Sony Ups The Ante With HDR-XR520V, A 240GB Consumer HD Camcorder


Shoot like a pro and record your memories directly to a massive 240GB hard disk drive with the HDR-XR520V Handycam camcorder. This impressive camcorder is capable of recording up to 92 hours of high definition (HD) video in HD LP mode. Equipped with an advanced ClearVid CMOS sensor with Exmor-R technology, you can capture stunning 1920×1080 HD video and 12.1 megapixel still images. Additionally, a built-in GPS receiver helps you keep track of your current location and even remembers where you shot your videos while the professional-quality Sony G Lens delivers superior optical performance. This will retail for $1,499 and be available at SonyStyle and other electronic retailers soon.


1920 x 1080 high definition resolution lets you record your memories in exceptional quality. 12.1 megapixel still image capture lets you take stunning, high resolution digital photos. A built-in 240GB hard disk drive can record and store up to 101 hours of high definition video footage in long play mode (HD LP, 2ch Dolby mode). In addition, “HDD Smart Protection” gives you peace of mind by helping to prevent any recorded video and images from being lost if the camcorder is accidentally dropped.

HDR-SR12 vs. HDR-XR520V Exmor-R Sensor from Sony Insider on Vimeo.

1/2.88″ Exmor R CMOS sensor delivers bright, vivid, spectacularly detailed video footage – a total improvement over last year’s model, which is demonstrated in the video above. With 6 megapixel (effective) video resolution, the image sensor actually captures video at four times the density of high definition resolution resulting in a sharper and more detailed 1920 x 1080 HD picture. In addition, “Exmor R” technology captures images with high resolution and high sensitivity, while the advanced Sony BIONZ™ image processor improves camera response time and screens out noise to help ensure that the signal from each pixel is as pure as possible.


Experience stunning low-light sensitivity with improved image clarity and drastically reduced grain with the newly developed, back-illuminated “Exmor R” sensor. Designed for compact cameras and camcorders, the “Exmor R” 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.


Geotagging with built-in GPS receiver:

A built-in GPS receiver makes the HDR-XR520V an ideal choice for travelers. In addition to automatically adjusting your camcorder’s clock to the proper time zone, the GPS receiver also gives you the ability to view your current location on the LCD map display, as well as “tag” your shooting locations. Tagged videos and still images can be reviewed and played back using the Map Index function on the camcorder or once downloaded to your PC using the supplied PMB (Picture Motion Browser) software. We question why Sony didn’t include some sort of GPS software as well, which would give this product extra value by also working as a navigation device. It is a perfect idea if you think about it – a large, vivid touchscreen would work quite well.

Map Index function:

Map Index uses the geotagging capabilities of the built-in GPS receiver to “tag” your shot locations on a map in the camcorder, offering a new way to easily search and find a desired scene by location or view where a scene was captured.

Face Detection technology for Video Footage and Digital Still Photos:

Made possible by the BIONZ™ image processing engine, Face Detection technology recognizes up to 8 faces anywhere in the frame and by selecting the most prominent, automatically controls focus, exposure, and color to help capture smiling faces brightly and clearly. Face Detection technology also helps make skin tones look natural without affecting other colors in the image. On AVCHD models, the camcorder allocates encoding bits on detected face areas prior to encoding other parts of the picture, making them sharper and clearer. In still picture mode, Face Detection technology sets the flash level to optimize picture clarity.

Smile Shutter™ technology for still and dual capture:

Smile Shutter™ technology lets the camcorder automatically take still photos when your subject smiles, even while shooting high definition video. You can also set the sensitivity and choose child, adult, or auto priority.

Sony Shows Off Optical SteadyShot from Sony Insider on Vimeo.

Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode represents the next step forward in Sony® image stabilization technology. Active Mode improves on existing Optical SteadyShot image stabilization by allowing the camera lens to shift over a greater range of motion. This allows the HDR-XR520V to compensate for greater degrees of camera shake and deliver a stunning level of image smoothness. The video above shows the HDR-SR12 and the HDR-XR520V on a shaking platform – the results are quite noticeable.


3.2” wide touch panel Xtra Fine LCD™ display (921K pixels):

The 3.2” wide (16:9) touch panel Xtra Fine LCD™ display renders sharp, bright, photo-quality images, letting you compose and share video and still images more easily — even outdoors. With nearly 1 megapixel (921K pixels) resolution and a wide viewing angle, the Xtra Fine LCD™ screen is like having a high-resolution video and photo viewer built into your camcorder. The convenient touch panel allows easy access to menus and additional functionality such as spot focus and spot metering. You can also power on your camcorder by simply opening the LCD display.

Highlight Playback:

Why spend hours editing your movies when you can let your camcorder do it for you? Highlight Playback uses several criteria – including Face Index, Smile Shutter™ technology, Dual Capture and time range – to identify and compile key scenes into a short, entertaining movie complete with music and transitions.

Professional-quality Sony® G Lens:

Designed specifically to complement the “Exmor R” CMOS image sensor with ClearVid™ array the professional-quality Sony® G Lens delivers superior optical performance. Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass reduces chromatic aberration for more accurate color reproduction with less “fringing”, and precision ground optics offer stunning resolving power to bring you sharp, amazingly detailed images.

12X Optical / 150X Digital Zoom:

12X optical zoom helps to bring the action close up from far away. In addition, Digital Zoom Interpolation means that digital zooming (up to 150X) is clearer, with less distortion than previous types of digital zoom.


Dedicated Mic and Headphone inputs:

The HDR-XR520V features dedicated mic and headphone inputs (external microphones and headphones sold separately).

Dolby® Digital 5.1ch recording with Built-in Zoom Mic:

Dolby® Digital 5.1 channel recording captures active sounds coming from all directions, so you can experience your home movies the way you experienced them while recording. The Built-In Zoom Mic focuses audio recording on your subjects in sync with the camera’s zoom lens.

Dual Record with 8.3MP still image capture:

Dual record capability lets you capture 8.3MP still images while shooting high definition video, so you can capture those special moments without having to switch recording modes.

Smooth Slow Record:

The Smooth Slow Record mode increases the record rate from 60 frames per second (fps) to 240 fps, allowing you to capture 3 seconds of fast motion and play the video back in 12 seconds. This is a great tool for analyzing a golf swing or a viewing a bird in flight. In addition, you record an audio track to narrate the video footage.

Assignable Dial:

An assignable dial on the front of the camcorder can be programmed to control a variety of settings, including focus, exposure, AE (Auto Exposure) Shift, and WB (White Balance) Shift.


HDMI™/USB connection:

The High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a compact audio/video connector interface for transmitting uncompressed digital streams. HDMI connects digital audio/video sources such as a compatible camcorder, Blu-ray Disc player, a personal computer, a video game console, or an AV receiver to a compatible digital audio device and/or video monitor such as a digital television (DTV). A USB 2.0 interface provides an easy way to connect your camcorder to a compatible PC for fast transfer of video and still images for editing.

BIONZ™ Image Processor:

The BIONZ™ Image Processor works in conjunction with the “Exmor R” CMOS image sensor with ClearVid™ array technology for pristine imaging. The BIONZ image processor provides Data Noise Reduction, Faster Image processing, and Data compression to preserve videos and images. In addition, the BIONZ™ image processor enables Face Detection technology and Sony’s Dynamic Range Optimizer for both video and still image capture. The higher processing speed also allows Dual Recording to capture still images while recording video.

..and more – check out the HDR-XR520V at SonyStyle.

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