Pros / Its small size makes it incredibly portable.
Cons / Its ports aren’t easy to access.
Verdict / The CX405 offers very basic functionality in a compact and lightweight body. For those who need to save all the space and weight they can, this may be a good choice. Others would likely be better served by a larger, more fully featured camera.
The Sony Handycam HDR-CX405 is a portable HD camcorder that prioritizes size and weight over features and image quality. It is much more compact than anything we tested, but we sometimes found ourselves wondering if the sacrifices it makes were worth it. It’s certainly a minimalistic camera.
Much like the camera itself, the CX405’s sensor is one of the smallest in our review. Smaller doesn’t always mean worse, but larger sensors do generally perform better. In our tests, the CX405 produced decent 1080p footage at 60 fps, but it really wasn’t anything special. Many cameras in our lineup including the Canon Vixia HF-R700 and Sony Handycam CX-440 produced clearer footage and performed better in low light.
This camera’s lens is also an average performer. It features a decent 30x zoom range, which should cover anything most users would want to shoot and a typical f/1.8 lens. There was nothing particularly wrong with this lens, but with the smaller lens and some missing features, we had been hoping for more.
Lacking integrated storage, a touchscreen and a built-in light, the CX405 struggled in our ease-of-use tests. Due in part to those missing features, our test panel also preferred the menu navigation, button layout and port and card slot access of most other cameras. We did, however, appreciate this camera’s hidden USB cable, which is built into the handstrap.
The main difference between the CX405 and the slightly more expensive CX440 is that the CX405 lacks Wi-Fi connectivity. Wi-Fi makes it easy to share footage without having to transfer your footage to a PC first. Instead, you can just connect your phone and access the files you need. This is a useful feature when you're traveling or documenting time-sensitive information.
- Optical Zoom
- Still Camera Resolution
- LCD Screen Size
Sony’s Handycam HDR-CX405 is a lightweight and simple camcorder without many extra features. We appreciate its portability but were not convinced that is reason enough to choose it over cameras with better features or image quality for the same price. Still, its performance isn’t so inferior that someone who chooses this camera for its size and would be particularly disappointed.