Review: High-Quality Videos Sans High Costs with Sony HDR-CX240

If you’re not trying to be the next Steven Spielberg and have video needs more like mine (meaning you occasionally say “Man, where’s the video camera when you need it?”), then Sony has what you just might need.
The Sony HDRCX240/B Video Camera with 2.7-inch LCD screen is about as simple (and cheap, $228 at Amazon) as they come without sacrificing quality. That means 1920×1080 Full HD 60p videos and 9.2 mega-pixel photos.

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The Sony HDRCX240 also has a sweet 29.8mm wide angle Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens, which means you can get whatever you want in your shot with ease. There is also a 27x optical zoom for video, 54x for stills. It also has Sony’s back-illuminated ExmorR CMOS sensor, which basically uses proprietary tech to make your videos/photos look better in low-lighting situations.
Getting started with it is a breeze: Just open the 2.7-inch LCD screen to see sharp, bright and vivid images. The onscreen menu (controlled by a physical button as opposed to touchscreen) is how you change settings, such as the seven effects for video and still photos.
Also to help you deliver better videos, the camera has Sony’s SteadyShot technology. I took some test shots during open skate at a local ice arena and the resulting videos looked as if I had the camera on some fancy dolly/tracking equipment. Very impressive for an entry-level unit like this.
For charging and transfer of video, there is a USB that is attached and stores into the hand strap. It’s convenient but seems like something I want to handle the USB connector as little as possible for fear of wearing it out. For every two minutes of charge, you get one minute of recording time. Video is stored on a microSD card, which means you can bypass plugging in a USB for video transfer and plug the card directly into your computer. There’s also an HDMI output so you can connect right to your HDTV.
You can record video in two formats: AVCHD and MP4. AVCHD is much higher quality and is best for recording video that you plan to do elaborate things with, such as edit with a program like Adobe Premiere CC. MP4 is lower quality, but Internet-ready. If you want to take videos from the beach or from the day’s hiking or biking adventure and post to the Internet that day without editing, just shoot MP4s.
The only real knock against this high-quality, entry-level video camera is what could also be viewed as one of its key features: size. It’s only about 7 ounces. I’m sure it’s plenty durable but I definitely do not want to drop this. I feel like it doesn’t have many drops in it. Fortunately, to help eliminate this problem there is a tripod mount on the bottom.
But overall, a great starter camera for basic needs with some slightly more than basic features that make it a great buy.

 

Posted in: Gadgets & Gear

About the Author:

Andrew is a writer and producer/content developer for Roadtreking.com and the PC Mike Techcast at PCMike.com. He has been a professional storyteller for 16 years, building a successful career as a newspaper reporter and public relations specialist. Andrew's work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Oshkosh Northwestern, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Crain’s Chicago Business, Advertising Age, Automotive News, Waste News, Appleton Post-Crescent, and Real Detroit.