The electronics titans square off in a tangled tale of mobile technology, centered on Apple's iPhone
CNET editors choose the best GoPro models, action cameras, and camcorders of 2014.
Built-in image stabilization and high bitrate recording make this Sony's best Action Cam yet, but there are still a few usability quirks remaining.
The Sony Alpha SLT-A77V is an excellent, well-designed camera for deep-pocketed amateurs; it nevertheless has a few limitations that may make it impractical for professionals.
The Sony Handycam HDR-CX550V fares well compared with the competition, though its video could be a bit sharper and the interface less cumbersome. Unless you absolutely need to store a lot of video on the camcorder--which I don't suggest--or if have large hands that could benefit from the extra grip that the hard drive provides, the CX550V is a better deal than its hard-disk-based sibling.
The Sony Handycam HDR-XR550V fares well compared with the competition, though its video could be a bit sharper and the interface less cumbersome. Unless you absolutely need to store a lot of video on the camcorder--which I don't suggest--or have large hands and therefore could benefit from the extra grip the hard drive provides, the cheaper and nearly identical flash-based CX550V is a better deal.
The geotagging capability remains mostly a novelty, but the top-notch video quality of the Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V and HDR-CX520V make them worthy options. Because internal memory is overpriced, the HDR-XR500V is the better deal of the two, though you may want to opt for a 2010 model that supports SD cards rather than Sony's Memory Stick.
Though their geotagging capabilities are mostly novelty and their interfaces could use a complete overhaul, the top-notch video quality, performance, and consumer-friendly feature sets of the Sony Handycam HDR-XR500V and HDR-XR520V make them worthy camcorder options. Both are overpriced, but since 14 hours of recording time is plenty--especially if supplemented with flash media--the HDR-XR500V is the better deal of the two.