A while back we reviewed the very popular Flip Video Ultra camcorder. We loved the price and the fact everything about it was well designed and simple. At the same time, that simplicity did come at a cost. The zoom made the video quality get pretty bad and you could only record an hour worth of video before you had to dump it to your computer. In addition, with high-definition TVs and movies being all the rage, it wasn’t capable of taking video anywhere near that kind of detail.
For those looking for something on the higher end of the consumer market, Sony has a line of high-definition camcorders with a slew of features that are sure to satisfy. The unit we’re reviewing is their HDR-SR10 model seen here:
Unlike the Flip, the SR10 looks and works more like a traditional camcorder, but it’s nothing like those bulky old-school beasts your parents used. For something so small, it’s packed with an astonishing number of features. In fact, the marketing material has nearly 20 logos for all the different technologies they’ve stuffed into the SR10. Most wouldn’t mean much to most moms, but there are several that we found of interest:
Amazing picture – The video records at 1920×1080 resolution, which is the same as the highest quality HDTVs out there. It also has 15x zoom which is wonderful when you can’t be right up by the action. We were able to zoom in on our cat’s nose from the next room.
Videos that won’t make you sea-sick – It compensates for your shaky hands, though it can’t work miracles. Skip the Red Bull before taping your kid’s birthday or you’ll be cursing your seizure-like movements for years to come.
Surround sound – Yeah, this thing record in full surround sound. Hollywood ain’t got nothing on you now!
It’s a digital camera too – A flip of the switch and you’ll instantly be taking high definition photos of the action. No need to carry two cameras on your vacations!
On the downside, we struggled when trying to convert the videos into a recognizable format on the computer. You can burn them from the camera straight to a DVD with a button push which is awesome, but when we tried to convert them so we could upload to Vimeo, we had all sorts of problems. We haven’t figured out if this a problem with the software that comes with it, which wasn’t the easiest to use, or if we just need to break down and read through the manual.
Then there is the price. Retail on the camera is $999 which is quite the investment. A quick search online revealed prices closer to $700, so do your homework first.
Another interesting possibility with this camera comes in the form of the oddly-named “Sportspack”, which contains a water-proof case for the SR10. Being from Indiana, I don’t know of a whole lot of sports kids play that would require me to be underwater to film. They also promote it as a way of keeping the camera safe in inclement weather, which would be a more likely scenario. But again, who plays sports in a hurricane?
If you would like to record such exotic events, the bulky case will set you back about $200.
Overall, we loved this Sony camera and look forward to taking some great shots of our children. A big thank you to the Sony company for letting us test their new camcorder!
Suggested Retail Price- $999.99
Website for More Details- Sony