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Sony DCR-SX83 Handycam®

Standard-definition camcorder with advanced image sensor and 16GB flash memory

1 Review

Item # 158SX83

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Our take on the Sony DCR-SX83 Handycam®

Now you can make sure your child stays in focus during the school play, no matter how many other kids are on the stage. With this Handycam's face detection/face priority feature, it's as simple as touching his image on the LCD touchscreen. The camcorder will make your child the priority and remember his face even when he leaves the frame and returns later.

Now you can make sure your child stays in focus during the school play, no matter how many other kids are on the stage. With this Handycam's face detection/face priority feature, it's as simple as touching his image on the LCD touchscreen. The camcorder will make your child the priority and remember his face even when he leaves the frame and returns later.

The DCR-SX83 also has Sony's advanced Exmor R sensor that delivers excellent detail — even in low-light situations. This back-illuminated sensor was first developed for digital SLR cameras, and it not only lets in twice as much light, but it also cuts down on digital noise that can obscure images taken in dim settings.

The cam has built-in 16GB flash memory, and you can add Memory Stick® PRO Duo™ or SD memory cards for more storage.

Product Highlights:

    Storage and Formats:
    • records standard-definition video to 16GB built-in flash memory
    • built-in memory holds approximately 4 to 12 hours of video, depending on the settings
    • also records to optional Memory Stick PRO Duo or SD or SDHC memory cards
    • maximum video resolution: 720 x 480
    • 4.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor for improved detail and lower noise (1.35 effective)
    • 25X optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 300X)
    • digital photo mode
    • quick autofocus — two times faster than previous models
    • built-in zoom microphone with Dolby® Digital 2-channel audio
    • SteadyShot® image stabilization
    • 2-11/16" widescreen touch-panel LCD
    • face detection lets you assign priority in the frame to one subject
    Inputs and Dimensions:
    • high-speed USB port for transferring video to a compatible computer
    • audio/video output
    • 2-1/8"W x 2-1/4"H x 4-1/2"D
    • weight: 8 oz. with battery
    • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • AC adapter/charger
    • rechargeable lithium ion battery (NP-FV30)
    • A/V and USB cables
    • Picture Motion Browser software for transferring and copying videos (Windows® only)

    What's in the Box:

    • Digital camcorder (silver)
    • NP-FV30 Lithium-ion battery (7.2V/500mAh)
    • AC-L200D AC adapter with attached 67" DC output cord (DC Output: 8.4V/1.7A)
    • 5' 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)
    • 62" USB cable (with Type A USB connector on one end and Mini B 2.0 connector on the other end)
    • Sony Handycam software on CD-ROM
    • Operating Guide (English/Spanish)
    • Limited Warranty card
    • Online Product Registration card
    • Accessories brochure

    Sony DCR-SX83 Handycam® Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (1 Review)


    Larry from Caro, Michigan on 1/19/2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The camera looks like it has good features. This was a Christmas purchase for our family and when we received it the camera did not work. The auto-focus did not funtion and there as an error messge on the display scree. We are currently waiting on a replacement camera. This has been reported to the Crutchfield associates.




    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

    Internal 16 GB Flash Memory: The Sony DCR-SX83 has an internal 16 GB flash memory which will allow you to record video and still images. Because a portion of the flash memory is used for system management and/or application files, the actual media capacity is approximately 15.5 GB.

    Memory Card Slot: In addition to the 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, as well as SD and SDHC Memory Cards. Memory Cards of up to 32 GB are compatible. Memory cards of 512 MB or larger are recommended for recording video.

    2.7" Touch Panel LCD Screen: The 2.7" Clear Photo touch panel LCD 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 DCR-SX83 features an advanced 1/4" (4.5mm) "Exmor R" CMOS imaging sensor with 4,200,000 gross pixels. The 1,350,000 effective video pixels provide excellent detail and clarity. The 1,570,000 effective still pixels in 4:3 and 1,180,000 effective still pixels in 16:9 mode provide exceptional digital still photography performance.

    Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar Lens: The camcorder features a professional-quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens designed specifically for compact camcorders.

    Zoom: The camcorder has a 25x Optical Zoom for bringing your subject up close. Combined with the 12x digital zoom, the total zoom capability is 300x. 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.

    Face Detection: The camcorder's Face Detection technology recognizes faces and optimizes the camera settings for videos and still photos. You can set the face detection priority to detect a child's face or an adult's face. When Smile Detection is activated, the shutter is automatically released when the camcorder detects a smile. 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 DCR-SX83 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 recorded subjects as close as 15 inches 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 DCR-SX83 features the following Exposure Modes:

    • Scene Select Modes: The following Scene Select modes are available to suit your specific shooting requirements:
      • Twilight: maintains the darkening atmosphere of the distant surroundings in twilight scenes
      • 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: 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.

    Guideframe: The Guideframe 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.

    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.

    Lens Cap: The built-in lens cap opens manually with a switch located on the side of the lens.

    Video Camcorder Features

    Video Recording: The Sony DCR-SX83 has a 16 GB built-in flash memory, and supports Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD/SDHC media (sold separately) for recording video. The camcorder records at a resolution of 720 x 480 pixels with Dolby Digital 2-channel audio using the built-in microphone. You can select a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio for your video recordings. You have three choices of video recording resolution quality: HQ, SP, and LP. The approximate recording time for each recording mode is:

    9 Mbps
    6 Mbps
    3 Mbps
    16 GB
    Built-in Flash Memory
    3 hrs 55 min 5 hrs 40 min 11 hrs 55 min
    32 GB
    Memory Card
    7 hrs 55 min 11 hrs 25 min 23 hrs 55 min

    Movie Dubbing: You can dub movies recorded on the internal flash memory to an inserted memory card within the camcorder without the use of a PC or other external dubbing device.

    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 camcorder's microphone level can be set to Low or Normal.

    Film Roll Index: Like chapters in a book, Film Roll Index helps you easily find desired scenes in video footage. When using this feature, the camcorder previews the beginning of scenes and can create scene indexes set at specified display intervals (3, 6, or 12 seconds and 1 or 5 minutes).

    Create Playlist: You can create a playlist of your favorite videos for playback using the internal flash memory or optional memory card. A Playlist is a list showing thumbnails of the movies that you have previously recorded and selected. The original movies are not modified even though you edit or delete the movies in the Playlist.

    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.

    Digital Still Camera Features

    Digital Still Image Recording: The DCR-SX83 can record still images on either the unit's built-in 16 GB flash memory or on an optional memory card (sold separately). Still images are recorded on the internal flash memory in the default setting.

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

    Image Size Aspect Ratio Resolution
    3.1M 4:3 2048 x 1536
    2.4M 16:9 2048 x 1152
    1.9M 4:3 1600 x 1200
    0.3M 4:3 640 x 480

    Dual Recording: When you are in the movie recording mode, you can also record photos by pressing the Photo button on top of the camera. If you are shooting movies in 16:9, the photo will be 2.7M (2208, 1244). If you are shooting in 4:3, the photo will be 2.1M (1664 x 1244).

    Capturing Still Images From Video: You can capture still images from recorded video onto the internal flash memory or an optional memory card. The image size is fixed depending upon the aspect ratio of the movie: 0.2M (640 x 360) in 16:9 or 0.3M (640 x 480) in 4:3. 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.

    Copying Still Images: You can copy still images from the camcorder's internal flash memory to an inserted memory card within the camcorder.

    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 DCR-SX83's internal flash memory or from a memory card in a slide-show fashion.

    Battery Information

    Battery: This unit comes with an NP-FV30 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 DCR-SX83 is compatible with Sony InfoLithium V-series batteries:

    Battery Recording Time Playback Time Charging Time
    Continuous Typical
    (500 mAh)
    100 min 50 min 160 min 115 min
    (980 mAh)
    190 min 95 min 300 min 155 min
    (1960 mAh)
    395 min 195 min 610 min 195 min
    (3700 mAh)
    785 min 390 min 1205 min 390 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

    A/V Output: This 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. An optional A/V connecting cable with S-Video is also available.

    USB Port: The camcorder has a mini-USB Ver.2.0 jack for connecting to a PC via the supplied USB cable. Connecting the to a PC via USB allows the computer to access the information on the camcorder's internal hard disk drive. You will be able to download still images and video files to your computer. This will also allow you to back up the files recorded on the internal flash memory onto a DVD. You can edit and save your video files onto your computer, then make DVDs of them using the supplied Picture Motion Browser software. The camcorder can also be used as an external storage device, convenient for archiving, storing and transporting your videos and still images.

    Memory Card Slot: The camcorder features a memory card slot for recording video or still images using Memory Stick Pro Duo or SD/SDHC memory cards.

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

    Software and Computer Information

    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.5.00
    • 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:

    • 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 XP SP3 (64-bit editions and Starter editions are not supported)
    Windows Vista SP2
    (Starter editions are not supported)
    Windows 7
    CPU Intel Pentium III 1 GHz or faster
    Memory 256 MB or more
    Hard Disk Disk volume required for installation: 500 MB
    (5 GB or more may be necessary for creating DVD 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
    DVD burner
    CD-ROM drive (for installation)

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