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Sony HDR-CX11E review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £511
inc VAT


1/3.1in CMOS sensor, PAL, 1,440×1,080, 1,920×1,080, 12.0x zoom, 370g

The HDR-CX11E looks more conventional than its retro-styled sibling, the HDR-TG3E, but the two cameras share various traits.

The menu layout and touchscreen are identical, so the HDR-CX11E has the same spot-focus and metering controls and slow-motion capture mode. However, the lack of direct control over shutter speed and aperture and the inability to record progressive-scan video is more disappointing here, as this is a video camera that’s otherwise better suited to enthusiasts.

Both Sony cameras also use Memory Stick Pro Duo (MSPD) cards. These cost around twice as much as SDHC, although a 4GB card is included in the box. MSPD card slots aren’t as common on PCs as SDHC slots, but the supplied docking station makes light work of transfers to a computer.

The HDR-CX11E has various extra features to justify its higher price over the HDR-TG3E. The built-in optical image stabilisation was the best here for reducing camera shake at high zoom settings. A small dial next to the lens makes manual focus much easier than with the buttons or touchscreens used elsewhere, but sadly it’s not accompanied by a momentary digital zoom to assist with fine-tuning. A proprietary hotshoe accepts Sony-branded accessories, while the infrared lamp produces eerie monochrome video in total darkness.

Picture quality was a marked improvement over the HDR-TG3E. Details were sharp, skin tones were natural and – most significantly – low-light footage was less noisy than from Canon’s HF200. Sound quality was narrowly the best here, being full-bodied and detailed.

The HDR-CX11E rarely stood out in our tests, but with a solid set of features and consistently commendable performance, it slowly rose to the top of the pack. The lower price compared to Canon’s HF200 means it’s possible to overlook the use of expensive media. Unless progressive scan and full manual control are vital, this is the HD camera to buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****


Optical zoom 12.0x
Digital zoom 150x
Sensor 1/3.1in CMOS
Sensor pixels 5,660,000
Widescreen mode native
LCD screen size 2.7in
Viewfinder type none
Video lamp Yes
Video recording format AVCHD
Video recording media Memory Stick Pro Duo
Sound Dolby Digital 5.1
Video resolutions PAL, 1,440×1,080, 1,920×1,080
Maximum image resolution 3,680×2,070
Memory slot Memory Stick Pro Duo
Mermory supplied 4GB Memory Stick Pro Duo
Flash yes


Digital inputs/outputs USB
Analogue inputs/outputs AV out, component out, mini HDMI out
Other connections charge jack, Sony accessory shoe, docking port
Battery type 7.2V 1,000mAh Li-ion
Battery life 1h 50m
Battery charging position camcorder
Size 67x69x129mm
Weight 370g

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £511