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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 3 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 4 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth 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 reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- Ring Video Doorbell review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 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
- FTPractice Director Design – Adelaide Delivery CentreSA
- FTCommercial Analyst (IT Contracts)Other
- FTChange AnalystOther
- TPWeb DeveloperSA
- FTSAP Fiori Java Script DevelopersACT
- FTApplication Tester & Quality Assurance AnalystOther
- FTAssurance specialist(Quality Assurance and Process Improvement)ACT
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperOther
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- FTPayroll Project ManagerOther
- CCSecurity Incident Analyst - Splunk - TelcoVIC
- FTProject Manager or Coordinator - Retail Store ProjectsOther
- TPTest ManagerNSW
- CCData AnalystVIC
- CCManual and Automation TesterQLD
- FT.NET Full Stack DeveloperOther
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPDigital Business Analyst | Six Month Contract |Immediate StartQLD
- TPBI DeveloperNSW
- FTContract ManagerACT
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTProgram CoordinatorOther
- CCChange AnalystNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- CCMultiple Front End Developers | React.js | Angular.js | Node.js | Knockout |QLD