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alaTest has collected and analyzed 109 reviews of SONY HDR-CX520. The average rating for this product is 4.3/5, compared to an average rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders for all reviews. People really like the reliability and size. The image quality and usability also get good opinions, but there are some critical views about the memory and battery. Comments are divided on the viewfinder.

portability, usability, image quality, size, reliability

price, durability, zoom, battery, memory

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the SONY HDR-CX520 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 86/100 = Very good quality.

See all Sony Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 109 reviews)

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User Reviews  

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Consumer review by: ( review summary for SONY HDR-CX520


alaTest has collected and analyzed 33 user reviews of SONY HDR-CX520 from The average user rating for this product is 4.2/5, compared to an average user rating of 3.9/5 for other Camcorders on Reviewers really like the size and image quality. The usability and price also get good feedback, but many are negative about the zoom and durability.

portability, price, usability, image quality, size

durability, zoom

88% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Sony HDR-CX520V 64GB Flash High Definition Camcorder (Black)Sony HDR-CX520V 64GB Flash High Definition Camcorder (Black)

Oct, 2016

Expert review by: Chris Jager (

Sony HDR-CX520 review


Sony has overhauled the imaging components for its latest suite of camcorders. The new system consists of a three-way optical image stabiliser, a backlit image chip for increased light sensitivity, a six-blade aperture lens and an enlarged 1/2.9in CMOS...

The Sony HDR-CX520 is a feature-packed camcorder that performs impressively across the board. However, if you're not a frequent shooter, you may want to consider the cheaper Sony HDR-CX500V - it offers all of the same functionality, but with less memory.

Jan, 2010

Expert review by: (

Sony HDR-CX520VE Camcorder


The Sony HDR-CX520VE is a fantastic camcorder giving great video quality in a small and compact camera. Coming with all the features you would expect from a camcorder of this type and so much more the Sony HDR-CX520VE is a camcorder that is highly...

The screen on the Sony HDR-CX520VE is big and clear allowing you to view your videos and photo easily. The screen is a large LCD 3 inch touchscreen so there is no worry about not being able to see exactly what your taking a video of. If this isn’t...

May, 2012

Expert review by: (

Sony HDR-CX520 camcorder review


A decent camcorder, but let down by a high price

Great shots, slow mo mode

Expensive, not great in low light

Feb, 2010

Expert review by: (

Sony HDR-CX520


Sony's Full HD camcorder, the HDR-CX520, aims for imaging excellence thanks to a top-quality G lens and an Exmor R CMOS sensor. The camcorder can store up to 26 hours of movies on its 64GB internal memory but if you need extra storage you can record to...

Comfortable to hold and use, and capable of rock-solid movie clips, the CX520 is a dependable addition to the ranks of HD camcorders. Videophiles may begrudge the odd absence from the tech specs but otherwise there’s a lot here to really enjoy. Sony...

Feb, 2010

Expert review by: Chris Jager (

Sony HDR-CX520 HD camcorder


A Full HD flash memory camcorder with a three-way optical image stabiliser

Improved image stabilisation, 12-megapixel still image mode, impressive range of features

HDR-CX500V offers better value for money

The Sony HDR-CX520 is a feature-packed camcorder that performs impressively across the board. However, if you're not a frequent shooter, you may want to consider the cheaper Sony HDR-CX500V -- it offers all of the same functionality, but with less memory.

Jan, 2010

Expert review by: Lori Grunin (

Sony HDR-CX5 review:


With a six-month lag behind their hard-drive-based siblings, the HDR-XR500V and HDR-XR520V , the HDR-CX500V and CX520V promised some much-needed interface enhancements over their solid-but-flawed brothers. While I don't think the interface and control...

Compact design; first-rate video quality and performance; geotagging videos is fun, if limited.

No SD card support; awkward control layout; no wind filter; no manual shutter speed, iris, or audio controls; expensive.

The geotagging capability remains mostly a novelty, but the top-notch video quality of the Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V and HDR-CX520V make them worthy options. Because internal memory is overpriced, the HDR-XR500V is the better deal of the two, though you...

Feb, 2010

Expert review by: Rob Mead (

Sony Handycam HDR-CX520V


Good range of features including manual controls ; Good video quality ; Solid build

Geotagging feature didn't work ; Confusing touchscreen menu system ; Odd manual dial location

Nov, 2009

Expert review by: Rob Mead (

Review: Sony Handycam HDR-CX520V HD camcorder


China has ordered Google to suspend its foreign Web site search service after warning that the company's filtering of pornography was too weak.

As you’d expect with Sony camcorders, the HDR-CX520V’s build quality is high and it sits comfortably in your hand, giving easy access to its wide zoom toggle and still photo buttons. You’ll find the usual smattering of sockets dotted around the...

Nov, 2009

Consumer review by: Martins (

Sony HDR-CX520VE


Active stadyshot, image quality, quick start-up time, good low light performance, face detection, good sound

Auto white balance not as quick as HDR-HC7, no viewfinder, wind noise, lack of manual controls, no 1080-50p, 24p

Jan, 2010

Consumer review by: Muki (

Sony HDR-CX520VE


I have had many cameras. With out a doubt this is the best camcoder i have purchased. Its just like watching a blue ray movie. Even in dark areas ie in a room with low light conditions the noise level is so low. I mean crystal clear with no grains

Could improve on still. Some times they are very bright

Jan, 2010

Product Specifications

Sony HDR-CX520VE offers extremely high quality Full HD imaging and smart features. It features up to 26hr Full HD on 64GB internal memory, 12x optical zoom, 5.1 channel surround sound. Experience a world of incredible imaging quality. Up to 26 hours Full HD recording on internal memory. Advanced Exmor R CMOS sensor and Sony G Lens capture amazing, detail-packed video and stills, even in low light. Many camcorders struggle in low light, producing grainy, fuzzy images. Super sensitive Exmor R CMOS Sensor reduces image noise for clearer images. In conjunction with the powerful BIONZ processor you'll get great results in low light, dim interiors or at dusk. To achieve the best possible picture quality, a top-quality G Lens by Sony is combined with the sensitive Exmor R CMOS Sensor and powerful BIONZ processor. The result is detail-packed Full HD images that can be enjoyed on your HD TV. Wobbly pictures caused by unsteady hands are a common problem when you're shooting without a tripod. Optical SteadyShot Active Mode Image stabilization cuts the effects of camera shake for clear, steady results, even if you're walking along while shooting. GPS tracks your position as you travel. See the exact location of your clips and still images with maps on the LCD screen. Then review your journey when you're back home with online maps on your PC. Faces can look dark and underexposed in bright, backlit situations like a sun-drenched beach. And if you're shooting indoors there's a risk your subject's skin tone can look unnaturally colored. The camcorder fine-tunes focus, exposure and skin tone for more natural looking faces.


Built-In Microphone: Yes
Built-in speaker(s): Yes

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Surround
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Battery life (max):26
Battery Type:NP-FH60
Manufacturer Battery Name:Sony NP-FH60

Camcorder Features

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

Camera Flash

Type:Built-in flash


Colour of product:Black

Digital Camera

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

Dimensions & Weight



Display diagonal:7.62

Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:3in
Diagonal Size (metric):7.6cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Beach / Fireworks / Landscape / Portrait mode / Snow / Spotlight / Sunrise / Sunset / Twilight mode / Twilight portrait

Flash Memory

Form Factor:Integrated
Storage Capacity:64GB


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Sony Handycam

Image sensor

Optical sensor size:25.4 / 2.9
Sensor Type:CMOS
Total MegaPixels:12

Lens System

Digital Zoom:150
Filter Size:3.7
Focal length (35mm film equivalent):43 - 516
Focal length range (f-f):5.5 - 60
Lens Aperture:F/1.8-3.4
Max Focal Length:66mm
Min Focal Length:5.5mm
Optical Zoom:12
Optical Zoom:12
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Still Resolution:6Megapixel
Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:4.15Mpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:6.631Mpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/2.9"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):8.8 mm ( 1/2.9" ) / 8.8 mm ( 1/2.9 )
Optical Sensor Type:Exmor R CMOS
Sensor Qty:1CMOS

Optical System

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

Other features

Audio output:Y
Auto Focus: Yes
Cable Type:AV, USB, Component
Internal Memory:65536
Manual Focus: Yes
Night mode: Yes
Spotlight: Yes
Twilight: Yes
Video Out:Y

Packaging Content

Handheld remote control: Yes

Ports & interfaces

Component video (YPbPr/YCbCr) out:1
S-Video Out: Yes
USB 2.0 ports quantity:2


Camera shutter speed:1/6 - 1/1000


Compatible memory cards:MS Duo, MS Pro

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None


Maximum Video Resolution:640 x 480
Video formats supported:AVCHD, MPEG2

Video Input

Analogue Video Format:PAL
Digital Video Format:AVCHD / MPEG-2
Digital Zoom:150
Face Detection:Built-in / Yes
Faders:Black fader / White fader
Media Type:Flash card
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode
Still Image Format:JPEG


Viewfinder Type: None

Weight & Dimensions

Depth:12.5 / 3.3
Height :6.5

White balance

Indoor white balance: Yes
Onepush white balance: Yes
Outdoor white balance: Yes