- Great image quality, extensive manual controls, fantastic still image functionality
- Limited zoom, expensive
The HDR-HC7E is pricey, but its impressive image quality makes it an attractive choice for those who can afford it.
Price$ 2,299.00 (AUD)
With so many competing formats in the world of digital video recording, it becomes difficult for most consumers to decide what it is exactly that they're looking for. Each format has different advantages and disadvantages, and the lines aren't exactly as clear cut as we'd sometimes like. So, when yet another format comes to the party, the results aren't always pretty. It adds another option to research and consider for potential buyers. Nevertheless, we're being presented with new options increasingly frequently, one of the most recent being the HDV MiniDV format. Similar to the standard MiniDV format, it delivers HD video recording at a 1080i, the resolution at which most HDTV is broadcast at. Sony's HDR-HC7E is just such a model, and although it delivers great image quality, its price may put it out of the range of casual users, whilst its limited zoom makes it slightly unsuitable for a lot of high level amateur use.
Image quality is definitely the HC7's strong point. Delivering full HD video at 1080i resolution through a 6 megapixel CMOS sensor, we found images to be incredibly clear and well defined. Even in lowlight or dark environments, images retain a relatively good quality, thanks largely to Sony's "Nightshot" mode. Colour reproduction is very good, especially considering that the HC7 uses a single CMOS sensor only; we did notice some slight over-saturation however, something fairly common with most digital video cameras. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it tends to deliver brighter and more colourful images, but if you're looking for accurate colours then you might need to do a little tweaking.
Aiming their camera at higher level users, Sony has included a large range of manual options, something we were very pleased to see. White balance, ISO, shutter speed and focus are all manually adjustable, although pleasingly the automatic settings performed very well during out testing, especially the auto focus, which responded well to rapid changes in the environment and motion. Limited zoom options are probably the only drawback to the HC7's feature set, with only 10x optical and 20x digital zoom available.
One of Sony's most impressive additions to this camcorder is the still image functionality. Capable of capturing 6 megapixel images (or 4.6 megapixel if taken whilst filming), it's actually at the point where it's competing with some digital still cameras, giving it some impressive versatility. Despite being a peripheral feature, it's nevertheless a great addition which really helps to flesh out the camera's functionality and justify its somewhat high price.
With battery life and recording time to a single MiniDV both coming in at over an hour, combined with the ease of editing MiniDV tapes on the fly, the HC7 is perfectly suited to users looking for a great combination of versatility and reusability. Although its price might put it out of range for entry level buyers, amateurs looking for some high quality video equipment will find it to be exceptionally useful.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- HBO brought its best shows to life at SXSW with an awesome escape room
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
- Logitech's C922 webcam is the revered C920's vastly upgraded successor
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTCitrix ArchitectNSW
- FTICT Business Development Manager - Technical Products/SolutionsQLD
- FTEmail Production SpecialistNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - ApplicationsSA
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!WA
- CCBusiness Analyst - Customer Communications/DocumentationNSW
- FTSenior C# Analyst Programmer, Product & MarketsNSW
- FTWeb DeveloperVIC
- FTHadoop Service AdministratorWA
- CCExecutive SupportWA
- TPProject SchedulerVIC
- FTNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- CCApplication PackagerNSW
- FTLevel 3 Application Support AnalystVIC
- FTWeb Data Entry PublisherACT
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTLevel 3 Systems EngineerNSW
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!NSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager -Wealth/Funds Management SoftwareVIC
- FTJava Development Lead/ / Senior Java DeveloperVIC
- FTTeam LeaderNSW
- FTBusiness Solution Architect, Supply ChainNSW
- FTData Centre Technical SpecialistACT
- CCSenior Security AnalystsACT