Sony Handycam HDR-XR350V Review

by Reads (10,508)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 8
    • Features
    • 9
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 5
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Expandability
    • 6
    • Total Score:
    • 7.00
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


  • Pros

    • Great video in all light
    • Packed with fun features
    • Impressive stills quality
  • Cons

    • Awkward menu system
    • No standard audio input
    • 2.7-inch display too small

Quick Take

With great video quality and fun features, it's easy to see past the XR350's three big flaws.

Generally speaking, HD camcorders come in three varieties: camcorders with no storage, camcorders with flash memory and camcorders with hard disk drives. Each has an advantage over the other. HDD camcorders usually offer enough storage for days of footage, but they are bulkier and more expensive than their flash or no-memory counterparts.

Sony  Handycam XR350

In the past, I’ve preferred flash memory to an HDD because HDDs have moving parts that get hot and make noise. Also, drop the camera, break the HDD, and you lose all the footage stored on it. The technology has improved in recent years so heat and noise are almost non-existent, and many cameras have features like Sony’s ?HDD Smart Protection” to prevent any data loss should the HDD fail. Still, I like flash camcorders with their compact size and lower price.

It is with that caveat that I tested out the Sony HDR-XR350V Handycam, a midrange high-definition camcorder sporting a whopping 160GB hard disk drive. I figure if any manufacturer can change my mind about HDD camcorders it’s Sony since I’ve lauded them in the past for their slick Handycam and bloggie devices. Let’s see how well they do to incorporate a cumbersome HDD. And of course I didn’t forget to test the video quality, performance and features too.

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1 Comment

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  1. cmbpcmbp

    Had my camera for 4 years and it has been returned 4 times due to faults occurring. Once to have the mother board changed and twice for the hard drive to be replaced. I understand that these hard drives have been consistently faulty, but that’s only what I have read. Barring the faults I have found the camera gives good results although the operational manual, like all Sony manuals I have come across, is terrible and only gives the briefest of details and leaves you wondering what it actually does and why.