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Difference Between the Sony CX and XR Camcorders

 Sony CX vs XR Camcorders

The Sony CX and XR line of camcorders come with different models with different capabilities. But there is a demarcation line between the two. The only major difference between the CX and XR camcorders is the storage media used. The CX models use flash memory while XR models use hard drives.

The different storage media used in the CX and XR models have a number of implications on real-world usage. For starters, CX models tend to have a much smaller storage space, typically at 32GB, compared to the XR models with 160GB or more.  Although, 32GB is more than enough even if you record very long videos. The problem is when you forget to offload the videos from the camera every once in a while. Having the 160GB XR camera is harder to fill, so you don’t have to offload files that often.

The primary advantages of the CX camcorders to the XR are the reduced power consumption and better durability. Hard drives have moving parts that consume considerably more power than flash memory which is purely electronic. This difference in power consumption is exhibited not only during recording but also when playing back recorded videos. Hard drives are also prone to getting damaged when banged pretty hard while in operation. This is because of the head read/write head that floats on top of the platter during operation. When banged hard enough, the head may hit the platter and scratch the surface. When this happens, the files can get corrupted, or worse, the hard drive stops functioning. Flash memory doesn’t have this problem because it does not have any moving parts.

The choice between the CX model and the XR model is down to whether you can live with reduced storage capacity. If you tend to do long trips where the videos can pile up on your hard drive, the XR model is good for you. But if you have routine access to a computer at home or a laptop on the road, it is much better to go with the Sony CX camcorders.


  1. The CX models are equipped with flash memory while the XR models have hard drives.
  2. The CX models typically have less storage than XR models.
  3. The CX models consume less power than XR models.
  4. The CX models are less prone than XR models to have corrupted files when dropped.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you very very much! This was helpful. Andy

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