Sony Handycam (HDR-PJ760V)
Sony’s Handycam line of consumer photography products is known for their slick design and overall ease of access, but with the latest range of Handycam models, Sony has really overhauled the camcorders to a point that blurs the lines between consumer and professional electronics.
The Handycam HDR-PJ760V is the top of the line of the new models shy of venturing into the semi-pro market (and thus, a lot more money than anyone not trying to make a living with their filming escapades would likely want to spend). The camera is an instant eye catcher, with a sleek black design, and overall very compact. In fact, I was actually surprised at how much of a neat little package this was considering how jam-packed full of features it is. It had a slot for an SD Card (up to 64GB), but you likely wouldn’t need to use it given its own 96GB of internal memory. I particularly liked the attached USB 2.0 Cable which made for easy transport (not needing to card around any extra gear) and very easy file transferring.
Moving on to the base filming functions, the PJ760 shoots in Full HD (1920 x 1080)and takes 24.1 Megapixel still pictures, with 10x Optical Zoom. Using a progressive recording mode (as opposed to interlaced), the footage comes over exceptionally smooth and sharp, which makes for any of the more fast paced footage you may find yourself filming look great. The Balanced Optical SteadyShot provides great stability, which while ive seen this kind of tech function very poorly, actually appears almost perfect here, with me experience absolutely no issue with getting nice even images and film when I was testing the limits of the tech.
One of the finer points of the Handycam PJ760 is that it operates very well in low light situations, made even better by the inbuilt LED light and Night Shot tech.
It also records with 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, with an external mic able to be connected, and Zoom Microphone tech, which ensures you only hear whatever it is you’re filming. Coupled with the Wind Noise reduction, the PJ760 really does provide footage that sounds as good as it looks.
The camera has an in-built GPS, which’s primary use to keep track of the locations of your pictures and clips. This was one of the only issues I found with the camera – this GPS tracking system wasn’t as accurate as I would have liked. I don’t know if this had anything to do with filming in some rather remote areas, but this wasn’t always accurate, and that could inhibit some people who might have liked to really get the most out of this feature.
The PJ760 also has a great feature in a built-in Projector, which can be used to play and movies and pictures you have saved to the camera of SD Card on any surface up to 100 inches. I was very surprised by the quality this projected, which looked good even on a dull coloured wall in a half-lit room. Turn the lights off, draw the blinds and it’s even better – you get a crisp, clear image and can review your footage on the go. This is probably the biggest selling point besides the actual film quality, and I have to say that Sony have absolutely nailed it.
Finally, all of the camera’s features and goodies, from your saved footage and pictures, to the GPS coordination and projector, are all controlled by a 3 inch LCD screen. This is a touchscreen, and has awesome quality picture for when you’re filming and check back up on your content. But unfortunately, I found the actual touch technology to be very lacking. The screen got very dirty, very quick, and wasn’t very easy or enjoyable to use to navigate. The pressure sensing was off and it didn’t feel very responsive at all. It’s bad that this is what ties it altogether too, as you’re forced to use it a lot to make use of all the cool little (and big) features.
- Audio and Visual quality is astounding
- Lots of internal memory (96GB)
- Projector works a treat
- Packed full of features
- GPS was inaccurate at times
- LCD Touchscreen isn’t on par
- Intimidating price tag
At the end of the day, the asking price for this camera is a little steep at $1,899AUD, but assuming you want and will use all of the expensive gadgets, features and extras in the PJ760 (such as the projector and GPS), you are getting full value out of the package. This is a camera for the film enthusiast that wants more out of a Camcorder than just a hobby. This is a feature-rich, easy-to-use, brilliant quality camera that is definitely a market leader in consumer electronics.