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The Sony HDR-PJ760 is a truly impressive camera, combining many of the technological features of Sony's other products into one sophisticated device. This camcorder reaches almost professional standards in terms of video quality and performance, in particular showcasing the magnificent advancements in image-stabilisation technology, which we will rave about further on. Unfortunately, like many other Sony cameras, the cost of the PJ760 might prove to be too ambitious for people setting out to buy a simple camcorder.
Sony has designed this camera to look, feel and work like a professional device, living up to its high cost. The body is strong and made with an appealing mix of plastic and metallic textures, and feels smooth and nicely weighted in the palm of the hand.
What's wonderful about this camera is how it manages to unite just about all the features available in camcorders today, combined in this one device. These features range from the very useful tools, such as the LED torch, manual dial and external microphone, to the novel or gimmick features, such as the projector and GPS function.
The LCD touchscreen on this camera is very easy to use, and also appealing to the eye. One bonus feature that Sony has added is a surround-sound display on-screen to show where any audio is coming from, which is a fun talking point when using the camera.
The quality of the video and images produced on the screen are nice and sharp. No matter how hard we look, we can barely see the individual pixels, which is impressive.
Two major selling points that Sony is pushing are the Projector and GPS, both of which are good ideas if you're travelling or on holiday, but this camera could do without them to reduce the price. The projector and GPS are also seen in this camera's little brother, the HDR-PJ260.
While the Sony HDR-PJ760's projector seems to be put forward as one of its largest selling points in Sony's advertising, the real victory for this camera comes in the form of its image stabiliser. This new image stabiliser is the best we have encountered, and that includes those in professional cameras that cost up to AU$5000. The lens tilts as you move the camera around as if you're using a fluid head tripod, similar to the way that the pupil of your eye moves. Try focusing your eye on a fixed spot and then moving your head around slowly to get the idea of how it works.
More good news is that Sony has improved the video quality, compared to that found on its cheaper counterparts, and the difference is noticeable. It is great to see them improving, although it is mostly due to the stabilisation, which we can't seem to compliment enough. The smoothness of the motion improves the entire quality of the footage.
Colour, brightness and sharpness are also above average, and the manual options are generally good. The dial on the bottom is a useful little addition if you want to be more ambitious when focusing and controlling exposure.
The Sony HDR-PJ760 is a superb camera with clever design and fantastic control, perfect for those looking to shoot high-quality video with a handheld device. In its range, it is the highest achievement in producing quality video with ease and enjoyment. The big hesitation you will have when considering this camera is its price. The bottom line is that it is too expensive, and perhaps if Sony had left out the more pricy gimmicks, such as the projector, it could have been a more affordable product with truly amazing results.