition camcorder with projector and 32GB internal memory

Item # 158PJ540K

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Our take on the Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ540

Sharing high-definition video just gets easier and easier. The Sony HDR-PJ540 is a high-definition video camera, but it's also a projector. On the back of the viewscreen is a high-contrast projection lens that allows you to go from recording action to publicly sharing it in moments. Project images as large as 100" (diagonal) on a nearby wall for quick access to vacation footage, pet antics, or whatever else you've filmed. Since it has an HDMI input for compatible smartphones, video game consoles, laptops and tablets, you can also project YouTube ™ videos, photos, full-length films and more.  You'll get a clear, bright image from the 'PJ540's 25-lumen projector.

Sony HDR-PJ540 camcorder/projector with 5.1 surround microphone

The Sony HDR-PJ540 records 5.1 channel surround sound with its built-in microphone.

Big, bright images you can enjoy just about anywhere

Sharing high-definition video just gets easier and easier. The Sony HDR-PJ540 is a high-definition video camera, but it's also a projector. On the back of the viewscreen is a high-contrast projection lens that allows you to go from recording action to publicly sharing it in moments. Project images as large as 100" (diagonal) on a nearby wall for quick access to vacation footage, pet antics, or whatever else you've filmed. Since it has an HDMI input for compatible smartphones, video game consoles, laptops and tablets, you can also project YouTube videos, photos, full-length films and more.  You'll get a clear, bright image from the 'PJ540's 25-lumen projector.

Add surround sound

The 'PJ540 records images through a crisp, bright wide-angle lens, and Sony has made sure your sound will be just as vivid as anything you see on the screen. An advanced internal microphone records a movie-style 5.1-channel soundtrack to go with your images. Imagine how great it will sound if you're shooting at an outdoor event or sitting up close at a music recital. When your subject is speaking, Closer Voice technology helps keep the dialogue coming through loud and clear, and premium sound filters stop wind and other types of noise from ruining the soundscape.

Plenty of memory

Sure, this camera is compatible with external memory cards, but if you happen to run out, or — horror of horrors — forget to bring any, the 'PJ540 has 32GB of internal flash memory as well. That's nothing to sneeze at — we're talking 8 hours of high-definition recording ready and waiting for your next adventure. That's key when you're far from home, and may not know where to find an electronics store.

Go wireless for your online audience

Often, the people you love most can't be in your living room with you when you show video of baby's first steps. Fortunately, the 'PJ340 is equipped with Wi-Fi® and Near Field Communication (NFC). With a simple touch you can wirelessly transfer your files to a compatible mobile device for instant online sharing, back up your data on your PC and even enjoy your videos and photos on a TV without wires, cables or hassle.

Product Highlights:

  • 1920 x 1080 full HD camcorder with 9.2 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • built-in 25-lumen projector with micro HDMI input
  • wireless control, file transfer and backup via Wi-Fi® or NFC
  • 26.8mm wide-angle G lens
  • 3" (460,000-dot) Clear Photo Plus LCD display
  • 30X optical zoom (60X Clear Image zoom)
  • built-in 5.1 surround microphone adds lifelike sound to your video
  • balanced optical SteadyShot® image stabilization reduces camera shake
  • 32GB flash memory for up to 8 hours of recording
  • 7 internal picture effects for creative alteration of video and still photos
  • dual recording mode creates AVCHD and MP4 files simultaneously
  • rechargeable NP-FV50 battery included
  • micro HDMI cable included
  • 3"W x 2-5/8"H x 5-1/8"D
  • weight: 13.4 oz.
  • 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 rechargeable battery (6.8V 980mAh 6.6Wh)
  • AC-UUD11 AC adapter (DC output: 5V 1.5A)
  • 40" HDMI cable (Full-size HDMI on one end and Micro HDMI on other end)
  • 40" USB extension cable (Male Type A USB on one end and Female Type A USB on other end)
  • Operating Guide (Eng)
  • Instruction Manual (Span)
  • Limited Warranty card (US)
  • Consumer Warranty card (Can)
  • Product registration card (US)
  • Product registration card (Can)
  • Accessories brochure

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-PJ540 Full HD camcorder can record video and photos onto Memory Stick Micro (Mark2) memory cards up to 16 GB in capacity, as well as Class 4 or faster microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC Memory Cards up to 64 GB. In addition, the camcorder has a 32 GB internal memory (actual usable memory capacity: 31.1 GB). The built-in memory can store up to 8 hours of high definition video (HD LP mode).

3" LCD Screen: The 3" Clear Photo Plus LCD touch screen provides excellent viewing clarity with improved resolution. The 460,800-dot (960 x 480) LCD screen rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles providing sharp and detailed images for monitoring or playback. In addition, you can use the touch screen to select faces and objects to keep in focus while you record, plus navigate through the menu settings. 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 include a separate viewfinder.

Projector: The PJ540 allows you to share your movies or photos virtually anywhere with its built-in high contrast (1500:1 contrast ratio), 13-lumen projector. The DLP projector is built into the LCD panel, and is powerful enough to project a 100" diagonal screen. It has a 640 x 360 resolution, manual focusing, and a throw distance of 1.6 feet and over. With the micro-HDMI input, you can connect external video sources, such as smartphones, laptops, or tablets. With a fully charged battery pack, the PJ540 can project continuously for about 1 hour 35 minutes.

Imaging Device: The HDR-PJ540 features an advanced 1/5.8" (3.1mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS imaging sensor with 2,510,000 gross pixels. The 2,290,000 effective video pixels provide excellent detail and clarity. The unique image processing system of Sony's BIONZ allows still image resolution equivalent to a maximum of 9.1 megapixels (4032 x 2272).

Sony Type G Lens: The camcorder features a professional-quality 26.8mm wide-angle Sony Type G lens designed specifically for compact camcorders.

30x Optical and 60x Clear Image Zoom: The PJ540 has a 30x optical zoom and a 60x Clear Image Zoom. While most digital zooms electronically crop the picture to get closer to the subject, the Clear Image Zoom uses advanced processing to double the optical zoom. The processor compares patterns found in adjacent pixels and creates new pixels to match selected patterns, which results in more realistic, and clearer images. In addition to the Clear Image Zoom, you can activate the Digital Zoom for a total zoom value of 350x.

Built-in Wi-Fi: The HDR-PJ540 has built-in Wi-Fi, enabling you to connect the camcorder wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet, computer, or TV. You can load the PlayMemories Mobile app (available for Android on Google Play or for iOS devices from the App Store) on your smartphone or tablet and turn your device into a remote control/viewing device. You can also transfer your MP4 movies and photos to your mobile device wirelessly for instant sharing. When the camcorder is connected to your network, you can back up your files to your computer, or watch your videos and photos on your connected TV.

Near-Field Communication (NFC): For Android devices that support NFC, you can wirelessly connect the camcorder via NFC One-Touch Connection. By touching the camcorder to the device at the "N" logo near the hand strap, the wireless connection is made. The PlayMemories Mobile app will start up on the device within a second or two.

Balanced Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization: Balanced Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization with Active Mode goes a step beyond Optical SteadyShot. Instead of moving the lens inside the optical block, Balanced Optical SteadyShot moves the entire optical block at once, which maintains the optical path while reducing camera shake. The result is lower distortion in videos and still photos, and a reduction of vignetting on the edges of the scene.

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-PJ540 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. The minimum focus distance is approximately 0.4" (1 cm) at wide angle and 31.5" (80 cm) at telephoto.

Intelligent Auto Mode: Intelligent Auto mode analyses the scene and automatically selects from ten different scene modes, as well as wind noise reduction. There are 60 possible combinations, including Portrait, Baby, Walk, Tripod, Backlight, Landscape, Spotlight, Twilight, Macro, and Low Light.

Picture Effects: You can create expressive photos and videos with the 7 built-in picture effects: Toy Camera, Pop Color, Soft High Key, Partial Color, Retro Photo, High Contrast Monochrome, and Posterization.

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.

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-PJ540 records High Definition and Standard Definition video in 16:9 aspect ratios with  image sizes to choose from. Movies can be recorded in MOV format (MPEG4-AVC/H.264 AVCHD 2.0) or MPEG-4 mode. 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 or 24p 16:9
FH 17 Mbps 1920 x 1080/60i or 24p 16:9
HQ 9 Mbps 1440 x 1080/60i 4:3
LP 5 Mbps 1440 x 1080/60i 4:3
Standard Definition
HQ 9 Mbps 1920 x 1080 16:9
MP4 3 Mbps 1280 x 720/30p 16:9

Dual Video Recording: By default, movies are recorded with the HD format and MP4 format at the same time. High definition MOV format movies are best viewed on an HDTV, while MP4 video can be easily uploaded to social media sites, emailed, or uploaded to the internet.

5.1-channel Surround Microphone: The PJ540 is equipped with Dolby Digital 5.1-channel recording to capture sounds coming from all directions. Other audio features include Auto Wind Noise Reduction, Premium Closer Voice, and My Voice Canceling (which supresses the voice of the person recording the movie), can enhance the audio quality of your recordings.

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: 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:

  • 4032 x 2272 (16:9)
  • 3024 x 2272 (4:3)

Capturing Still Images From Video: You can capture still images from recorded video. The image size is fixed at 2.1MP 1920 x 1080. 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-FV50 InfoLithium rechargeable battery (6.8 Volts, 980 mAh, 6.6 Wh). The battery can be charged in the camera via USB in approximately 2 hours 45 minutes using the supplied AC adapter. You can also charge the battery in 5 hours 5 minutes via USB using your computer. A fully charged battery provides approximately 155 minutes of continuous recording time, 75 minutes typical recording time, or 240 minutes playback time.

Power Save: You can choose from Standard or Maximum Power Save modes, which turns off the camcorder after a period of time when it is idle. Power Save mode can be turned off, if desired.

Input and Output Notes

HDMI: The PJ540 is equipped with a micro-HDMI (Type D) output for connecting your camcorder to an HDTV. A 40" HDMI cable is included with the camcorder. You can set the HDMI output resolution to Auto, 1080p, 1080i, or 720p. 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.  In addition to the micro-HDMI output, the camcorder has a micro-HDMI input (Projector In) for connecting external video sources that have an HDMI output, such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops.

Microphone Input/Headphone Output: The camcorder has a 3.5mm input for connecting an external stereo microphone. In addition, a 3.5mm output has been provided for connecting a pair of headphones, allowing you to monitor the audio of your videos during recording or playback. You can also connect an external (powered) speaker to the headphone output.

Multi Interface Shoe: On top of the camcorder is the Multi Interface Shoe for attaching compatible accessories, such as video lights (HVL-LEIR1) and microphones (ECM-W1M, ECM-GZ1M, ECM-XYST1M).

Multi Connector: The camcorder features a proprietary Multi Connector for use with the optional VMC-15MR2 AV connecting cable (available separately from Sony) for displaying the camcorder's contents on your non-HD television. You can change the aspect ratio of the camcorder's video output from 16:9 or 4:3 according to the screen aspect ratio of your TV. You can also choose to display the camcorder's information, such as the time code on the screen of your TV during playback from the camcorder. The optional VMC-15MR2 AV cable has a proprietary plug on one end and male stereo RCA audio, and RCA composite video connections on the other end. The Multi Connector can also be used to connect the optional RDP-CA2 Portable Speaker.

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.


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

PlayMemories Mobile App: The PlayMemories Mobile App is available for Android devices from Google Play, and for iOS devices from the Apple App Store. The app is required for making Wi-Fi connections to your mobile device, and is compatible with devices running Android 2.3 to 4.4 (for NFC One-touch functions, Android 4.0 or higher is required). PlayMemories Mobile is also compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later.

Compatible Operating Systems: PlayMemories Home is compatible with the following Operating Systems: Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7 (SP1), and Windows Vista¹ (SP2), and Mac OS X v10.6-10.9.

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