Sony Handycam HDR-XR550VE reviews: Hard disk drive storage Full HD camcorder

43 customer reviews

+ This camcorder scores very high on image quality. - It scores poorly on sound quality.

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8.6 out of 10 based on 43 reviews.
Sony Handycam HDR-XR550VE: Horizontally held, 10x optical zoom camcorder using SDHC card. See full product description
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Some customer reviews of Sony Handycam HDR-XR550VE

Most helpful reviews

Confirmed purchaser Keen amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
its a big improvement not to had to worry about running out or tape, battery life is very good, but its all new to me and a diiferent way to to take video, but we do not give up!
Bad points:
very diificut to edit a video, I use pinnacle avid, is possible to subdivide shots, I I supose that is a question for pinnacle. with the vieod tape, recorded shots go to be edited in one long frame making it easy to edit.
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 10.0
Weight 10.0
Value for money 8.0
Overall rating 9.0
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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 29 Jun 2011

Christopher, London Keen amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
Image quality is exceptional and the contrast is clean with no muddy or blurry areas. I love the camera and as it was end of line I got it half price.
Bad points:
The battery life seems rather short and I find myself having to plan around the proximity of electrical points. Also the viewfinder having control of the on/off takes getting used to. I'd assumed the thing was off when I had closed the LCD screen but it was not because I had inadvertently extend the viewfinder.

The accompanying CD is only for PCs, not Macs which I find incredibly ignorant. Thank God my Final Cut had an easy way to log and capture the video.
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 4.0
Weight 8.0
Value for money 10.0
Overall rating 9.0
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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 26 Apr 2011

Dean, Birmingham Keen amateur

Score 10.0/10
Good points:
This was a brilliant investment, the HD Picture is superb sound quaility 5.1 is fantastic and totally love the facial recognition. you can adjust the sesitivity and when you cant get you're toddler to smile on cue it catches every one which ive set to save to memory card.Also the 250gb Hd is more than enough space. Really would recommend to potential buyer.
Bad points:
the only part im not to keen on is most things are done via touch screen and if you have big fingers like me it sometimes selects the wrong item. Also you have to set fader every time if you want to use it, unlike my old sony didital 8mm that once set it would stay on unless you turned of camera completly as to every time you stop recording. Apart from those few pionts its an awsome machine.
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 7.0
Weight 10.0
Value for money 10.0
Overall rating 10.0
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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 20 Mar 2011

Dick, Andover, Hampshire Keen amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
It has just about everything my previous camcorders lacked. The pictures are a vast improvement particularly.
Bad points:
No neckstrap is included unlike all my previous camcorders which is a rather miserly omission. I had some difficulty finding a suitable one, eventually making my own out of two joined together. The battery life is poor. This would be livable with if only the spare batteries were not so ridiculously expensive. No firewire connection.
Ease of use 8.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 1.0
Weight 6.0
Value for money 9.0
Overall rating 9.0
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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 17 Jan 2011

Terry, Manchester Keen amateur

Score 8.0/10
Good points:
Image quality is brilliant - it is everything I hoped for.
Bad points:
Menu system can be confusing. It picks up sounds from the rear of the camera as well as the front.
Ease of use 8.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 3.0
Weight 8.0
Value for money 8.0
Overall rating 8.0
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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 13 Jul 2011

Wieslaw, Great Yarmouth Experienced amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
- quality of picture
- weight
- easy to use
Bad points:
-still to much expensive
- short lived battery
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 7.0
Weight 9.0
Value for money 8.0
Overall rating 9.0
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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 02 Jun 2011

John, Dundee Just point and shoot

Score 10.0/10
Good points:
Very easy to use.Just open the screen and shoot. Excellent pictures. Ideal zoom, not too long. Wide angle is good. Sound reasonable for close work. Light weight. Fits into your hand easily. Easy to back up onto portable hard drive or lap top (Mac). The V70 battery lasts long enough for most days out.
Bad points:
Non really. The GPS is not much use. I was in Namibia recently and it told me I was in the middle of Paris!
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 10.0
Weight 9.0
Value for money 9.0
Overall rating 10.0
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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 01 Jun 2011

Product Features

Resolution quality Full HD
3D No
Optical zoom ratio 10
Media format Hard disk drive
Connections USB
Type of memory card SDHC
Shape of camcorder Horizontally held
Digital zoom ratio 120
Type of image stabiliser Optical
Widescreen recording Yes
Resolution (Megapixels) 12
Hard disk capacity (Gigabytes) 240
Shortest shutter speed (Fractions of a second) 1/10000
Weight (g) 510
Screen size (Inches) 3.5
Maximum aperture telephoto 3.4
Maximum aperture wide 1.8
Lowest focal length (Millimetres) 36.5
Highest focal length (Millimetres) 365
Type of chip CMOS
Release date 2010-03-24

Also known as: Sony HDR-XR550VE

Camcorders Buying Guide  

Manufacturer's Description

Superlative Full HD imaging with latest technology and smart features

Up to 101hr Full HD on 240GB built-inHDD, Wide angle lens, 10x optical zoom, 12MP photo, 8.8cm LCD

  • Very high quality low-light shooting with Exmor R
  • Wide angle lens gets more into the picture
  • Fully featured, top of the range performance

The finest ever Full HD images
Experience incredible imaging performance, with up to 101 hours Full HD recording on 240GB built-in HDD and more on optional memory card. With advanced optical technologies and advanced user features to capture beautiful, detail-packed video and stills.

Low light, no problem
Many camcorders struggle in low light, producing grainy, fuzzy images. Super sensitive Exmor R™ CMOS Sensor reduces image noise for clearer images. In conjunction with the powerful BIONZ processor you’ll get great results in low light, dim interiors or at dusk.

Pack more into every scene
Now you can make sure nobody’s left out of the picture at parties, birthdays and other special occasions. The high quality G Lens by Sony inside Handycam® now features enhanced wide angle performance, capturing up to 2x greater image area than previous models.

Walk. Zoom. Steady: Even more stable pictures
Wobbly pictures are a common problem when you’re shooting without a tripod. New Optical SteadyShot Active Mode delivers best-ever ‘3-way’ camera shake correction at all zoom settings, even when you’re walking along. In wide angle position, you’ll enjoy up to ten times improved anti-shake performance.

Total control
Make sure your videos really stand out from the crowd. There’s a manual settings dial for extra creative control, large XtraFine LCD and view finder to frame shots precisely, and an external mic input for even better-sounding audio.

Best-ever Full HD picture quality
More bits in every frame means better-looking pictures. For quality-critical productions, new FX Mode captures detail-packed 1920×1080/50i video at a full 24Mbps – the highest bit-rate specified by the AVCHD format.


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