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Sony Hdr-Cx160: This is the Right HD Camcorder for You

sony hdr-cx160

Technology only keeps getting better. That means some camcorders have unbelievable features and capture imagery that would satisfy the biggest enthusiasts. With so many cameras on the market, it's difficult to discover which one is the best. Since we're in search of great cameras, we wanted to review a camcorder in detail to provide you with information of one of the most sophisticated camcorders on the market. Let's explore it in depth. 

The world of midrange HD camcorders can be hard to navigate. Tried-and-true classics like the Sony HDR-CX160 can make it easier.

I can remember a few times when I upgraded my gear and ended up wishing I’d gone for something with a bigger backing. Far too many times, I got something that either didn’t deliver as promised, or excelled in some way but did away with functions we all take for granted. With something as important as an HD camcorder, it’s wise to look at what many users have tried and recommended. That's definitely one of the best ways to get feedback about a product so that you can get a sense for it and determine if it's going to be worth your while.

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This Sony Handycam is an entry-level HD camcorder. It’s small and comes at an affordable price. Compared to its older iterations, the Sony HDR-CX160 offers higher quality footage, better zoom, and a bigger display. The hardware is better in general, and the performance has improved a bit.

Technical specs


Depth:

4.5 in

Optical Sensor:

1/4” Exmor R CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-2 and AVCHD

Effective Video Resolution:

1.67 Megapixel

Optical Zoom:

30x

Digital zoom:

350x

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, S-Video, composite video/audio

Pretty good stats overall. For an entry-level camcorder of this era, Sony HDR-CX160 holds up well.

Performance


Entry-level camcorders tend to have a somewhat awkward, clunky design and mediocre handling. This isn’t the case with Sony HDR-CX160. It’s sleek, well-equipped, and durable.

The touchscreen is larger than before, which means it’s easier to use too. It’s clear and responsive. Thanks to the fast processor, it doesn’t lag as many affordable camcorders do. There aren’t a lot of controls, and the camcorder seems more geared toward auto mode users. One slight caveat here is that the auto mode button isn’t that conspicuous.

These auto features are effective and reliable. They’re quite impressive for this type of camcorder; the auto exposure function in particular. It’s fast to respond when you go from light to darkness and back. On the other hand, the autofocus isn’t the best that Sony has produced. This could be a trade-off for the long optical zoom lens. Unfortunately, it’s when you zoom in a lot that the autofocus begins to struggle. Other than that, it should be dependable.

You get a few different recording modes. First of all, you can toggle the 1080/60p (true HD) quality. There’s a low lux mode for shooting in the dark. There are also options for slow motion and time-lapse footage. Then there’s an oddly specific mode called Golf shot, which helps you analyze your golf swing. You can also take photos, and you can set it to detect smiles and snap automatic happy portraits. But it’s worth noting that these are 3-megapixel photos, which is lower quality than what modern cellphones can accomplish.

Recording quality


The Sony HDR-CX160 is so-so at audio recording, but it comes with a 3.5mm microphone jack for those times you need good sound. It lends itself well to long recording sessions, thanks to its long battery life, 16GB internal memory, and SD card slot.

As for the video quality, it’s about average for this category. The Sony HDR-CX160 captures a decent amount of detail in 1080p mode, the sharpness is good, and the motion smoothness is great. It’s not the clearest video, but it’s good for this price range. The optical stabilizer does a good job, and the zoom is impressive. But a deep zoom makes for a somewhat shaky result without a tripod.

Users like the smooth video and great battery life. Their main complaint is that the resolution could be better. They give 3.6 stars to the Sony HDR-CX160.

How the Sony HDR-CX160 Compares to Competition

With an abundance of entry-level camcorders on the market, you can only judge them next to each other. To get a better idea of how the Sony HDR-CX160 performs, let’s compare it to key competitors. We’ve chosen the Canon Vixia HF R800, Samsung HMX-F90, and the newer Sony HDR-CX160.

How we reviewed


These reviews are the result of extensive research and comparison of user experiences from across the web. The primary source is user comments from Amazon.

Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder with Audio...
  • A 3.0-inch capacitive touch panel LCD screen that is bright and clearly visible, even outdoors in the sun, with rich,...
  • SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer helps correct camera shake quickly, so even handheld video taken at long focal...
  • The 57x advanced zoom allows you to create videos with dynamic variety, and is less likely to disrupt the action you're...

This is Canon’s low-cost HD camcorder with dual flash memory. It captures full HD 1080p video and offers special filters for a more pleasing look.

Depth:

4.6 “

Optical Sensor:

1/4.85” HD CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-4

Effective Video Resolution:

2.07 MP

Optical Zoom:

32x

Digital zoom:

1140 x

Corrections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

It has a higher overall build quality and performance than the HDR-CX160. Its video quality is also a bit higher.

Performance

Pricing

This entry-level camcorder by Samsung has somewhat different priorities. It doesn’t provide full HD video like the Sony HDR-CX160, but it excels in other aspects of performance and ease of use. It makes a better option for some hobbyists with different preferences.

Depth:

4.7 in

Optical Sensor:

1/3.2” CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-2

Effective Video Resolution:

0.92 MP

Optical Zoom:

52 x

Digital zoom:

130 x

Corrections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

The specs are lesser than those of Sony HDR-CX160 in general. However, it has certain advantages, especially for beginners.

Performance

Pricing

Sony HDR-CX405/B Full HD 60p Camcorder + 64GB Ultra MicroSDXC UHS-I...
  • SONY AUTHORIZED DEALER - Bundle Includes FULL SONY USA WARRANTY
  • Sony HDR-CX405/B Full HD 60p Camcorder (Black)
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Compact Deluxe Gadget Bag for Cameras/Camcorders

This is an upgraded version, building on the concept of the Sony HDR-CX160 but taking it further. The more modern design bumps up the video clarity a bit and allows for dual recording.

Depth:

5 in

Optical Sensor:

1/5.8” Exmor R CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MP4 and AVCHD

Effective Video Resolution:

2.29 MP

Optical Zoom:

30x

Digital zoom:

350x

Corrections:

Micro-HDMI, USB, Composite Audio/Video, Bravia Sync

The main thing that’s changed is the resolution. It’s increased by about 40 percent.

Performance

Pricing

Comparison Table

PRODUCT

DETAILS

No products found.

No products found.

No products found.

Rating:

Depth:

4.5 in

Optical Sensor:

1/4” Exmor R CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-2 and AVCHD

Effective Video Resolution:

1.67 Megapixel

Optical Zoom:

30x

Digital zoom:

350x

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, S-Video, composite video/audio

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder with Audio...

Rating:

Depth:

4.6 “

Optical Sensor:

1/4.85” HD CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-4

Effective Video Resolution:

2.07 MP

Optical Zoom:

32x

Digital zoom:

1140 x

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

PRODUCT

DETAILS

SAMSUNG HMX-F90 - Camcorder - Black

Rating:

Depth:

4.7 in

Optical Sensor:

1/3.2” CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-2

Effective Video Resolution:

0.92 MP

Optical Zoom:

52 x

Digital zoom:

130 x

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Sony HDR-CX405/B Full HD 60p Camcorder + 64GB Ultra MicroSDXC UHS-I...

Rating:

Depth:

5 in

Optical Sensor:

1/5.8” Exmor R CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MP4 and AVCHD

Effective Video Resolution:

2.29 MP

Optical Zoom:

30x

Digital zoom:

350x

Connections:

Micro-HDMI, USB, Composite Audio/Video, Bravia Sync

Pros and Cons

Are you confused by all that technical data? We can fix that with a summary of the best and worst aspects of the Sony HDR-CX160.

The primary advantage of the Sony HDR-CX160 is the built-in memory. You can record more, and you don’t always have to keep track of SD cards or tapes. It’s a very convenient camcorder in general.

The Sony Hdr-Cx160 has a so-so resolution for something that has HD printed on it. The Canon and the newer Sony both offer better video quality. But this one’s still detailed and a good choice if you need a basic HD camcorder.

Pros

  • Generous internal memory
  • Useful scene modes
  • Reliable stabilizer
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Only barely HD
  • Complicated file management

 Our Verdict

The Sony HDR-CX160 does well in most regards. The video is high-definition with smooth movement. It can zoom in far without quality loss. The display is big and clear and easy to use. Its internal memory really comes in handy when you’re shooting. The Sony HDR-CX160 is lightweight and easy to use in general.

Just like most products, this camcorder isn't perfect. It does have its drawbacks though. The video quality isn’t professional, that’s the main thing. But you can’t expect too much of an entry-level HD camcorder. Therefore, the Sony HDR-CX160 gets 3.6 stars.

We've provided quite a lot of information about this camcorder so that you can decide if it suits your needs. Let us know if there's anything that you still need to know or share your experience with this camera with us.

Samsung HMX-W300 Review – The Specs Of This Portable Camcorder

Samsung HMX-W300

If you think that the camera on your cell phone has replaced any need for a video camera or camcorder, the Samsung HMX-W300 may change your mind. Granted, some camcorders from just a few years ago seem as obsolete as an Edison Cylinder Phonograph when compared to the video capabilities of even a modestly priced smartphone. However, there are more things to consider than just pixels and convenience that might tilt you in favor of a more traditional camcorder for specific situations.

When it comes to taking simple family vacation photos, a cell phone may be all you ever need to capture those precious moments. Pictures are easy to take -- and easy to retake -- with no conversion necessary to post them on any form of social media. So why would you need a separate camcorder?

Camcorder vs. Smartphone

Consider all the rough and tumble conditions of a family vacation. Your smartphone works fine for snapshots around the dinner table at Grandma’s house. But do you want to try to make quality videos with a cell phone when you’re hiking, tubing, fishing, boating, or engaging in most any other outdoor vacation activities?

The idea of risking your expensive smartphone under these adverse conditions begins to seem somewhat impractical, if not nightmare inducing. The more stable and rugged camcorder can take much more abuse than your cell phone. Add to this the fact that the Samsung HMX-300 is waterproof and is affordable.

So, if you are looking for a simple to use, inexpensive, waterproof, robust camcorder, the Samsung HMX-300 may be just one of the most useful things you pack for your vacation.

Enter the Samsung HMX-W300

The Samsung HMX-W300 has a very lightweight feel for a rugged camcorder. It can take the bumps and dusty conditions for a week in the woods without having to be heavy and bulky. Samsung lets you choose from three colors: red, orange, or black. Its dimensions are roughly the same as an iPhone, which makes it small enough to comfortably fit in your purse, beach bag, or jacket pocket. You’ll find it light enough to hang from a wrist strap.


The HMX-W300 looks a lot like the previous Samsung W200, but it was designed to be more "water-friendly." The new plastic membrane type buttons eliminate the gap between the buttons and the camera. This feature keeps water, dirt, and debris out of the unit.


It is waterproof, all the way to a depth of up to 16 feet, which is pretty impressive. But note that it can only stay submerged for about an hour before it needs to come out. After using this camera underwater, it is essential to wash it with fresh water and allow it to dry. It is also shock resistant up to six feet so that it can take most of the bumps and knocks of your vacations far better than the average cell phone.


When you first pick it up, it may even feel a bit too lightweight at first, but keep in mind that we are not talking about a $500 professional camcorder. This unit is built to travel light and move fast.


It also wasn’t made to look like a $500 camcorder. It has the outward appearance of something more utilitarian than stylish.

Lens And Controls Configuration

The Samsung HMX W300 camcorder comes with a 4.3mm, f2.2 lens on the front and a 230k LCD display at the rear. It also comes with several waterproof control buttons to make various adjustments and change the settings. The entire unit is strategically covered with an easy to grip coating to keep it your hand instead of in the water. The zoom control and the underwater mode adjustment are also on the back.

The power button, HTML port, and microSD card port are all on the left while the USB connection is at the bottom.

What You Get In The Box

The Samsung HMX-W300 comes with a wrist strap and not much else. It does not come with a charger, because you can use any USB charger you currently have. Also, you can use the same USB charger for your cell phone or computer to get the job done.

Simple Controls

The menus and the navigation of the Samsung HMX-W300 are easy to use and simple to operate. It is not a complicated unit, and operation is quick and easy to master. One button toggles between photo mode and video mode. The main menu is also relatively simple and will get you up and running must faster than most more complicated cameras.

Features

As you may expect for the price, there are not a lot of features here to speak of. The HMX-W300 is made to be simple and easy to use.


Samsung made a huge impression with their previous model, the HMX-W200. It was also a rugged underwater camcorder, but the new version is still a bit of an improvement. The HMX-W300 can go a bit deeper underwater, it boasts of an improved button design, and it comes with a few more filters and a white balance. Unfortunately, it lacks manual exposure setting or any focus adjustment. It's not set up for fine photography, but for quick and rugged use.


That being said, it has very good image sharpness and better than average low light capability for its price.


Despite its “quick and easy’ design, the HMX-W300 does have a few tricks up its sleeve including still and video filters. You can add a fisheye mode, a retro setting, a negative setting and a few other settings that you may find interesting.


It also features 29.6mm wide-angle lens, 3x optical zoom and installed video editing software. The 3x zoom feature tends to use up your battery, so if you’re out on the water or in the wild, you may want only use it for unique shots.


The installed Intelli-Studio for Windows software has a suite of standard features. Best of all, you can run the software from the camcorder, so there’s no need to download yet another program to your computer.


One of the better options on the Samsung HMX-W300 is the pause recording feature. Instead of stopping and starting your videos, you can push the pause button for just one clip capturing your fun.


And just in case your new Samsung HMX-W300 camcorder has a manufacturing defect or does not work the way it's supposed to through no fault of your own, Samsung will replace it via the warranty on your device that lasts for an entire year, so you can rest assured that you are purchasing a product that should work properly from the moment you turn it on and start using it. You can also send your device to Samsung for repairs should you require it.

Auto Share

While it does have something called an “auto-share” feature, it may not be what you think it is. It will not connect you to a Wi-Fi connection to share your pictures and videos with social media. You must first connect your camcorder to your computer via the USB port. Once this is accomplished you may then connect to your accounts to share your images. What it does do easily is provide tagging for photos and videos during playback on the camera, which saves you some time later when uploading them to your computer.

A Few Cons

The HMX-W300 is a very good camcorder for the price, but it is not without its difficulties. When it is used in bright sunlight, the display is nearly impossible to see. This makes it not only difficult to adjust, but it’s also impossible to know if the unit is set to video recording or normal picture taking.


While this device will record video for up to two hours, it only does so for 15 minutes at a time. The recording will stop, but will start a new 15 minute video automatically. However, you could lose a precious moment because it happened between the end of one video and the start of the next one.


In addition, the audio is exceptional, but not the best.

Specifications

  • Lens: 3x Zoom
  • Image sensor type: 1/3.2" BSI CMOS
  • Display type: 2.3-inch LCD screen / 230,000 pixels
  • Video format: AAC audio and H.264 video (.MP4)
  • Video resolution: Full HD 1920x1080 30p/25p (17Mbps), HD 1280x720 30p/25p (8MBps)
  • Still image format: JPEG
  • Still resolution: 5.5MP (2720x2040) / 4:3, 3MP (2048x1536) / 4:3, 2MP (1920x1080) / 16:9, VGA (640x480) / 4:3
  • Product dimensions (W x H x D): 2.3 x 4.4 x .0.7 inches
  • Weight: 0.3 lb.
  • Power: USB battery charging
  • Software: Intelli-Studio for Windows
  • Pros

    Cons

  • Inexpensive
  • Small and comfortable to hold on to
  • Simple controls

  • Average image quality
  • “Auto share” is a bit misleading
  • Utilitarian design
  • No manual zoom
  • Getting Started

    The video below from the Carson City Library will help you get set up on the Samsung HMX-W300 with ease.

    At , the HMX-W300 is a great value. It is easy to operate, durable, and has very good picture quality. It doesn’t offer a great deal of fine tuning adjustment or manual controls. Still, you will not find a better underwater camera for shooting still pictures and video at this price.

    Samsung didn't design the HMX-W300 for photographers looking for a high-end camera for professional photographs and videos. Those of you who like to have lots of controls to fine-tune their pictures and videos might not look favorably on this model, either.

    SJCAM vs GoPro – The Best Action Camera For You

    action cameras: sjcam vs gopro

    SJCAM Vs. GoPro, which one do you think is better? If you’re a sports fanatic, or otherwise a fan of outdoor activities, chances are you’ve heard of both these action cameras. But which of the two is the best?

    GoPro and SJCAM are both highly reputable action camera manufacturers with a ton of different products on the market. GoPro seems to be the current favorite action camera company of the masses, with its ever-popular Hero and Fusion flagship models. SJCAM, on the other hand, is a newer company making waves in the industry with their SJ6 and SJ7 action cameras, as well as their SJ8 Series professional action cameras.

    So, out of SJCAM Vs. GoPro, which is better? We decided to find out.

    Action Cameras

    action cameras

    Action cameras are compact cameras that generally attach to clothing or affixed to one sort of mount or another. Typicaly built to handle a beating, as certain types of action may get a bit rough, action cameras are also usually waterproof, or at least come with a waterproof housing. Action cameras are most associated with extreme sports such as skydiving, snowboarding, skateboarding and more.

    SJCAM Vs. GoPro

    The SJCAM Vs. GoPro comparison should settle the question of which one of these industry titans is the true king of action cameras once and for all. To be as thorough as possible, we’ll be looking at every aspect possible for each of these brands including how many cameras they offer, available features, differences between flagship models, price ranges, warranty options, and accessories.

    SJCAM

    Original SJCAM SJ4000 Air 4K Wi-Fi Action Camera 16MP Waterproof DV...
    • 【100% 4K HD Action Camera】: Provides 4K/30FPS, 2.7K/30FPS, 1080P/60FPS, 1080P/30FPS and 720P/120FPS Video...
    • Comes with a waterproof case and is waterproof up to 30 m. You can take video or photos controlled by an iPad above...
    • Built-In WiFi wireless module: effective distance up to 3-5meters, apply on your phone or tablet, easily record videos...

    The SJCAM brand is an emerging leader in the action camera industry. Always evolving and developing new products to satisfy the demands of the market, SJCAM prides itself on creating and supporting high-quality cameras. The company uses nothing but the highest quality components for their products and has an eye for even the smallest details. Fully committed to their customers, SJCAM frequently releases new firmware upgrades for SJCAM owners.

    Features

    As a newcomer to the action camera market, SJCAM has had their work cut out for them. Competing with powerhouse action camera manufacturers such as GoPro, SJCAM cameras come with several top-notch features. Most notably, their flagship model, the SJ8 PRO, comes with a 12MP (megapixels) Sony IMX377 image sensor as well as an Ambarella H22 S85 chipset. Video resolution on SJCAM products peaks at 4K 60fps (frames per second) footage and still image resolutions of as high as 12MP. Display sizes range from 1.5-inch button operated menu screens to just under 2.5-inch touchscreens. SJCAM action cameras also come with other advanced features such as built-in image stabilization, extended-life lasting batteries, and compatibility with a versatile range of mounts and accessories.

    Cameras available

    SJCAM is one of the biggest up and coming names in the action camera industry. Aside from GoPro, there aren’t many brands offering such a diverse range of products. SJCAM currently produces 4K action cameras, budget action camera, 360-degree cameras, professional action cameras, dash cams, and body cams.

    4K action cameras

    SJCAM currently produces five 4K action cameras.

    No products found.

    Budget action cameras

    360 cameras

    Dashcams

    SJCAM produces dash and body cams as well.

    No products found.

    Professional action camera

    This professional action camera is the SJCAM flagship:

    • SJ8 PRO
    SJCAM SJ8 Pro 4k Action Camera WiFi Digital Ultra Full HD with...
    • 4K Ultra HD camera, equipped with SONY IMX377 recording native 4K/60PFS video and 12MP photos. shoot more wonderful...
    • USB Type-C connector, faster transfer than all previous models with external Mic-support. 1200mAh high capacity battery,...
    • Supports RAW format, you can save image files in lossless format, more convenient for post-editing, Makes it easier to...

    Flagship model

    The SJ8 Pro is the current flagship model of SJCAM, a 12MP action camera capable of recording video in 4K at 60fps. The SJ8 Pro comes with plenty of high-end features such as six-axis image stabilization, time lapse, touch screen display, manual settings and more. It has a high-quality camera body with a screw mount built-in and a battery with a long-life. Downsides of the SJCAM’s flagship model action camera include poor sound and image quality when using the waterproof housing and a lack of such a dynamic range and vivid colors as GoPro HERO6 or GoPro HERO7.

    Accessories

    SJCAM has a load of acessories available on the market. Many third-party GoPro mounts and other camera acessories also work with SJCAM products. Mounts, harnesses, chargers, memory cards and waterproof housings are among the most widely used SJCAM acessories.

    GoPro

    GoPro Hero — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch...
    • 2 inch touch screen: Quickly switch between modes, frame; The perfect shot and check out your footage on the 2 inch...
    • Waterproof + durable built tough and waterproof down to 33 feet (10 meter), Hero goes where your smartphone can't to...
    • Voice control:​ Control your Hero hands free with simple voice commands like “GoPro, start recording” and...

    The GoPro brand was first launched back in 2002 by Nick Woodman. GoPro is responsible for revolutionizing the action camera industry. Since developing their iconic HERO cameras over a decade ago, the brand has gone on to successfully developing editing software, apps, and other product lines such as Fusion and the Karma drone. GoPro is undeniably one of the most beloved action camera producers in the world.

    Features

    GoPro cameras come with some seriously impressive specs. A few of the most significant features of the latest GoPro cameras include WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, touchscreen displays with voice command options as well as the abilities to shoot upside-down and in up to 33 feet of water without any additional housings or cases. Video resolution of newer GoPro cameras is 4K60, 2.7K120, 1440p120, 1080p240. The latest GoPro cams also come with state-of-the-art built-in image stabilization, batteries with a long lifespan, and dual MP4 and H.264/H.265 video recording formats. It is safe to say that most action cameras even close to the GoPro's price range are somewhat lacking in comparison.

    Cameras available

    GoPro is no doubt one of the hottest action camera brands in recent history. The intuitive company has several extreme products available for purchase online. All of their cameras record high-resolution videos as well as detailed still images in burst mode. Newer GoPros are waterproof, and there is waterproof housing available for older models which aren’t water resistant. There are currently five signature GoPro cameras on the market:

    4K action cameras

    Flagship model

    The most current flagship model of the GoPro empire is the HERO7 Black. The camera is built more stringent than ever before and is now waterproof for up to 33 feet without extra waterproof housing. It comes with SuperPhoto, GPS, HDR, HyperSmooth Video, and connectivity to Facebook Live. HERO7 Black records 4K60 1080p240 video footage and takes 12MP still photos in burst mode. Additional noteworthy upgrades from older versions include touchscreen controls, 16 voice commands for hands-free control, as well as 8x slow motion. It also gives you the capability of live streaming.

    Accessories

    One of the things that helped make the GoPro brand so successful is the number of high-quality accessories that the company developed for use with their action cameras. Some of the most popular GoPro accessories on the market include mounts, housings, batteries, chargers, and harnesses for helmets, chests, waists, handlebars and more. There are also many GoPro Apps which are useful for both controlling the camera and viewing and editing previously recorded footage.

    SJCAM Vs. GoPro Step-by-Step Comparison

    So, now that we’ve covered SJCAM Vs. GoPro basic features, flagships, acessories, prices, support, and warranty options, we’re much closer to determining the winner of the SJCAM Vs. GoPro comparison. It’s time to do the final SJCAM Vs. GoPro step-by-step comparison. Based on what we found out about each brand, we’ve awarded stars to each of the brands for each of the following categories. Both brands had the possibility of earning five stars. Let’s see how they scored.

    Most versatile features

    Neither SJCAM nor GoPro has any shortage of state-of-the-art features. However, GoPro without a doubt has a slight edge over SJCAM, as they have way more time and money invested in their brand at this point. SJCAM is by no means lagging too far behind GoPro in this department, but they have a bit of catching up to do before they even the playing field entirely.

    One SJCAM Vs. GoPro star goes to GoPro due to its more advanced features such as voice command, touchscreen displays, a superior dynamic range and the best image sensors in the action camera industry.

    The Best Flagship

    The SJ8 PRO Vs. HERO7 Black is an interesting comparison because the SJCAM flagship camera is half the price of GoPro’s flagship. Both action cameras are top-notch, offering 4K 60fps video recording capabilities, six-axis image stabilization, 12MP cameras, time-lapse, and manual settings. The main advantages that GoPro has in this instance are voice control and a waterproof camera body. The SJ8 PRO does not have voice control capabilities, and it requires additional housing to become waterproof. Also, the quality of sound, as well as image clarity, is significantly reduced when recording from inside of the waterproof housing.

    One SJCAM Vs. GoPro star goes to the GoPro for again having a slight edge of the SJ8 PRO in overall functionality as well as superior controllability.

    Availability of accessories

    The difference between the availability of accessories between SJCAM and GoPro are practically non-existent. Both brands have a healthy selection of mounts, mounting hardware, housings, harnesses, batteries, chargers, cables and more. From chest rigs to handlebar mounts and adhesive mounts, both brands cover a wide range of accessories.

    Taking a step beyond basic accessories, both brands also develop applications for their cameras including editing software. Also, both brands provide a handful of accessories with the purchase of one of their flagship cameras. GoPro even throws in a free SD card when you purchase one of their cameras.

    One SJCAM Vs. GoPro star goes to both SJCAM and GoPro for having an equal amount of useful accessories available.

    Best price range

    The price range is perhaps the most significant difference between the SJ8 PRO and the HERO7 Black, aside from voice control features and their dynamic ranges. The HERO7 Black is currently available for a bit costly price, while the SJ8 PRO is available for an affordable price. Yes, the HERO7 Black is waterproof without a housing unit, and it has a slightly higher dynamic range as well as voice control features.

    One SJCAM Vs. GoPro star goes to SJCAM for having an all-around more affordable price range while still possessing most of the same high-end features and functions as GoPro.

    Warranty options and customer support

    Another significant aspect of both action camera brands that are remarkably similar is their warranty options. Both camera brands include a manufacturer’s warranty with the purchase of their products. SJCAM offers a one-year warranty and GoPro provides a two-year warranty. Both brands also offer a money-back guarantee and cover the return shipping costs. GoPro has a slight advantage on SJCAM in this department, as they have a much more in-depth return policy, as well as a trade-up program for trading your GoPro gear in for newer stuff. SJCAM, however, seems to hold a bit of an edge over GoPro in the customer support area. Many GoPro customers have complained about having a bad time with customer representatives.

    One SJCAM Vs. GoPro star goes to both brands for having excellent return policies, warranty options, and fully integrated customer support departments.

    Our Verdict on SJCAM vs GoPro

    action camera

    So, there you have it, the step-by-step SJCAM Vs. GoPro comparison above has clearly shown GoPro as the reigning king of the action camera industry. However, the gap between GoPro and the up-and-coming SJCAM action camera brand could be quickly closing up.

    For now, the GoPro HERO7 Black is one of the best action cameras on the market, period. The SJCAM SJ8 PRO isn’t bad, but it doesn’t compare in regards to advanced features, dynamic ranges, and quality of the camera body.

    Sony DCR-TRV350 Review: A Look at Its Specifications

    reviewing the sony dcr-trv350

    Released in 2003, the Sony DCR-TRV350 was a bridge between the analog technology of the past and the digital video future. While technology was not "quite there" for the fully digital camcorders we currently enjoy, the Sony DCR-TRV350 gave a good glimpse at what was to come.

    For years, the Hi8 analog video format reigned as the supreme video recording format for camcorders with the Digital8 format helping to bridge the gap between the fully analog and fully digital. The Sony DCR-TRV350 was one of the camcorders that helped usher in a new age of camcorder technology.

    What Is the Sony DCR-TRV350

    Sony Digital8 Camcorder DCR-TRV350 Sony Handycam Digital8 Player Hi8...

    The Sony DCR-TRV350 was a hybrid analog-digital camcorder, produced by Sony in 2003. It recorded in Digital8 format. This format encoded video digitally using the industry standard DV codec.

    Product features


    Sony Digital8 Camcorder DCR-TRV350 Sony Handycam Digital8 Player Hi8...

    Unlike current camcorders that record purely in a digital format on memory cards, the Sony DCR-TRV350 could record to either a Digital8 analog tape or a Memory Stick Pro memory card.

    This camera included a variety of features, including a three-watt halogen spotlight for illumination as well as the ability to record in darkness. It included both a through the lens viewfinder as well as a pull-out LCD screen that allowed you to monitor your footage as you took it.

    Product specs


    The Sony DCR-TRV350 captured video via a 4-millimeter CCD image sensor in Digital8 format, writeable to either Digital8 analog media or Memory Stick Pro. It featured a black and white viewfinder as well as a 2.5-inch color LCD screen.

    It included electronic image stabilization and a variety of exposure presets. This camera included FireWire, S-video, and composite inputs and outputs.

    Sony Digital8 Camcorder DCR-TRV350 Sony Handycam Digital8 Player Hi8...

    It was 3 and 3/4 inches wide, 4 inches high, and 7 7/8 inches deep, weighing approximately 1 pound and 13 ounces.

    Reviews


    In 2003, Chieh Cheng authored a review for the Sony DCR0TRV350 on the Camera Hacker website. Cheng was most impressed by Sony DCR-TRV350’s ability to shoot in total darkness. Chieh Cheng was able to capture their hamster in complete darkness using the NightShot Light. This feature allows the videographer to capture footage in total darkness using infrared.

    Not everyone was a fan of the NightShot light as website VideoMaker.com pointed out in their review. The NightShot function made everything appear greenish, which did not sit well with some people. Despite this, VideoMaker ultimately called the Sony DCR-TRV350 “a flexible camera that bridges the analog/digital divide at a reasonable price.”

    YouTube reviewer VWestlife noted that though you could record purely to the memory card, quality was better if you recorded to tape.

    Pricing


    The Sony DCR-TRV350 can be challenging to find online. When you can find it, it is often in used or refurbished condition on an auction website or a third-party seller on a larger platform.

    Comparison

    Since the Digital8 technology behind the Sony DCR-TRV350 is obsolete, we looked at the Sony Handycam line as a way to compare current model cameras.

    How we compared


    We first selected the Sony CX405 Handycam as the current camera that would be closest to the Sony DCR-TRV350’s target market. In addition to the Sony CX405, we then chose other camcorders that are similar in function and form factor. Finally, we took a look at what professionals and customers had to say about each camcorder.

    Sony - HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder (black)
    • 50Mbps XAVC S1 1920x1080 at 60P, AVCHD and MP4 codecs. 30x Optical / 60x Clear Image Zoom to get closer to the action....
    • Automatically creates highlight video in MP4 from multiple clips. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization w/ Active mode....
    • Face Detection with voice enhancement and noise reduction. Get creative w/ 7 picture effects for video and still...

    Review website Top Ten Reviews gave the camera a so-so 4.45 out of 5-star rating. Top Ten Reviews found that the camera was basic and gave it a D+ in overall video quality in different settings. However, they did note that the color balance was great and found it true to life.

    This camera does have its fair share of fans. The Sony HDR CX405 earned the place of number one pick on reviews website Future Horizons. The website called it “a high-end camera without the high-end price.”

    The Sony website has 121 reviews aggregated, giving it a rating of 4.3 out of 5-stars. Amazon gives it 3.9 out of 5-stars with 400 reviews.

    Reviewer netterboy gave the camera five stars on the Sony website, saying it was a “great value” and that “the battery lasts a long time.”

    Users on Amazon noted how small and lightweight the camera is. As Han Pycroft pointed out how light it is, and noted that it weighed less than their television remote.

    While many praised the lightness of the camera, some critical reviews disliked the plastic construction, calling it “cheap.” Other reviews were critical of the Sony CX-405’s low light videos, saying that these shots came out grainy.

    Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder with Audio...
    • A 3.0-inch capacitive touch panel LCD screen that is bright and clearly visible, even outdoors in the sun, with rich,...
    • SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer helps correct camera shake quickly, so even handheld video taken at long focal...
    • The 57x advanced zoom allows you to create videos with dynamic variety, and is less likely to disrupt the action you're...

    The Canon VIXIA HF R800 is an HD camcorder from Canon, aimed at the consumer market. It features a 57x Advanced Zoom and 5-axis SuperRange Optical Stabilization. It has a three-inch, touch panel LCD screen as well as a variety of video modes.

    Unlike other Canon VIXIA cameras, the Canon VIXIA R800 does not have any onboard memory. It instead relies on an external SD slot.

    The Canon Vixia HF R800 enjoys positive reviews on Amazon where it earns a 4.1 out of 5 stars with 238 reviews. It is also an “Amazon’s Choice” product. Many reviews say that the camera is easy to use and has good battery life.

    Professional videographer and Amazon reviewer David L calls the Canon VIXIA HF R800 a “very decent alternative on a budget.” In his review, he talks about how the CMOS sensor in the VIXIA line does well in low-light situations. Overall, he was pleased with his purchase, saying that it “was easily the best camera investment I’ve ever made.”

    Panasonic Full HD Video Camera Camcorder HC-V180K, 50X Optical Zoom,...
    • 50X and 90X Optical Zoom: Long 50X zoom and 90X intelligent zoom draws in the scene from far away. The focal length is...
    • Wide-angle Lens: A 28mm wide-angle lens is convenient for capturing group images in small spaces, such as weddings,...
    • 1/5.8-Inch BSI Sensor: The Back Side Illumination Sensor has a large effective area with 2.20M effective pixels,...

    The Panasonic HC-V180K is a compact camcorder from Panasonic, capable of shooting in full HD 1080p resolution. It features a 28-millimeter wide-angle lens with a 90x Intelligent Zoom and 50x optical zoom. This camera has a five-axis image stabilizer and a Level Shot function that helps you capture steady footage.

    It also features a variety of Creative Controls with various film modes like Silent Movie and Time Lapse to help you create just the right mood with your videos. You can watch what you are shooting and control the camera on a 2.7-inch wide touch-screen.

    The Panasonic HC-V180K gets good professional and customer reviews. Reviews website Future Horizons named the camcorder its third top pick for camcorders in 2017. The website called this a “well-rounded camera” for having great features at a low price-point.

    Comparison Table

    PRODUCT

    WHERE TO BUY

    OUR RATING

    Price

    Sony - HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder (black)

    Focus, Best Buy, Adorama, Amazon

    Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder with Audio...

    Focus Camera, Crutchfield, Adorama, Amazon

    Panasonic Full HD Video Camera Camcorder HC-V180K, 50X Optical Zoom,...

    BH Photo, Focus, Adorama, Amazon

    Sony DCR-TRV350 Pros & Cons

    By all accounts, the Sony DCR-TRV350 was a quality, all-around camera.

    Aside from the apparent con of its obsolescence by today’s standards, the Sony DCR-TRV350 did suffer from audio issues. Also, some felt the microphone was of low quality.

    The Verdict

    Digital was well on its way to overtaking analog formats by the time this camera was released. The Sony DCR-TRV350 was not the very last of its kind. But the technology that defined it was undoubtedly on its way out.

    The Sony DCR-TRV350 helped to bridge the gap of video’s past to video’s future. In the end, it was a solid performing camera and well worth the price, then and now.

    Canon VIXIA HF G30 Camera Review

    Canon VIXIA HF G30

    Not long ago, true HD camcorders were few and far between. Now, there are so many options it’s hard to pick. The Canon VIXIA HF G30 is a promising option that brought some innovations to the scene when it first arrived.

    Canon VIXIA HF G30

    If you’re sick of unreliable entry to mid-level camcorders but gasp at the prices of proper professional gear, you’ll be happy about the middle ground where the Canon VIXIA HF G30 resides. The step up from beginner equipment is a significant step on every videographer’s journey. You're ready, now you just need to decide if this camcorder is exactly right for you.

    Canon VIXIA HF G30 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro/32GB Internal Flash...
    • Capture Full HD 1920 x 1080p Video, Canon 2.91 Megapixel HD CMOS Pro Sensor, 32GB Memory & Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC Slots,...
    • Dynamic SuperRange Optical Stabilization, Professional Shooting Assist Functions, Intelligent IS & Cinema-Look Filters,...
    • Package Includes Canon VIXIA HF G30 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro and 32GB Internal Flash Memory plus Essential...

    Once the crown of Canon’s Vixia series, this HD camcorder still stands strong. The Canon VIXIA HF G30 has many quality-boosting features. For example, the Canon 20x HD lens and its 8-blade circular aperture provide excellent video quality with pleasing, natural background blur. It has WiFi-connectivity for fast video transfers and remote controlling.

    Sensor:

    1/2.84 CMOS

    Video format:

    AVCHD 2.0 and MPEG-4

    Maximum resolution:

    1080p, 3.09MP

    Optical zoom:

    20x

    Digital zoom:

    400x

    Weight:

    900g

    Recording media:

    2 SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

    Outputs:

    mini HDMI, USB, AV, 3.5 audio output

    The viewfinder is effective, easy to use, and functions up to 45 degrees of tilt. You can adjust it with a joystick while recording with one hand. An HD Video lens with an effective hood and a minimum distance of 23.6 inches provides good footage. It uses aspherical lens technology for low chromatic aberration and high resolution despite the small size. It’s also coated to prevent flares and ghosting.

    20x optical zoom is great for a camera of this quality. The Dynamic SuperRange optical image stabilizer keeps your footage free from blur as you zoom. You can also focus manually with the focus ring. The Canon VIXIA HF G30 has all the manual controls you can expect.

    Add to this an excellent touchscreen. With a 1,230,000 dot resolution and accurate colors, it lets you know what you’re doing. It has indicators for battery level, recording time left, your framerate and bitrate, whether or not you’re in auto mode, and more.

    Performance


    While it’s somewhat bulky, it’s not hard to operate with one hand for a while. The hand strap provides the comfort needed. There’s a taper for comfortable gripping, and your index finger lands on the zoom rocker. You get a big record button on the back, alongside a function button and a control joystick. On top, there’s a switch for toggling between recording and playback. Next to it, there’s a toggle for manual, auto, and cinema mode. The last one applies special effect filters. You also find two accessory shoes next to them. One regular shoe and one Canon Advanced Mini Shoe.

    The Canon VIXIA HF G30 can shoot full HD at 60fps. It can also record 35-MB/s MP4 files. Its combination of a DIGIC DV 4 image processor and 2.91-MP HD CMOS Pro sensor produces excellent image quality with significantly reduced noise.

    What we really like about HD camcorders like the Canon VIXIA HF G30 is the Dual Recording function. It lets you record both AVCHD and MP4 at once. Or you can use Relay Recording, so the two memory cards act as one storage for continuous recording. Despite the lack of internal memory, you can store around four hours of high-quality footage if you fill the card slots.

    Video Quality


    The Canon VIXIA HF G30 won’t disappoint. You get lots of detail and texture with natural depth. Colors are very accurate, and it retains details in bright spots.

    There’s a little bit of noise, but not something you notice under normal conditions. You may encounter some mosquito noise or chroma noise in high-contrast areas. It becomes more noticeable indoors, but the Canon VIXIA HF G30 handles well in the dark in general. There are noise and diminishing colors, but compared to a typical camcorder it’s great. You won’t get a lot of compression effects. Even as you go down to 17Mbit/s AVCHD format, the compression isn’t evident.

    Users like the Canon VIXIA HF G30 for its convenient design, good footage, and responsive auto features. What they miss are infrared footage and a separate battery charger. Thus, they give it 4.5 stars on average.

    Pricing


    The Canon VIXIA HF G30 is a discontinued product, so most vendors don’t carry it. If you find new ones, they cost between $1,500 and $1,700. You can get used ones for half as much. Check it out here.

    Similar Models You May Consider

    The quality of a product is always relative, so let’s compare the Canon VIXIA HF G30 to a few competitors. We’ve chosen the Sony FDR-AX53, JVC GY-HM150U, and Panasonic HC-W850.

    How we reviewed


    The reviews presented in this article are the result of analyzing and comparing many user experiences and comments from the web. Our primary source is Amazon user reviews.

    Sony FDRAX53/B 4K HD Video Recording Camcorder (Black)
    • 4K XAVC-S recording with 16.6MP, Exmor R sensor, B.O.SS stabilization
    • ZEISS lens(26.8mm) 20x optical zoom in 4K, 30x Clear Image Zoom in 4K
    • 3.0" LCD (Touch panel), EVF, Wi-Fi/NFC, manual ring, night shot, 4K Time-lapse capture.Diopter adjustment:Yes (-4.0 to...

    Here’s one of Sony’s first 4K camcorders. If you have a 4K screen, or you’re planning to get one, you may want to consider this higher-resolution option. Many consider it overkill for consumers, but it’s a matter of taste. It’s smaller and lighter than the Canon VIXIA HF G30.

    Sensor:

    1/2.5” Exmor R CMOS Sensor

    Video format:

    XAVC S, AVCHD 2.0, MPEG-4

    Max resolution:

    4K, 8.29MP

    Optical zoom:

    20x

    Digital zoom:

    250x

    Weight:

    680g

    Recording media

    SD/SDHC/SDXC memory stick PRO/XC-HG

    Outputs:

    mini HDMI, USB, AV, 3.5 audio output

    The ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens offers 26.8mm wide-angle footage. This is comparable to the Canon VIXIA HF G30. The Clear Image Zoom extends the 20x optical zoom to 40x in HD mode using digital assistance without pixelating the recording. It only goes to 30x in 4K mode though.

    Its image stabilization is a bit more elaborate than that of the Canon VIXIA HF G30, with a 5-axis Intelligent Active mode for vibration reduction. This doesn’t work for 4K video though. It is capable of 4K time-lapse footage, while 120fps slow motion is only for HD. A 5.1-channel microphone is another advantage.

    Performance

    JVC’s GY-HM150UC compact triple-CCD camcorder captures 35MB/s long-GOP MPEG-2 video at 1080p in a variety of modes. Don’t be fooled by the tiny size; this is a powerful “prosumer” camcorder.

    Sensor:

    1/4" Progressive scan 3CCD

    Video format:

    MOV, MP4, AVI

    Max resolution:

    1080i

    Optical zoom:

    10x

    Digital zoom:

    -

    Weight:

    3.09 lbs

    Recording media

    two SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

    Outputs:

    HDMI, A/C, Component

    A high-definition Fujinon 10x lens with three aspheric elements provides excellent fidelity with less space. It keeps distortion, flares, and ghosting to a minimum. The 3.7-37mm focal length grants a nice balance of zoom and wide-angle footage, and the optional wide-angle converter takes this further.

    You can zoom with a rocker or directly on the lens. The macro mode works as close as two inches from the subject. You can set focus and iris to automatic or manual. You’ll see the current F stop on the viewfinder.

    It provides all popular HD resolutions and 720p. The progressive CCD setup and five digital noise-reduction technologies ensure a responsive, high-quality result with minimal degradation.

    Performance

    Panasonic HC-W850 Twin Camera Full HD Camcorder Bundle with Carrying...
    • The Panasonic HC-W850 Twin Camera Full HD Camcorder features a secondary, "B-angle" sub camera built-in to the flip-out...
    • 6.03 Megapixel MOS Main Sensor| 3.8MP Sub Camera on Flip-Out LCD| 20x Optical Zoom Lens HC-W580K Full HD 1080p
    • 5-Axis Optical Image Stabilizer| Second Camera Rotates 270�| Advanced Level Shot Function

    This one differs from the Canon VIXIA HF G30 in significant ways. They call it a twin camera because it can record from two sources.

    Sensor:

    1/2.3 MOS

    Video format:

    AVCHD, H.264, iFrame

    Max resolution:

    1080p, 6.03 MP

    Optical zoom:

    20x

    Digital zoom:

    1500x

    Weight:

    12.7

    Recording media

    2 SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

    Outputs:

    mini HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

    There’s a secondary camera on the pop-out display panel. This innovation can spin in place so that you can record your face or something off to the side. It records a separate video stream and superimposes it as a smaller window onto the main footage in the corner of your choice. However, you can’t save it as a separate file, so it’s a limited feature. One nice way to use it is to keep a wide-angle view while zooming the main camera.

    The HC-W850 uses one dial for most manual settings, which you set to whatever aspect you want to adjust. You can also use a smartphone app to view and control things via WiFi. You can also live stream to Ustream or upload to social media straight from the camcorder. It doubles as a baby monitor, and you can speak into your phone and have it come out of the camcorder.

    It has infrared functionality, a noise shield, and a 50MB/s bitrate for MP4 files.

    Performance

    Comparison Table

    PRODUCT

    DETAILS

    Canon VIXIA HF G30 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro/32GB Internal Flash...

    Rating:

    Sensor:

    1/2.84 CMOS

    Video format:

    AVCHD 2.0 and MPEG-4

    Max resolution:

    1080p, 3.09MP

    Optical zoom:

    20x

    Digital zoom:

    400x

    Weight:

    900g

    Recording media:

    2 SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

    Outputs:

    mini HDMI, USB, AV, 3.5 audio output

    PRODUCT

    DETAILS

    Sony FDRAX53/B 4K HD Video Recording Camcorder (Black)

    Rating:

    Sensor:

    1/2.5” Exmor R CMOS Sensor

    Video format:

    XAVC S, AVCHD 2.0, MPEG-4

    Max resolution:

    4K, 8.29MP

    Optical zoom:

    20x

    Digital zoom:

    250x

    Weight:

    680g

    Recording media:

    SD/SDHC/SDXC memory stick PRO/XC-HG

    Outputs:

    mini HDMI, USB, AV, 3.5 audio output

    PRODUCT

    DETAILS

    JVC GY-HM150

    Rating:

    Sensor:

    1/4" Progressive scan 3CCD

    Video format:

    MOV, MP4, AVI

    Max resolution:

    1080i

    Optical zoom:

    10x

    Digital zoom:

    -

    Weight:

    3.09 lbs

    Recording media:

    two SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

    Outputs:

    HDMI, A/C, Component

    PRODUCT

    DETAILS

    Panasonic HC-W850 Twin Camera Full HD Camcorder Bundle with Carrying...

    Rating:

    Sensor:

    1/2.3 MOS

    Video format:

    AVCHD, H.264, iFrame

    Max resolution:

    1080p, 6.03 MP

    Optical zoom:

    20x

    Digital zoom:

    1500x

    Weight:

    12.7 lbs

    Recording media:

    2 SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

    Outputs:

    mini HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

    Pros and Cons of the Canon VIXIA HF G30

    With all that technical data covered, it’s time for a summary. Here are the best and worst aspects of the Canon VIXIA HF G30.

    Pros

    • Dual shoes
    • Advanced dual SD functionality
    • Wi-Fi and remote control
    • Full HD video
    • Manual focus ring

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Somewhat bulky

    With its many advanced features and solid HD quality, this is a viable option for all serious hobbyists and semi-professionals. If you’re not looking for the newest option, this tried-and-true classic will serve you well.

    If you’re looking for a cheap or compact option, this isn’t it. In that case, you’ll prefer the Sony or JVC. Otherwise, the robust high-definition Canon VIXIA HF G30 is an excellent choice.


    Our Verdict

    The Canon VIXIA HF G30 was an impressive camcorder when it first arrived, and it still holds up well years later. While not a compact camcorder, it’s lightweight enough for one-handed use. Clear 1080p 60p video with responsive settings and a reliable viewfinder make it easy to shoot with. WiFi and clever use of dual memory cards keep it future-proof.

    Overall, Canon VIXIA HF G30 is a formidable camcorder and deserves 4.5 stars. If you’ve decided on the VIXIA, you can find a good deal here.