The Good Excellent video and performance; satisfying photo quality; a decent set of manual controls for the target audience; bundled dock.
The Bad No wind filter; no USB port on camcorder, just on bundled dock; annoying touch screen interface; cables not ubiquitous yet for mini-HDMI connector.
The Bottom Line The hard-drive-based analog of the HDR-HC7, the Sony Handycam HDR-SR7 finally delivers a cutting-edge HD video experience, complete with great video and compatibility frustrations.
Sony Handycam HDR-SR7
Sharing a perch at the top of Sony's HD prosumer camcorder line, the Handycam HDR-SR7 manages to combine a raft of cutting-edge capabilities without forgetting that its primary function is capturing high-quality HD video. This facility still doesn't come cheap or easy, but if you've got the bucks and the patience, the SR7 delivers the bang you've been waiting for.
Along with its trio of siblings--the tape-based HDR-HC7, the flash-based CX7, and the DVD-based UX7--the SR7 uses Sony's 1/2.9-inch, 3.2-megapixel ClearVid CMOS sensor, recording video at 2.3-megapixel (HD) or 1.7-megapixel (SD) resolution before downsampling and encoding to 1080i HD (1,440x1,080) or SD (720x480), respectively. It also shoots photos at native 2.3-megapixel (16:9) or 3-megapixel (4:3) resolutions, despite the grandiose 6-megapixel claim on the body, which refers to a maximum interpolated resolution. It sports a 10x zoom Zeiss T*-coated lens and 5.1 Dolby surround-sound recording.