The Sony HDR-XR550V records gorgeous high definition video with no worries about running out of memory space, the HDR-XR550V includes a huge 240GB hard disk.
The HDR-XR550V features outstanding low light performance thanks to it’s “Exmor R” backlit CMOS sensor. Another plus is excellent surround sound audio.
Still pictures are excellent for a camcorder at up to 12-megapixels.
Sony’s trademark image stabilization, Optical Steady Shot, very effectively counters shaky hands and provides rock solid video.
Improvements over the previous HDR-XR500V, this model includes an electronic viewfinder and manual shutter speed control. Another key improvement is a single memory card slot that is compatible with Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD/SDHC cards.
Additional improvements are a non-native 60p output option and standard definition downconversion.
There are sliders at the top for accessories, on the right side covering the mic and headphone jacks, and two more covers beneath the record button covering the AV out and DC power in, while the mini-HDMI and USB connectors are hidden inside the LCD.
Looking at the manual functions, the Sony HDR-XR550V comes with shifts for auto-exposure, white balance, as well as standard controls for focus, exposure, shutter speed, and iris. The large 3.5-inch touchscreen has a clear, high resolution that is fun to work with and it can easily be seen in direct sunlight.
On the LCD screen you will find the NightShot button for infrared, plus playback and direct DVD burning using Sony’s DVDirect dock with a PC.
View prices and reviews for this camcorder on Amazon by clicking the following link: Sony HDR-XR550V on Amazon
The Sony HDR-XR550V has a GPS that allows geotagging unlike the other “V” models. This function uses Sony’s proprietary Picture Motion Browser software, licensed under Navteq’s Class 4 maps. It is fun to use, but naturally don’t expect this to be a full-featured GPS unit, as some street names and landmarks are missing. The geotagging is most accurate when you are outdoors, as expected with all GPS units.
The Sony HDR-XR550V sports an outstanding autofocus feature that is superior to it’s competitors and appears to have improved from earlier models.
Great for close-ups, the lens is capable of focusing at very close ranges.
Battery life is about an hour, you will need a spare battery.
Among 15 customer reviews on Amazon, nine have given the HDR-550V the maximum five stars, so most buyers are going to be very happy with this camcorder. It provides vibrant HD video and is a very solid performer in all areas.