Visit our Business Solutions website >>

Sony Handycam HDR-CX12

alaTest has collected and analyzed 235 reviews from magazines and websites. People really like the size and design. The image quality and portability are also mentioned favorably, whereas there are some mixed opinions about the battery. Many are less positive about the connectivity and features.

usability, portability, image quality, design, size

value for money, memory, viewfinder, features, connectivity

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Sony Handycam HDR-CX12 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 84/100 = Very good quality.

See all Sony Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 235 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 127 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 127 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (5)

Expert review by:

Sony HDR-CX12


Good photo stills ; Comfortable and easy to use ; Works with iMovie '09 without a hitch ; Cool Night Shot and super slow motion shooting modes ; Excellent image quality

No progressive video mode ; External mike input available only through Active Interface Shoe ; Requires cumbersome docking base to connect to Mac ; No headphone jack

Expert review by:

Sony Handycam HDR-CX12


Kin to the hard-disk-based HDR-SR11 , the Sony Handycam HDR-CX12 delivers the same midlevel feature set and excellent HD video quality in a more compact body that instead records to Sony Memory Stick Duo Pro flash media.

Excellent video performance; impressive still photos for a camcorder; decent manual controls.

No wind filter; USB on dock only, not on camcorder; no viewfinder; smallish LCD.

As the flash-memory-based equivalent of the HDR-SR11, the Sony Handycam HDR-CX12 serves up the same pleasing performance and quality as its hard-drive cousin.

Expert review by:

Sony Handycam HDR-CX12 Camcorder Review


The Sony HDR-CX12 is the company's second-generation high definition camcorder that records solely to MemoryStick cards, replacing last year's HDR-CX7. The handling has improved immensely with the addition of a "Cam Control dial" that frees you from...


Expert review by:

Review: Sony HDR-CX12 HD camcorder


The Sony HDR-CX12 has so much potential—great image quality, manual control, and great extras—that are marred by serious shortfalls—camera dock requirement, lack of external audio in, and no progressive modes. If you can get over these, you'll enjoy...

Overall, the shooting experience with the HDR-CX12 is quite comfortable. For manual adjustments as you shoot, Sony thoughtfully included a great control wheel. Generally speaking, it’s much faster and more natural to use an analog wheel than it is to...

Expert review by:

Sony HDR-CX12


The Sony HDR-CX12 replaces last year's HDR-CX7, another AVCHD camcorder that records exclusively to removable memory cards. While the two models look similar on the surface, Sony's improvements under the hood, as well as the addition of a "Cam Control"...

the 2.7-inch screen is less than ideal for power users. With a simple push and twist, the Cam Control dial allows you to make smooth, fine-tuned adjustments to focus, exposure, AE shift, and white balance. Most importantly, it offers an alternative to...

Expert review by:

Sony HDR-CX12


Overall, the HDR-CX12 produced a great looking image. The colors are strong without being too saturated (for a consumer camcorder, at least). The colors look very similar to last year's HDR-CX7—the CX12's predecessor. The picture is identical to the...

Consumer review by:

"Not for use by professionals"


This is fine for average people, but definitely not for pros. I had to purchase an HD camera fast, and one that had an existing underwater housing. This one seemed the best, but I didn't pay enough attention to the audio set up. I can't believe Sony...

Excellent video quality

No mic input - you have to purchase their special mic that is power by the active interface shoe

Consumer review by:

Not for use by professionals


This is fine for average people, but definitely not for pros. I had to purchase an HD camera fast, and one that had an existing underwater housing. This one seemed the best, but I didn't pay enough attention to the audio set up. I can't believe Sony...

Excellent video quality

No mic input - you have to purchase their special mic that is power by the active interface shoe ; No headphone jack - even if you purchase their mic, you can't hear what it sounds like ; Not compatible with Final Cut Pro

Consumer review by:

Overall Excellent Product"


Excellent Quality over most environments packed with lots of useful features and a decent amount of manual settings. Small, reasonably light with good weight distribution. Zoom length is outstanding

Bulky kit charger, slow start up time (if switched off completely), SONY micro stick card only (expensive and adapters needed for sticking into a computer card slot)

Consumer review by:

EXCELLENT camcorder image, quality and stabilization


Sony is leading HD technology. They invented AVCHD (with panasonic) and Blue-Ray. Canon beat them to the 24Mbps limit; but there is barely any improvement in image quality. When Sony can take advantage of 24Mbps I'm sure they'll release another...

Video: Excellent HD images with very good low-light performance ; Focus: Nice dial; but also has touch screen SPOT focus/metering ; Stable: Optical image stabilization is GREAT making you home movies very professional ; Stills: are great for HD playback

Menu layout takes a little bit of time to learn and organize in your thoughts ; Only uses MemoryStick pro duo; but ensures that you get a quality product and not some cheap generic

Product Specifications

The ultra-sleek, palm-sized HDR-CX12 Handycam camcorder is the world's first camcorder with face detection and Smile Shutter technology. Face detection automatically adjusts focus, exposure and color for the most natural results. With Smile Shutter, the HDR-CX12 can detect smiles and automatically capture still images, even while recording 1920 x 1080 full HD video. You will also enjoy 10.2 megapixel still image recording to ensure your memories are preserved in stunning detail. Additionally, the CX12's small size and light weight make it an ideal travel companion, perfect for recording that special moment, wherever you are. Video and still images are stored directly to Memory Stick PRO Duo media for easy transfer to your computer or other compatible devices.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Surround
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Sony NP-FH60

Camcorder Features

High Definition Video Support:1080i
Low Lux / Night Mode: Yes
Widescreen Video Capture: Yes

Camera Flash

Type:Built-in flash

Digital Camera

Supported Flash Memory:Memory Stick Duo / Memory Stick PRO Duo

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.7in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.9cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Beach / Candle / Fireworks / Landscape / Portrait mode / Sports lesson / Spotlight / Sunrise / Sunset

Flash Memory

Form Factor:Memory Stick PRO Duo
Storage Capacity:4GB


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Sony Handycam

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/1.8-3.1
Max Focal Length:58.8mm
Min Focal Length:4.9mm/5.9mm
Optical Zoom:12
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Still Resolution:5.08Megapixel
Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:3.81Mpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:5.66Mpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/3"/1/3.1"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):8.2 mm ( 1/3.1 ) / 8.2 mm ( 1/3.1" )/8.5 mm ( 1/3 ) / 8.5 mm ( 1/3" )
Optical Sensor Type:ClearVid CMOS
Sensor Qty:1CMOS

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical (Super Steady Shot)

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Analog Video Format:PAL
Digital Scene Transition:Black fader / White fader
Digital Video Format:AVCHD / MPEG-2
Digital Zoom:150
Face Detection: Yes
Media Type:Flash card
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode
Special Effects:Monotone / Pastel / Sepia
Still Image Format:JPEG


Image Aspect Ratio (camcorders):16:9
Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:Electronic/None