This is another Sony camcorder that includes rather gimmicky GPS functionality. A switch on the side of the unit turns the GPS receiver on, which will then try to ascertain your current location. Once it has, any videos you shoot will be tagged with this information. The CX505VE contains a simplistic world map that you can browse to see where you are. This is also provided in one of the playback modes, so you can view where you shot footage alongside a representative thumbnail of the clip. However, geotagging is far less widely supported by video sharing sites than it is by photo sharing sites, making the CX505VE’s GPS system fun but not exactly indispensible.
With its large CMOS sensor, the CX505VE offers excellent video performance in most conditions. In good lighting, colours are vibrant and detail sharp. Sony’s characteristic vibrancy is displayed, which will please most consumers but isn’t quite realistic for professional use. Low-light capabilities are also exemplary. The Exmor R sensor technology proves its worth once more. The image is a little less bright than Panasonic’s HDC-HS300, TM300 and TM350, but the colours are slightly more accurate. In particular, there is less noise visible, so detail is clearer.
Like most recent Sony camcorders, the flaps covering the CX505VE’s ports are reassuringly sturdy. There’s a proprietary A/V port, with cables supplied for both component and composite analogue video, which also incorporate RCA stereo audio. The CX505VE also sports HDMI, although this is a mini port rather than full-sized, so an adapter is required for HDTV connection, which isn’t supplied in the box. Naturally, USB is supplied for transferring video files to a computer for editing. Since the video is bog-standard AVCHD, virtually any editing application will now handle it.
The HDR-CX505VE shoots great video, has Sony’s usual sturdy build, and is fairly compact for a camcorder offering this level of image quality. For point-and-shoot users looking to achieve good results without much fuss, it’s a tempting proposition. However, it’s also quite an expensive one. Panasonic’s HDC-HS200, which sports an 80GB hard disk and offers similar image quality and features, costs a lot less. It may not be quite so small as the CX505VE, but it’s better value overall.
Score in detail
Image Quality 10
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.