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on 24 August 2009
Having several camcorders ranging from SD MiniDV through DVD to SD card based my search for a true 1080 HD device led me in an unexpected direction once I'd seen the HDR-TG7VE. Although there are a number of 1080 HD camcorders available now, I ruled out HDD based camcorders as well as any any disc based immediately due to their fragile nature (especially with children). Additionally the inclusion of GPS has gone from novelty to necessity as my video and photo library grows and AVCHD is the preferred codec base. Whilst Sony was not at the top of my list originally due to the use of memory stick, the feature set of the HDR-TG7VE kept it in the running and ultimately I found myself purchasing one along with a 16GB Pro Duo HX memory stick.

After two weeks of heavy use on holiday there's no doubt that this is absolutely a brilliant piece of equipment with nothing significant in the way of faults. Switching it to Full HD mode with GPS and the Zoom Microphone function enabled we have been awed by the quality of not just the video, but also the sound and the brilliant "smile" detection. The colour reproduction and detail in the video, even in low light conditions, is simply extraordinary and watching photos and videos on an HD screen is like watching it again in real life.

The sound as well is amazing: Filming from the opposite end of the swimming pool I zoomed in on one of the kids as they threw their goggles in to dive and retrieve them - you don't hear the people between us however you hear the clear, precise sound of the goggles hitting the water and the splash of my daughter following them thereafter. Very impressive.

The photos it takes in photo mode are more than passable but better still are the photos it takes automatically when someone smiles whilst videoing; you find that not only do you have fantastic video at the end of the day but also a collection of brilliant photographs to go with them.

Whilst not a fan of Sony's software, they have improved dramatially and their PMB application is actually a reasonably well done package, transferring video from the device over, picking faces and scenes out so that you can hone in on specific clips, and allowing you to easily transcode it to different formats, record to DVD, BluRay, etc.

The diminutive size of this device coupled with it's rapid on/off and brilliant built-in screen have seen it used by everyone in the family including the children, who find the thumb operated start/stop Wide/Telephoto controls not only intuitive but simple to use.

This is simply a briliant piece of equipment that you can carry everywhere, get great videos and photos, as well as know WHERE you took them (the GPS is incredibly accurate and pinpointed our location even in small side-streets). I'd recommend you set it to full HQ HD, which will reduce your overall video time from 6 to just under 2 hours, however this matches the battery life fully and the quality beggars belief.

This is the best consumer camcorder I have used to date and the quality rivals that of much more expensive prosumer models. You will not be sorry if you pick it up and you'll love the memories you capture with it (especially since you can carry it non-intrusively).
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on 13 August 2009
This is the best video camera ever! It is simple to use, has a superb camera function for stills, and the video quality is perfect.

I was after the most compact camera possible for a trip to Florida, so I kept it in my pocket for all our visits to theme parks. The result is videos and photos of everywhere we went. Perfect!

You do notice the HD quality too, so I think its worth the extra for that function. The built in memory is massive, and you can transfer everything to your PC or memory card or disc to suit you.
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on 4 August 2009
Having just come back from Florida where this camera came in very handy i can only heap praise on the product.

It functioned admirably and as most of the videoing was outdoor the GPS locked onto a signal very quickly. It is very quick to start from just opening the side viewfinder and records within a split second so you can catch the moment unfolding.

The other family in the group after the 3rd day didn't bother taking their video camera as it was bulky (even though it was a palm grip type) but the TG7 is easy to slip in the pocket when not in use.

I'd recommend the leather and metal case (says its for TG3 but still fits).

The digital camera side is adequate for A5 pics but maybe too grainy for anything bigger and the flash being around the lens itself sometimes isnt powerful enough in comparison to dedicated compact cameras.

This video camera is MAC compatible and the GPS info is used by iPhoto 09 to geotag pictures.

Well worth the expense.
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on 15 September 2009
My 2 previous camcorders were a Super VHS and Hi 8 and having spent countless hours transferring 20 plus years of video tape at a snails pace, I decided to go digital. I wanted a camera that didn't weigh a ton, didn't need it's own suitcase and took high quality images that last. To that end I haven't been disappointed. As luck would have it, my first real use of the camera was in Denmark at a friend's wedding, so the GPS was a source of endless amusement to the Danes. In good light the images are terrific, better than anything I've ever videoed. Unfortunately in the evening the indoor shots were very grainy, so I'm looking at Litepanels Micro Kit to light interiors. Goodness knows whether I can afford this or where I will put it on the camera if I buy it. The camera has a "smile" facility that is transfixing - every time someone even starts a smirk, let alone a smile, the camera captures the moment without asking. I was going to turn this off as the pictures are not very high quality, but the poses it captures are excellent. Transferring the images onto a computer was very easy and very fast, although the software then wanted to analyise every little thing for ages, but at least I can sort the images by smiles, dates, people, views and yes, countries. Reviewing the footage on the computer I was dissapointed that when I panned around, the images became jerky and I'm not too sure how to correct that. I've certainly dusted down my tripod to see if that makes a difference, although that kind of defeats the object of having a tiny camera somewhat. The case I bought at the same time is great and essential and I also bought an extra memory card and spare battery, neither of which I have had to use yet, but you never know.
Overall it's great and a worthwhile investment if you can afford it. It's not perfect, but then again, nothing is.
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on 9 October 2009
Im changing camcorders every year because i like gadgets and keeping up with technology.
This unit has superb build quality and useability. really love this unit.Downloading content to pc no problems and quality in normal light excellent and grains up in lower ligh.compared to panny sd9 its so much better though and stills are really good in daylight and not bad with flash indoors.
memory cards are a bit steep .
Although itry and buy here amazon are tops for delivery and authentic stock, i ended up saving £30 via a uk site with euro plug eu stock.

really this is best for carrying etc although sanyo 2000 came close.
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on 15 September 2009
This brilliant, compact, easy to use video camera has to be one of the best if not THE best camera in its class. Do not be fooled by its compact size and superb ease of use.
The people at Sony must have had Harry Potter on the design and build team as the results from this camera are magical and beat anything else at the price into a cocked hat.
It fits in the palm of your hand like a glove and is ready to shoot in a second or two from you flipping the screen open. The controls, a zoom ring operated by your thumb and a record stop start button are all you need to film, let the clever bits that go on inside do all the hard work while you just compose and shoot.
Playback is a doddle as you just place a finger on the touch screen and the rest is laid out before you. This camera is very intuitive and you will find yourself being very comfortable with it after spending half an hour with the camera and the guide book so that using it becomes second nature.
I found loading the film onto my Apple Mac a breeze and the playback on my HD TV using the cables supplied furnished first class results. It fits into my pocket even in the very stylish Sony case that I also purchased and, although not quite on topic, I was amazed at the huge saving I made by buying from Amazon AND I was signing for it the next day, a Saturday, at 07:45 in the morning, albiet I payed a little bit more for the special delivery but thumbs up all round.
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on 2 April 2010
Bought this camcorder a few months ago and I am very happy with its performance. The video is very good especially in bright light, similarly the pictures. The software is very good, but you need a decent spec computer to for convert the video. I find the controls are well placed to operate with one hand, and the camcorder slips very easily into your pocket. For holiday and any normal activity this camcorder is excellent. If you can get it at a good price I would highly recommend it.
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on 9 February 2010
Very sleek camcorder with good picture and sound quality when seen on TV.Tried to view in my DVD recorder and it did not accept the format. So make sure you have a high definition compatable DVD player before you try to view them. Quality of photographs is good as well, althhough it has just a 4 mega pixel camera. I haven't managed to record any videos with dim light or in the dark hence cannot comment on the quality in the dark. I was very disappointed at the quality of the picture when it was uploaded on You tube.Even a video that was taken on my 7.0 megapixell canon camera was much better quality when uploaded in You tube.The GPS system not sure how useful it is as havent had a chance to try it but all it does is it locates where the video was shot.It would have been useful to have a GPS navigator as could have been useful on my holidays.
Overall expensive but if you are looking for a sleek camcorder ideal.
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on 29 September 2010
I had been after the Sony Handycam HDR-TG7VE High Definition Flash Memory Camcorder with 16GB Internal Memory for well over a year now, but the orice kept putting me off until now. The price had been reduced so i bought it straight away and have not regretted it yet i highly recommend it you need to spend time to learn everything the camcorder can do and then you will see the benefit. I am taking this with me on next holiday in November to give it workout i know it won't let me down, the picture it takes are not the best but i never bought it for that reason i have 2 fantastic HD digital cameras for taking pictures. You won't regret buying this at the new lower price but spend some time learning what the camcorder can do before jumping in at the deep end.
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on 2 December 2009
This is an excellent camcorder. It is very straightforward to use. The absolute minimum number of buttons, Well done Sony. Manuals are just not necessary. The lense is superb and close up work on auto focus is stunning. The camera can also be used with the LCD rotated to be flat against the case. This is a real bonus for me as I use it when exercising and so I can hold it a compact form. Whether taking stills or video the process is simple. I would unreservedly recommend it to anyone with a PC (Windows).

Whilst the GPS works and it is possible to see a map view on the camera LCD I would not recommend purchase of the camera just for this facility.

Unfortunately if you use a Mac you won't be able to use the Sony software supplied. This is a tremendous frustration rather than an inconvenience as iMovie on the Mac or any other Mac video editing software can be used once the video is imported. It is a frustration because Sony is simply shooting itself in the foot by not fully providing for Mac users - user perception of being a second class citizen. Despite being a Mac user I am still able to make use of this excellent camera and the video produced. I am, however, a little annoyed that the software supplied only works under Windows.

This is a 5 star camera. I have voted it down to 4 stars based only on the Mac issue.
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