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Review: Sony – HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder – Impressive zoom and excellent outdoor capture

Two-year review of Sony Handycam HDR CX 405’s quality, price, and features... Read more

Review of Sony - HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder

Table of Contents

Test of Sony – HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder

4.4/5 - (2635 votes)

Cena: $228.00


  • Lightweight and user-friendly design
  • Impressive video and still photo quality
  • Highly durable
  • Built-in lens cover
  • Smooth and efficient zoom feature
  • Comfortable on the budget


  • Limited battery size
  • Cannot record while charging
  • Built-in mic picks up static noise
  • No external microphone connection
  • Max microSD size is 64GB

“After two years of hands-on testing and intensive use, I have to say that the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 is an admirable companion for the budget-conscious videographer. With impressive zoom, excellent outdoor capture, and unexpectedly high-quality photo capabilities, it’s delivered reliably on most of my expectations, proving to be a durable workhorse. However, there is room for improvements, particularly considering the limited battery capacity and lack of an external microphone port. It’s not perfect, but for the sub-$200 price range, it’s a worthy contender and has remained a dependable asset in my videography toolkit.”

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Brand Sony
Connectivity Technology USB
Flash Memory Type Memory Stick;Micro SD;;
Color Black
Special Feature Lightweight, Anti-Shake, Time Lapse
Screen Size 2.7 Inches
Optical Zoom 30 x
Photo Sensor Technology CMOS
Camcorder type Action Camera
Model Name HDR-CX405

Unveiling the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405: My Two-Year Journey

For the last 24 months, my go-to camcorder for all things video has been the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405. It’s been there through multiple product reviews, and somehow, it became second nature to include it in all my filming exploits. The kind of trust I’ve put in this camera is a testament to its steady performance and reliability. After two years, I feel it’s high time I shared an unbiased and critical review of my experience with this video recording workhorse.

Unboxing the Camera: First Impressions & Retail Package

It feels like yesterday, the anticipation I had unboxing the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405. My first impressions? Here was a tool that was ready for action. The manufacturer’s packaging acknowledged the need for protection and safe transportation, and honestly, it was straightforward – no unnecessary fluff.

The contents included the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 itself, a brief manual, and a very diminutive but functional battery. Straightforward but effective.

Unveiling the Unique Amazon Bundle: Worth the Extra Cash?

Cost is a major factor when scouting for filming equipment, and the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 is available for around $190. However, I was intrigued by the Amazon special bundle – an extra $20 to $50 opens you up to a collection of critical accessories – a tripod, carrying case, and numerous handy components.

So, did I go for the bundle? Absolutely! I always believe in the value of comprehensive solutions, and this was no different. Looking back, it’s been money well spent, giving me seamless filming experience devoid of any panic moments of missing components.

Assessment of Sony - HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder

Technical Overview: It’s all in the Details.

  • Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 has 1920×1080 video resolution
  • Battery pack is small yet powerful, lasting for an hour
  • Equipped with a simple, beginner-friendly control layout

As much as I appreciate a sleek design and compact form, it’s always the inside that counts, especially when we talk about cameras. Having spent two years with the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405, I think I’ve gotten to know it inside out, literally.

Key Specs: Image Resolution and Video Quality Uncovered

When it comes to resolution, there’s no denying that the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 shines brightly. Its potential of capturing videos at 1920×1080 (at 60 P) and still shots at megapixels is pretty impressive. These are numbers that detail fiends appreciate, assuring you of shots that are detailed, rich, and vibrant, capturing every nuanced color and texture in the scene.

The Battery Lifeline: Small but Mighty

But power is where the CX 405 gets interesting. Despite the compact size of the battery, it packs a surprising punch. However, the exact capacity remains a mystery, but it’s undoubtedly a volt says on the label. Still, don’t be fooled by its stature. Although small, this little energy box kept the Handycam running for a decent amount of filming time, around an hour to an hour and a half of continuous shooting, in my experience.

Trip the Switch: Navigating the Controls of the Sony Handycam

Another thing worth noting is the intelligent layout of the Handycam’s controls. The sleek body houses only five or six buttons , making it a beginner-friendly tool and easy for seasoned users – no cumbersome fiddling around. The zoom control, photo button, and recording control are all strategically placed for easy access. Moreover, the built-in lens cover is a blessing in disguise – trust me; your lens will thank you!.

In its essence, the Sony Handycam is a well-equipped piece of technology that embodies the balance between simplicity and high performance.

Verdict: Sony - HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder

Hands-on Experience: The Real Test Begins Here

  • Sony Handycam is intuitive and user-friendly
  • Features clear, crisp and smooth zooming
  • Superior autofocus for quality footage

It’s not always about the first impressions or what’s listed out on the product’s features section. Sometimes, the real deal unfolds when you actually start using the device. This was the case with my experience using the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405.

Operating the Sony Handycam: It Doesn’t Need a Manual

Usually, when you get a new product, especially a tech gadget, you can expect to spend a good deal of time reading through the manual just to figure out where the start button is. This Sony Handycam was sort of a breath of fresh air. I found it intuitive and user-friendly .

The moment I picked it up, I felt at home with the limited and well-labeled controls. Within minutes, I confidently powered the camera and started shooting. That’s the kind of easy navigation a busy tech user appreciates.

The Zoom Factor: Distance Viewing Just Got Crisper

I’ve worked with quite a variety of cameras and one feature that always seems key to me is the zooming capability. With this Handycam, I found the zooming to be clear, crisp and smooth . Unlike some cameras that offer a rather choppy zoom process, the Sony Handycam offers impressive smoothness in transitions. This along with the superior autofocus made shooting significantly satisfying.

However, a slight hinderance manifested when attempting to zoom and record simultaneously. Although it was less of an issue for me, I can see how it may bother some users.

Autofocus: The Secret to Flawless Footage

A camera’s autofocus can very well make or break the overall footage quality. This Handycam boasts an autofocus that performs quite well generally. It maintained the subject clarity during my shoots and offered smooth transitions from one focus point to another.

Nevertheless, some improvement can be employed in scenarios of rapidly moving subjects. While it’s not an action camera, this feature is definitely worth considering in future upgrades.

In conclusion, the overall hands-on experience with the Sony Handycam was pretty impressive and made it an easy-to-use device for achieving high-quality footage.

Report: Sony - HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder

The Unexpected Bonus: A Sharper Look at the Snapshot Feature

  • High-quality photo capability in Sony Handycam
  • Snapshot resolution of 4032 by 2272 pixels
  • Photo feature adds versatility to the device

Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting much on the photography front from this dedicated video camera. But sometimes, surprises come from the most unexpected places.

Discovering the High-resolution Snapshot: A Pleasant Surprise

When I first tried the photo-taking feature on the Sony Handycam, it was largely out of curiosity. I primarily use this camera for video recordings and figured the snapshot element would be a mere afterthought. But oh boy, was I in for a revelation! The photo quality turned out to be impressive for a video-centered device!

This gave me versatility I hadn’t accounted for. The image quality and detail were far more than I’d hoped for, proving that this Sony Handycam is more than just a one-trick pony. The snapshot function does not hold back and certainly stands its ground.

Putting the Snaps to the Test: An Unexpected Pixel Perfection

Being skeptical, I went ahead and shot a series of photos. To say the least, I was blown away. The images clocked in at 4032 by 2272 pixels . The depth of detail, range of colors, and overall clarity were nothing short of fantastic.

Granted, it’s not going to outpace a dedicated DSLR, but the Handycam’s ability to take photos of such quality on the fly is not to be dismissed lightly. It adds an extra layer of convenience, especially for those spontaneous moments that call for a quick snap.

In summary, the photo-taking ability of the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 is a feature that showcases the versatility of this device. It may not be your primary reason for making the purchase, but it’s undeniably an unexpected bonus.

Whether you’re capturing videos or still images, this camera delivers solid performance. A great example of how Sony continues to up the ante in terms of delivering more in their products.

Scanning Sony - HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder

My Verdict: Final Assessment in Review

  • Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 is extremely durable
  • Provides reliable, high-quality video and image capture
  • Offers good value for its price

If I were to encapsulate my two-year experience with the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 into words, I would definitely label it as a “Durable Workhorse” . Let’s delve into the reasons behind this.

Why I’d Call The Sony Handycam a ‘Durable Workhorse’

Firstly, the durability of this gadget is unquestionably impressive. Despite being tossed into bags with other heavy equipment, and even surviving a few accidental drops, the functionality remains intact. It’s not every day that you come across a piece of technology that is as robust physically as it is in its performance.

Moreover, the Handycam has proven over the course of two years to be a reliable companion. With a very good frame rate and picture quality, it justifies its price tag of $190, offering value for money. The built-in lens feature and the exceptional quality of the zoom feature only elevate the overall experience.

Scoring My Satisfaction: Price and Quality Considered

Bringing together the price, quality, and functionality aspects, I would say this Handycam stands in good stead compared to other cameras in a similar price bracket. With the versatility to capture excellent videos and high-quality images, it offers more than anticipated.

That being said, the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 isn’t without its flaws, and there are areas where I think improvement could be beneficial, which I will delve into in the next section. But, all things considered, this camera has consistently proven to be a worthwhile investment over the past two years. Handling a wide range of tasks with aplomb, it is truly a ‘Durable Workhorse’ .

Survey of Sony - HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder

The Flip Side: Things That Could Be Better

  • Limited battery life and size issues
  • No support for external microphone
  • Only supports up to 64GB MicroSD cards

While I found a lot to love about the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405, I have to be honest and say there are a few areas that could stand some improvement.

Issues with Battery Size and Life

The first shortcoming that struck me is related to the battery size and life. The small 1400 milliamps battery is almost completely enclosed in the camera, leaving very little room for an aftermarket one to extend the recording capacity. This limits the filming spontaneity as I found myself able to shoot continuously only for around an hour before needing a battery swap.

I initially thought I could bypass this battery life challenge by making use of the USB charging cable while recording. Unfortunately, I found that this model does not support charging while recording. This can be a bit of a hassle especially during lengthy shoots.

Old School Microphone Feature: Not 100% Sold on the Built-In Microphone

As much as I appreciate minimalism of the camera design, I have to ding it for the lack of an external microphone port. Rated on its own, the built-in microphone is not particularly terrible but its operation is marred by subtle static background noise especially noticeable in quiet indoor recording settings. This might put off users who plan to overlay their videos with live commentary or narration.

Unfortunately, there’s no option to plug in an external mic, thus users have to rely on the built-in mic. This isn’t an issue if you plan to do voiceovers after recording, but if you’re looking for a device to simultaneously provide video and audio for commentary-heavy content, you might need to weigh this point carefully.

Storage Limitations and Restrictions

Funnily enough, this supposedly ‘new-gen’ device has a peculiar limitation. It won’t accept anything larger than a 64-gigabyte microSD card. While this might be ample storage for some, for users planning to record tons of high-resolution footage or perhaps are working on field and may not have immediate access to back up their files, the 64GB limit might prove to be somewhat restrictive.

In conclusion, while the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 is impressive in many respects, there are certain limitations one needs to be aware of. The limited battery life, restrictions in audio enhancement, and storage limitation all could use some improvements.

View of Sony - HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder

Topping it Off: Making Your Purchase Decision

If you’re in the market for a dependable, hardy camcorder, Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 has proven to be a reliable choice in the long run. The compact design, great video quality, and ease of use make it an attractive option for both video enthusiasts and beginners. But before you make that final click to purchase, let’s talk about a few more things.

Compiled Links: Making the Most Out of Your Purchase

Before your purchase, it’s worth exploring the various bundle links available for the Handycam. Bundles often offer added value including accessories like tripods and carrying cases, which can come in handy for your filming adventures.

Parting Thoughts: Why Choose the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405?

Overall, if we’re talking about getting your money’s worth, the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 does score well. For its price point, the image and video quality is impressive, and the durability is another bonus point.

But it’s not without its drawbacks. The battery life could be better, and there is noticeable static when recording in certain situations. Plus, if you’re looking to experiment with external microphones, it may not be the optimal choice for you due to its limited compatibility. If these are concern points for you, it may be worthwhile to explore other options that could cater to your specific needs better.

To sum it up, for those in search of a ‘durable workhorse’ of a camcorder, willing to work around the battery and mic challenges, the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 is a feasible choice that can deliver consistently good results for a range of needs and settings.

Should you buy the Sony – HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder?

Buy it if…

You need a Highly Durable Camera

According to the review, this camera has withstood a fair bit of physical mistreatment and weathered well. Ideal if you’re prone to drop things.

If You’re Seeking Ease of Use

The Sony Handycam allows you to quickly master its features and settings as it’s straightforward to operate straight out of the box.

Demands High Video and Photo Quality

The review emphasizes the camera’s impressive video and photo quality capabilities due to its high frame rate and photo resolutions.

Don’t buy it if…

You Need Longer Battery Life

The review notes that the camera’s small battery may limit continuous filming time, possibly requiring spare batteries.

You Require Superior Microphone Quality

Though suitable for the average videographer, the review criticizes the built-in mic’s sound quality, particularly in quiet settings.

If You Need Large Storage

The camera maxes out at 64GB microSD card support. If you film extensively without time to offload content, you may require a camera that supports larger storage capacities.


What resolution does the Sony Handycam HDR CX 405 shoot in?
The Handycam shoots video at 1920 by 1080 at 60 P and takes still shots at 9.2 megapixels.
Does the Sony Handycam have a built-in lens cover?
Yes, the camera comes with a built-in lens cover.
How complicated are the controls on the Sony Handycam?
The Sony Handycam is known for its easy-to-navigate controls. It has just a handful of buttons and is easy to master out of the box.
Can I use an external microphone with this camera?
No, unfortunately the Sony Handycam does not support external microphones and you are limited to the built-in microphone.
What is the maximum microSD card size supported by this device?
The maximum microSD card size supported by this device is 64 gigabytes.
Does this camera perform well in terms of durability?
Yes, the reviewer has found it to be a durable piece of equipment that has withstood numerous drops and a good amount of wear and tear over two years of usage.
How does the camera perform in terms of battery life?
Due to the small size of the battery, it’s limited in its capacity. The reviewer mentioned getting possibly an hour to an hour and a half of constant filming before needing to switch batteries.
Does the camera offer good value for its price?
Yes, based on the reviewer’s experience, they were very satisfied with the quality they got for the price, especially when considering the accessories included in the Amazon bundle.

About Sarah Sands

Sarah SandsSarah's knack for in-depth research combined with her extensive journalism background makes her an authority on a range of products. Her objective viewpoint ensures comprehensive reviews.

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