Sony Handycam HDR-SR11
Manufacturer: Sony Part number: HDR-SR11
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as of 04/16/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $1,499.95
- Reviewed by: Phil Ryan
- Reviewed on: 04/10/2008
The good: Excellent video and performance; impressive still photos for a camcorder; adequate manual controls; nice CAM CTL dial; docking station included.
The bad: No wind filter; doesn't include mini HDMI cable.
The bottom line: Sony's Handycam HDR-SR11 and SR12 60GB hard-drive-based AVCHD camcorders deliver top notch performance and image quality.
Wonderful Camera! Highly recommend!
by robpkw on March 22, 2008
Pros: Excellent HD or STD video, ease of operation, great stills, easy to carry around! 5.1 DD, See below for full details.
Cons: No wind filter, proprietary software, not true 1080p, factory battery short life, no HDMI cable w/purchase.
Summary: Spectacular camera! Replacing 10 yr. old Sony MiniDV camera that finally took a dive. Placed this on backorder after researching HD camcorders for months. Recently took a trip to Branson ...
Summary: Spectacular camera! Replacing 10 yr. old Sony MiniDV camera that finally took a dive. Placed this on backorder after researching HD camcorders for months. Recently took a trip to Branson Missouri and was amazed with picture quality. Went to a tobyMac concert took pictures. Great quality at 10.2 MP, easy to use even my wife can navigate which was important to the purchase. The ease of operation is amazing between movie and picture with a simple thumb move on the control. Patience has paid off – if you have more patience than me, you might wait for a slight price drop, which I am sure will happen in the months to come.
The Pros: Hard drive has a lot of space even with HD. 60GB is a lot. 120 on the SR12 is nice, but I have already taped hours on the 60GB with plenty of space. If you are one to procrastinate on transferring data, 120 might be the way to go. I went ahead and bought the 4GB Pro Duo card in lieu of the HDMI cable. Money spent either way and it’s easy to transfer the pictures or video to the Duo and put into the PS3. Conversion is simple and unbelievable. You can convert to standard DVD which is nice to play in the car for the kids to watch on long trips since it’s not AVCHD compatible. However, you can create both standard DVD-Video or the HD AVCHD which plays on PS3’s or Blu-Ray players and transfer to a DVD. The camera fits perfect in my hands, almost the size of a larger digital camera. The touch screen took a little getting use too, but once you start navigating it becomes easier. The engineers got it right for the consumer on this one! Hot shoe available for an external flash. The “quick on” feature so you don’t continuously turn on and off, but save battery power. 5.1 Dolby Digital! Face detection! Slightly time consuming on conversion to DVD, but well worth the wait. You can format picture size between 4:3 to 16:9. The features are endless and spot on for people to learn quickly at ease.
The Cons: the proprietary software (Sony needs to expand a little in this category with options on menus, etc.). The price, obviously ahead of the game on technology you will pay premium. HDMI cable not provided, but the card is nice. I was told by Sony tech support when researching cameras this was a 1080p and it is not. Windy situations picks up sound when taping, needs a wind filter. Be cautious at loud concerts, the microphone is sensitive and I was at a loud Christian concert where it sounds baffled. Could be I was 5 rows from the front stage though! Battery life is short on the battery provided, however, I’m a believer to have an extra one handy and the NP-FH70 is a good purchase that lasted much longer than I expected – 145 minutes or so
Overall, the SR11 is an excellent choice for HD fanatics! I’m addicted and only owned it for a short period of time. Friends are in awe of the picture quality and envious! Although, my goal was to replace an old camera that failed on me. This purchase by far was worth the money. The conversion to DVD was so easy, but be patient. The quality from HD to Dolby Digital and still pictures is phenomenal. I keep telling myself to not purchase Sony for several reasons and experience over the years (i.e., tech support, repair-terrible), but I end back with the purchase because of the cutting technology in the product.
23 out of 23 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great quality video and Digital Stills 10.2 Megapixel.
by Longhorn923 on March 13, 2008
Pros: Digital stills at 10.2 MP, Easy to use, Basically Plug and Play, Software that came with the camera allows auto conversion to publish to YouTube and other popular sites. Great!
Cons: Size of Hard drive, wish I had gottn the SR-12! Same camera just a bigger hard drive.
Summary: I have had a mini DV for a number of years and this is light years better. I cannot believe the ease of use and the easy conversion to a ...
Summary: I have had a mini DV for a number of years and this is light years better. I cannot believe the ease of use and the easy conversion to a standard def. DVD. I will be getting a blue ray player because this camcorder is unbelievable for the amateur family videographer. I was very nervous about the price, but now that I have used it I am so happy with the performance. No more tapes and mini DVD's sitting around! Love the camera.
17 out of 18 users found this user opinion helpful.
Outstanding HD video and photo quality with excellent sound for most situations
by Double Eagle on May 5, 2008
Pros: Clarity of video and photos. Good low light performance
Cons: Touch screen controls. No shoulder/neck strip, HDMI connector or FULL users manual provided in package. Proprietary battery provided has small capacity. Recommended altitude limitation of only 3000 m
Summary: After having many different Canon Camcorders, I finally bought my first Sony because of it's clearly superior HD imagery and excellent still images. The lens on this camera is ...
Summary: After having many different Canon Camcorders, I finally bought my first Sony because of it's clearly superior HD imagery and excellent still images. The lens on this camera is outstanding. The sound pick up is also excellent without an external microphone. While a wind filter is desirable if it detracts from the current quality sound, I can live without it.
I usually use the viewfinder and not the LCD screen for shooting my videos and the lack of an exension to the viewfinder when using it with even the small battery is an inconvenience and more difficult with a large capacity battery.
Sony should definitely provide a shoulder/neck strap with this and every camcorder. I often carry my camcorder with a DSLR or point and shoot still camera. In fact, I'm using a Canon neck srap with this camera as I could not find a suitable one for sale.
I'm very concerned about the low level altitude restriction of only 3000 meters (9800 feet) since I routinely shoot video and photos in Colorado above that level. They also have a narrow 50-86 degree farenheit temperature recommendation. If, in fact, operation outside of these ranges is not possible I will rank this camera much lower. We spent January in South America and Antarctica and my Canon cameras worked fine at temperatures down to 10 degrees F. The Canon stated operating conditions are 32-104 F and no limitation noted on altitude. Canon also provides a Full printed manual and not just a softward .pdf download.
I dislike the SONY touch screen and much prefer using a joy stick and not having to open the LCD display for practically all actions; however, I'm getting used to this limitation. The one touch knob control on front of camera is useful for fine tuning the focus (or any other single function you may desire). My wife likes the "Easy" record function provided and we took great video and photos on our first weekend with the camera at a zoo and on the beach
I loaded the Sony software but don't use any of it as I find my existing Photo Organizers and ULead Video Studio 11.5 software to be superior.
DO NOT but an HDMI cable for this camera at BEST BUY unless you want to waste your mony. You can get one for $10 on line that works fine as opposed to the Best Buy over $100 offering.
15 out of 15 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great video, stunning clarity
by rsbruner on July 31, 2008
Pros: Video & photos are amazing
Cons: Battery life, remote control a bit useless, not much available for AVHCD software
Summary: Making the decision to purchase a high-definition camcorder today can be very difficult considering the great number of choice to we consumers today. I had narrowed my search to three ...
Summary: Making the decision to purchase a high-definition camcorder today can be very difficult considering the great number of choice to we consumers today. I had narrowed my search to three manufacturers, Canon, JVC and Sony, mainly because I had prior camcorder experience with all three. Preparing to part with $1,000 on a want and not a need is very difficult. Even at the store I found it difficult making a final decision after extensive research.
I settled on the Sony HDR-SR11 because of the features and, primarily, the 60GB hard drive, as well as having the option to use Memory Stick DUO Media cards. Having those options makes the camcorder flexible. I can hook the camera into my computer through the USB slot, or I can remove the media card and pop it into the card reader on my computer, or the memory card reader on my TV, as it is a Sony product that accepts the Memory Stick.
Another area where the Sony has allowed added flexibility is in the number of quality settings from which one can choose. The highest quality records in full 1920 x 1080i. This permits you to save up to 7 hours & 10 minutes worth of video on the hard drive. Plenty of time for me, but for those who need more, standard definition settings are available to allow up to 41 hours of recording time.
The high-definition movies are stunning! Very rich in detail and bold in color. It truly is a case where watching the movies are almost better than being there. For fun, I connected the SR11 to the TV via the included composite cable, and connected a JVC GR-D22U MiniDV through the firewire port. I put the TV on split-screen, and there was absolutely no comparison in the quality. The Sony blew this SD camera away. With the Sony, I could see every bubble in our swimming pool, every drop of water on the kids faces. With the JVC, I could tell the water was blue and that the kids were wet.
Not only are the videos great, the photos are just as rich. Sony claims 10.2 megapixel resolution. Considering that 10MP cameras can cost $400-$500 on their own, it is a feature that adds even more value to this camcorder. You can take take photos and records at the same time. Other nice touches are the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround recording. There isn't a windscreen on the microphone, so a slight breeze can become annoying, but beyond that, the sound is quite good.
The LCD screen is a 3.2" touchpanel with widescreen format. As it has 921k pixels, it's looking at a mini 720p HDTV. I like the touchscreen, but I have to wipe it down after each use. Looking through the regular viewfinder is kind of dull, small, and not very clear. Kind of a disappointment.
A docking station and remote control are included. You can attach the camera to the station to charge the battery, and it also contains the high definition component connection as well as a USB output. Surprisingly, there is no firewire output considering Sony has been a champion of the i.Link interface.
On the camcorder there is a mini-HDMI output, though Sony does not include the cable. S-Video and composite outputs are available also, and Sony does include that cable. For inputs, you can attach a separate microphone and there is a "shoe" available for adding lighting equipment.
There are a host of additional features and specifications I could include in my review, but you can read about those on Sony's website. I will mention one final cool thing. The night vision setting is great in a pitch black area. Yes, the images are green, but the infrared capabilities are really good. It's like watching an episode of "Ghosthunters".
Now that I've written of all the good things, I have to write of the mediocre. This camera records in the AVCHD format. This makes it great for transferring video to your computer in no time, but there isn't much available in the way of software. Also, as with any high definition media, unless you have a Blue-ray player, you can not view your finished video in high-def format on a DVD player. They will be in high-def from the camera to the TV, and you can transfer AVCHD to DVD, but it will not be high definition. I have to say though, it's still great.
I have not had the opportunity to see videos from what would be considered prosumer HD camera, costing $2,000 - $5,000, but based on what I see from this camcorder, they can't be much better.
10 out of 10 users found this user opinion helpful.
by MushroomStamper on March 26, 2008
Pros: 10.2 Megapixel Stills. 12X Zoom.
Cons: No HDMI Cable. AVCHD Format.
Summary: This is a great camcorder. If I were to go back and choose another I would get the SR12 due to its larger hard drive. This thing is fun and ...
Summary: This is a great camcorder. If I were to go back and choose another I would get the SR12 due to its larger hard drive. This thing is fun and easy to use and captures excelent video quality. Also if you wanted you can upgrade the lense for $100.00. They make a wide angle and a telephoto lense. I like the fact that this records directly to a hard drive it makes it much easier to edit. But you need a powerful computer to edit this format. My desktop is about 2 years old and kind of struggles in editing this format, I use my Alienware laptop for editing and it does great. The software that comes with camcordr is easy to use but not much you can do with it therefore I use Pinnacle Ultimate and its great. I guess that the jist of it, great product.
6 out of 7 users found this user opinion helpful.
All I can say is... WOW!
by tmgarant on August 1, 2008
Pros: Size, picture/sound/photo quality, price, ease of use, HDD size, easy to connect to PC.
Cons: Absolutely none!
Summary: I have been buying camcorders since 1990 and know quite a bit about videos and camcorders. First of all, you can't get any better then Sony. Secondly, this is ...
Summary: I have been buying camcorders since 1990 and know quite a bit about videos and camcorders. First of all, you can't get any better then Sony. Secondly, this is by far the best camcorder to date. I was blown away by the picture quality. I tried all the settings, from Standard Definition (on lowest quality), to High Definition (set on it's highest quality) and the picture was incredible on every setting. Cool 5.1 surround sound even made it better. The camera fits ever so nicely in my hand, very light, touch screen is a pleasure to use. Not having to switch video tapes makes video capturing pleasant. Everything stored on a large hard drive and downloaded to a PC with only a USB cable is a dream. I love it!
As far as using it for still shots, the 10.2 mega pixels makes for incredible images. The build in flash and options makes shooting a breeze.
Even for $1000, I found the price not too bad considering what kind of camera you are getting. It's well worth it.
By far, the best camera I have used!
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
Best consumer camcorder available today
by alexacker on April 22, 2008
Pros: HD, film quality, stills
Cons: None so far
Summary: I came from the frame of mind that I couldn't deal with mini DV tapes anymore and have been eyeing AVCHD camcorders for about 9mos now. I was going ...
Summary: I came from the frame of mind that I couldn't deal with mini DV tapes anymore and have been eyeing AVCHD camcorders for about 9mos now. I was going to Sony SR7 but I thought I should wait. And, a glad thing that I did -- this camcorder is stunning. It's easy to use -- my wife was up and shooting without any directions. Transfer of files (atleast for Mac users) is a snap (YOU NEED AN INTEL MAC THOUGH.)
It's like watching home movie footage in hi-def. It's mind-blowing, full 1920x1080 (1080i) videos. Just need to hire a director to help me with car chases and explosions...
Buy it from a place with a liberal return policy in case it's not to your liking.
Also, one thing to note, what's up with the video reviewer? This is such an exciting product and Sir Sleepy is reviewing it, and even incorrectly. He was talking about Face Detection and hit another key (I think focus).
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
better than expected
by lbrivera1000 on July 26, 2008
Pros: lightweight, small
Cons: weight and size trade-off: cheap plastic body
Summary: i really like the camera so far. It's lightweight and and takes awesome footage. the battery it came with has about a 1.5 hours on a full charge (...
Summary: i really like the camera so far. It's lightweight and and takes awesome footage. the battery it came with has about a 1.5 hours on a full charge (npf-h50). I also got the ACCFH70 kit and that battery has about 3 hours on it. When I got the camera from sony, they had a great deal on the npf-h100...that beast has over 6 hours (with the lcd screen!). the only "bad" thing i can say about the camera so far is that i am so afraid dropping the camera and breaking it to bits...i know the plastic is light but my canon sd700IS is like a tank compared to the sr11. Anyway, get at least the 2 year service plan from sony...its only an extra $99. what i like about this camera is that it can easily be accessorized. I will be getting married in guam this november, and our honeymoon will be in bohol...i will be getting the waterresistant encasement for this camera and adding another review when we get back!
5 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
Very Happy With Choice
by larrylef on June 19, 2008
Pros: Extreme ease of working with video on hard drive. Image quality. Build quality. Sound Quality.
Cons: Battery life is short. More manual controls.
Summary: I was interested in getting a semi-pro camcorder for producing a presentation and web video, and I had settled on the Sony HVR-A1U, which is has a single CMOS sensor ...
Summary: I was interested in getting a semi-pro camcorder for producing a presentation and web video, and I had settled on the Sony HVR-A1U, which is has a single CMOS sensor and records in the HDV format on Mini DV cassettes. I liked it because it had XLR mic inputs with phantom power to attach high quality condenser microphones. However, I had really grown weary of the workflow with MiniDV tapes. Not knowing what is on them, winding and rewinding, the time it takes to capture, and the HVR-A1U is bottom loading so you have to take it off the tripod to load it.
So when I saw the HDR-SR11 with a hard drive, I was very attracted to it. I know that the AVCHD is not quite as good as HDV (more compression=lower image quality, requires more powerful hardware to edit, etc), but this camera has a higher data rate than previous AVCHD camcorders (similar to the Canon HF-10) and had pretty good reviews for image quality.
After using this for awhile, it will be very difficult to go back to a tape workflow. It is a joy to manage your shots on this camera compared to working with MiniDV. Each clip has a thumbnail, and it's all sorted by date (Try finding anything on a tape). And transferring to computer is much faster than capture is with MiniDV.
I fixed the microphone problem by purchasing a Beachtek DXA-6 box, which allows connection of XLR condenser mics which require phantom power. I hooked up my AKG Perception 220 condenser mic and the sound is now insanely great. (this camera does have a decent built-in mic, but you really can't compare)
I already have Sony Vegas 7 Pro, which handles AVCHD, but my current system, relatively powerful (3.4GHZ Hyperthreaded Pentium, 3GB Ram, 2 drive Raid), which is a couple of years old, can't really play it smoothly. But I have been able to successfully do some editing.
I bought the NP-FH100 battery, and the camera is telling me I've got 6 hours of recording time! I haven't yet had time to test this out to see if it's true.
The image quality is indeed very good, certainly more than adequate for what I will be using it for.
All in all, I'm very happy with this purchase.
All in all, I'm very
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
add-on lens = no flash
Pros: No tapes needed, HD format
Cons: add-on lenses disables built-in flash
Summary: For the sake of capturing home videos of the family, this is a great camcorder. Since I had to replace my miniDV cam, this is definitely more than I really ...
Summary: For the sake of capturing home videos of the family, this is a great camcorder. Since I had to replace my miniDV cam, this is definitely more than I really need, but at least I have the option to go HD now. All the controls are easy enough to figure out. The touch screen is simple to use. The camcorder itself has a nice solid feel to it with sturdy access doors. Best of all no more master tapes stacking up on my shelves. Overall I'm very pleased with using this camcorder. As an amateur, the picture and color quality are acceptable to my tastes. The still photos are also acceptable. When it comes to motion vs stills, my thoughts are: a camcorder is technologically designed specifically for motion and a digital photo camera for stills, try not to expect them to outperform each other.Also, in my opinion the best grip position is like holding a cup. The current popular design doesn't make sense. For stability you're suppose to brace your upper arm against your torso while holding the camcorder and use your left hand to add stability. Most people don't use their left hand, my wife included, and this becomes a very tiring position plus I have children that are waist level and in order to get a stable shot, I have to crouch down or take my hand out of the strap to be able to hold it at waist level with my thumb on the zoom control. Even when holding the camcorder the way it's designed, I don't keep it up close to my face which means now I'm twisting my wrist to keep the camcorder from pointing down as I position my hand away from my face.
One little quirk I've noticed so far is that when you attach any conversion lense, the lense will trip a sensor that disables the built-in flash. This makes sense if you were adding on a wide-angle lense which would block the flash, but not when it's something so simple as a UV lense. Of course that's only significant when I'm taking stills, but it would be nice if there was a manual flash control located on the body for quick changes.
Updated on Sep 20, 2008
Anyway, just my personal thought about personal camcorder designs.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Sony
- Part number: HDR-SR11
- Description: The Sony Handycam camcorder HDR-SR11 with Face Detection technology captures faces clearly so your videos and photos are recorded more beautifully. The ClearVid CMOS Sensor (with Exmor technology) and BIONZ image processor provides extremely detailed Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution video , and stunning 10.2 megapixel still images, with long battery life . Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization system reduces blur even when using the 12x optical/150x digital zoom. Moreover, Hybrid recording technology gives you the flexibility to record to the internal 60GB hard disk drive or removable Memory Stick PRO Duo media (sold separately), as well as easily copy video or still images from the hard disk drive to Memory Stick media without a PC.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Camcorder - 1080i
- Camcorder Sensor Resolution 5.66 megapixels
- Effective Video Resolution 3.81 megapixels
- Digital Zoom 150 x
- Effective Photo Resolution 5.08 megapixels
- Camcorder Interpolated Photo Resolution 10.2 megapixels
- Camcorder Media Type Hard disk drive
- Optical Sensor Size 1/3.1"
- Optical Sensor Type ClearVid CMOS
- Min Illumination 0 lux
- Digital Video Format MPEG-2,
- Special Effects Monotone,
- Image Stabilizer Optical (Super Steady Shot)
- Digital Scene Transition White fader,
- Min Shutter Speed 1/2 sec
- Image Processor BIONZ
- Max Shutter Speed 1/800 sec
- Shooting modes Digital photo mode
- Shooting Programs Candle,
- White Balance Automatic,
- White Balance Presets Outdoor,
- Exposure Modes Program,
- Exposure Metering Matrix,
- Camera Flash Built-in flash
- Image Recording Format JPEG
- Widescreen Video Capture Yes
- AV Interfaces S-Video,
- Type Carl Zeiss 12 x x Zoom lens - 4.9 mm - 58.8 mm - F/1.8-3.1
- Lens aperture F/1.8-3.1
- Optical Zoom 12 x
- Lens system type Zoom lens
- Min focal length 4.9 mm
- Max focal length 58.8 mm
- Auto Focus TTL contrast detection
- Filter Size 37 mm
- Focus Adjustment Manual,
- Zoom Adjustment Motorized drive
- Low Lux / Night Mode Yes
- Additional Features Progressive shutter system,
Dynamic Range Optimizer,
Takes photos while movie recording,
USB 2.0 compatibility,
Dolby Digital 5.1 channel recording
- Remote control Remote control - Infrared
- Software Drivers & Utilities,
Sony Picture Motion Browser
- Included Accessories IR remote control,
Audio / video cable
- Effective Flash Range 1 ft - 8 ft
- Viewfinder Type Electronic
- Image Aspect Ratio 16:9
- Type 3.2 in LCD display
- Connector Type 1 x Composite video/audio output,
1 x Component video output,
1 x HDMI output,
1 x USB,
1 x S-Video output
- Microphone Features Zoom
Memory / Storage
- Media type Hard disk drive
- Memory Card Slot Memory Stick PRO Duo card
- Internal Storage 60 GB Hard disk drive
- Image Storage JPEG 3680 x 2760,
JPEG 3680 x 2070,
JPEG 640 x 480
- Video Recording Modes HQ,
- Supported Battery Sony NP-FH60
- Supported Battery 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( Included )
- Audio input type Microphone
- Microphone type Built-in
- Microphone Operation Mode Surround
- Microphone technology Electret condenser
Viewfinder / Display
- Display Features Rotating
- Viewfinder Color Support Color
- Width 3.3 in
- Depth 5.4 in
- Height 3 in
- Weight 1.2 lbs
- Canon WP V3 - marine case for camcorder (34930183)449.95 - 499.99
- Porta-Brace Hiker Backpack Camera Case HK-1 - case for camcorder (31058034)441.81 - 459.17
- Porta-Brace Shoulder Case SC-D500 - case for camcorder (31026190)372.37 - 429.00
- Canon WP V2 - marine case for camcorder (33984051)367.76 - 499.00
- Ikelite Underwater Systems marine case for camcorder (34929737)599.95
- CANON XL1S VIDEO CAMCORDER CASE (7032423)399.99
- Canon WP V4 - marine case for camcorder (35138638)499.00
- Panasonic SHAN-TM700 - tripod adapter (31027498)249.95 - 399.95
- Porta-Brace Smuggler Camera Case SMG-2 - case for camcorder (31053838)424.45 - 441.81
- Portabrace PKB-275PV - hard case for camcorder (35112263)578.95 - 589.00