Pros / It has integrated Wi-Fi.
Cons / It only has 30x optical zoom.
Verdict / The Sony Handycam HDR-CX440 is lightweight and easy to use. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and editing capabilities. However, it captures low caliber video.
This camcorder can hold its own against the others we tested when it comes to extra features. It just doesn’t take the best video. The HDR-CX440 can film in up to 1080p high definition resolution and take still photos as well. When we recorded video indoors and outdoors, though, all seven of the reviewers who watched the footage felt it wasn’t very good in comparison to the other camcorders we tested. Because of this, it earned an F for video quality and clarity. It did, however, have accurate color balance and earned an A for that aspect of filming.
This camcorder features 30x optical zoom, which is the best kind of zoom to use because it doesn’t degrade your image quality. This is more magnifying power than even the more expensive Panasonic HC-WXF991. If you’re OK with a little bit of a fuzzier video, the HDR-CX440 also has 60x clear image zoom and 350x digital zoom. The lens cover is manual so you’ll need to open it with a switch on the side of the camcorder when you record.
One of the interesting features of this camcorder is its integrated Wi-Fi. If you download the PlayMemories mobile app to your smartphone, you can transfer movies directly from the camcorder to your phone. Another advantage of this Wi-Fi capable machine is being able to set up your smartphone to act as the camcorder’s wireless remote. We can see this being really useful if you’d like to use this camcorder as a makeshift security camera. You can also turn on image stabilization. While these features are nice, it does lack any in-camera editing capabilities.
Accessories included with the HDR-CX440 include an AC adaptor, USB cord, HDMI cable and camera battery. Charging this camcorder takes about two and a half hours, and you’ll get almost two hours of continuous recording. With more typical camera use, including changing settings and watching videos, expect only about 55 minutes of use.
It takes a microSD card, which you can get by removing the tiny card from the bottom of any full-size SD card. While it’s always smart to have an extra SD card with you in case you fill one up, this camcorder also has 8GB of internal memory, so you’ve got some cushion if your memory card gets full. The LCD screen rotates and, like the other Sony cam we tested, the Handycam HDR-CX405, it isn’t a touchscreen so it’s less likely to get smudged. But be careful – this camcorder isn’t shockproof or waterproof, so try to keep it securely in your hand and away from any raging rapids or leaky faucets.