Video – Sony HDR-XR550 camcorder hands-on

Camcorders, Features, Previews, Tech Digest news

Tech Digest get to have a hands-on look at Sony’s latest full HD camcorder, the HDR-XR550. With a 250GB hard drive, Exmor R CMOS sensor and a BIONZ processor, it’s looking pretty darn good.

Other features include an Optical Steadyshot Active Mode which compensates for yaw-movement whilst out and about, and a unique golf-mode that helps you to perfect your swing.

Sony’s Mike Tudor talks us through it.

Gerald Lynch
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  • I purchased one of these cameras a couple of months ago.

    Still shots…the lossiness of the still shots will make you cry. Seriously. And it’s not even adjustable.

    Video…yes sure there’s lots of room on the HD etc etc but the auto focus is all over the place. When all is good so is the video.

    Physical operation…there’s a manual function override button at the front of the camera which requires you to have a mini-finger to press it and then you adjust the relevant setting by ‘twiddling’ the surrounding knob. It is just plain stupid. The video record button is too low down the back face requiring an awkward movement of your entire hand to press it. Similarly for the still shot button it is too far back requiring an awkward movement of your finger to press it. For those with a midget hand maybe it’s ok???

    Software…the PMB software is a joke. The software should let you dump the data onto your computer’s HDD in automatically created folders named by date but it does not do that. It gives you the current date and thats it. You have to go backwards and forwards within the importer to get your data into (manually) date named folders…It’s laughable. Oh, what’s more laughable is trying to get updates off the Sony website…buy an XR550 and find out at your own peril.

    Summary…I’ve got a Canon IXUS 8megapixel and it’s still shots smoke the XR550s!!! The Canon importer isn’t perfect but it also smokes the Sony ‘effort’, totally. Gee, if I was you I would very carefully check out your other options before purchasing an XR550.

    I’d like a directors job at Sony…just so I can sack some of their engineers.

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