Sony HDR-CX11E review

Ben Pitt
18 May 2009
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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
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1/3.1in CMOS sensor, PAL, 1,440x1,080, 1,920x1,080, 12.0x zoom, 370g

The HDR-CX11E looks more conventional than its retro-styled sibling, the HDR-TG3E, but the two cameras share various traits.

The menu layout and touchscreen are identical, so the HDR-CX11E has the same spot-focus and metering controls and slow-motion capture mode. However, the lack of direct control over shutter speed and aperture and the inability to record progressive-scan video is more disappointing here, as this is a video camera that's otherwise better suited to enthusiasts.

Both Sony cameras also use Memory Stick Pro Duo (MSPD) cards. These cost around twice as much as SDHC, although a 4GB card is included in the box. MSPD card slots aren't as common on PCs as SDHC slots, but the supplied docking station makes light work of transfers to a computer.

The HDR-CX11E has various extra features to justify its higher price over the HDR-TG3E. The built-in optical image stabilisation was the best here for reducing camera shake at high zoom settings. A small dial next to the lens makes manual focus much easier than with the buttons or touchscreens used elsewhere, but sadly it's not accompanied by a momentary digital zoom to assist with fine-tuning. A proprietary hotshoe accepts Sony-branded accessories, while the infrared lamp produces eerie monochrome video in total darkness.

Picture quality was a marked improvement over the HDR-TG3E. Details were sharp, skin tones were natural and - most significantly - low-light footage was less noisy than from Canon's HF200. Sound quality was narrowly the best here, being full-bodied and detailed.

The HDR-CX11E rarely stood out in our tests, but with a solid set of features and consistently commendable performance, it slowly rose to the top of the pack. The lower price compared to Canon's HF200 means it's possible to overlook the use of expensive media. Unless progressive scan and full manual control are vital, this is the HD camera to buy.

Basic Specifications



Optical zoom12.0x
Digital zoom150x
Sensor1/3.1in CMOS
Sensor pixels5,660,000
Widescreen modenative
LCD screen size2.7in
Viewfinder typenone
Video lampYes
Video recording formatAVCHD
Video recording mediaMemory Stick Pro Duo
SoundDolby Digital 5.1
Video resolutionsPAL, 1,440x1,080, 1,920x1,080
Maximum image resolution3,680x2,070
Memory slotMemory Stick Pro Duo
Mermory supplied4GB Memory Stick Pro Duo


Digital inputs/outputsUSB
Analogue inputs/outputsAV out, component out, mini HDMI out
Other connectionscharge jack, Sony accessory shoe, docking port
Battery type7.2V 1,000mAh Li-ion
Battery life1h 50m
Battery charging positioncamcorder

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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