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Sony HDR-CX410VE review - Hands on

  • Sony HDR-CX410VE
  • Sony HDR-CX410VE
  • Sony HDR-CX410VE
  • Sony HDR-CX410VE
  • Sony HDR-CX410VE
  • Sony HDR-CX410VE

There's a more expensive consumer camcorder in Sony's 2013 line-up, but we're going to look at the Sony HDR-CX410VE, as the top-end model has a built-in projector - which most people won't want or need. The HDR-CX410VE is a more straightforward design and goes up against Panasonic's top-end single chip camcorder the HC-V720.

Sony HDR-CX410VE

We were hugely impressed last year by Sony's then new Balanced Optical Steadyshot technology, where the lens of the camera essentially floated inside the camcorder, and could twist any way to compensate for your movement. Sony claims to have improved the system by around 13% this year, but either way it's down to Panasonic to catch up in this regard.

Sony HDR-CX410VENot much to see here, but that stabilising lens is very clever

The new model is some 30% lighter than its predecessor, and you can feel it too, which will make carrying it around all day less of a chore. The most notable feature for a camcorder at this price in the shoe on top - a proprietary Sony design.

Sony HDR-CX410VEHere's the proprietary shoe ...

There's no built-in Wi-FI on this device, we were a bit surprised, but you'll be able to pick up a Wi-Fi module that plugs into that shoe for about £60. With this you get all the usual options for sharing video and controlling the camcorder via an app on your smartphone. It may not have Wi-Fi but the CX410VE does include GPS, so it will tag your videos with the locations they were shot at.

Sony HDR-CX410VE... and here with the fitted Wi-Fi adaptor - lights and mics also available

Inside the 1/3.91in sensor looks to compare poorly with the 1/2.33in sensor on the Panasonic, but the Sony sensor is an EXMOR-branded one and so uses BSI (backside illumination) to improve its performance, so things may not be as unbalanced as they appear.

Like the Panasonic, this camcorder can record in Dolby Digital surround sound, and we particularly like the surround-sound level indicator on the display.

Sony HDR-CX410VEThe onscreen display with surround sound level indicator

Without Wi-Fi and with a smaller sensor, the CX410VE looks to have a fight on its hands. We should be getting both camcorders come spring for a full head-to-head review.

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