Sony Handycam Sports pack SPK-HCE review: Sony Handycam Sports pack SPK-HCE

Typical Price: $499.00

Sony Handycam Sports pack SPK-HCE

(Part #: CNETSony Handycam Sports pack SPK-HCE)
3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Film the glories of the sea. Underwater microphone.

The Bad Only rated to five metres. No access to functions other than shoot, power and zoom. Not cheap.

The Bottom Line Fitting almost every recent Handycam, the Sports pack is a must-have if you're heading to the Barrier Reef. Just don't dive any deeper than five metres.

7.7 Overall


Weighing some 960 grams sans camera and measuring 159x220x148mm, the SPK-HCE is certainly not what one would call small. But, then again, there's a price to be paid for keeping water and dust away from your precious Handycam. It comes supplied with a plethora — seven, to be precise — of mounting plates, so that almost any conventionally shaped Sony camcorder from the last few generations can be snuggled up inside the Sports pack's clear plastic casing.

There's no need to align the camcorder with a set of mechanical pushers because, unlike some underwater housings we've looked at in the past , the Sports pack controls the camcorder via a digital cable that plugs into the AV socket. The case itself is pretty spartan, there's a wrist grip, a single latch locking mechanism, a swing out mirror for viewing the camcorder's LCD screen and a bunch of camcorder controls up top.


In order from top to bottom, the case's chrome-plated controls allow you to control power, mode (movie, photo, playback), zoom, photo shutter and recording. With the exception of playback, all the controls worked fine on the two Handycams we had on, umm, hand — a CX520 and an SR12.

Be warned though, most Handycam features are controlled via a touchscreen and there's no way of pushing and prodding at the screen once it's inside the Sport pack. If you've set manual focus, the incorrect exposure or white balance correction, it's tough luck — everything must be configured to your liking before jumping in the drink.

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