Sony HDR-CX405 Review – Small But Powerful HD Camcorder
If you are looking for a compact camcorder that you can take with you on your trips, then look no further. The Sony HDR-CX405 is a light and compact camcorder that packs in a ton of features despite its handy size and an affordable price tag.
Don’t fall into the trap of buying cheap camcorders just because you have a small budget. They may work fine initially or even seem like they have a lot of interesting features. But soon you may be faced with performance issues or durability issues giving you frustration instead of quality videos and pictures.
To save you from all the trouble, we have handpicked the Sony HDR-CX405 which is a top seller and had good reviews from customers. You can read about its features and capabilities in our detailed review below and decide if it is the right one for your requirements.
Sony HDR-CX405 Specs
- 30x optical zoom and a 60x clear image zoom
- A video resolution of 1920 x 1080 60p
- The 26.8 mm Zeiss lens gives wide angles for shooting
- Steady Shot image stabilization for shake-free videos and images
- Face detection and voice enhancement for better video quality
- 7 different picture and video effects
- Built-in USB cable for charging and easy data transfer
Is The Sony HDR-CX405 The Best HD Camcorder?
There are definitely many high-end camcorders on the market with advanced features that you can buy if you don’t mind spending a lot of money. But if want a quality camcorder with decent features and a budget-friendly price point, then it becomes really difficult to find one that does not compromise in some way or the other.
But the Sony HDR-CX405 has a great combination high-end features and a budget-friendly price tag to give you the best of both worlds. From full HD videos and pictures to image stabilization to face detection and more, you will be amazed at the number of features that this little camcorder comes with. You can learn more about each of these features below.
See all the details on your photos and videos clearly when you shoot with the HDR-CX405. It comes with a 9.4 Megapixel camera that captures images and videos in full high-definition. It has an output resolution of 1920 x1080 60p for videos.
You can choose the output of your recorded video by choosing either the AVCHD or the mp4 format. The AVCHD format is for recording high-definition videos during special events while the mp4 video format is light and easy for quickly sharing on social network.
It is important to look for the sensor behind your camcorder as it is what helps you get really sharp and clear images. This camcorder comes equipped with an Exmor R CMOS sensor that is smaller than most camcorders in the segment.
But despite its small size it gives highly clear images and reduces noise when used in poor light conditions. It does this by increasing the area of light absorbed by each pixel. It also gives you the much desired blurry background image for a professional look.
The camera on the HDR-CX405 is equipped with a 29.8mm wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens. This means that you can capture more area of the scene that you are trying to shoot. With a wide angle of view, nothing will escape your powerful lens whether you are in a small room trying to fit all your guests in a photo or outdoors getting wide landscape shots of the scene.
Clear Image Zoom
The optical lens of the camera has a magnification of 27x to give you clear and sharp pictures even when you focus distant subjects. But what is more interesting is that the HDR-CX405 has a Clear Image Zoom features that almost doubles the magnification to 54x.
The Clear Zoom features works by mimicking patterns of nearby pixels and duplicating them. The result is a highly clear image with twice the amount of magnification.
As the camcorder has been designed to be very compact, the screen is also smaller than other comparable camcorders. It has a 2.7-inch display that shows what is being captured. It is bright enough to be seen even in outdoor conditions preventing you from squinting at the display for a clue. So you can make necessary changes to your video or picture settings to the get the most out of your camcorder.
Connectivity and Controls
The camcorder is very simple to use with very limited buttons for navigation. The joystick and preview button are placed right next to the display for quick access. There is a slot for memory card and a micro HDMI port connecting your camcorder directly to an HDTV or your computer.
The record button is placed on the back for easy record on and off while the zoom buttons are on the top as with most camcorders.
The auto feature is great for beginners who are still learning to use the different scene selection features. But the HDR-CX405 has an intelligent auto feature that automatically chooses the right camera settings depending on the ambiance. So whether you are taking landscape shots or shooting under low light or taking portraits your camcorder will automatically choose the most appropriate mode from the 10 scene settings and choose wind noise reduction wherever applicable.
Face and Smile Detection
We all love happy faces in our photos and the people at Sony know this better than anyone else. That is why they put in a face and smile recognition feature into a basic camcorder such as the HDR-CX405.
Simply touch a face to automatically focus on a person in the shot. The camera will automatically choose the best settings from exposure to focus to even color for the selected face. What’s even better, your camcorder will remember this face and automatically detect if when you shoot again.
Just like the face recognition, the HDR-CX405 can also detect smiles and automatically freeze them as pictures even when you are shooting a video. Select the Smile shutter mode to automatically save best moments in your videos as photos.
Built-In USB Cable
It is not a big deal to have a USB port on your camcorder but the HDR-CX405 goes one step further in convenience as it comes with an inbuilt USB 2.0 cable. So you can quickly transfer all your files without having to look for the right cable. The same USB cable is used for charging your camcorder taking the frustration out of charging.
When even your smartphone comes with a variety of filters and picture enhancement features, you wouldn’t want your camcorder to just shoot regular videos. The HDR-CX405 give you 7 different special effects that you can choose to make your videos and photos look colorful and professional. Choose an area on your photo to be focused or transform your pictures into paintings with the watercolor effect. There is no limit to getting creative with your photos and videos.
It can be quite frustrating to see later that your videos and images are blurred because you did not hold your camcorder steady. This can happen especially if you are a beginner or if you try to change camera settings while shooting.
As camera movements are unavoidable whether you are a newbie or a seasoned user, the HDR-CX405 comes with Steady Shot Image Stabilization technology that takes care of camera shakes and gives you completely smooth and clear videos.
As if that wasn’t enough the camcorder also built in with a 3-way shake-canceling feature which further removes any camera movement to give you frustration-free and shake-free videos.
Dual Record Mode
Don’t worry about getting the best shot with the Sony HDR-CX405 as it comes with a smart dual record mode. When you use this mode the camcorder will record video and still images at the same time to find the most perfect shot.
One of the main selling points for the HDR-CX405 is its compact size and lightweight. It weighs a mere 6.7 ounces make it very light for carrying in your backpack or even your handbag.
Easy To Use
Not only is the HDR-CX405 light and compact, it also comes with a handy strap with which you can easily hold your camcorder with just one hand and shoot with confidence.
You can store all your favorite videos and images onto either a memory stick micro or a micro SD/SDHC card. The HDR-CX405 comes with slots for both so that you can choose one that suits your requirement the most.
- Good image stabilization gives shake-free memories
- User-friendly with inbuilt effects and Intelligent auto scene selection
- Dual recording feature for quick social media-friendly videos
- Face and smile detection features
- A compact and lightweight camcorder for easy portability
- The ports for connectivity can be difficult to access
- No port for adding an external microphone
The HDR-CX405 is clearly a cost-effective camcorder with a great number of features packed into its compact body. It will be great for anyone who wants to capture videos and photos in high-definition whether you are indoors, out in broad daylight or even in poor light conditions.
If you are a complete beginner then this would make a great starter camera as it is very user-friendly with many automatic features. Simply point and shoot to get visually rich videos and images that you can cherish forever.