Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Handles a wide variety of scenes respectably, 1080i delivers sharp and clear images
- Some problems with colour reproduction, limited optical zoom
If you're looking for a high definition DVD camcorder, and don't mind having to occasionally work around colour reproduction issues, then the HDR-UX7 is a solid choice.
Price$ 2,099.00 (AUD)
Sony's HDR-UX7 is one of the latest camcorders featuring the AVCHD standard, which allows 1080i HD recordings to be made to DVDs. With the standard extensive array of Sony camcorder features, respectable image quality, and an easy to use interface, there's nothing too remarkable about this camcorder. Colour reproduction was a little inaccurate in our tests, but otherwise the UX7 performs well, without any major flaws, and is a solid option for users who want a HD capable DVD camcorder.
Image quality isn't the best we've seen, with minor amounts of image noise and blurring visible in some of our test footage. Nevertheless, the clarity of images, including fast moving objects, is relatively good for the most part and is enough to satisfy non-professionals. Colour reproduction is probably one of the camera's biggest flaws though, with reds and yellows looking washed out in certain light conditions. We did manage to correct most of this through calibration, but it's still an annoyance for users looking for true-to-life colours.
The UX7's auto mode performed well, with the exception of the aforementioned inability to adapt to certain light conditions to produce accurate colours. Autofocus reacts well to quick changes and manages to quickly focus on objects, even at close range. Thankfully, Sony has included an impressive range of manual options, including white balance and exposure. Optical zoom is only available at 10x however, and this is somewhat disappointing for a DVD based camcorder, even if digital zoom to 20x is available as well.
Design-wise the UX7 is comfortable to hold, with all buttons in easy reach. The interface, navigated via touch screen, is well laid out and easy to navigate. Battery life is incredibly good at over two hours, especially considering that a single DVD's capacity is just under one hour at the lowest quality setting, and around 20 minutes at the highest.
Overall, there isn't anything that stands out about the Sony HDR-UX7. If you're looking for a high definition DVD camcorder, and don't mind having to occasionally work around colour reproduction issues, then it's a solid choice.
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