Disappointing Camcorder quality - Any ideas?

Paul O

Hi all,

I've got a Sony HDR-CX240 digital HD camcorder, but I have to say, I think the quality of the images is pretty poor. I have it set to the highest quality, but they still seem very digital and full of artifacts. Whilst daytime performance is well below expectations, the low light performance is really crap. When compared to my previous analog camera footage, aside from the higher pixel resolution of digital images, the actual viewable picture is arguably worse rather than better.

Have I bought a poorly performing camera model, which is confusing as it comes up on plenty of recommended lists, or am I expecting too much in the digital camacorder age? I'm sure my phone would give better quality than this and it has rarely been used over the last few years as a result.

Could anyone recommend a camcorder that would be a significant step up in terms of quality, without moving into pro territory?




Distinguished Member
I guess it depends what you are comparing it against. The sensor is no better than a mid price smart phone, so it's never going to be stellar, but I would not expect to see a lot of artefacts on the image, just potentially a loss of detail and a little more noise than you might expect.

I have a Panasonic V-770 camcorder, which can be picked up 2nd hand for £300 or so. These are fantastic bits of kit with a 3 chip front end, excellent processing and full optical rather than electronic stabilisation. Below is a frame from a recent video I shot on it, under very difficult lighting. I literally had time to grab the camera out of my bag, switch it on and point it at the presenter, so full auto. The end result was still quite acceptable. Using it outdoors gives even better results and the external mic input allows me to plug in a short rifle mic in a wind sheid to improve the audio.

V770 EG.jpg


Distinguished Member
FWIW you don't say what overall magnification you are judging the quality by.
At the camcorder highest setting the image should reproduce on a digital TV so it the "content" that you see, rather than poor image quality . . . of course that presumes your camcorder is on a tripod and focused correctly ( ideally in daylight, to give it the best chance). If the Menu includes "Scenes" then Landscape is a good first try for outdoor shoots.
( Those old Panas were overall optically high quality, although later on, models dropped the 3-CMOS sensor as (Sensors+Bayer) improved..

Your Sony model isn't the tops, so that could be the root problem, but I'm surprised you report poor performance in the top-setting . . .
+Is it possible the file-format is not compatible with the Edit Software + TV display?

Hope that helps.

Gordon Streeter

Active Member
Hi I have only just seen this thread so maybe you have sorted it or got rid of it.
It would be of help if you could upload a short vid or a screenshot of what you are complaining about. I think that the Sony HDR-CX240 can record in 1080p ? so that should give acceptable footage.
I am aware that it is not a "flagship" model but surely it can't be that bad if it is set properly and of course that it is working correctly ?
I know a lot of people that make short videos on YouTube that are "pretty" good quality and are only shot in 720p and not even in the best AVCHD setting so that they have more recording time ! Although for the life of me I have no idea why as surely you want the best possible quality for a start

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