The Sony HDR-CX350V is a compact camcorder that captures Full HD 1080 video in AVCHD format. In addition to AVCHD video format, the CX350V can also capture 7.1MP still images with its Exmor R CMOS sensor. The CX350V features 32GB of internal flash memory, which can be expanded via Memory Stick or SD cards.
The compact size of the CX350V is immediately apparent. This camera will easily fit into a purse or jacket pocket. The fold-out LCD screen folds smoothly into the camera and is flush on all edges. When folded-out though, you get the benefit of the touchscreen display, which allows you to operate functions like Face Touch directly from the screen. Just touch a subject’s face on the screen to prioritize all sorts of settings like focus, color, exposure and Smile Shutter. As with other Sony cameras, the touchscreen interface is very well implemented on the CX350V.
The CX350V offers embedded GPS, which allows content to be geo-tagged. Another benefit of the GPS is that the camera automatically adjusts the clock for the appropriate time zone, so you don’t have to worry about changing it when you travel.
The CX350V has a 12x optical zoom built around a Sony G lens. Additionally, the lens is equipped with optical image stabilization, which Sony dubs as Optical Steady Shot. Optical image stabilization uses a gyro sensor to detect camera shake and prevent you videos from having the ‘shaky-cam’ effect. In practice, I found the CX350V’s image stabilization to be very effective.
The video quality of the CX350V looked stunning on the 2.7-inch LCD. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to bring any back with me; however, I hope to get more time with the CX350V soon and will be sure to provide some video samples when I do. However, I can tell you that I was very impressed with how the image quality appeared in low light and on moving subjects. The AVCHD format appears to offer very solid video quality.
The zoom action of the CX350V is very smooth and concise. I had no real complaints with the speed or action of the zoom. Likewise, the autofocus performance of the CX350V appears to be spot on. I shot static subjects at different ranges and moving targets that varied in distance to camera without any noticeable misses in AF accuracy.
The only minor quibble that I picked up on with the CX350V was the glossy finish of the casing. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the glossy finish due to the amount of fingerprints that it picks up. Is that a deal killer? No. But it’s a “I woulda done it different” for me.
All in all the CX350V looks to be a killer, consumer mid-range HD camera that produces solid HD video and is packed with a solid feature set. At $900 initial retail price, it’s above some of the entry-level, budget video cameras; however, the feature set makes up for it overall.
You can find the Sony CX350V at Tech Tilt’s trusted online retail partner B&H Photo & Video.