PROS / This Sony HDV camcorder features the Exmor R CMOS sensor.
CONS / A higher optical lens would enhance this camcorder.
VERDICT / The large amount of memory and high-quality images makes this device hard to beat.
Sony has produced high-quality electronics and the Sony HDR-CX550V is no exception. This HDV camcorder is dependable, provides clear pictures and offers some type of feature that everyone will enjoy. The Sony HDR-CX550V is our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award because of its still image capabilities, Exmor R CMOS sensor and its 64GB of embedded flash memory.
Video & Image Quality
The beginning or advanced photographer will find something they will love with this video capturing device. We found the images captured using this HDV camcorder stand out compared to other products on the market. The 550V has the capabilities to record 1920 x 1080 full HD video and capture 12MP (megapixel) still images. We loved the dual shot feature provided on this camera and even though many other similar products on the market today have this ability, we had no problems or hassles using this feature.
To enhance your images even more, the Exmor R CMOS sensor is offered on this product. This sensor allows you to shoot video in low light situations with much crisper images. We noticed a significant difference compared to other HDV camcorders on the market using this CMOS sensor such as little grain in the images and high image clarity. Although aside from using this sensor for low light conditions, the 550V has a built-in flash for added light and to reduce shadows.
A feature we liked on this HDV camcorder was its X.V. color technology. This allows the camcorder to capture twice as many colors as the standard RGB range. This feature made the images pop and made them feel more real. If the image quality is important to you, this is a device that you will want to consider.
Optical SteadyShot with active mode is provided on the Sony product. This reduces shaking in the video that results from jerky hand movements or bumps from the camera. In addition, this products features 2-way shake canceling which adds electronic roll stability so you have much smoother video and few bumpy shots.
We were pleased with the zoom capabilities on the Sony HDR-CX550V. The 10x optical zoom makes those far distanced objects appear much closer and the 120x digital zoom enhances that distance even more. In addition, there is a 26.3mm focal length on this HDV camcorder which gives you much more flexibility with your shooting.
The 64GB of flash memory on the Sony HDR-CX550V was a standout feature on this device. The 64GB allows the user to record and store up to 26 hours of HD video footage and 48 hours of standard definition footage. This is a significant amount of storage for a device so small and compact.
Some individuals may be a little wary of using internal storage. If so, this HDV camcorder provides the option of recording media to a removable flash media card. These must be purchased separately but has become desired features when using these types of devices. Using removable media makes it much easier to copy video or still images onto a computer. This makes the viewing, and more importantly, the editing of video and still images much easier and more efficient.
One of the features that blew us away on this Sony product was the built-in GPS receiver. This feature allows the user to track where they are currently located and also the location of the footage taken. The HDR-CX550V allows you to do this using the LCD map display and also allows you to tag your shooting locations. We found this feature ideal for travelers and those who want to capture those vacation moments.
Of course, you can’t have a superb camcorder without a superb display. The HDR-CX550V comes with a wide-angle G lens. The images, that resulted from using this lens, were bright, clear and vivid. Also, this Sony product has a USB 2.0 interface which makes loading images and video from the camera much more efficient. We found useful the active interface shoe feature located on the device which allows you to mount other accessories, such as lights and microphones, to the exterior of your camera to enhance your device and add a little more to it’s already extensive system.
The Sony HDR-CX550 is also designed to make this camera easy and simple to use. Four playback options are located on this device such as Film Roll Index, Scene Index, Face Index and Map Index. Each are designed for simplicity of shots and to make your job, capturing video, much easier.
The Sony HDR-CX550V is the best HDV camcorder on the market. The GPS abilities, large amount of embedded memory and a vast selection of features makes this device simple, efficient, yet of high-quality. If simplicity, high-quality images and an astounding display are important to you, this is the HDV camcorder worthy of your consideration.