Sony Handycam DCR

The Good The Sony Handycam DCR-SX45, SX65, and SX85 are easy-to-use ultracompact camcorders with good active electronic image stabilization and a built-in USB cable for quick uploads.

The Bad The DCR-SX45, SX65, and SX85 produce very soft and noisy video with noticeable fringing on subjects even at small sizes. There are no mic or headphone jacks, and the electronic image stabilization won't help you with the lens fully extended.

The Bottom Line Sony's Handycam DCR-SX45, SX65, and SX85 standard-definition camcorders pack a megazoom lens at a reasonable price; one look at the standard-definition video, though, and you might regret not spending a bit more for an HD model.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 6.0
  • Image quality 5.0
6.2 Overall

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Sony Handycam DCR-SX85 (Silver)
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Design
7
9
9
7
7
Features
6
9
9
6
9
Performance
6
8
9
8
8
Image quality
5
8
8
7
9

Review

Sony Handycam DCR

The Handycam DCR-SX series is Sony's flash-memory-based standard-definition ultracompact camcorder. It's made up of three models that differ only by storage amounts: the SX45 has no internal memory; the SX65 has 4GB built in; and the SX85 has 16GB of internal storage. This review covers the SX65, however the SX85 is the best value. All of them have a 3-inch touch-screen LCD, a 60x optical zoom lens, and few cool features like a built-in USB connector for quick uploads and easy charging by computer. However, none of the features do much to improve video quality.

No, unfortunately, there's apparently no reason to make an excellent standard-def camcorder these days; the SX65's movies are mediocre at best--especially if you're watching them full-screen on a large TV or are used to the sharpness and clear details of high-definition content.

For Web use at small sizes the results are OK, though, and if you're not terribly concerned with video quality in the first place and want a reasonably priced camcorder that's easy to use, has a megazoom lens, and can fit in a coat pocket, this Sony is worth checking out.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $250
  • Brand Sony
  • Type camcorder
  • Weight 8.11 oz
  • Digital Video Format MPEG-2
  • Optical Sensor Type Advanced HAD CCD
  • Features Auto Backlight Compensation, Intelligent AUTO (iAUTO), Scene Detection Technology, USB charging, auto power save, built-in speaker, built-in USB plug, digital noise reduction, face detection
See full specs
model Silver

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