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Sony Handycam HDR-CX12

alaTest has collected and analyzed 214 reviews of Sony Handycam HDR-CX12. The average rating for this product is 4.5/5, compared to an average rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders for all reviews. Opinions about the size and design are overall positive. The image quality and portability also get good comments. Many are less positive about the connectivity and viewfinder, and there are mixed opinions on the battery and memory.

usability, portability, image quality, design, size

price, zoom, viewfinder, 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 83/100 = Very good quality.

See all Sony Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 214 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 208 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 117 of 208 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (6)

Consumer review by: ( review summary for Sony Handycam HDR-CX12


alaTest has collected and analyzed 107 user reviews of Sony Handycam HDR-CX12 from The average user rating for this product is 4.6/5, compared to an average user rating of 3.9/5 for other Camcorders on Reviewers really like the size and image quality. The design and portability are also mentioned favorably, but some have doubts about the price.

usability, portability, design, image quality, size


100% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Sony HDR-CX12 High Definition Memory Stick PRO Duo Handycam Camcorder With 12x Optical ZoomSony HDR-CX12 High Definition Memory Stick PRO Duo Handycam Camcorder With 12x Optical ZoomSony HDRCX12E AVCHD Memory Stick(R) Handycam(R) Camcorder for PAL TV System Only

Aug, 2015

Expert review by: Alex Lindsay (

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

Mar, 2009

Expert review by: David Kender (

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...

Sep, 2008

Expert review by: Alex Lindsay (

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...

Mar, 2009

Expert review by: Jeremy Stamas (

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...

Oct, 2008

Expert review by: David Kender (

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...

Sep, 2008

Expert review by: Good Gear (

Great HD handycam with Smile Shutter technology


The HDR-CX12 is a brilliant high-def handycam that is almost impossible to find fault with. It improves on its CX7K predecessor in nearly every area and is easily a match for Sony's high-end HDR-SR12 model. If you don't mind the lack of an inbuilt hard...

Excellent AVCHD video quality, good performance in dim lighting, 10.1Mp stills mode, Smile Shutter technology, camera control dial for 'hands on' adjustments

No inbuilt memory, not as compact as other flash memory–based models, inclusion of superfluous buttons

Oct, 2008

Expert review by: Alex Lindsay (

Sony HDR-CX12 HD review


Recording to a SDHC memory card, the Sony HDR-CX12 HD sports a 1/3-inch imaging sensor - a rather large size for a consumer HD camcorder - and HDMI output. It records AVCHD video at a data rate of 16Mbit per second, which is good, but not at the top of...

The Sony HDR-CX12 is a classic Greek tragedy. It 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...

Mar, 2009

Expert review by: Alex Lindsay (

Sony HDR-CX12 HD camcorder


Sony's HDR-CX12 HD camcorder is in the top tier of the company's consumer camcorders lineup.

The Sony HDR-CX12 is a classic Greek tragedy. It 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...

Mar, 2009

Expert review by: (

Sony Handycam HDR-CX12


An HD camcorder that records only to flash memory and is designed for point-and-press video photographers.The Handycam HDR-CX12 is similar in size and styling to the HDR-CX7 model, which it replaces. One of a rapidly-growing class of camcorders that...

Tapping the button on the lower left corner of the touch screen switches the CX12 into playback mode and displays thumbnails for all the clips recorded. By default, all clips recorded on a single day are grouped together and a new page is created for...

Sep, 2008

Consumer review by: jonalind (

Sony HDR-CX12


In my opinion this is the top model of the handycam world. I still have a digital camera however wondering why now with the quality of the still pictures. The recording quality is superb and watching them on my 52 inch TV.

Memory Stick PRO Duo instead of hard disk drive.1920 x 1080 full HD video and 10.2 megapixel still image capture

You need to purchase:lithium battery since the supplied one won't last very longcamcoder bag.protective plastic filter for your LCD display.UV filter for attachment in front of the cam

Dec, 2008

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