Gear Review: Sony HDR-XR520V

Photos, videos–this Sony Handycam is an HD beast.

James Cameron would be impressed. The Sony HDR-XR520V shoots in 1080 HD, and it rocks a 12 megapixel still camera that lets you snap photos while it’s recording—and automatically shoots a portrait when your subject smiles (no kidding!). It sports image stabilization, a touch screen LCD panel, and it’s GPS-enabled. Each clip has lat/long data tagged on a map on the foldout LCD. (Bummer: Mac users can’t upload to Google Earth.)

After trips to Alaska and the Alps, we still couldn’t fill the 240GB harddrive (we have more than 3,000 minutes to go). See our Editors’ Choice (backpacker.com/editorschoice2010) and Alaska (backpacker.com/alaska2010) videos for the results. $1,399; 1 lb. 5 oz.; sonystyle.com