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CNET First Look
Sony Handycam HDR-SR7The Sony Handycam HDR-SR7 finally delivers a cutting-edge HD video experience on a hard drive, though great video quality is marred by compatibility frustrations.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:01 >> Hi, my name is Lori Grunin senior editor with CNET.com and this is the Sony Handycam HDR SR7. This is the hard drive version of Sony's HD camcorder. And I have to say I really like it. It's very well designed, it's very well made, it only has a few things that bother me. The most notable is the fact that it uses the AVC HD format which is still not quite ready for primetime and a bit problematic, however the camcorder itself very few complaints. It has a 20X zoom lens, which is pretty long for a camcorder in this class, manual focus. The dials a little slippery, but the LCD screen is a little small especially since it uses the touch screen. And I find it's a little difficult to use. Like most of the high end Sony's it supports the Dobie 5.1 surround recording. I can take it or leave it. But for most part, the audio is really nice. The one thing that all Sony's lack is a windscreen filter and that's really important when you're shooting outside. The eye level viewfinder's a little small. And it uses a hard plastic eyecup, which I don't particularly like. But, it does tilt up, which is nice because the battery sticks out into your face. One of the nice touches in a camcorder that you're spending over a thousand dollars on are the covers for the ports. This model uses a mini HDMI output to connect to your HD TV. Many HD my cables are still pretty expensive if you can find them. So, that's going to be a bit of a pain for the next couple of months. It also uses a jack cover, which is kind of nice. The hard disc in this model can hold eight hours of best quality video. And I really don't suggest that you drop below best quality. It's kind of on the expensive side. But, for HD video, I think this is really one of the best options out there. I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Sony Handycam HDR SR7. ^M00:01:55 [ Music ]