By Andrew Gould 7 January 2009


As we start moving towards an era where standard definition becomes more and more obsolete, the early adopters of HD technology will have to make up their minds as to which HD camera is best for them, so that the rest of us can follow. And as hard-drive based camcorders go, you can’t get much better than the Sony Handycam HDR-SR12.

The SR12 is essentially the same as the SR11, except that it has double the recording capacity, at 120GB.

The body design for the SR12 is very attractive, with Sony opting for shiny black, with metal accents, as opposed to the usual grey you see on most camcorders.

The SR12 is about the same size as a mini-DV camera, due to the onboard hard disk. You’ll find that flash-based camcorders are typically slimmer than their hard disk counterparts, but can be a bit difficult to hold.

Just one year from the release of the SR7, both the SR11 and SR12 now shoot in full 1920x1080 high definition (when filming in the16-megabit-per-second AVCHD recording mode). There are three other recording modes for you to choose from, if you’re not going to need the full HD ­experience for everything you film. The highest quality setting gets you just over 14 hours of footage, the second gives you about 45 hours and the lowest setting (now at standard definition) gives you from about 30 hours to 80 hours.

Sony has really gone all out on this one, with a 12x optical Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar zoom lens and a 5 megapixel sensor (an effective 10 megapixels, when taking stills.)

If you’ve managed to hang on to your Christmas bonus and are looking for a high-end camcorder, then you can’t go wrong with this one.

Attractive look, 120GB hard-disk space.
Not much really, although it is expensive, but one expects that.

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