Sony DCR-SX60 camcorder
A standard-def, flash memory-based Sony camcorder with a 60x optical zoom
- 60x optical zoom, attractive design, user-friendly interface
- Struggled in low lighting, skimps on extra features, a bit too pricey
The Sony DCR-SX60 is an attractive looking standard-definition camcorder that does a reasonable job in the imaging stakes. That said, there are better SD options on the market that cost around the same price.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
Standard-definition camcorders are being slowly but surely ousted in favour of Full HD, with fewer models entering the marketplace. Sony’s DCR-SX60 is a standard-definition camcorder that costs over $500, making it even more of a rarity. In an era where high-def camcorders cost as little as $300, what can the Sony DCR-SX60 offer to justify its premium price tag?
In short: not a lot. Although capable of taking decent looking video, it’s trumped in almost every area by the brilliant Panasonic SDR-H85-K; another standard-def camcorder that retails for around the same price. The Panasonic model provides a lot more bang for your buck, including an 80GB hard drive (compared to 16GB of inbuilt memory on the Sony DCR-SX60). That said, there is still enough to like about the Sony DCR-SX60 to make it a worthwhile purchase. Its main strengths are its 60x optical zoom and compact, attractive design.
The Sony DCR-SX60’s main claim to fame is probably its 60x optical zoom lens. While not quite as powerful as the Panasonic SDR-H85-K’s 78x zoom, it remains very impressive for the asking price. It allows you to capture extreme close-ups of distant objects without compromising the image quality — very handy for bird watching or trips to the zoo.
Of course, you’re going to need a tripod when shooting at 60x; otherwise your footage will look unbearably shaky. When shooting at normal magnifications, the DCR-SX60 does a pretty good job of keeping footage smooth and steady, despite the lack of an optical image stabiliser. All up, we had no qualms over how the camera handled.
Sony designs some the best looking camcorders in the business, and the DCR-SX60 is thankfully no exception. It’s small, lightweight and boasts a very attractive finish — especially for a standard-def model, many of which wear their budget leanings on their sleeves.
For menu selection, Sony has stuck to its love-it-or-loathe-it touch-screen interface. In addition to a smattering of consumer-friendly features, Sony has also thrown in a few manual modes (namely; focus, exposure and white balance). All in all, the feature set is surprisingly sparse for a Sony model, with none of the flashy tools or gimmicks that usually adorn the company's handycams. On the plus side, we suppose this makes it more user-friendly for the point-and-shoot crowd (which the DCR-SX60 is obviously aimed at).
When it came to video quality, the Sony DCR-SX60 performed slightly below expectations. It comes equipped with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 33mm lens and 1/8in CCD sensor, with an effective pixel count of 410k. Our test footage looked reasonable when shot in optimum lighting: images appeared sharp with a fair amount of detail. Colours were also acceptable, though we would have liked to see a little more vibrancy.
In low lighting, the DCR-SX60 really began to struggle, with washed out colours and an abundance of image noise. As you’d expect, this makes for ugly looking video. To make matters worse, there is no dedicated night mode, and no accessory shoe for video lights. It will still get the job done, but you won’t be making any award-winning videos in the dark.
The Sony DCR-SX60 can also capture 640x480 still images. The results aren’t really anything to write home about, but they remain acceptable for Facebook and the like. Much like with the DCR-SX60’s video performance, optimum lighting is key.
The Sony DCR-SX60 comes with 16GB of inbuilt memory (enough for 715 minutes of LP video), plus a Memory Stick slot for additional recordings. Sony has also included an 8GB Memory Stick in the sales package, which boosts the overall recording time by up to 5.8 hours. This sounds pretty impressive, until you realise that the Panasonic SDR-H85-K comes with an 80GB hard drive. Clearly, the Panasonic camcorder offers much better value.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8
- Sony's virtual reality suit is why people go to SXSW
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTSenior Functional Consultant - Data Analytics - TelcoVIC
- FTTechnical Expert - Linux / MySql / ScriptQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- FTArcFM/Gis Lead DeveloperNSW
- FTStorage Engineer (HDS)NSW
- FTData Analyst LeadSA
- FTServer Engineer l Windows l VMWare l Active DirectoryNSW
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst- Data GovernanceNSW
- CCOrganisational Change Manager - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- CCSenior C++ .Net DeveloperWA
- FTTechnical Business AnalystVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst AgileQLD
- CCIT Business Analyst - UX DesignNSW
- TPUnix- Technical Support OfficerVIC
- CCLightweight Directory Access Procol (LDAP) DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTNetwork Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCTest Manager with PV Security ClearanceACT
- FTSolutions Architects - 10 roles availableACT
- CCWintel Engineers - NV1ACT
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- FTRACF Mainframe Security Analysts / Engineers - Multiple Roles - SydneyNSW