- Premium quality standard-def video, user-friendly touch-screen interface, 60GB HDD + memory stick slot for additional 'hybrid' recording
- $1399 is a tad pricey for an SD camcorder
Sony's DCR-SR220 offers impressive picture quality and versatile recording options, along with a host of user-friendly features. If you value lots of storage space over full HD resolution, then this standard-def offering has plenty to recommend it.
Price$ 1,399.00 (AUD)
The DCR-SR220 is the headlining star of Sony's standard-definition handycam line-up. In other words, it's a big fish in an increasingly small pond. With high-definition video beginning to dominate the consumer market, some of you may well wonder how a $1399 standard-def camera could possibly be worth that amount of money. The fact of the matter is that SD video remains a viable format that will look more than adequate on your LCD TV. In some cases, such as the SR220, it can even look superior to similarly priced HD models. As such, we have no problem recommending this handycam to a world that seems eager to leave its ilk behind. There's still life in the old dog yet.
The SR220 manages to strike the right balance between user-friendliness and high-end functionality. With a 60GB hard drive capable of recording up to 41 hours of continuous footage, and a premium Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens with a 15x optical zoom, we found it to be both capable and versatile when it came to capturing video.
The 2.3-megapixel CMOS sensor did an admirable job of capturing sharp, colourful images; especially in comparison to most other standard-def units we've looked at. While it can't compete with pricier models such as the HDR-SR11 (review forthcoming), most users will be more than satisfied with the majority of their output. (We even found noise levels in dim lighting to be less problematic than usual.)
These days, practically every HDD camcorder on the market has been hit with the 'hybrid' stick; offering a secondary recording option (such as DVD or removable flash memory) in addition to its inbuilt hard drive. The SR220 is no exception, with the included memory stick slot boosting its storage capabilities by up to 16GB. Conveniently, you can also transfer your data from the hard drive to a memory stick, which is a great way to free up memory while on the road or transfer data to a compatible computer with a minimum of fuss.
Another handy feature found on the SR220 is Face Detection. This is basically the 'new black' in digital imaging, with most mid-range camcorders and practically all compact cameras sporting a version of this technology. As its name implies, face detection allows the camcorder to 'see' human faces, before adjusting the focus and exposure to present skin tones as accurately as possible. Rather coolly, an on-screen indicator frames each subject's face, letting you know who has been detected and when (up to eight faces can be targeted at any one time).
Visually, the SR220 certainly isn't the fanciest camcorder on the block, but it manages to impress where it counts; offering lightweight and highly portable dimensions. We were equally impressed by the build quality, with the assorted buttons laid out in an intelligent manner. Likewise, the LCD's touch screen interface is very easy to get to grips with, allowing first-time users to cycle through different modes and functions without needing to consult the manual. We remain steadfast fans of this operating system and find it far superior to the miniature joysticks favoured by most of Sony's competitors. With that being said, larger fingered individuals may occasionally find themselves prodding the wrong icon.
It's not all rosy though. As has become the norm for consumer-level camcorders, the SR220 lacks a viewfinder to supplement its 2.7in LCD screen. This can often prove frustrating in sunny conditions when the display is difficult to see, or when you are running low on battery life. Normally we'd be willing to overlook this oversight, but when you're paying $1399 for a standard-definition camera, we expect a few extra bells and whistles.
Transferring your videos to a PC is a simple process thanks to the included docking station, which also doubles as a battery charger. This device is particularly handy when it comes to burning DVDs, with the dedicated Disc Burn button making for a simple one-step procedure. (An optional DVD Burner called DVDIRECT can also be purchased separately, which allows you to perform the same function without a computer.) If you're not the most technically proficient person in the world or prefer to make videos with a minimum of fuss, this feature is sure to be appreciated.
If you plan to extensively edit your movies however, you'll need an editing package that's compatible with the MPEG format. Sony has included a 30-day trial of its Vegas Movie Maker software to get you started, though any recently released editing program should work in its stead if you decide not to buy the full version.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
- Logitech's C922 webcam is the revered C920's vastly upgraded successor
- Jump the line for the newest Chromecast features with Google's new preview program
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCData Centre Design Engineer - Data Centre - TelcoVIC
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXACT
- TPService Desk Analyst - Level 1VIC
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- TPDeployment Specialist (DevOps)QLD
- TPSenior Java Developer / DevOps - ContractQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- TPMaster SchedulerNSW
- TPMid-Level Java DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness Test Lead - BRT/UATNSW
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- TPTechnical Support Resource-Skype for BusinessVIC
- TPAgile Business AnalystQLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)ACT
- TPPHP DeveloperVIC
- FTSnr SOC Security Coordinator - Perm - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTMicrosoft ConsultantVIC
- FTFull stack Developer - Senior (Java or C# and AngularJS) x 3QLD
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTSAP BW ConsultantACT
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW