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Sony Handycam HDR-PJ10E review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £474
inc VAT

Great colours and good stabilisation but footage isn't super sharp and the projector adds unnecessary cost without adding value


1/4in CMOS sensor, 1,920×1,080, 30.0x zoom, 365g

First there was the Nikon Coolpix S1100pj digital camera, and now there’s the HDR-PJ10E – an HD camcorder with a built-in LED projector. It’s crammed into the back of the LCD viewfinder, which is a little thicker than most camcorders’ but apart from the tiny lens and focus slider on top, you’d hardly notice it.

Sony Handycam HDR-PJ10E projector

It has a resolution of 640×360 and can project up to a 60in image using its 10-lumen LED. As with most pico projectors, you can only really use it in a darkened room unless you’re happy to keep the screen size to around 10in. Image quality isn’t too bad, but footage appears murky and dim and the low resolution doesn’t do 1080p clips justice. We can’t help but feel that – as with the Coolpix – it’s a gimmick. You’ll see better quality if you connect the camcorder to your TV with an HDMI cable.

Sony Handycam HDR-PJ10E ports

It’s easy to dismiss the PJ10E because of this, but there’s plenty to like about this camcorder. It starts with a reasonably wide-angle lens (the 35mm equivalent of 30mm) and zooms in to 894mm (that’s 30x, before you reach for your calculator). As you’d expect at this price, optical image stabilisation is built-in and helps make this zoom range usable without requiring a tripod. In our tests, footage was acceptably stable when walking around, but impressively still when the camera is held in one position.

Colours were exceptional, even indoors during the day. Skin tones were accurate and other colours – particularly grass and skies – were vibrant. Despite the backlit CMOS sensor, which puts the circuitry at the back instead of the front, plenty of noise and smeared details emerged in dim light. Our main criticism is that, even at the highest quality 24Mbit/s mode, the image wasn’t quite as sharp as we’d expect. Plus, details in the background were smeary, even when the main subject was perfectly sharp. This wasn’t simply due to the depth of field, as some objects remained sharp while others – particularly those with detailed textures such as foliage – were messy. Another problem was that the PJ10E couldn’t retain its focus on an object while zooming. It took a couple of seconds of hunting following a zoom to refocus again.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***


Optical zoom 30.0x
Digital zoom 350x
Sensor 1/4in CMOS
Sensor pixels 3.3
Widescreen mode native
LCD screen size 3.0in
Viewfinder type N/A
Video lamp No
Video recording format AVCHD
Video recording media 16GB internal memory, SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Sound Dolby Digital 5.1
Video resolutions 1,920×1,080
Maximum image resolution 2,112×1,584
Memory slot SD/Memory Stick
Mermory supplied 16GB internal
Flash no


Digital inputs/outputs mini HDMI out, mini USB
Analogue inputs/outputs 3.5mm microphone input, 3.5mm headphone output, component and composite video output
Other connections charge jack
Battery type Li-ion
Battery life 2h 25m
Battery charging position in camera
Size 64x50x126mm
Weight 365g

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £474

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