Sony Handycam HDR-UX1
Manufacturer: Sony Part number: HDRUX1
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as of 12/20/2013
CNET editors' review
price range: $999.00
- Reviewed by: Lori Grunin
- Reviewed on: 10/10/2006
- Released on: 09/15/2006
The good: Sharp, saturated, low-noise video; excellent build quality; fast, smooth focus with effective image stabilization.
The bad: Mediocre still photos; optical and occasional motion artifacts in video; discs unreadable by most devices; lame but necessary bundled software; no windscreen filter for microphone.
The bottom line: The Sony Handycam HDR-UX1 is a very nice camcorder; unfortunately, its myriad compatibility issues make it almost impossible to recommend over other similar models.
Great camera, don't worry about negatives
by kraigkern on December 28, 2006
Pros: Crystal clear video and sound; excellent still camera, easy to use, great connectivity
Cons: A little on the heavy side, short recording times in highest qaulity mode
Summary: I won't rehash the technical details of the camera. What I will do is caution you on over analyzing this product with what you read on the internet. Keep ...
Summary: I won't rehash the technical details of the camera. What I will do is caution you on over analyzing this product with what you read on the internet. Keep in mind that this is a camera for the average consumer and/or small production company.
I am also just your average consumer looking to take advantage of affordable HD technology with the purchase of my first camcorder. I have had my camera for a week and have put it through every conceivable test. The bottom line is that it is one of the best cameras I have ever used.
Most online reviews seem to focus on things like "noise" and "compression" issues. I saw none of that when playing back on my 42" Plasma HDTV. The HDMI port on the camera made playback a breeze. Just plug and play literally. The 5.1 channel built-in microphone was really cool too. While recording my dog in the yard, I whistled for him to come and recorded him running towards me. When I played it back on my TV, you could clearly hear my whistle on the back channel speakers of my home theater and hear the dog galloping towards me on the front speakers for a truly surround sound experience.
As for the picture, forget the negatives you hear about AVCHD. The compression worked just fine. It was clear, sharp and definitely in high definition. The video just popped off the screen beautifully and the colors where almost perfectly represented. I didn’t see any "noise" that I had read about from other reviews on other websites. Even if you are a professional production company looking for a portable camera to use in the field, this one does the job.
Other features I really like that are not usually talked about are the night shot mode and the still camera ability. Night shot gives it that Desert Storm night vision look. Maybe it is just a novelty with no real practical use, but a really cool feature nonetheless. As for the built-in 4 mega pixel ability as a still camera...one word – impressive. Most people don’t buy camcorders for their snapshot abilities, but for someone like me who hikes and mountain climbs regularly, I needed an all-in-one unit with good results. Again, using my dog as a subject I snapped off about 10 still images in different lighting conditions and zoom levels. I then downloaded them to my computer and printed them to my Epson Photo Printer at 8" x 12" on photo paper. I got perfect results. So not only do I have a top-notch camcorder, I have a very good digital still camera as well.
Finally, I agree that there are very few options for editing video at the moment. But that should be temporary. The software industry just has to play catch-up to the AVCHD technology. For now, you can do some basic clipping of video with the supplied software. But the ability to burn to standard DVD from the camera is simple and effective. I shot a quick 2-minute movie in high definition; connected my camera to the computer; uploaded the movie to my desktop; then simply right-clicked the file and clicked "Burn to DVD." The Sony software took care of converting it to a standard DVD and burned it all within about 5 minutes. The playback quality going from HD to standard DVD was the same as any DVD movie you rent at the local Blockbuster. In other words, it looked great and even carried over the Dolby 5.1 onto the DVD. Sure it wasn't a true 1080i recording like the original but even down-converting from the high def of the camera to a standard DVD that can be shared with friends and family was a simple process with great recording quality.
The only real negative I can see at this point is recording time and weight. Other reviewers have mentioned the short record time. I agree. Just 15 minutes for HD+ mode is too short, but keep in mind you can now buy dual layered mini DVDs that double that time. Also, just knock the record mode down to the HD-Standard or HD-LP mode (instead of HD+) and you get a few more minutes. I for one sort of expected short record times so I can live with it. I'll just make sure I always have a half-dozen or so blank DVDs in my camera case. The Sony HDR-SR1 might be a better option for you because it records 4 hours of HD video to a hard drive, but you still have upload to your computer and burn it to DVD if you plan on sharing it. The weight of the camera is pretty hefty by today's standards. My parents have a Canon DC40 and it is a feather compared to the HDR-UX1. I could hold the Canon up chest high and take video all day long, but with the Sony, you definitely know you’re holding nearly 2 lbs. It's not a big deal, but for long hikes in the mountains when you're trying to record while walking and carrying a backpack, it can tire the shoulders out pretty quickly.
The last paragraph is probably the only reason I didn't give this camera 5 stars. Also, it's tough to give a perfect score to any first generation product. No doubt the technology for HD camcorder will improve quickly, but for now, I couldn't be happier with the purchase. A very nice product for the average consumer. Don't over-analyze the technical side of other reviews you might read on the internet.
12 out of 13 users found this user opinion helpful.
Not worth the money
by anonymous1974 on June 7, 2007
Pros: Nice Video Quality
Cons: Discs,Software,Transfers,Tech Support
Summary: I bought this cause I was told it was one of the best HD formats out at the time. The length of the video is not worth it, mini DVD'...
Summary: I bought this cause I was told it was one of the best HD formats out at the time. The length of the video is not worth it, mini DVD's are your only choice for recording and using the HD format only allows the bare minimum usuage time. Don't even try to transfer it to your computer as it doesnt seem compatible with most computers and the Tech Support after 7 hours was useless. The software is crap.
Great video quality for the 15 min it records and if you get it make sure you have a back up battery.
Brought this camera and a Hi-8 camera wich records 2 straight hours to the birth of my child and this camera was useless after about 15 min. of recording. The Hi-8 when transferred to DVD was of the same quality and 2 hours. The Sony was 15 min per disc and eventually you run out of discs.
I recommend you stay away from this camera.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great for consumer. There are better (more expensive) Vcams for the professional.
by drgdug on April 12, 2007
Pros: Very good full auto mode for videos and stills.
Cons: WB sometimes off. Short DVD capacity. Sony accessories are pricey.
Summary: The Sony HDR-UX1 gives great out-of-the-box performance. I get near perfect pictures and sound about 85% of the time in full auto mode. There is the occasional white balance problem ...
Summary: The Sony HDR-UX1 gives great out-of-the-box performance. I get near perfect pictures and sound about 85% of the time in full auto mode. There is the occasional white balance problem that can be avoided with its easy “ONE-PUSH” function (push the icon on the screen while pointing the UX1 at a white sheet of paper to auto adjust the WB). Yes, the colors are grainy with less than bright available light, but still good or better images. Yes, you need a Blu-Ray or ASVHD device to play the DVDs, but I just use the UX1 (Hey, it comes with a remote). Yes, there are better digital still cameras, but you’ll get very sharp images unless you plan to print enlargements greater than 8 X 11. And yes, the videos are very good on my HDTV (native resolution 748) and will only get better when I buy my first 1080. Maybe it’s not good enough for the professional, but better than good enough for this consumer.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
by chrisu21 on April 24, 2008
Pros: Easy to use, works excellent in conjunction with a PS3
Cons: Doesn't have a hardrive or write to flash memory feature
Summary: Awesome camcorder. The quality is there and it is simple to use. I love the touch screen as well. I have a PS3 so this works easily with that. Don'...
Summary: Awesome camcorder. The quality is there and it is simple to use. I love the touch screen as well. I have a PS3 so this works easily with that. Don't worry about the bad reviews its mostly because AVCHD is new.
AVCHD format prevents editing by anything
by CaptainCam on December 9, 2007
Pros: nice picture
Cons: unable to edit video
Summary: The AVCHD format of the video prevents you from editing the footage with Premiere, Edius, or anything but Sony's cheesy software, which stinks. I'll never waste my money ...
Summary: The AVCHD format of the video prevents you from editing the footage with Premiere, Edius, or anything but Sony's cheesy software, which stinks. I'll never waste my money on another Sony product, ever!
you'll be sorry
by johngv on June 4, 2007
Pros: Looks cute
Cons: Sony's ongoing CCD issues
Summary: With the ongoing issues with Sony- I would steer clear. They do not acknowledge when they have a problem with their CCD's until they get a lawsuit having to ...
Summary: With the ongoing issues with Sony- I would steer clear. They do not acknowledge when they have a problem with their CCD's until they get a lawsuit having to repair their products for free. Don't expect any custoemt loyalty from them..
Best picture and compatabilty with Playstation 3
by MDZIMMERMAN on December 31, 2006
Pros: Record High-def on dvd then slide into ps3 to watch
Cons: Record length and time takes to finalize disks
Summary: Simplist method available to record and watch high-def. Simply record on dvd then slid it into Playstation 3 (or any blu-Ray) and your watching your video in 1080i. Worked flawlessly ...
Summary: Simplist method available to record and watch high-def. Simply record on dvd then slid it into Playstation 3 (or any blu-Ray) and your watching your video in 1080i. Worked flawlessly thus far.
Great for first time users
by mtowne4 on March 31, 2007
Pros: Excellant Video Quality
Cons: Only plays on Blu-Ray
Summary: As a first time video camera user and a first time father, this HD Recorder is excellant in helping my wife and I chronicle the beginning of our daughter's ...
Summary: As a first time video camera user and a first time father, this HD Recorder is excellant in helping my wife and I chronicle the beginning of our daughter's life. No real drawbacks. However, in order to play discs, you must own a Blu-Ray player. That's ok, because I have a PS3. As long as family and friends have an HDMI input on TV, it is easy to play on their TV from the camera. Or you can always just view on the wonderful screen on the camera. Anyone that knocks this product either A. Has not used it or B. Is loyal to another brand (i.e. Canon). Buy it and you will love it.
0 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Sony
- Part number: HDRUX1
- Description: Create high-definition DVDs directly from your camcorder with the HDR-UX1 Handycam . You call all the shots with DVD-R/-RW/+RW and +R DL media formats supported. Record every detail of every moment with the 10x Optical/80x Digital Zoom and Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Lens. However, you'll be capturing more than just video with the 4.0 Megapixel Still image feature and Dolby Digital 5.1ch Audio Recording. After you've recorded everything, easily transfer and share with complete composite, component, USB 2.0 and HDMI connectivity. Capture, create, connect, and share in high-definition with the HDR-UX1.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Camcorder
- Camcorder Sensor Resolution 2.1 megapixels
- Digital Zoom 80 x
- Total Pixels 2.1 megapixels
- Camcorder Media Type DVD ( DVD-R (8cm) ),
DVD+R DL (8cm) ),
DVD+RW (8cm) ),
DVD-RW (8 cm) )
- Optical Sensor Size 1/3"
- Optical Sensor Type ClearVid CMOS
- Min Illumination 0 lux
- Analog video format NTSC
- Digital Video Format MPEG-2
- Image Stabilizer Electronic (Super Steady Shot)
- Min Shutter Speed 1/4 sec
- Max Shutter Speed 1/500 sec
- Shooting modes Normal movie mode,
Digital photo mode
- White Balance Automatic,
- White Balance Presets Outdoor,
- Image Recording Format JPEG
- Widescreen Video Capture Yes
- AV Interfaces Composite video/audio
- Type Carl Zeiss 10 x x Zoom lens - 5.1 mm - 51 mm - F/1.8-2.9
- Lens aperture F/1.8-2.9
- Optical Zoom 10 x
- Lens system type Zoom lens
- Min focal length 5.1 mm
- Max focal length 51 mm
- Filter Size 30 mm
- Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 37 - 370 mm
- Focus Adjustment Manual,
- Zoom Adjustment Motorized drive
- Low Lux / Night Mode Yes
- Additional Features Dolby Digital 5.1 channel recording
- Remote control Remote control - Infrared
- Software Drivers & Utilities
- Included Accessories USB cable,
IR remote control,
Component video cable,
Audio / video cable
- Viewfinder Type LCD
- Viewfinder Resolution 123,000 pixels
- Type 3.5 in LCD display
- Connector Type 1,
1 x Accessory shoe,
1 x USB,
1 x Component video output,
1 x Headphones,
Memory / Storage
- Media type DVD
- Memory Card Slot Memory Stick Micro (M2) card
- Supported Battery Sony NP-FM50
- Supported Battery 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( Included )
- Audio input type Microphone
- Microphone type Built-in
- Microphone Operation Mode Surround
- Service & Support Details Limited warranty - Labor - 90 days,
Limited warranty - Parts - 1 year
- Battery type - Lithium ion
Viewfinder / Display
- Display Features Rotating
- Resolution 211,000 pixels
- Viewfinder Color Support Color
- Sony LCE X3TH - case for camcorder (34881135)344.95
- Sony SPK HCH - marine case for camcorder (35266605)299.00 - 299.99
- Porta-Brace Rain Slicker RS-55 - rain jacket for camcorder (31059775)239.84 - 242.17
- Canon HC 4100 - hard case for camcorder (30584700)239.95 - 256.30
- JVC KA-551U tripod adapter (32090695)295.00
- KATA PRO Video Collection CCC-10-A - carrying bag for camcorder (34400943)325.00
- KATA PRO Video Collection CCC-1A - case for camcorder (34931653)299.00
- Panasonic AG-HT30G - hard case for camcorder (30964047)270.34
- Panasonic P2HD-CASE - carrying bag for camcorder (33921985)363.95
- Porta-Brace Shoulder Case with Raintop SC-D250 - soft case for camcorder (31068748)372.37 - 379.22