Sony HDR-CX410VE review
1/3.91in CMOS sensor, PAL 1,920x1,080, 1,440x1,080, 30.0x zoom
The Sony CX410VE is a fairly compact Full HD camcorder, but it still has most of the features that enthusiasts demand, such as an accessory shoe and a separate microphone input and headphone output. The CX410VE also has a 3in colour touchscreen, Sony’s excellent Handycam user interface and a built-in GPS for tagging the location where a picture was taken.
The CX410VE uses a 1/3.91 CMOS sensor and you can choose between a 55x “extended” zoom and the 30x optical zoom. When pushed to its full extension, the extended zoom produced much noise, but the effect didn’t make the footage unbearable.
You can record Full HD videos at either 50fps progressive or interlaced or 25fps interlaced. With the resolution set to 1,920x1,080 and the frame rate to 50fps progressive, the bitrate is around 26,500Kb/s. That’s enough to produce some high quality footage, but we were a little dismayed with the quality of our videos.
There was evidence of compression, some noise, even in outdoor footage, and colour wasn’t always accurately reproduced. As an example, the sky in our test footage looks turquoise instead of the grey-blue that it was that day. However, the detail captured wasn’t that bad, as long as the subject was within 20 metres of the lens. Detail quickly disappears soon after that distance, with objects further towards the edge of the frame becoming blocky with no real texture. Things were worse when we zoomed in with the extended zoom, as the camcorder often took slightly too long to refocus. Footage shot in our labs suffered from the same kind of effects.
The video quality is reasonable given the price of the CX410VE, but only to a certain extent. We found that the Panasonic HC-V720 produced better quality footage. It wasn’t dramatically better. Similarly priced camcorders, but it’s enough to make use choose the HC-V720 over the Sony CX410VE.
One neat feature of the CX410VE is its built-in GPS function. This lets you view images you’ve taken at a particular location. You can view a map on the CX410VE’s touchscreen, with thumbnails of your images overlaid on it. You can then select a thumbnail and view the image full screen. You can even zoom in and out of a location with the zoom lever. To navigate the map you simply have to swipe it as you would on a smartphone or tablet.
The colour touchscreen is adequate, but not as responsive as that of the Canon Legria HF R46 (see Reviews, Shopper 307). However, it uses the excellent Handycam user interface, which is colourful and uses a combination of easy-to-understand icons and natural language to give you control over
The CX410VE also lacks the extras we now expect to see on modern camcorders. The Panasonic HC-V720, for example, has built-in Wi-Fi and near-field communication (NFC) to ease the process of transferring videos, playing videos on your TV and connecting to phones. The CX410VE has GPS, but we think general consumers would prefer built-in Wi-Fi and NFC to geo-tagging. If you have £400 to spend on a camcorder we’d recommend the Panasonic HC-V720 instead.