Sony HDR-CX405/B Review: Does it Make the Cut?

The Sony HDR-CX405B review is going to have a lot of sections here. And if you’re reading this review, we can surely say one thing:

You are making the right decision.

There’s a good number of reasons behind it. And you are going to find them out if you read through the following sections carefully.

For now, we will say just these few words:

The Sony CX405 packs a lot of punch despite the relatively small form-factor. From the outer shell to the inner system, everything is refined to a satisfactory level.

But even you aren’t convinced to go with this camcorder, we have some other options for you as well. You may check these camcorders out if you wish.

For now, let’s take a closer look at our contender that we are so confident about.

Sony HDR-CX405/B HD Video Recording Handycam Review

Sony HDR-CX405/BThe Sony HDR-CX405B, as mentioned earlier, comes with a lot of good features. We will start from the design and slowly make our way to the inside processing capabilities.

So, let’s get started!

The design isn’t anything over the top. It’s both sleek and simple. And the footprint of this camcorder is smaller than other similar options. Furthermore, the parts don’t feel cheap at all.

In short, there’s really nothing to nitpick about the design But of course, you are dealing with Sony here. So, you should expect a decent design at the very least.

Now comes the performance.

You are getting the support for Full HD video recording, no surprises there. But you’re also getting the support of dual storage, which is an added bonus. And the USB connectivity is pretty much the standard nowadays. Overall, the video recording experience will be seamless.

As for the video quality, then you will find the colors to be poppy and vibrant. The depth of the scenery will come out. And the acceptable audio will complement the overall experience.

And that should be the preview you need to go through the rest of the Sony HDR-CX405B review. The following sections will give you a better idea about the features you’ll be dealing with.

Specifications

  • Sensor: 1/5.8 type(3.1mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • Effective Pixels: approx.2.29 Megapixels (16:9)-for video; approx.2.29 Megapixels (16:9)/approx.1.71 Megapixels (4:3)-for still image.
  • Image Processor: BIONZ X image processor.
  • Lens: ZEISS Vario-Tessar with manual cover.
  • Video Resolution: 1920×1080/50p(PS) and more.
  • Video Recording Format: AVCHD 2.0 (compatible with MPEG4-AVC/H.264).
  • Aperture: F1.8 to F-4.0.
  • Focal Distance: From 1.9 to 57.0mm.
  • Optical Zoom: 30x.
  • Clear Image Zoom: 60x.
  • LCD Display: 6.7-centimeters with a wide 16:9 aspect ratio and brightness control.
  • Optical Steady Shot Image Stabilization along with Intelligent Active Mode.
  • Focus Type: Contrast AF with Full Range Focus.
  • Both Auto and Manual Exposure with Backlight Compensation and Gain Control.
  • Audio: Built-in Zoom Microphone with 2-step level control.
  • Storage Support: SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card (Class-4 or higher).
  • Power: Requires a 3.6-volt battery pack or a 5.0-volt AC Adapter.
  • Charging time: 2-hours and 35+-minutes.
  • Size: 54mmx59.5mmx128mm (with the battery).
  • Weight: 215-gram total weight.
  • Other features: Face detection, Fade Effects and more.

Features and Benefits

  • The overall design is very sturdy.
  • The Exmor R sensor paired with the BIONZ X image processor and Zeiss lens offer premium quality video output.
  • The colors are rich and the details are sharp.
  • The Optical Steady Shot feature keeps the composure of the video straight and decent.
  • Its 26.8-mm wide-angle lens helps you capture more of nature.
  • The XVAC S format offers professional video quality.
  • The Highlight Movie Maker allows you to be more creative because of its intuitive interface.
  • There is the Motion Shot Video feature that enables you to scrutinize footage to the tiniest detail.
  • The Built-in USB cable is a huge plus.
  • The 9.2-megapixel still image capture keeps the details nice and vivid.
  • You have dual recording mode along with Intelligent Auto Combination selection that keeps the images nice and detailed.
  • You get dual memory storage capabilities.
  • The X-type battery operation is a prime reason for such a small form-factor.

Pros

  • It’s a compact camcorder that doesn’t take up too much space.
  • There’s little to no tearing.
  • The images are clear and vivid.
  • The low-light video recording performance is solid as well.
  • Image Stabilization is on point.
  • The clear Photo LCD display is fairly easy to use.
  • Face detection and smile detection features work nicely.
  • Dual-storage support increases the overall functionality.
  • The intelligent Auto filtration doesn’t obscure the video quality at all.

Cons

  • The menu navigation could be better.
  • Extracting a video without software may be cumbersome at times.
  • The audio quality could be better.

About the Brand

The Sony HDR-CX405B is, no doubt, one of the best-rated camcorders out there. This much should be clear to you after reading the previous sections.

As it is one of the offerings from Sony, we think our audience should have some background information about the brand itself.

Sony started its journey back in 1946. The founders: Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka, came up with the thought of bringing audio products into the market. As a result, they came up with the Type-G, credited to be the very first tape recorder in Japan.

Today, Sony makes media consumption devices like headphones, UHD televisions. The Sony PlayStation disrupted the market when it first came out. It literally changed the meaning of gaming as it sold 100 million units.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there an external 3.5mm microphone jack.

Ans.: Unfortunately, there’s no external microphone jack with this camcorder.

Q: Will the HDR-CX405B record videos while charging?

Ans.: That’s affirmative. But the video recorder won’t charge while the charging is in place.

Although it does work, we would advise against it. You should only use an electric appliance while it’s not charging.

Q: Will I be able to pause the video while recording?

Ans.: No. You can only start/stop recording. Unfortunately, there’s no pause feature baked into the controls or the interface.

Q: Will it help me to see a live stream on a separate monitor?

Ans.: The general answer is yes. But we would advise not to use any unsupported accessory while doing this. You may end up damaging the camcorder by using unsupported accessories.

Q: Can I use this video camera to live stream to my computer?

Ans.: No, that functionality is not available with this camcorder.

Alternative Options

The Sony HDR-CX405B offers a decent value considering the competition. Still, if you wanted to look at something different, you may want to take a look at the following options:

Alternative One: Panasonic V770

The Panasonic V770 can be a solid alternative to the CX405B from Sony.

From the looks of it, there’s really not much to nitpick. It comes in a fairly compact frame that’s very easy to maneuver. But that’s not the only feature we will be talking about.

First of all, you have solid internals to do some stunning videography. Once you factor in the stable optimization, you’ll see that you have a very decent video camera at hand. Also, the optical zoom and intelligent auto compensation work together to produce some of the best possible images.

One of the most noteworthy features of the Panasonic V770 is the ability to have a second screen for video recording. You can use your smartphone as a second screen to record stunning videos. And that’s a feature you may not find easily.

All in all, we would suggest you keep the V770 along with the CX405B in your camcorder choices. You should certainly check out this camcorder for good measure.

Alternative Two: Sony PJ380

We would recommend the Sony PJ380 as a secondary choice.

One of the main reasons for that is the balance between features and pricing. The pricing is very competitive. And within that competitive range, you are getting a good number of features that will get you started.

Other than the usual features like the Exmor R sensor and the 3-inch LCD touch screen, you are getting a 55x optical zoom, which is decent if you factor in the pricing. Also, the 8.7-megapixel still image resolution gets a pass from our end as well.

In short, if you’re looking for a budget camcorder that has all the right features, then the Sony PJ380 may be the right choice for you.

Final Thoughts

The Sony HDR-CX405B review did cover a lot of ground. And if you’ve covered this much, then we would urge you to stay a little longer.

There’s one simple tip we would like to share with you. And that’s about brand value.

We would highly recommend you go with a brand that’s fairly well-known in the market. As the CX405 holds the tag Sony, we can promise you the support you will get will be worth the investment. After all, you’re not just buying the whole product, you’re paying for the experience as well.

And that’s saying something.

In the end, we would stick with the option we are recommending here. It’s up to you now to make the final decision.

Peace!

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