If you’re backing a new Full HD camcorder with the best part of a grand, you want to know that you’ve plumped for a winner. On paper, the Sony HDR-XR520 should be number one: a massive 240GB HDDm 12x zoom, Full HD and even GPS for geotagging. But is this specced–to–the–hilt effort as good as it looks? Read our Sony HDR-XR520 and we’ll help you decide whether stumping up all that cash is really worth it.
Flip open the viewfinder on the Sony HDR-XR520 and you’ll immediately see what all the fuss is about. The lush 3.2–inch touchscreen is not only bigger than average for a consumer cammie, it also acts as the hub for this piece of high–end wizardry. Shots look stunning on its million pixel frame and it even makes the 6.6MP stills look as sharp as those on your compact.
And the fun doesn’t stop there. Fans of high–end video blended with controls for even the densest of gadget simpletons will love the Sony HDR-XR520. There’s the optical stabiliser which stops your home vids from looking like they’ve been shot after a night out on the sauce and Dolby 5.1 surround which picks up screaming kids, mumbling parents and sweary teenagers easily. That means no need for an extra mic if you like to take your amateur status a tad more seriously.
The geotagging feature on the Sony HDR-XR520 is very neat too, letting you add locations onto a built–in map so you can see just where you made your masterpiece. However, you will need to locate movies on Flickr and then tag them, as video geotagging remains in its infancy. Likewise, the on board maps won’t be giving TomTom and sleepless nights as they focus only on the biggest of roads.
These though, are minor quibbles. The Sony HDR-XR520 is a competition destroying all rounder, with a hard drive that can easily handle hours of HD footage, With easy controls and features to make even pros coo, if you’re going to buy a high end cammie, this is the one.