This is definitely not a camcorder aimed at enthusiasts, though. Sony has added an Intelligent Auto function which is broadly similar to the system of the same name Panasonic has included in its consumer models for a number of years now. This detects conditions and sets scene modes accordingly. You can also set these manually, and there’s a touch focus and exposure system which is operated via the touchscreen LCD. However, other than manual control over exposure, there is no facility to directly control shutter or iris settings. You do at least get both microphone and headphone minijacks for manual control over audio recording quality, and the built-in microphone includes a wind-cut setting.
In image quality terms, the PJ10 is a midrange camcorder. It picks up vibrant colour, as with most other Sony models, which tend to saturate strongly. In good lighting the picture quality is very commendable, and the PJ10 shows its pedigree with its ability to handle contrasts in brightness. Best of all, low light performance benefits greatly from Exmor R. The PJ10 shoots grain-free footage with a decent amount of colour to impressively low levels of illumination. There is a slight lack of detail in the PJ10’s footage in general compared to higher-end models, but in low light it’s definitely one of the top in its class.
Of course, the projection facility is the PJ10’s most unique feature, and it’s more effective than you might expect. The projector is built into the reverse side of the LCD. This a LED pico projector, so it’s not bright enough to fill a large area of wall in daylight conditions. But in a darkened room you can throw an image up to 3m. Sony has made the projector supremely easy to use. Simply press a button on the side of the unit, and instructions appear on the LCD. You can then enter projection mode, using the zoom rocker to navigate menus and the photo button to make selections. There’s a slider on the top for adjusting focus, but no more advanced controls for functions like keystone. So although you can point the beam upwards using the LCD’s hinge, your picture will be wonky.