Today's Parent Approved

Tested: Sony Camcorder with Built-In Projector

Kathryn Lavallee of mommykatandkids.com tested the Sony Camcorder with Built-In Projector for Today’s Parent. Here’s what she had to say.

1Sony

Photo: Tammi Roy

Perhaps it stems from my own lack of childhood photos and videos, but I just can’t stop capturing moments in my own kids’ lives.

When people talk of their prized possessions, it’s these images—in files, on disks and on a hard drive—that I cherish most. While I am a photo-lover through and through, there’s nothing like a moment captured on video. While my memories of days past might be otherwise hazy with few details remembered, thanks to video, I can relive these moments forever. And someday my kids (and then their kids!) will be able to glimpse a sneak peek into the past. How awesome!

Sony sent me their video recorder that has projector style playback capability, a Todays Parent Approved product. You can only guess how excited I was! In fact, I have an older model Sony Camcorder, very similar to this one, yet it doesn’t have the projector. Since I love my current camcorder, I was excited to test the latest features on this particular model.

I won’t get all technical with you since you can get that information anywhere online. Instead, I’ll state why I love the Sony Camcorder with Built-In Projector, in plain terms and from a family-used perspective.

For one, it’s compact and light as air. I actually don’t think I have a digital camera that’s lighter than this. I think my phone is even heavier. Being so compact and lightweight, this camcorder can be taken anywhere you go, with no hassle. It’s so very simple to operate—the few buttons are labelled and navigation can be self-taught with just a little playing around. Yet, it does come with a detailed manual if you need it.

The screen size is generous and clear, and it takes the most gorgeous videos and photos thanks to a wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens. Usually, I’m walking when taking videos of my active kids, so I love the automatic SteadyShot image stabilization with the Active Mode. It prevents that extreme shakiness on video, even when I know I’m not steady at all.

Read more: How to take great photos of your family>

For those that don’t like to do editing, this camcorder has seven picture effects for video and photos. While I like to shoot in “normal” to capture exactly what I see, my oldest daughter loves to play around with these features while making her own videos. Yes, my nine-year-old can use this camcorder like a pro, so us parents are able to learn as well. Trust me!

Yet, of course the crème de la crème is that this camcorder is “theatre style” so you can project your videos for the ultimate viewing experience, using just the camcorder. This feature is what I played with first when it first arrived. I took a simple video in the living room of the kids and then gathered the family into the bedroom and projected the videos onto the wall, just a few seconds later. It was fun and the girls were thrilled to be “in a huge movie.”

So, think of the possibilities here. You could show a film in the evening, right in your backyard, using a bedsheet on the fence or even projected onto the house. Slideshows for events could come in handy many times throughout the year.

I also like that you can play back videos as captured or have the choice for a more fancy play back, with automatic scene transitions and music added to the video. Voila, an edited movie with just one press of the button! In addition to the projection, you have your videos on the SD Card and can watch your captures on TV using an HDMI cable. Too many times video are captured on cards and then stored away and hardly ever viewed again. This camcorder offers many options for viewing so that those moments are re-lived. Over and over again.

Bottom line, this Sony Camcorder with Built-In Projector has many bells and whistles. They are there if you need them, and you might use more and more features as you get more comfortable and creative with your videos. So, it’s a very user-friendly camcorder that grows with you.

Aside from everyday use, the first big trip that this camcorder came along on was our two-week family vacation to Beaches Resorts Turks & Caicos in May of this year. I am 100 percent glad it came with us! I caught so many incredible moments on video during this trip, and all above-ground video stills were taken with this camcorder (I used a waterproof digital for the underwater shots).

This product was Todays Parent Approved for a great reason—every family should have a Sony Camcorder, and this particular model takes sharing those memories one fun step forward!

Tammi-200x200Tammi Roy of MyOrganizedChaos.net, mom of three, Alberta. Tammi is passionate about photography, travel and food (with luck, all at once). Her thoughts on parenthood and all the chaos that it entails can be found at My Organized Chaos. Follow her on Twitter @MyChaos and like her page on Facebook.