Sony Handycam HDR-PJ200E video camera
The Sony Handycam HDR-PJ200E is a rare breed of video camera that also features a built-in projector
- Small size
- Good quality recording
- Built-in projector is fun to use
- Uncomfortable to use due to its size
Sony's Handycam HDR-PJ200E is a capable video camera that's tiny and barely a hassle to carry while on long trips. Its capture quality is more than decent and it features a built-in projector so that you can see the day's recordings in a large size on a wall wherever you are. It's more than a novelty, and definitely fun to use.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The Sony HDR-PJ200E is a tiny camcorder with a built in projector. It performs well and is a lovely gadget for frequent travellers: capture some neat footage during the day, then at night project the results on an empty wall wherever you happen to be staying. Its body feels a little too creaky in its construction, but it's very light and with an almost petite-like size, which means it can easily be carried in a pair of cargo pants or any other over-sized pants pocket.
Technologically, the HDR-PJ200E features one of Sony's Exmor R CMOS sensors, which is 1/5.8in in size, it uses Sony's BIONZ image processor, and it has a 25x optical zoom lens. Like all good camcorders, you get a pull-out screen and touchscreen controls, and there are controls on the body that make it easy to zoom and initiate recordings, and to switch from video to stills. The battery compartment is at the back and the SD card slot is accessible on the bottom-right of the body. Behind the screen is where the pico projector sits, and it can be activated by pressing a button on the body, with interface navigation controls being the zoom rocker and photo shutter button.
Using the camera can be uncomfortable if you have big hands, or even normal-sized hands. The strap almost didn't have enough velcro to grip when i widened it to fit my hand, but it somehow held together and i managed to never drop the camera during my extensive test period. Most of the time I found it easier to record video by holding the camera over the strap instead. Furthermore, hitting icons on the small 2.7in, resistive touchscreen can turn into a cumbersome event. I had trouble navigating the on-screen menu system, often stumbling into the wrong sub-menu by mistake.
I recorded video in HD mode using its standard quality setting. Its results turned out clear and vibrant when viewed on a computer or a big-screen TV. It's a camcorder that can handle heavy motion quite well, meaning you can use it to shoot action as well as static scenes and while moving the camera around. For example, when I recorded a run up a couple of flights of stairs, the excessive up and down motion was shaky, but it didn't cause the image to tear and, in fact, the end result was quite watchable. It's definitely a good camcorder overall and well worth considering if you shoot a lot of video. It provides results that are better than what most digital still cameras can capture.
While the built-in projector may be a bit of a novelty to some, I enjoyed it a lot. Being able to just point the camera at a wall and view the days clips was not only convenient, it also brought a bit of enjoyment to the whole clip-watching experience. It made it a little more exciting. The catch is that the best results will be had in a dark room and on a white wall. You'll also need to find a way to rest the camera so that it's pointing in the right direction and so you won't have to hold it. For best results, you'll need to use a tripod.
It's quite simple to invoke the projector mode and focusing is by way of a slider that sits along the top edge of the camcorder's screen. From a distance of 240cm, the projector will produce a screen that is 116cm across, and 65cm high. It's not home cinema size (or quality, for that matter), but it's very comfortable to view and the projector's definition is good enough to view fine details. It's not overly bright though, which is understandable considering the unit's very small size, so you'll get the best results when viewing it in a darkened room and with the lights off. There is a built-in speaker on the camera that you can rely on for audio and you also get a little remote control.
Overall, the Sony Handycam HDR-PJ200E is a fine HD video camera for those of you who want something a little different to the norm. Its small size and built-in projector are the main drawcards, but it's also video camera that can capture video at a very high quality. It's perfect for taking on holidays, or just out and about in general. Be wary of windy conditions though as they can wreak havoc on the audio.
This isn't the first time I've reviewed one of Sony's camcorder-projector units. Also check out the Sony Handycam HDR-PJ30VE.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Nvidia's pricey Shield Android TV adds some value with 4K YouTube and Netflix HDR in US
- Netflix's Fast.com download tester takes its war against slow ISPs directly to the user
- Nearly 100 classic NFL games headed to YouTube
- Netflix isn’t big on virtual reality for the obvious reasons
- Netflix loosens up streaming video, letting users choose their cellular speed limit
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSr. Net DeveloperVIC
- FTHadoop Operation EngineerNSW
- CCDeemed Order Business SpecialistVIC
- CCTechnology Team Lead / Senior Developer - JavaNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCAccess Control Administration / Help desk OperatorACT
- CCSenior DevOps EngineerACT
- CCRelease Manager, InfrastructureNSW
- CCIT Environment and Deployment SpecialistQLD
- CCContract Programmer (HTML/JAVA/SQL) 160525/P/013Asia
- CCProject Manager/Iteration ManagerVIC
- FTOPEN_ASAP_Network Security AdministratorACT
- FTVMWare Infrastructure EngineerVIC
- CCDigital Project ManagerVIC
- FTStorage SpecialistVIC
- CCSystems Engineer- VMware / Cisco UCSNSW
- CCICT Contracts and Procurement SpecialistACT
- CCService Desk analystSA
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCSolutions Architect - Enterprise ApplicationsNSW
- CCSystem Engineer - Server Migration experienceNSW
- CCTechnical Specialist - IP Network Design - Juniper MXNSW
- CCSystem AdmimistratorQLD
- CCSkilled Sitecore / .NET DeveloperNSW
- CCICT Fleet and Equipment Audit ResourcesSA