Sony Handycam HDR-PJ260 review: Sony Handycam HDR-PJ260

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Sony Handycam HDR-PJ260V - camcorder - flash card

(Part #: HDR-PJ260)
See all prices
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

5 stars 1 user review

The Good Easy-to-use interface and menus. Great for travellers. Hybrid storage.

The Bad Price. Projector is dim in ambient light. GPS only useful for travellers.

The Bottom Line This projector-enabled camcorder from Sony offers plenty of useful features, including a touchscreen, but is priced out of the reach of many casual videographers.

6.5 Overall

The Sony HDR-PJ260 is an impressive, reliable camcorder that fulfils all of the roles that one looks for in a handheld recording device. However, Sony has been far too ambitious in pricing its latest camera, listing it at AU$899 -- expensive for a consumer-level camcorder. At this point, it would be worth considering moving into DSLR cameras, which would out-perform the HDR-PJ260 for a slightly higher cost.

Design and features

This Sony camera's design is ordinary, with nothing special to distinguish it from other cameras in its range. One mistake that Sony made aesthetically was branding the selling points of the camera all over the surface of the device, which actually cheapens the body of the product, when it could have instead been given a sleek, minimalistic design. Explaining buttons is all very well, but endlessly listing its features on the exterior plastic is over the top.

On a positive note, the touchscreen is extremely simple to use, something that Sony has perfected over time across all of their cameras, and is a highly effective system for controlling the device.

Like many Sony cameras, the HDR-PJ260 has hybrid storage, meaning that it has 16GB of in-camera flash memory, as well as taking an external SD card. This combination of storage options is a trend of Sony's, which we find to be very valuable. If, like us, you're forgetful or in a rush most of the time, you will often forget to re-attach your SD card. The in-built memory space acts as a safeguard, so you can film onto the camera itself -- saving us from embarrassment on more than one occasion.

Let's turn now to the main selling point that Sony is pushing in this camera: the projector. Initially, we were doubtful about this idea, believing it to be a gimmick or a fad that we would tire of quickly, but we were pleasantly surprised by this particular feature. It's interesting to watch footage back on an external surface for more people to see. This is ideal for family viewings, as all can see, although finding a dark enough space to project in might be more trouble than it's worth. Ultimately, this projector is ideal for those who are actively looking for one, but, for the rest of us, it could have been removed from the camera to lower the price.

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