Sony Handycam HDR-SR7 Hard Drive Recorder

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Sony Handycam HDR-SR7 Hard Drive Recorder

This Handycam felt rock solid and provided the best optical image stabilization. Its stop/start button is in the perfect place, but the zoom control is positioned right where your middle finger rests—bad idea. We like the “easy” mode, which, with the push of a button, takes care of exposure and focus for most situations.

A touch screen, as opposed to the joystick all the other cams sport, makes navigation tedious and can leave your screen a greasy mess.

 

The SR7’s stop button seemed to be on a half-second delay, resulting in swish pans at the end of a few shots—an annoyance we got used to after a while. Another annoyance is the cam’s use of a hard-to-find mini HDMI connector instead of the full-size HDMI port found on the other camcorders.

Getting past that, the camcorder’s performance with our video test shots was strong, with brightly lit situations displaying lifelike color and tack-sharp resolution. It did well with low and medium room light, too, and showed us the best contrast ratio of this roundup. Points of candlelight in our low-light test revealed a warm glow, rather than the noticeable streaking we encountered with the Panasonic and JVC camcorders. Except for a few slight motion artifacts that seem common to AVCHD, we liked its video quality a lot.

Blu-ray

Rock-solid; good optical image stabilization; "easy" mode; great video quality.

Betamax

Awkwardly placed zoom button; stop button delay. Very slight artifacting.

8

SPECS
Video Signal
1080i
Recording Format/Medium/Highest Data Rate AVCHD (MPEG-4 H.264)/ 60GB hard drive, Memory Stick PRO Duo flash memory card / 13MBps
Image Sensor
One 1/2.9" (6.3mm) ClearVid CMOS
Lens f/1.8 - f/2.9, 10x optical zoom
Size/Weight w/Battery
3" x 3.25" x 5.75"/21oz
Viewscreen
2.7" touch panel (211K pixels), tilting viewfinder
0

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