Sony HDR-XR150 Full HD handycam
Full HD Sony camcorder with 120GB hard drive and 25x optical zoom
- Good HD video performance, 120GB hard drive, compact size, three recording formats in one
- Touch screen occasionally annoys, sub-par still image mode
The Sony HDR-XR150 is a reasonably priced Full HD camcorder that provides good video and plenty of user-friendly features. Its chief strengths are a 120GB hard drive and 25x optical zoom lens. Recommended.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
The Sony HDR-XR150 is an entry-level Full HD camcorder equipped with a 120GB hard drive and 25x optical zoom lens. Like other models in the Sony handycam range, it comes with an exhaustive array of consumer-friendly features and gimmicks, including Spot Focus, Face Detection, Smile Shutter, Steady Shot, a ‘Child Priority’ tool, Intelligent Auto and a Smooth Slow Record mode. (Curiously, it lacks an inbuilt GPS, which is commonplace on many of its stable mates.)
In terms of specifications, the Sony HDR-XR150 is quite similar to last year’s batch of HD handycam models, which included the similarly named HDR-XR100. The biggest improvement to the HDR-XR150 is probably its enlarged 25x optical zoom lens, which is very impressive for a high-def camcorder. (Previous Sony models have come with 15x optical zooms, or less.) The HDR-XR150 also comes with SD/SDHC memory card support, in addition to Sony’s proprietary Memory Stick format. In other words, you have no less than three recording formats at your disposal.
The Sony HDR-XR150 is impressively compact for a HDD camcorder. Despite packing in a 120GB hard drive, the unit weighs just 300g and measures a tiny 57x67x114mm. When compared to previous hard disk–based behemoths, like the Sony HDR-SR12E, it feels like somebody zapped it with a shrink-ray. Needless to say, it should fit inside your jacket pocket with a minimum of hassle.
For the asking price of $999, the Sony HDR-XR150 gave a solid video performance. It boasts a redesigned Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens, as well as Sony’s celebrated Bionz processing chip. It records 1080p video in the AVCHD format at 24 megabits per second (Mbps) — previous Sony handycams made do with an inferior bit rate of 16Mbps. The 1/4in ‘Exmor R’ CMOS sensor, meanwhile, offers an effective pixel count of 1350k. This might sound a bit measly on paper, but the HDR-XR150 still did a good job in our imaging tests.
We connected it to a to a Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A plasma TV using the included component (RGB) cable and were very impressed with the results. Images remained clean in dim lighting with less noise than we’re used to. The Sony HDR-XR150 also comes with a 3.1-megapixel stills mode which should prove adequate for Facebook -- just. (Unfortunately, there's no inbuilt flash or night mode, so your happy snaps must be limited to daylight hours).
For menu selections, Sony has stuck to its tried-and-tested touch screen LCD. The interface is fast and responsive, yet it also suffers from a few design glitches. For example, the ‘scroll down’ arrow reverts to a ‘My Menu’ icon after a few seconds of inactivity. This caused us to frequently return to the home menu when we simply wanted to select a different menu category. A little practice helped to eliminate this problem, but it was frustrating nonetheless. The 2.7in display could also prove problematic for thick fingers (we much prefer the Sony HDR-CX520's 3.5in display).
We were unsurprised, but disappointed nonetheless, by the absence of external audio options. Instead, you’re stuck with the HDR-XR150’s 2ch stereo microphone. On the plus side, the user can adjust the microphone level manually, and the zoom mic helps to cut out ambient noise — to a degree.
The Sony HDR-XR150's 120GB hard drive can store up to 50 hours and 30 minutes of high-definition footage in LP mode — or 11 hours and 20 minutes at the highest possible quality. As mentioned, a Memory Stick slot and SD/SDHC card slot are also included for hybrid recordings. You can also record video in standard-definition if the mood strikes you.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 2 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Is My Smart Speaker Always Listening?
- Sony a7R Mk III review: Full, in-depth review
- Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- 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
- FTBusiness Analyst - Agile experienceACT
- FTSAP Test AnalystsACT
- FTTechnical AnalystSA
- FTJ2EE/JAVA DeveloperOther
- FTSenior Project Manager - Mobile AppsOther
- CCCyber Security Business AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Scrum MasterOther
- CCPython DeveloperVIC
- FTSystems Accountant / Production SupportOther
- FTSAP IS-U and SAP EWM - Greenfield implementationVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Supply Chain / LogisiticsVIC
- TPService Assurance ManagerQLD
- FTService Design Analyst- Service Management Specialist- ITILOther
- FTSenior Change ManagerVIC
- FTTest Analyst (SAP)VIC
- FTChange Architect - technology and organisationalOther
- CCSenior Storage Specialist - NetApp Storage and Cisco IP-SANVIC
- FTSenior Project Coordinator, Operational ProjectsOther
- TPFinance Integration LeadQLD
- FTSupport Services Manager - SaaSOther
- FTBusiness / Data AnalystOther
- FTFront End DeveloperOther
- FTCustomer Success ManagerOther
- CCLevel 1 / 2 Desktop SupportQLD
- CCNode.js DeveloperQLD