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SI: Sony Ups The Ante With HDR-XR520V, A 240GB Consumer HD Camcorder

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Shoot like a pro and record your memories directly to a massive 240GB hard disk drive with the HDR-XR520V Handycam camcorder. This impressive camcorder is capable of recording up to 92 hours of high definition (HD) video in HD LP mode. Equipped with an advanced ClearVid CMOS sensor with Exmor-R technology, you can capture stunning 1920×1080 HD video and 12.1 megapixel still images. Additionally, a built-in GPS receiver helps you keep track of your current location and even remembers where you shot your videos while the professional-quality Sony G Lens delivers superior optical performance. This will retail for $1,499 and be available at SonyStyle and other electronic retailers soon.


1920 x 1080 high definition resolution lets you record your memories in exceptional quality. 12.1 megapixel still image capture lets you take stunning, high resolution digital photos. A built-in 240GB hard disk drive can record and store up to 101 hours of high definition video footage in long play mode (HD LP, 2ch Dolby mode). In addition, “HDD Smart Protection” gives you peace of mind by helping to prevent any recorded video and images from being lost if the camcorder is accidentally dropped.

HDR-SR12 vs. HDR-XR520V Exmor-R Sensor from Sony Insider on Vimeo.

1/2.88″ Exmor R CMOS sensor delivers bright, vivid, spectacularly detailed video footage - a total improvement over last year’s model, which is demonstrated in the video above. With 6 megapixel (effective) video resolution, the image sensor actually captures video at four times the density of high definition resolution resulting in a sharper and more detailed 1920 x 1080 HD picture. In addition, “Exmor R” technology captures images with high resolution and high sensitivity, while the advanced Sony BIONZ™ image processor improves camera response time and screens out noise to help ensure that the signal from each pixel is as pure as possible.


Experience stunning low-light sensitivity with improved image clarity and drastically reduced grain with the newly developed, back-illuminated “Exmor R” sensor. Designed for compact cameras and camcorders, the “Exmor R” sensor relocates the photo diodes above the support circuitry, maximizing the light-gathering area per pixel so you can shoot with better results in lower lighting conditions.


Geotagging with built-in GPS receiver:

A built-in GPS receiver makes the HDR-XR520V an ideal choice for travelers. In addition to automatically adjusting your camcorder’s clock to the proper time zone, the GPS receiver also gives you the ability to view your current location on the LCD map display, as well as “tag” your shooting locations. Tagged videos and still images can be reviewed and played back using the Map Index function on the camcorder or once downloaded to your PC using the supplied PMB (Picture Motion Browser) software. We question why Sony didn’t include some sort of GPS software as well, which would give this product extra value by also working as a navigation device. It is a perfect idea if you think about it - a large, vivid touchscreen would work quite well.

Map Index function:

Map Index uses the geotagging capabilities of the built-in GPS receiver to “tag” your shot locations on a map in the camcorder, offering a new way to easily search and find a desired scene by location or view where a scene was captured.

Face Detection technology for Video Footage and Digital Still Photos:

Made possible by the BIONZ™ image processing engine, Face Detection technology recognizes up to 8 faces anywhere in the frame and by selecting the most prominent, automatically controls focus, exposure, and color to help capture smiling faces brightly and clearly. Face Detection technology also helps make skin tones look natural without affecting other colors in the image. On AVCHD models, the camcorder allocates encoding bits on detected face areas prior to encoding other parts of the picture, making them sharper and clearer. In still picture mode, Face Detection technology sets the flash level to optimize picture clarity.

Smile Shutter™ technology for still and dual capture:

Smile Shutter™ technology lets the camcorder automatically take still photos when your subject smiles, even while shooting high definition video. You can also set the sensitivity and choose child, adult, or auto priority.

Sony Shows Off Optical SteadyShot from Sony Insider on Vimeo.

Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode represents the next step forward in Sony

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Great overview and review, 240 gigs is always a nice thing to have but hdd can fail so I myself want a flash camera, and am waiting for the new flash sony cams and the new flash cams from canon, and will compare price vs function. It will have to be HD since I have a hdtv and I can't go back to SD. hdmi on the new sonys is a plus, not sure the canon's have that.

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