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Old 08-29-07, 01:27 PM   #1
DRen72
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Default Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

Anyone here have any experience with this camera? I picked one up recently and am enjoying getting used to its cool features.



High Definition Handycam® Camcorder HDR-SR7

• Records to hard disk
• High-definition recording
• 2.7" wide touch-panel LCD
• 60GB
• 10x optical zoom
• Image stabilization - OIS




I'm thinking of picking up one of these this week and wondered if anyone one here has any experience with the newer Sony HDR-SR* line of HDD cameras. From what I can tell, the biggest hangup is with the editing software.

Of course, for those interested, I will post feedback here for you. Just post a question and I'll respond.
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Last edited by DRen72; 09-01-07 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 09-12-07, 08:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

Update: I've now spent a couple of weeks with this camera. My initial impressions are good. The picture quality is very impressive in HD mode and still very good in standard definition DVD mode. The software support is the biggest issue I've found. Few "good" applications support the AVCHD format this camera uses to record HD. However, I am seeing announcements for more support for this format from more and more upcoming titles. So far I think Sony Vegas looks the best for editing the HD content, although based on the trial version I downloaded it can seen quite complex to use. While thats no problem for me, I can easily see it frustrating others. Now if I record in SD mode, there are tons of programs out there that do a good job. Also, I hear the new Nero 8 will have improved support as well.

Overall the camera itself is easy to use and records terrific videos in HD or SD widescreen with Dolby 5.1 surround.

I also bought the Sony underwater case for the thing and am planning to haul the camera into a cave or two soon. Caving is my hobby in case you didn't know already. I'll report on the video quality when caving in a later update.
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Old 09-24-07, 11:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

Update: I took the camera into a cave over the weekend...a wet cave too. I used the Sony underwater case and I have to report that it recorded very well as long as the area was well lit. Its the first time I got to bring caving home to people I know that have never been with me but know I go.

The sound quality of the recording was also better than expected but still an audiopack may help in some instances.

Overall it did very well in the poorly lit and wet cave environment while inside the Sony waterproof case. Very impressive to see caving in HD quality. All the details are there.

Here is the underwater case I use...
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Old 09-24-07, 11:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

Man I would love to get myself an HD cam... don't have the money saved up yet, but am really looking into them.

I really appreciate the updates.
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Old 10-23-07, 01:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

Update: For those interested in this thread, I thought I'd mention that as of this update the software for using this cameras full features and maximum quality leave a lot to be desired. I've settled with Sony Vegas 8 which is the best editor of the bunch and if all you want is MPEG with stereo sound, then its fine. However, if you want the full AVCHD format with 5.1 surround sound, then things get complicated. For one thing, a high powered PC is going to be required when you render in HD. Thats one reason I'm planning to go for a QX9650, X38, with DDR3 shortly.

Still, the camera is fantastic but I hope the AVCHD format doesn't fade away before it catches on. Otherwise one could do the same with less $$$.
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Old 11-26-07, 08:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

Update: Regarding the QX9650 performance. Using my previous AMD 4800X2 CPU I tried to render a 55 minute / 10GB AVCHD video file (Sony native HD video format for this camera) to a 3GB WMV file after adding titles and transitions. The render time estimated between 24 and 30 hours, so I chose to not do that.

With the QX9650, same file, it rendered in 3 hours. I was impressed. Thats an improvement that made it all worth it to me. This is using Sony Vegas Pro 8 as I mentioned above, which by the way is the perfect software for this camera.
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Old 12-18-07, 09:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

Update: Last night I rendered a home made DVD of the movies I've made during the last several months. I consider it a test DVD for the better ones in the future, but its not bad for a first try. I used the Sony DVD Architect software to create the DVD that included no less than 6 videos averaging 15 to 45 minutes in length and shot in HD of course. Including a DVD menu and background sound for the menu, the complete 4.5GB render to DVD was complete in 3 hours with of course only 5 minutes to burn it.

I can't compare the 3 hours it took to render the DVD to my previous PC (AMD 4800X2), but I imagine it would have taken far, far longer.
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Old 12-18-07, 10:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

I really wish all camcorders would go HD just because more and more people are buying HD TVs; they are getting cheaper by the second. Companies aren't really pushing new technologies hard enough IMO.

Anyways, can you make a small sample for us to view? I'd like to see the quality of this cam.
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Old 12-18-07, 10:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

Thanks for all the updates and info!
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Old 12-18-07, 10:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by six_storm
Anyways, can you make a small sample for us to view? I'd like to see the quality of this cam.
+1
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Old 12-18-07, 02:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by six_storm
I really wish all camcorders would go HD just because more and more people are buying HD TVs; they are getting cheaper by the second. Companies aren't really pushing new technologies hard enough IMO.

Anyways, can you make a small sample for us to view? I'd like to see the quality of this cam.
They are pushing them TOO hard without focusing on SUPPORT. Hence the dismal AVCHD support. HDV is still the way to go, but you have to use the minidv tapes.
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Old 12-18-07, 02:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: Sony HDR-SR7 HD Video Camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilchris
They are pushing them TOO hard without focusing on SUPPORT. Hence the dismal AVCHD support. HDV is still the way to go, but you have to use the minidv tapes.
For the most part, I have to agree. My friend has a mini-HDV Canon that can make some sweet looking video, but he has to mess with getting the image to the PC and doing all that takes patience and time. Plus he has to mess with all the tapes and wonder if he's recording over something. With mine, the image quality is equal to his and I don't have to mess with tapes of course. The AVCHD format isn't the best, but with the Sony Vegas software and a fast PC, I simply convert them all the Windows Video format and those retain the same quality and 5.1 Dolby surround that the AVCHD does. Bottom line, since I found the solution, I'm pleased with it.
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