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August 10, 2013

Sony HDR-GWP88V Handycam Review

For the past weeks, soft to heavy rains have been pouring, I had a lot of piled-up work that needed some video recording. Timing couldn’t have been better when this device arrived, and within those couple of weeks I had squeezed out the best and the worst of the Sony HDR-GP88V Handycam.


Design & Construction

As we already mentioned in our first impressions, the device doesn’t feel light nor too heavy. The buttons are where they should be, especially the zoom and capturing controls; they’re always near your thumb.

“Lifeproof; waterproof, shockproof, dustproof & freezeproof.”

The plastic construction may look a little cheap sometimes, but that’s okay. The device has already proven itself through the long period that it had with me — it’s lifeproof; waterproof, shockproof, dustproof & freezeproof.

Sony Handycam

At the back, you’ll find a button for the projector, zoom controls, start/stop and a button for taking instant photos. Below that is a well sealed compartment where you’ll find the micro SD card slot, the micro USB port, the micro HDMI port and the battery. Up front, you’ll find the camera, the flash and a self-recording button. At the top and on the sides, you will find a load of labels and branding, while at the bottom you will see the stand, a lock for the battery door and the speakers.

Sony Handycam

While the zoom controls and the record button are conveniently located, the photo-capture button isn’t. It’s always accidentally pressed, and sadly, on times that you do want to press it, it’s hard to press (it’s uses a two-stage mechanism). The same can be said about the self-record button; selfies will be hard to pull-off because of its hard-to-press construction.

Dirt won’t stick too long on the Handycam, as we already exposed it to muddy/dirty places with no problem. Anyway, don’t worry; if dirt and debris gets stuck, you can always wash it with running water and soap.

Hardware & Software

The Handycam has a 3-inch touch-enabled display for all of the operations to be done. It’s responsive whether it’s dry or wet and, while not everyone will enjoy the small size, it’s enough for most people’s needs. There’s a projector at the back.

SONY HANDYCAM

Ah, the projector; just make a long press on the projector button and you’re good to go showing off your content to anyone (provided there’s a white, flat surface and a dark lighting; any other conditions will produce sub-par results). With that mode on, you can only control the UI through the zoom and the record button, which works as navigation and enter controls.

As mentioned earlier, the touchscreen is responsive and the UI is intuitive. Sometimes, navigation and controls tend to lag a bit, mostly due to the animations and the file sizes of your video.

Basic settings and options can be found easily and is a breeze to learn. The bad news is getting there is slow like we’ve said, as it is quite laggy and you will need to be very patient at it.

Multimedia & Camera

Being a Handycam, of course the highlight here is the camera and its shooting capabilities. We took 1080p video in rainy conditions, in low-light and in slow motion. You can check them out below:

1080p

Low-light

Slow Motion

Judging from its performance, we can say that the Sony HDR-GWP88V does have more than enough to be a great video recorder. Optical Image Stabilization didn’t fail in any case, the zoom works amazingly well and captures good details and audio is clear and accurate. The only thing that we didn’t like so well is the color reproduction in daylight. Objects look washed out and undersaturated even for a Handycam of this price, and we can’t help but feel gray when watching some of the sample videos.

“My mid-range DSLR takes better videos in daylight.”

COMPARISON

On slowmos, it does great. The sensor takes lesser light however, but that’s an okay compromise considering how smooth it works. Other than that, we can’t say anymore as we are able to bring the Handycam to any type of battle that we wished.

SAMPLE SHOTS

“Indoors? Storms? Rainy nights? Hiking trips? A visit to the North Pole? This one has you covered.”

Sony HDR GWP88V

If you have plans on taking photos with a dedicated video recorder, no need to worry. It does the job just as well. It will be great for the most part, and fortunately, also in daylight.

Battery Life & Conclusion

Shooting continuous video on a full charge brought us a good 1 hour and 40 minutes before finally draining the battery. That’s good enough for most users, and if it’s not, the battery is user replaceable anyway. Aside from taking videos, using the projector will also drain the battery faster.

The Sony HDR-GWP88V Handycam is great to have with you, as we’re pretty sure it can get the job done in most conditions. It has a great feature set, and it does very well in taking videos and photos. On top of that, you also have a very capable projector. The only complaints that we have are the slightly washed out colors in video, and the inconsistent responsiveness of a few physical buttons on the device and of the the UI. Other than that, we’re glad to say this cam will definitely come in handy even for a price of Php34,999.

Sony HDR-GWP88 Handycam specs:
1/3.91 type BSI Exmor R CMOS Sensor
20.4 megapixel still images, 29.8mm Wide Angle Lens G
Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
10x Optical Zoom
16GB internal memory
3.0 inch Clear Photo LCD display
Slow Motion Recording 1/250 – 1/10,000
Waterproof up to 10m
Shockproof up to 1.5m
Dustproof
Freezeproof up to -10 Celsius
Projector
1240mAH NP-BX1 Sony battery
40mm × 108.5mm × 70mm (dimensions)
210g (weight)

What we liked about it:

  • Lifeproofing
  • Slow Motion Video is neat
  • Good low-light performance
  • Battery life is more than decent
  • Takes great photos

What we didn’t like about it:

  • UI response is so slow and unintuitive
  • Buttons could feel better
  • Washed out daylight video
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8 Responses to “Sony HDR-GWP88V Handycam Review”

  1. abuzalzal says:

    Let there be android running on this camera. Android is the best os ever and windows sucks ass.
    hahahahah fvcking pc users losers!!!

    Trust me, I’m a car aircon repair business owner!

    Muahahahahahah, mga sahod nyo no match sa kinikita ko sa aircon repair, lol

  2. mayabang_AKO says:

    @abuzalzal:

    and your point is?

    kumukita ka ba ng 200k a month?
    kung more than that, magrerepair na lang din ako ng aircon

  3. Troll Feeder says:

    Stop feeding the troll. Puro pasabit lang ang alam, tirang alahoy naman. Di rin maka-shoot. Tapos binabantayan pa rin. Ayan fouled out na kayo. Patirahin niyo na lang magmimintis rin naman e. Eksakto FIBA mode kaya ganyan ang Analogy ngayon.

  4. jdGONEMAD
    Twitter: jdGONEMAD
    says:

    is the video output better than the videos taken using a cheaper Nikon 3100?

  5. ferdinand marte says:

    I’ll turn this on and hurl it across the hardcourt to get some perspective of nailing a desperation 3-point shot against Iran hahahehehe.

  6. Jes says:

    It looks ok for the price.

  7. Paopee says:

    omg.. whats with the hate comments?

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Bob Freking writes, edits, & renders for YugaTech. You can contact, follow or tweet him at @bobfreking. For all his social media links, you can go to https://tinyurl.com/bobfreking

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