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Sony Handycam HDR-CX150 photos

Sony's entry-level HD camcorders fit quite comfortably in a jacket pocket. Though more expensive and larger than a minicamcorder, these models have a lot of things those lack, including a 25x zoom lens and the ability to capture 3-megapixel stills.

Lori Grunin
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Lori Grunin
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1 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Compact design

Camcorders in this class tend to be a little small for people with large hands. You may want to consider the larger-gripped XR150 if you're one of them. It has a manual built-in lens cover, which if you're like me, you'll probably forget to use.
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2 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Controls

The zoom switch is pretty well-balanced, and comfortable for maintaining a steady zoom rate. On top, there's also a photo button and a rather hard-to-press mode button for switching between still and video.
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3 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Connectors

Beneath a door you'll find the USB and mini-HDMI connectors; the charging connector and proprietary AV jack are under a door on the outside of the body.
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4 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Minimalist controls

It has the usual set of buttons: direct DVD burn (via software when connected to a PC), playback, power, and iAuto on the body inside the LCD.
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5 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Menus

In the menu system, you can put six menu choices on a custom menu that pops up before you enter the full menu listing, with different custom menus appearing for video, still, and playback modes. I still find the straightforward but endless scrolling list confusing and tedious to navigate.

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