The Sony Handycam HDR-SR12’s big differentiator is its congenital 120GB adamantine drive, which holds added than 14 hours of video at its accomplished affection setting. Both the angel affection and the accumulator accommodation are impressive, but unless you allegation to almanac hours of video after a break, these affairs credibility may not absolve the camera’s $1300 amount (as of September 25, 2008).
Images advancing through the camera’s 0.33-inch CMOS sensor are recorded as 1920 by 1080 AVCHD files. You accept a best of four data-rate/image-quality settings, spanning 5 mbps to 16 mbps. In our abstract PC World Test Center tests, we recorded and evaluated 16-mbps AVCHD. The HDR-SR12 additionally annal standard-definition video in MPEG-2 format. Still images are adored as JPEG files.
Our board testers awarded a appraisement of Actual Able to video that the HDR-SR12 captured beneath accepted lighting, acquainted that it showed aloof a bit of blush shifting. On the added hand, low-light achievement was rated as alone Fair, bedridden by apparent inaccuracies in color, sharpness, and motion. In my hands-on use alfresco the Test Center, the Sony camcorder captured natural-looking bark tones, and footage had able activating ambit with basal ashamed blacks and blown-out whites–even back blush and adverse were changing. The congenital microphone captured able 5.1 beleaguer and two-channel stereo audio during testing out in the field.
Of the bristles tapeless camcorders we activated for our contempo ” Camcorders: High-Def, No Tape” roundup, the HDR-SR12 produced the best all-embracing results. Still, anyone gluttonous a filmlike attending should buck in apperception that the HDR-SR12 annal alone 60i (60 interlaced fields per second) video. The camera doesn’t accommodate 30p (30 accelerating frames per second) or 24p options, which are accessible for video destined for the Web (via YouTube, Vimeo, or the like) and for video with a attending afterpiece to film, respectively. Video recorded with the HDR-SR12 looks absolutely good, but it’s clearly video.
The HDR-SR12 is a simple assemblage to operate, and its optical angel stabilizer, 12X optical zoom, and autofocus all assignment actual well. The Accessible operation approach produces actual able images. Eleven arena modes awning cutting altitude alignment from Snow to Landscape to Auto (as in automatic) to Fireworks.
Sony includes a 3.2-inch flip-out LCD screen, a viewfinder, microphone and headphone jacks, and a congenital lens cover. Outputs accommodate analog standard-definition and high-def video, HDMI, and USB, and a Memory Stick breach for recording still images and video.
The accepted array accurate about 90 account of recording time per charge. The camera weighs about 1.5 pounds with battery–enough backpack to advance hand-held stability, but not abundant to annoy out your arm.
This camcorder allowances from accessible controls, too: The touch-screen LCD makes abyssal the controls accessible and permits simple book browsing and searching–a huge accessibility in appearance of the hours of video the adamantine drive can hold. The HDR-SR12’s camera ascendancy dial, which is about alert the admeasurement of a pencil eraser and sits aloof beneath the lens, offers quick admission to chiral focus, aperture, and white antithesis settings. Sony’s airheaded aren’t as able as those on added camcorders I’ve seen, but that’s a concise affair that you can affected by appliance the camera for a while.
Alas, the HDR-SR12 costs hundreds of dollars added than aggressive cameras that action beneath (but absolutely adequate) accumulator space. Sony additionally markets the HDR-SR11, which has the aforementioned appearance and the aforementioned imaging agent as the HDR-SR12, but has a 60GB adamantine drive and accordingly costs $200 beneath than the HDR-SR12.
Video is transferred to a computer via USB or a Memory Stick reader. For Windows users, Sony bundles Picture Motion Browser, a basal video-editing application. Mac users charge use iMovie ’08, the latest adaptation of Apple’s customer video editor.
Though the Sony HDR-SR12 is a actual able HD camcorder–earning additional abode on our allegory chart–it costs far added than HD camcorders that bear agnate affection and features. The key catechism for abeyant buyers is whether massive accumulator accommodation and great-quality video authority absolve the college price.
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