I’ve been using the Sony HDR-PJ620 a lot for 3 months now, and I’m really impressed by it. The build quality is excellent, as you’d expect from Sony, and it’s packed with features.
Most of the video I’ve been filming is sports based, so good framerate and anti-shake are vital. This camcorder handles both well. There is certainly some motion blur, but compared to the Digital SLR I’ve also been using for filming, it has been minimal. Picture quality, especially in good to moderate light, has been excellent, offering Full HD (1080p) recording.
The anti-shake, called the Optical Steadyshot by Sony, is incredible. It smooths out even excessive movement, and avoids the problems that can be caused using post-production methods. What’s most impressive is that the Steadyshot works well when zoomed, though the 60x full zoom is not ideal for handheld recording.
One big talking point with this range of Sony camcorders is the projector. It could be a gimmick, but it’s surprisingly good quality and as such I’ve used it a lot, quickly reviewing footage and generally showing everything off.
From turning on (by flicking out the screen) to recording is lightning quick, though there is some slowdown when the memory card gets a bit full. Battery is excellent. Sony suggests there is more than 2 hours recording time, and it does seem to hold up to the test.
Some areas aren’t quite as strong. The touch screen controls can be a little fiddly and sometimes you can get lost in the sub menus, but it’s made up for by easy and uncomplicated button controls for all the main functions. I was also surprised to find the camera has absolutely zero on board storage, but the device accepts micro SD cards and Sony memorysticks, so there’s plenty of options available at most electronics stores. A good quality card is recommended, if you want highquality images and fast performance. There’s also the nice addition of the inbuilt usb cable. It’s only short, but is useful for quickly connecting to your computer or a charging port, and tucks away really cleverly.
One feature that I didn’t really touch for a long time was the Wifi and ability to stream direct to UStream. As it turns out, this is a fantastic feature that works almost flawlessly.
On the 18th and 19th July my roller derby team hosted a 2 day tournament as part of Eastbourne Extreme Sports Festival. Using nothing more than 4G from an iPhone (as a wifi hotspot) and the Sony HDR-PJ620’s streaming feature we were able to stream the event live around the world. On the Saturday we had over 700 viewers. The quality was a little up and down, but I put this down to the 4G connection and not the camera.
I said almost flawless because it was a bit back and forth in the menus to set up the wifi connection and to stream, but once set up it worked great.
Overall I’m delighted with the PJ620. Although most mid level Digital SLRs offer good quality video recording these days, Sony’s additional features, ease of use and fantastic anti-shake performance make it a relevant and effective device.
Images copyright and courtesy of Sony.
I received the Sony HDR-PJ620 free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
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