Sony HDR CX405 Review
Sony is one of those big technology companies that like to show off tons of new stuff at CES and January 2015 was no exception. 4K was once again the theme as the ultra-high-resolution screen technology is more polished than ever and pretty much ready for mainstream adoption. However, current 4K TV owners and those that plan on buying a hot new Sony 4K display don’t have to wait for all the cool 4K content. Sony’s action camera and camcorder lineups are ready for the task. One of the latest models is even cheaper than its predecessor making the dream of creating 4K videos far more attainable. Apparently, Sony concentrated on the two 4K camcorder models and made its other camcorder model a mere footnote.
The features of Sony HDR CV405 Camcorder sensor and a wide-angle Carl Zeiss zoom lens with 30x optical zoom. The Sony HDR CV405 Camcorder captures Full HD 1920×1080 video at 60p and 9.2MP still images to optional Memory Stick Micro and Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC media cards. The Exmor R CMOS sensor is designed for increased sensitivity in low light situations and the Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Intelligent Active Mode delivers smooth video. Users can monitor and playback footage via the 2.7″ LCD display with 230K dot resolution.
Sony HDR CV405 Camcorder is a medium priced hand held mini pocket digital video camera (hence the Handycam) which is small in size and light in weight.The camera records using XAVC S codec at up to 50 Mb/s and features dual recording, which lets you simultaneously capture both high-quality AVCHD and web-optimized MP4 files. The Intelligent Auto mode analyzes your shot and automatically selects the appropriate settings from ten distinct scene modes, with 60 different possible combinations. A built-in USB 2.0 cable provides a connection to your computer for charging or file transfer and fits conveniently into the hand strap, so it’s out of the way until you need it. The camera accepts a rechargeable X type battery pack for power.
The battery of Sony Camcorder, as noted, is not installed in the camera when it arrives, the small Lithium Ion battery NP-BX1 is replaceable – and this is essential because they do not hold much charge after a number of deplete/recharges – cameras with built in non-accessible batteries are throwaway once the battery fails – the Sony CX405 does not suffer this issue.
The camcorder has a handstrap and feels more natural to hold for recording purposes than a smartphone. The Sony HDR-CX405 retains the main characteristics of a typical modern consumer camcorder including the built-in USB cable which you can either use to transfer data or charge the unit. As long as you are contented in leaving the camcorder charged close to the power source, you shouldn’t have to bring a separate USB cable.
Because of the camcorder’s small size and lack of touchscreen capabilities, Sony only managed to fit in a small 2.7-inch display. It does use the Clear Photo tech to improve the look of video previews but it looks very primitive when compared to higher-end camcorders and smartphones. Just next to the display is a joystick and preview button making the HDR-CX405 pretty simple to use.¬ There are no buttons on the side of the camcorder itself even with the display door open as it only reveals a micro HDMI port and a memory card slot. On the back, you will find the very common record button while the top features the zoom lever and other common buttons. Also like the previous entry-level models, lens cover is manual so make sure you close the lens when not in use.
It has a 29.8mm wide angle Carl Zeiss Lens
From the authority in lens technology, the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens provides a high quality 29.8mm wide angle so you can get everything you want in the shot.
The Sony HDR-CX405 makes a good impression by not downgrading or eliminating the essential features that would affect the video recording experience. It supports both the MP4 and AVCHD codecs as well as Sony’s own XAVC S format enabling you to record 50Mbps 1080p video at 60p. With the 26.8 wide angle ZEISS lens, video quality is more than decent and you have a great deal of control on the zoom end. 30x optical zoom may sound a bit lackluster but the HDR-CX405 also offers the Clear Image Zoom which uses special algorithms to allow zooming up to 60x. Optical zoom is still best but Clear Image Zoom performs a lot better than the standard digital zoom since the processor actually makes new pixels to make the images appear sharper. It is very youth friendly with 7 picture effects available to enhance videos and still photos. It also has face detection so the Sony HDR-PJ670 can selectivity improve the video quality of scenes involving people. It is pretty intelligent too as it can distinguish between adults and children. Up to eight people can be detected in a scene and the adjust the focus, exposure and white balance of each. Voice enhancements and noise reduction are applied when Face Detection is used too.
Most of the time, you shouldn’t have to worry about picking the right mode with the HDR-PJ670 since the Intelligent Auto does a good enough job in obtaining the appropriate scene setting. It starts off with 10 scene modes including Portrait, Tripod, Baby, Backlight, Walk, Spotlight, Macro, Low Light, Twilight and Landscape. The actual number of combinations extend to 60 since it also applies various degrees of wind noise reduction and other optimizations depending on the scene the camcorder detects. You may not even need to make any edits to the video either since the Sony HDR-CX405 is also capable of creating a highlight video out of several videos in MP4 format.
The HDR-CX405 also comes with SteadyShot image stabilization to help make video captures a lot smoother. Even if you have a steady hand, the feature is quite useful when shooting at telephoto levels. Sony also implemented this extra technology called 3-Way Shake Cancelling which adds electronic roll stability. This lets you achieve smoother video capture results.
Full HD 60p w/9.2MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor
You can create high definition 1920 x 1080 60p videos and high quality 9.2MP still images. Experience stunning low-light sensitivity with improved image clarity and drastically reduced grain with Sony’s back-illuminated ExmorR CMOS sensor. Designed for compact cameras and camcorders, the Exmor R CMOS 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.
Clear Image Zoom to get even closer to the action
You can get amazingly close with 27x optical zoom plus 54x Clear Image digital zoom. Most digital zooms use electronic cropping to get closer to the subject, resulting in unsharp images. With Clear Image Zoom the powerful processor compares patterns found in adjacent pixels and creates new pixels to match selected patterns, resulting in more realistic, higher-quality images. Clear Image Zoom doubles optical zoom for closer photos and video.
Face Detection with voice enhancement and noise reduction
Sony’s Face Detection technology can automatically distinguish between children and adults. Face Detection technology detects up to eight individual faces and adjusts flash, focus, exposure, and white balance to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of family and friends.