Needing a tape based camcorder I was so pleased to find this one on offer. Being a Sony the lens is top quality and it films also in Standard definition. The new Hard drive and memory card camcorders do not - unlocking a string of purchased. Editing software for HD, maybe an upgrade of your PC to cope with larger files, computer burner for HD and a blue ray player. Do you want to share your film with a friend? Do they have a blue ray player? Probably not! This camcorder is in superb condition, with all the accessories and a Sony case. It was delivered quickly and securely packaged for safety. I was so fortunate as to find this gem of a camcorder through Amazon.
At first sight, this camcorder does not seem very special. But as soon as you hold it and start using it, you begin to realise that it really is worth every penny. The smooth slow motion record is much more than just a gimmick, it truly is awesome; I spent the first several hours recording random things with my friends, just feeling like little kids again with excitement. This feature alone makes the camcorder feel very special.
The HD quality is also more than just a gimmick; at first, I thought there would be barely any difference, but when you compare it to almost any standard definition recording, you understand that High Definition is so much crisper. The camera records rich colours and looks incredibly professional quality, especially on its very sharp 2.7" wide screen LCD.
The touch screen, for me is just a pointless gimmick, although I suppose it does reduce the amount of buttons on the camera.
When you first look at it, there seems to be no manual controls. Do not let this fool you. This camcorder is packed full of manual functions; all you have to do is select them from the menu. The White Balance is a brilliant feature, as is the manual control of focus, exposure and shutter speed.
This camcorder is heaped full of features and manual controls. The image quality is stunningly sharp with vibrant colours. It is well worth the price. (In my opinion, the image quality looks better than a £2000 SD camcorder).
I bought this camera earlier this year for use with a new underwater housing, which was specific to this camera and its two predecessors. It is very easy to use - when in the underwater housing the manual elements are not available but the automatic settings have given me extremely good results (though I should add that some housings do give the facility to use some of the manual settings underwater, eg white balance.) Being wide screen the resulting dvd which I edit on a computer is much better and any text I may put on the video does not drop off the screen, which could be quite annoying with my previous camera if I wasn't careful enough as to where I put the text. Often when filming underwater the visibility is not great but this camera copes with it brilliantly. The only problems I have experienced with it have been all down to 'operator error'! I have bought a larger battery, although the smaller one that came with the camera copes with two dives, which is the same as the batteries for the rear screen in the housing and I have also purchased a separate charger. I have occasionally run out of video tape whilst on a dive and the fact that I can switch to photo mode is an excellent bonus. Topside too I am very pleased with the results and an official ceremony that I attended in the USA this summer came out better than the 'so called professional' dvd. I would thoroughly recommend it.
Pros: Many but chiefly ease of use, physical design, image quality, range of functionality
Cons: x.v.colour make no difference to my eyes and I waited on a screen that supported it before buying!
This was a very good purchase. I had a Hi8 and a MiniDV Sony camcorder and went for this because of the 1080i/16:9/x.v.colour support. The camcorder is very simple to use and if you are really dumb there is a "simple" mode button to push on the side then it could not get easier! The aesthetic design is great although online photos do not do it justice. It is compact. But the main thing is the image and sound quality is very
high. I run it into my Samsung 40" (LE40R87BD same as LE40R86) which is full HD and the image is great. Images caught outdoors on a sunny day (plenty light) are outstanding.
There is no chance I'd consider going back to SD! The HDV files can be transferred off the tape the same way as DV, but using the free HDVsplit software as opposed to WinDV which I used for DV. Each tape takes around 13 gig of space - talking of which reviews advised getting the HD tapes rather than standard DV tapes as they claimed the latter could have frame drops.
I have used this handy camcorder for several tears and been happy with the results. Usually HD videos are fine when shown on 32" and sound very adequate. I have made DVDs of moving water and distributed them as a therapeutic visual enrichment source to hard of hearing people who have tinnitus and are unable to use sound enrichment. Considered buying a more expensive semi-professional unit but was advised by a professional video maker to save my money unless much larger reproduction is needed! It's easy to use and to hold steady. Stills come out well but sometimes not easy to download to my Apple imac. I always use good quality tape but not professional! I keep my tapes as a backup which is why I bought a tape m/c plus the fact that can have a good supply in reserve for travelling between downloads!
After my old JVC camcorder returned home faulty after my sister borrowed it I decided to treat myself to a shiny new HDV camera.
After spending several weeks reading reviews my short list came down to the HC7 and the canon HV20, and eventually decided on the Sony and have not been disappointed. Quite frankly the picture even on a normal def TV is stunning, lovely colours and a very sharp picture.
Its easy to use and I quite like the touch screen although it does get greasy quickly, I'd recommend the screen protectors you can find on ebay. The manual focus dial is a bit fiddly, if only sony had included a focus ring the camera would be very near perfect, but that said if they did it would probably end up in the prosumer bracket.
The only drawback with Sony is they put their own hotshoe on the camera limiting it to the about 3 mics and a few camera lights, I've tried the mics and they are pants really. There is a solution though... you can buy an adaptor for the hotshoe which enables standard mics to be used, but at £20 for a lump of metal a bit pricey(search on ebay for one).
I really cant fault the camera though, excellent in low light too.
Oh... dont believe the rubbish about HDV tapes, just use the sony premium ones which are about £1/each.
I purchased this camcorder after reading professional reviews and it came out top. I like the fact that it is high definition and also takes still pictures using 6.1 mega pixels, which is more than sufficient quality for family photos. The quality of the movies is excellent and I prefer the tape to hard drive as I know each tape runs for one hour and then I can store them until I have time to download and edit on my computer before burning to DVD. I would thoroughly recommend to anyone wanting to purchase a High Definition Camcorder. The only drawback is that they are no longer in production and are hard to find to purchase new.
Having owned a number of Sony camcorders over the last 20 years I have not been disappointed by the HDR-HC7.I selected an HDV model rather than an AVCHD as I believe that the footage is easier to edit and simpler to archive than its hard disk equivalent. It is also the medium currently chosen by professional industry.
I am used to using a number of manual controls when I need to, particularly exposure, white balance and focus and the manual overides provided on the HC7 have met all my needs so far. I have read quite a few reviews which critisize the touch screen menu's but I find them very easy to use and extremely flexible. Without this approach I think it would be hard to provide such a comprehensive and flexible interface to the camcorders facilities.
I have also found the manual control ring quite easy to use. I usually set it to exposure as the camcorder usually seems to focus quite accurately unless the lighting levels are very low or there is very little contrast. The Zebra facility is very useful as is AE shift. It is also useful to be able to manually set the recording sound levels instead of using AGC. The camera is easy and comfortable to use and the optical steady shot works much better than the electronic steady shot on some of my previous camcorders.The build quality is comparable to my other Sony camcorders which have all given me a sterling service over the years
Needless to say the picture and sound performance is excellent particularly in HDV. Battery life on the provided battery is quite good but I have also invested in an NP-FH100 for filming long events.
It would have been nice if the camcorder had a built in ND filter and had been provided with a seperate battery charging unit to allow batteries to be put on charge when the camera is being used. However these are very minor points. I would recommend it to anybody who is looking to capture high quality HD material without having to spend a couple of thousand pounds on a pro camcorder.