I'm looking at the same comparison.
Pro of CX520 vs XR520
1.Sony CX520 comes with flash memory not hard drive, thus it removes the risk of hard drive crash.
2. Smaller and lighter (I don't really see this as a main pro reason to purchase this)
3. New User Interface? I have tested this but it seems as confusing as the XR520. Maybe I'm too used to buttons operated menu.
4. Personally when I tested out the XR series, I can feel the vibration on the hard drive on my palm. Although the vibration is not very pronounce, you can feel the difference when you switch to CX which doesn't have any vibration at all due to flash memory.
Con of CX520 vs XR520
1. XR520 bigger hard drive (do you need so much storage?)
2. XR has viewfinder. CX don't. It's a personal thing on viewfinder. After having a camcorder for so long, I notice that I never use the viewfinder. Reason being my usage is only taking video of family and some scenary. So for me it's ok not to have a viewfinder. Again, it depends on your usage.
3. XR user interface is different. Maybe better than CX? Maybe worst? Personally I like the XR menu a bit better than CX. Reason being it has hard button for me to press on.
4. CX is almost buttonless. All controls are done via the lcd touch-screen. If the screen is spoilt, you can't operate it anymore. You'll have to replace the lcd. For XR, at least when the lcd is spoilt, you have some buttons and viewfinder to operate it temporarily.
5. XR has Better and bigger lcd screen
Here's a link to a comparison made:
I am about to buy one of these camcorders (hdr-xr500 or hdr-cx520). They have the same price on sony web site and actually you can find the hdr-xr500 with a cheaper price on amazon. I compared 2 cameras and they are almost the same . You can compare from the link below
There are just some slight differences
hdr-xr500 has 120 GB and hdr-cx520 has 64 GB capacity
hdr-xr500 has view finder hdr-cx520 does not have
hdr-xr500 has better lcd
Only advantage of hdr-cx520 is, it is a little bit smaller
hdr-cx520 62 x 65 x 133mm and hdr-xr500 71 x 75 x 137mm and hdr-cx520 is 100 gr lighter
The point I can not understand is if hdr-cx520 has no advantages over xr500 , why sony released this new version. I can buy hdr-xr500 with a cheaper price and with some extra tools and it has 1x more recording capacity over hdr-cx520.
I want to buy the better one even it is 100-200 dollars more but I don't want to pay more and buy just a new version with no advantages.
Any comments will be usefull, please do not hesitate to make comments. Thanks in advance