Sony Handycam HDR-CX220 – For those who aren’t too particular about quality
We used to review a lot of camcorders before but now we don’t do as much primarily because the demand for camcorders has gone down. People want cameras more and hence there isn’t a lot of interest in this niche. That said, there is some curiosity about few camcorders and we review it here. Sony Handycam HDR-CX220 is one of them and this is a successor to CX190. This is an inexpensive camcorder and there are few features cut down to keep the price low but still you get what you are paying for. The interface is a bit confusing and video quality too is mediocre. Hence, we find it hard to recommend you this camcorder.
Intrinsically speaking, Sony Handycam HDR-CX220 is the same as Sony CX230 has eight gigabytes of inbuilt memory and CX 290 having eight GB memory and optical image stabilization. The PJ230 also belongs to same group. All of them have same lens and sensor.
Design of the Sony Handycam HDR-CX220 is the same as other camcorders out there. This device is quite lightweight and feels flimsy in the hand. We could squeeze it in our pants pocket with some effort. There is lens cover built in with USB charging cord which tucks in to strap. It works with all USB chargers. Sony is selling their own charger for $20 but if you any Android phone or tablet, then its charger will work fine on the camcorder. Instead of giving charger, the manufacturer has put in microHDMI cord for TV connectivity.
Sony Handycam HDR-CX220 screen is small and the resolution is relatively low. the colours on the screen look different from the colours on the actual video. LCD bezel has joystick which can be used to navigate through menus.
The interface isn’t good and Sony should have done better. We had to go through lot of confusing screens while operating this device. Default video quality is 1,440×1,080 pixels, 60i (interlaced) at 9 mbps. Best quality is 1080/60p and it is more close to a camcorder which costs $200. Still, the video quality isn’t state of art and if you want something in that level, we would recommend you to spend lot more money. At the best, we would say that video quality is mediocre. There are bleeding and mushy edges and tonal range too is poor. You get better video quality from standard camera like Canon PowerShot SX260 HS having 20x zoom lens for same price. This video quality too is the same as CX190, the predecessor. Also, you will get better quality pics from your smartphone.
In our testing, autofocus worked well but video looks soft and it feels like there is no focus. Just like most AF systems, its choices are poor. On the bright side, this camcorder can focus fast. Electronic image stabilization is on par with image quality.
Connecting the Sony Handycam HDR-CX220 takes you online for downloading Sony PlayMemories Home Software. It is only for Windows though. For Mac, you will need to download third party apps. But best part about PlayMemories is that it is free and easy to use.
It is hard to recommend the Sony Handycam HDR-CX220 at such quality but if you aren’t too particular about it and if you are looking for an inexpensive camcorder, then go ahead and buy this one.