Sony Handycam HDR-SR12 reviews: Hard disk drive storage Full HD camcorder

75 customer reviews

+ This camcorder scores very high on image quality. - It has no outstanding negative points.

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9.1 out of 10 based on 75 reviews.
Sony Handycam HDR-SR12: Horizontally held, 12x optical zoom camcorder using Memory Stick card.

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Some customer reviews of Sony Handycam HDR-SR12

Most helpful reviews

Gary, Lincoln Keen amateur

Score 8.0/10
Good points:
Superb image quality and image stablilsation.
Bad points:
Slightly heavy and the LCD screen failed at 13 months!
Overall rating 8.0
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 5.0
Weight 4.0
Value for money 6.0
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Review date: 31 Jan 2010

Bill, East Anglia Keen amateur

Score 5.0/10
Good points:
Image quality is excellent and excellent results can be obtained using automatic. Although I use a tripod when convenient it is not essential unless one is using the long-focus attachments.
Bad points:
Before I bought my SR12E I read an online preview which pointed out the problem fitting the conversion lenses where the camera thread- not the thread on the conversion lens- could easily be damaged unless you were particularly careful.I have been exceptionally careful but now find that the thread on my camcorder has been damaged. If this gets any worse the two conversion lenses which I have purchased, at a cost of sevreal hundred pounds, will be useless
Overall rating 5.0
Ease of use 7.0
Image quality 9.0
Battery life 7.0
Weight 6.0
Value for money 7.0
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 29 May 2011

Joe, Keen amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
Has optical viewfinder
Bad points:
Zoom range small compared to many current camcorders - but they miss out on viewfinder!
Overall rating 9.0
Ease of use 8.0
Image quality 9.0
Features 9.0
Sound quality 6.0
Battery life 8.0
Weight 9.0
Value for money 9.0
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Confirmed purchase: 21 Jul 2013

Confirmed purchaser

Score 10.0/10
Good points:
Easy to use even for a non technical person like me.
Bad points:
Overall rating 10.0
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 10.0
Weight 10.0
Value for money 10.0
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 13 Feb 2009

Allan , Petersfield Keen amateur

Score 10.0/10
Good points:
The viewfinder is essential for anyone who needs glasses for short sight - its focussed at infinity and means the camera can be used without wearing glasses - a great plus in bright light conditions such as skiing when the screen becomes unusable.
Bad points:
Reviewer left no comment
Overall rating 10.0
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 9.0
Battery life 9.0
Weight 9.0
Value for money 9.0
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 11 Nov 2009

James, Tullibody, Clackmannanshire Experienced amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
Great at what it does
Bad points:
Accessories are expensive
Overall rating 9.0
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 9.0
Battery life 9.0
Weight 9.0
Value for money 7.0
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Confirmed purchase: 03 Mar 2011

Edward, Chislehurst Keen amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
An excellent camera. Easy to use. Spectacular when viewed on HDTV.
Bad points:
Reviewer left no comment
Overall rating 9.0
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 8.0
Weight 9.0
Value for money 8.0
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Review date: 03 Feb 2010

Product Features

Resolution quality Full HD
Resolution (Pixels) 3810x2860
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
Type of memory card Memory Stick Pro
Shape of camcorder Horizontally held
Digital zoom ratio 150
Type of image stabiliser Optical
Widescreen recording Yes
Hard disk capacity (Gigabytes) 120
Shortest shutter speed (Fractions of a second) 1/800
Weight (g) 560
Screen size (Inches) 3.2
Maximum aperture telephoto 2.9
Maximum aperture wide 1.8
Lowest focal length (Millimetres) 49
Highest focal length (Millimetres) 490
Type of chip CMOS
Release date 2008-02-26

Also known as: Sony HDR-SR12

Camcorders Buying Guide  

Manufacturer's Description

Complete the picture. The HDR-SR12 Handycam® camcorder delivers an incredible, Full HD 1920 × 1080 high definition video package built around an internal 120GB hard disk drive. A professional-quality Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar® T* lens and ClearVid™ CMOS sensor (with Exmor™ technology) and BIONZ™ image processor let you capture crisp, detailed video and still images. Additionally, Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization and Face Detection technology help reduce blur, increase color and contrast, and make everyone look their best.

Note: Most camcorders will not fit in ACC-FH50A case when the large (NP-FH100) battery is attached to camcorder.

1920×1080 Recording
Record stunning, incredibly detailed video footage in the clarity of 1920 × 1080 Full HD resolution.

Face Detection for Video Footage and Digital Still Photos
Made possible by the BIONZ™ image processing engine, Face Detection technology recognizes up to 8 faces anywhere in the frame and automatically controls focus, exposure, and color to help capture smiling faces brightly and clearly. Face Detection also helps make skin tones look natural without affecting other colors in the image.

5 Megapixel ClearVid™ CMOS Sensor (with Exmor™ Technology) and BIONZ™ Image Processor
Sony’s newly designed CMOS image sensor delivers bright, vivid, and spectacularly detailed 5 megapixel (effective) video footage, as well as 10.2 megapixel still images — all with prolonged battery life. Exmor™ technology captures images with high resolution and high sensitivity. In addition, the advanced Sony BIONZ™ image processor improves camera response time and screens out noise so the signal from each pixel is as pure as possible.

BIONZ™ Image Processor
The advanced Sony BIONZ™ Image Processor uses hardware-based Large Scale Integrated (LSI) circuitry that improves camera response time, screens out noise before RAW data conversion, handles Dynamic Range Optimization processing, and prolongs battery life.

Exmor™ Imaging Sensor
Exmor™ technology captures video and still photo images with high resolution, high sensitivity, and exceptional detail. Advanced on-sensor A/D conversion yields rich tonal reproduction with high signal-to-noise ratio.

Hybrid Recording to Hard Disk Drive or Memory Stick® Media
Hybrid recording technology delivers a new level of flexibility for transferring your video footage and digital photos from the camcorder to compatible viewing devices. Record to the camcorder’s internal hard disk drive, or choose instead to record to removable Memory Stick Duo™ media or Memory Stick PRO Duo™ media. You can even select from various dubbing functions to easily copy video or still images from the hard disk drive to Memory Stick media — without using a PC. Images recorded or transferred to Memory Stick media can then be played directly on a PS3 or PC to share your memories with friends and family.

Dual Record
While recording video in High Definition you have the ability to capture still images directly to Memory Stick Duo™ media (sold separately).

12X Optical / 150X Digital Zoom
The optical zoom helps to bring the action close up from far away. In addition, Digital Zoom Interpolation means that extreme digital zooming is clearer, with less distortion than previous types of digital zoom.

3.2" Wide1 (16:9) Touch Panel XtraFine LCD™ Display (921K pixels)
The 3.2" Wide1 (16:9) XtraFine™ LCD screen displays sharp, bright, photo-quality images, letting you compose and share video and still images more easily — even outdoors. With nearly 1 megapixel (921K pixels) resolution and a wide viewing angle, the XtraFine LCD™ screen is like having a high-resolution video and photo viewer built into your camcorder.

Built-in zoom microphone with 5.1ch recording
Featuring Dolby® Ditigal 5.1 Creator, the built-in zoom microphone focuses audio recording on your subjects in sync with the camera’s zoom lens, helping memories ring true with clear dialogue and crisp, discrete sounds.

Dolby® Digital 5.1ch Recording
Record in Dolby Digital 5.1ch surround sound with the camcorder’s built-in microphone. Recording in 5.1 channel surround sound allows you to experience your home movies with active sounds coming from all directions, so you can enjoy your personal home movies the way you experienced them while recording.

Dynamic Range Optimizer
Powered by the exclusive Sony’s BIONZ™ high-speed processing engine, D-Range Optimization preserves image data in bright highlights, such as suppressing “whiteout” in skies. When shooting in backlit settings, D-Range Optimization reveals more detail in shadows, preventing “blackout.” As a result, the captured image appears as natural as the original scene.

Tele Macro Function
Images shot in the Tele Macro Mode help your subject stand out by properly focusing the subject while leaving the background unfocussed. The Tele Macro Mode is useful for shooting close-up shots, especially when you need to prevent the camcorder from casting a shadow on the subject.

Switchable HD/SD Format Recording
Record and play back both High Definition (HD)4 and Standard Definition (SD) video.

Professional Quality Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar® T Lens
Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar® T lenses use highly advanced optics to deliver vivid image brilliance, true-to-life color saturation, and perfect renditions of subtle tones. The additional T coating further reduces unwanted glare and flare for increased contrast and color.

Active Interface Shoe
Sony’s proprietary hot shoe makes it easy to use Intelligent Accessories, such as external lights and microphones, by providing power and on/off capability directly from the camcorder.

HDMI™ Connection with BRAVIA® Sync™ (CEC) Technology
HDMI™ connectivity provides a simple, high-quality video and audio connection, with the ability to transmit HD video and 5.1 channel audio directly from the camcorder to compatible HDTVs via a single cable. With BRAVIA® Sync™ (CEC) technology, the HDMI connection also delivers the ability to control both the camcorder and HDTV using a single BRAVIA TV remote.

USB 2.0 Interface
The USB 2.0 interface provides an easy way to connect your camcorderto a PC for fast transfer of video and still images for editing.

InfoLITHIUM® Battery with AccuPower™ Meter System
Unlike NiCad (Nickel Cadmium) batteries, Sony’s rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries are not subjected to a life shortening “Memory Effect,” so you’re free to charge the battery at any time. Additionally, Sony’s exclusive AccuPower™ meter displays the battery time remaining in minutes, in either the viewfinder or on the LCD screen.

Stamina® Battery Power Management System
When using the Sony InfoLITHIUM® Battery, the Stamina® Battery Power Management System helps the camcorder prolong battery life for extra long continuous recording times from a single charge.

Battery Information
At the touch of a button, battery information is displayed on the LCD screen when charging and when the camcorder is turned off. When using the LCD screen or viewfinder, the display will show how much the battery is charged — in 10% increments — and the recordable time left.

Built-in Intelligent Flash
For added clarity and detail when taking pictures in low-light situations, the built-in flash improves pictures and reduces shadows.

Easy Handycam Button
Using a camcorder can be intimidating for some people. With a press of the Easy Handycam Button, most of the advanced features of the camcorder are “locked out,” letting you focus only the buttons essential for recording.

Date Index Function
Search recorded content by shooting date to quickly and easily find a specific scene.

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