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The best on quality and perfomance
Without fancy touch-to-focus and networking features, the optical zoom and built-in projector remains as this budget camcorder’s main selling points and the challenge for Sony is to convince people to consider this model for $399. For the price, the 32x optical zoom is pretty impressive. Technically, you can max out at 27x but there is this extended zoom that lets you reach 32x without noticeable quality loss. This gives you a nice range from 29.8 -953.6mm which means that the Sony HDR-PJ230 can be used to recordwide-angle shots too. Just don’t expect the auto-focus to be so fast on high zoom levels.
For not-so-high zoom levels, the SteadyShot optical stabilizer is really helpful because it manages to smoothen out your recorded footage even if your hands feel a bit shaky. You shouldn’t run into any issues at all when shooting at wide-angle. That goes for the video quality too if you stick with the Intelligent Auto mode because the mode does all the work in deciding which scene preset and settings are best for your environment. The quality is good enough for most people to forget going through the tedious menu just to make manual adjustments. 1080p and 60p can be done with the HDR-PJ230 and the Carl Zeiss lens and Exmor R CMOS Sensor contribute to decent overall quality and low light performance.