Sony HDR CX405 vs Panasonic HC V180K

Video recorders or camcorders may not be as popular anymore today but they are still a very useful device for those who are going to record lots of footages and find the smartphone is not capable of offering the same capabilities. There are lots of cheaper models like Sony HDR CX405 Vs Panasonic HC V180K which are great for beginner or casual users who want to spend less but still get a good image quality. If you are also eyeing these camcorders, go check what they can offer below.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Is Camcorder Still Relevant Today
  • What are Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K
  • What Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K Look Like
  • How are the Image Quality of Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K
  • How are the Zoom Range of Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K
  • How are the Image Stabilization in Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K
  • Sony HDR CX405 Vs Panasonic HC V180K

Camcorder or Smartphone

Video recorder or camcorder used to be everything in the 90s and beginning of 2000s when people were fairly new to this home video system and how manufacturers continue to upgrade their products for casual users to be familiar with. It is not the case anymore after smartphone cameras are getting better and today, there are not many of us who are still enthusiastic about video recorder anymore unless they are offering what’s not possible or present on our convenient smart devices.

Today’s market for cameras is prominently dominated by DSLR, Mirrorless, and action camera while the more unique 360 degree cameras are also appearing here and there at times. It seems that people are starting to forget about camcorder and how it used to be very useful in the past. The question is do you still need to buy a camcorder today? The answer is depending on your own preference because chances are your smartphone is already good enough to capture quick and casual videos.

Those who are going to buy a camcorder, especially the inexpensive ones, are either having a non-flagship smartphone or looking for the best quality in a camcorder. The main reason as to why some of us are going with camcorder is for the lens itself since they tend to have small imaging sensor unless it is a professional model like Sony PXW X70 Vs NX100 so, they also have a low or poor low light quality yet, this allow for much longer zoom lenses.

This is actually our favorite part of cheaper camcorder since you don’t have to think much about getting one but still rocking the feature of long range zoom, making this type of camera ideal for those who will be taking a subject from a long distance. Note that their image quality will be very poor at the ends of the range so it may be only useful as a tool to examine and get better details of something too far for our eyes to distinguish.

Another reason why we still use camcorders today is because of their battery because, let’s be honest most of us can’t get a full day without charging their phone and it is only for common apps or activities we do. Some smartphones are packed with huge batteries today but most are not and with camcorder expandable batteries you can record with ease whether it is a concert of your favorite bands or those family events that took hours to finish.

About Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K

If you are also attracted to these benefits, getting a camcorder will be a good decision to make especially the cheaper one since they are very much affordable now with the release of higher models. These camcorders mostly can top HD footages so there will be no ultra-crisp 4K but for casual footages, we do think this resolution is enough for most applications. Most camera manufacturers usually have their entry-level with lots of useful features as well but without any interesting functionality.

For those who have no much time to check what each brands are offering, relying on well-known names of popular brands will save your effort and energy because in most cases they will carry the options and among those manufacturers, Sony and Panasonic are two of the most reliable brands to shop from. They are offering lots of camera models in which the quality is proven to be good. For the entry-level models, most of them are from $100-$300.

These are for range that can capture HD footages and if you don’t have a plan to record in 4K, two of the most ideal options will be Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K. Both of them are very similar to each other when it comes to price range and specification. The image quality itself is not the best but they appear to be good and suitable for most daytime shooting especially outdoors activity. They also pack lots of zoom for users who will be shooting at a distance.

These camcorders are a great choice for anyone with less budget because they don’t take much to get and similar to most models, you will get a pretty long recording with any of them at least for about an hour with the carrier battery and on the top mode. They are also very simple to use and if you ever used any camcorder in the past, we are sure you will be instantly familiar with any of these camcorders as well for they do offer the same functionality.

Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K Design

There is nothing special about Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K from the external side since they are looking like any video recorder out there with the same tubular body, a folding screen on the left side and battery installation on the back. They are made for right hand users and all buttons are placed ideally where your fingers will end up. What’s different is only on where they put the available ports such as the USB connectivity and how they install the battery in the camera.

Size wise they are comparable to each other for about 2-inch tall, 2-inch wide, and 5-inch deep yet, the Panasonic one is a little bit smaller in comparison yet it is slightly heavier than Sony both without the battery included. Their screen is LCD with a size of 2.7-inch which is not that comfortable to view footage or menu and in addition, the HDR CX405 is not a touch-screen model unlike the HC V180K but, this model also requires pretty firm press to make the screen work.

Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K Image Quality

Moving further, let’s check what Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K can offer and in this side both of them are basically very similar to each other because camcorders at this price point are always coming with the same technology. First is they have the same 1/5.8-inch sensor and a total pixel of 2.5 Megapixel with a total of 2.2 Megapixel for taking the video; the same for their still images. Side by side, their image quality is very similar to what you see on common cheaper smartphones.

The video looks good with a decent level of details and the zoom is very useful to get a closer look at something as long as you don’t max it for the result will gets blurry as the number increase and noise is also an issue here but, a distance of several meters is not an issue, in fact you can still see the flower petals on those bush across the road clearly. What you may see is that HC V180K will show you a better color in general with a more lively result.

Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K Zoom and Feature

Moving further, we also want to talk about the zoom range because this is probably the reason why you will love this camcorder. Starting with HDR CX405, this model will be offering up to 30 optical zoom which looks the best, and 60x clear image zoom or if needed there is 350x digital zoom which result is not very reliable. HC V180K on the other hand have two modes for the zoom but each can offer up to 50 and 90x zooms, optical and digital respectively.

In addition to the zoom function that you can use to focus on smaller subjects or anything far away, they also have a face detection function to make sure the shots will expose much from the people in the frame but at times, this mode is not working reliably as well for some reasons.

Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K Image Stabilization

The last point we want to talk about is their image stabilization and both of Sony HDR CX405 and Panasonic HC V180K are already featured with this function as camcorder will need to be stable when used but, in comparison we do think that the Sony Optical SteadyShot with its Intelligent Active Mode is working better here to keep the image from shaking when user is moving while Panasonic Hybrid O.I.S seems to still introduce shakiness as we carry the camera to shot at another spot.

 Sony HDR CX405 vs Panasonic HC V180K

Both of them are a great choice for those who want to record video but don’t want to spend much and will be satisfied with HD footage only. In comparison they are on par with each other when it comes to image quality but we like Panasonic color better since it looks livelier than Sony but it also has less reliable image stabilization. Another thing you may want to consider is Sony doesn’t have a touch screen but buttons to control the menu.

- BUNDLE INCLUDES: Sony CX405 Handycam 1080p Full HD Camcorder with Exmor R CMOS Sensor, SanDisk 32GB Ultra UHS-I microSDHC memory card
- SENSOR AND PROCESSOR: The large, cutting-edge Exmor R CMOS sensor enhances image clarity, reduces noise in dark environments, and enables soft background defocusing
- ZEISS LENS: Sharing a commitment to outstanding performance and design
- OPTICAL STEADYSHOT: Advanced image stabilization keeps footage blur-free, even when the recording circumstances or the user's hands are shaky. The high-bitrate XAVC S format is for videographers ready to take their work to the next level
- 50X and 90X Optical Zoom: Long 50X zoom and 90X intelligent zoom draws in the scene from far away. The focal length is 2.06 - 103 mm
- Wide-angle Lens: A 28mm wide-angle lens is convenient for capturing group images in small spaces, such as weddings, reunions and vacations
- 1/5.8-Inch BSI Sensor: The Back Side Illumination Sensor has a large effective area with 2.20M effective pixels, suppressing noise even when shooting in dimly lit conditions
- Creative Controls: Creative filter effects like 8mm Movie, Silent Movie, Miniature Effect and Time Lapse Recording add more personality to your high-definition recordings


Since both of them are a good option, you can go with either of them and still be satisfied with the result but, in comparison we do like Panasonic HC V180K better for its good footage color yet we also recommend to hold it pretty stable when recording.


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