Sony Handycam HDR-CX220

The Good The Sony Handycam HDR-CX220 is cheap, small, and lightweight.

The Bad Poor video quality and a minimalist set of features disappoint.

The Bottom Line The only thing the Sony Handycam HDR-CX220 seems to have going for it is the low price, but "you get what you pay for" has never rung truer.

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

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Sony Handycam HDR-CX220 (Blue)
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Design
6
9
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7
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Features
6
9
9
6
9
Performance
6
8
9
8
8
Image quality
5
8
8
7
9

Review

Cheap, but you get what you pay for

I don't review as many camcorders as I used to, mostly because of limited bandwidth; cameras require a lot more of my time and there's more reader interest. Occasionally, though, readers express enough interest in a model to pop it onto my review radar. That's my rationale for looking at the Sony Handycam HDR-CX220, the replacement for the popular CX190. Popular for no reason I can fathom other than it offers a long lens at a cheap price of just under $200. With no features to speak of, a confusing interface and mediocre video quality, though, I recommend saving your money.

The CX220 is essentially the same model in terms of image quality as Sony's CX230 (8GB built-in memory), CX290 (8GB plus optical image stabilization and touch screen), and PJ230 (8GB plus built-in projector) -- they all have the same sensor and lens.

The design is typical of a traditional camcorder, and it's extremely lightweight -- one might even say flimsy-feeling. I was surprised that I managed to cram it into a loose jeans pocket when I needed an extra hand, though. It's got a built-in lens cover and a USB charging cable that tucks into the strap, which will work with any USB charger. (A shout-out to all you confused Amazon reviewers.) If you don't own a modern phone or tablet charger or have a computer to plug it into, Sony will ask you to fork over about $20 for its version or you can buy one for between $5 and $10. Rather than bundling a charger, Sony opts to include a Micro-HDMI cable for connection to a TV.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand Sony
  • Type camcorder
  • Weight 6.28 oz
  • Digital Video Format MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AVCHD
  • Optical Sensor Type Exmor R CMOS
  • Features Auto Backlight Compensation, BRAVIA Sync function, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, Dynamic Range Optimizer, Intelligent AUTO (iAUTO), PhotoTV HD, RGB primary color filter, built-in USB plug, built-in speaker, date/time stamp, takes photos while movie recording, x.v.Color technology
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model Blue

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