Sony HDR-XR520 reviews: Hard disk drive storage Full HD camcorder

106 customer reviews

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

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9.0 out of 10 based on 106 reviews.
Sony HDR-XR520: Horizontally held, 12x optical zoom camcorder using Memory Stick Duo card. See full product description
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Some customer reviews of Sony HDR-XR520

Most helpful reviews

Confirmed purchaser Experienced amateur

Score 10.0/10
Good points:
1. Very easy to use.
2. Excellent specification.
3. Automatic inbuilt lens cover.
4. Well thought out design features.
5. Impressive playback on a large HDTV.
Bad points:
1. No major bad points; but the menu system is a bit of a mystery.
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 9.0
Battery life 8.0
Weight 9.0
Value for money 10.0
Overall rating 10.0
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 29 May 2010

ray, liverpool Keen amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
ease of use, point and shoot but with added advantage of the proffesional touch for the more acute camera man
Bad points:
have'nt found any yet
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 9.0
Battery life 9.0
Weight 8.0
Value for money 9.0
Overall rating 9.0
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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Review date: 29 Jun 2010

hugh, Just point and shoot

Score 10.0/10
Good points:
Very easy to use & can be fitted in a handbag.
Bad points:
The screen is not very good in bright light however the view finder is fine.
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 10.0
Features 10.0
Sound quality 10.0
Battery life 10.0
Weight 10.0
Value for money 10.0
Overall rating 10.0
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Confirmed purchase: 22 Jul 2013

John, Slough Just point and shoot

Score 10.0/10
Good points:
I've only marked it down on wieght but even there it's really good for a hard drive camera
Bad points:
I've had some confusion over still picture formats but that's about all for bad points
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 10.0
Weight 7.0
Value for money 10.0
Overall rating 10.0
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Review date: 19 Jul 2010

Ian, Bromsgrove Just point and shoot

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
Excellent quality in low lighting conditions
Bad points:
Little heavy
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 9.0
Weight 6.0
Value for money 8.0
Overall rating 9.0
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Confirmed purchase: 14 Nov 2010

Dennis, Birmingham Experienced amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
It's the total package, great pictures good sound.
Bad points:
Can't seem to find what memory stick to use for my still images, any ideas please
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 9.0
Battery life 6.0
Weight 8.0
Value for money 9.0
Overall rating 9.0
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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Review date: 10 Jul 2010

Ralph, Experienced amateur

Score 8.0/10
Good points:
Easy to take photographs, which are of excellent quality and simple to download to computer. Overall an excellent package with some reservations.
Bad points:
Accessing functions more difficult than previous models. Can't review images without scrolling down a long list of options. If camera has been left on still image mode it fails to record cine, though it does work the other way round. The largest optional battery pack is too big and makes it difficult to use the eyepiece, which is no longer adjustable vertically.
Ease of use 5.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 7.0
Weight 8.0
Value for money 9.0
Overall rating 8.0
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Confirmed purchase: 04 May 2011

This Sony HDR-XR520 is reviewed on Macworld

This Sony HDR-XR520 is reviewed on TechRadar

Product Features

Resolution quality Full HD
3D No
Optical zoom ratio 12
Media format Hard disk drive
Connections USB
Type of memory card Memory Stick Duo
Type of memory card Memory Stick Pro
Shape of camcorder Horizontally held
Digital zoom ratio 150
Type of image stabiliser Optical
Widescreen recording Yes
Resolution (Megapixels) 6.63
Hard disk capacity (Gigabytes) 240
Shortest shutter speed (Fractions of a second) 1/800
Weight (g) 500
Screen size (Inches) 3.2
Maximum aperture telephoto 3.4
Maximum aperture wide 1.8
Lowest focal length (Millimetres) 52
Highest focal length (Millimetres) 624
Type of chip CMOS
Release date 2009-02-04

Also known as: HDR-XR520, SONY HDRXR520, HDR-XR520VE, Sony HDRXR520VE, HDR-XR520V, Sony HDR-XR520V, HDR-XR520E, Sony HDR XR520, SONY HDR-XR520VE, Sony Handycam

Camcorders Buying Guide  

Manufacturer's Description

Longest ever Full HD recording time

Incredible 101hr Full HD record time with 240GB hard disk drive, superlative picture quality and smart features. With Exmor R™ CMOS Sensor for amazing low-light sensitivity, plus premium G Lens, Optical SteadyShot Active Mode and GPS inside.

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.

Better lens, better image

To achieve the best possible picture quality, a top-quality G Lens by Sony is combined with the sensitive Exmor R™ CMOS Sensor and powerful BIONZ processor. The result is detail-packed Full HD images that can be enjoyed on your HD TV.

No more camera shake

Wobbly pictures caused by unsteady hands are a common problem when you’re shooting without a tripod. Image stabilization cuts the effects of camera shake for clear, steady results, even if you’re walking along while shooting.

Know where you are… And were you’ve been

GPS tracks your position as you travel. See the exact location of your clips and still images with maps on the LCD screen. Then review your journey when you’re back home with online maps on your PC.

Keep shooting for longer

We all wish that some holidays will never end. With a massive 101 hours of recording time, you’ve got more than enough room to capture those magic moments during extra-long trips away from home. There’s no need to pack any spare tapes or discs: just keep shooting and keep pace with the action.


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