- Vibrant picture quality, excellent stills mode, user-friendly touch interface
- It's practically the same price as the superior HDR-SR8E
As a standalone product, the HDR-SR7E is nearly impossible to fault. However, most users would be better off getting the HDR-SR8E, which offers a much larger hard drive for a slightly higher premium.
Price$ 2,349.00 (AUD)
For all intents and purposes, the Sony HDR-SR7 is the same camera as the HDR-SR8E, but with a smaller 60GB hard drive. Otherwise, it shares an identical feature set with its bigger brother; including an unchanged lens and sensor, a 6.1-megapixel stills mode, 10x optical zoom, external microphone and headphone jacks and the ability to record in high-definition 1080i. Unfortunately, these aren't the only things both products share in common -- their prices are so similar as to render the HDR-SR7 practically irrelevant.
For reasons we can't quite fathom, the RRP of Sony's assorted handycam range has become increasingly eccentric of late. Different models have entered the marketplace at barely distinguishable prices, making the decision on what to buy more baffling than ever. At $2349, the HDR-SR7E is just $150 less expensive than the HDR-SR8E -- a saving of barely 6 per cent. When you consider that the HDR-SR8E has nearly twice as much storage space, you'd have to be a real penny-pincher to opt for this 'cheaper' model. Nevertheless, it remains a highly impressive product when judged on its own merits, offering the same user-friendly features and impressive image quality that we've come to expect from Sony.
The SR7E records video in the new AVCHD format; which is ideal for hard disk-based handycams due to its higher levels of compression efficiency. This means that the HDR-SR7E can store up to 23 hours of high-def footage onto its hard drive with no loss in image quality (or about eight hours at the highest quality setting).
When your hard disk space eventually fills up, it's just a simple matter of transferring your footage to a computer or burning it to DVD. Creating DVDs is a relatively simple procedure thanks to the handy 'disc burn' button located on the camera's included docking station. Bear in mind however, that to play DVDs in the AVCHD format, you will need a Blu-ray player or other compatible device.
We have recently become spoiled by the exceptional quality of Sony's high-definition cameras, and the HDR-SR7E is no exception; offering equally impressive results as the SR8E. Fans of vibrant footage are sure to be pleased by the x.v. colour mode, which allegedly doubles the maximum range of colours in an image. While we can't attest to the truth in these claims, it will certainly brighten up your videos with an injection of rich, primary tones.
Naturally, the camera fares better when shooting in bright environments -- when we moved to low light, the picture degraded rapidly. Thankfully, the Nightshot mode helps to alleviate this problem, producing crisp, noise-free visuals in universal shades of green. A slow shutter mode is also included for those who prefer to shoot in full colour, though the lethargic strobe effect makes the footage practically unusable.
Once again, Sony has opted to minimise the presence of buttons on the HDR-SR7E in favour of a touch screen interface. This makes for a much more user-friendly experience, especially for novice users, with the majority of advanced functions hidden within the LCD display. Having said that, more experienced users may find the interface a little restrictive; forcing them to hunt through menus whenever the want to make an adjustment. Thankfully, a manual control dial helps to alleviate this somewhat, allowing you to adjust focus and exposure on the fly.
For those with a passing interest in photography, the HDR-SR7E is unlikely to disappoint. Its 6.1 megapixel stills mode with (built-in flash) is capable of competing with many dedicated compact cameras, producing images that are suitable for making medium-sized prints.
If it wasn't for the existence of the HDR-SR8E, this would be one of the best HDD cameras on the market. However, we feel that $150 is a small price to pay for the superior 100GB model.
Join the newsletter!
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Apple iMac Pro
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Toys for Boys
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET Internet Security
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Smart Security Premium
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Tivoli PAL BT
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
In multicultural Australia, the opportunity for home cooks to expand their culinary horizons is too tempting to resist.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 3 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 4 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 5 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
Latest News Articles
- Arlo announces 4K HDR wire-free security camera system
- Navman introduces the MiVUE dash cam
- Uniden adds Artificial Intelligence functionality to Wired surveillance range
- Logitech announces Logitech Rally
- Swann launches new wireless camera with Alexa integration
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?