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If you like to shoot via an eye-level viewfinder, you'll have to pass up the SR5 in favor of the higher-end, viewfinder-equipped, HDR-SR7.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by CNET Networks
Sony bundles docks with all its SR series models. Though many of the connectors also appear on the body of the camcorder, the USB port for downloading video only lives on the dock.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by CNET Networks
Like many of its kind, the SR5 can only save still photos to flash media, in this case a Memory Stick Pro Duo. It seems silly that with an entire hard disk available few of these camcorders can record stills to the disk.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by CNET Networks
Sony still includes 5.1 surround audio on its higher-end camcorder models, but I'd gladly trade this infrequently used, gimmicky feature for an excellent directional microphone.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by CNET Networks
I was actually a bit disappointed in the SR5's video quality. Though relatively sharp, the automatic white balance in many situations looked far too cool, and the video tended to be more washed out with significantly more blown-out highlights than I typically see in this class of camcorder. (Video frame grab. New York Times reporter interviewing protester and dog at feral cats vs. Port Authority of NJ/NJ demonstration.)
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Lori Grunin
As expected, the SR5's video looked pretty sharp when zoomed in, though when zoomed out lacked some definition. Plus, the auto white balance under tungsten lights rendered a bit too pink.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Lori Grunin
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