Sony Handycam HDR-FX7
Manufacturer: Sony Part number: HDRFX7
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CNET editors' review
price range: $1,599.00 - $3,924.69
- Reviewed by: Lori Grunin
- Reviewed on: 01/30/2007
- Released on: 10/15/2006
The good: Excellent overall video quality; responsive focus and zoom.
The bad: Menu navigation doesn't circle back; useless manual; anemic audio support.
The bottom line: The Sony Handycam HDR-FX7 is an excellent high-definition camcorder from a video perspective, but it's less satisfying if you're an audio control freak.
by flashfast on February 15, 2007
Pros: Indie Films
Cons: None observed.
Summary: Sorry, but a camera being reviewed bt someone who really doesnt know production methods. If you are a serious or aspiring film maker, we all know it is essential to ...
Summary: Sorry, but a camera being reviewed bt someone who really doesnt know production methods. If you are a serious or aspiring film maker, we all know it is essential to get a seperate sound system set up - this can be done for only a few hundred dollars or even cheaper second hand or if u just get a sound guy to collaborate with you. Improvise too - a broom handle is as good as any boom for a mike. Never rely on the camera mike unnless it's for some synching for editing purposes. Innovative lighting (black and white shades are cheap), remote sound system and never touching 'automatic' can give you a cinematic quality production. No serious indie film maker should rely inbuilt mikes. The FX 7, for the price, is a superb film makers tool. At $3500 it's designed for the more serious filmmaker and not the hobbyist.
6 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
For under 5k the best pro camcorder you can find
by symetristudios on May 19, 2007
Pros: For under 5k this camcorder has about everything you need to get started
Cons: The internal mic is very weak.. but who uses internal mics anyways?
Summary: At first I was really studying the Cannon XL and GL series and although those where my first choices and awesome cameras I really needed a camera that would film ...
Summary: At first I was really studying the Cannon XL and GL series and although those where my first choices and awesome cameras I really needed a camera that would film beautifully in lowlight/indoor conditions. I'm a professional wedding Videographer so I needed a camera that would perform very well in those conditions and this hit the mark. Most cameras I like to use the Manuel options/focus, with the HDRFX7 I leave the focus on auto focuses dead on immediately, so I never have to worry about it becoming out of focus quickly during filming. With most camcorders I've used the option for backlight where just pity consumer stuff that never really worked well, again this is the first camera I've used where that setting works very well but if you’re a professional or serious Videographer who doesn’t have pro equipment right? Which brings us to the Mic, yes the Mic on this camera is very very poor and it can carry allot of background interference but then again if you’re a serious videographers or professional we already know not to pay attention to internal mics use pro-audio equipment, then problem solved. The headphone jack works very well too.
Overall this camera as of right now is my prized possession I LOVE IT! The pans and zooms are very smooth, the grab handle makes it easy although it makes for a much smoother ride if you use some kind of steadyrod with it, and it looks just beautiful on a tripod/dolly or just as a floating camera. The menu I never found to be hard to operate. The white bal function is very easy to work with so is the shutter speed and most of the other functions (just sit down and play with it for awhile) I also like the zebra effect it really helps when your using the white bal/shutter speed.
The playback: Sony has all the options for playback fire wire, composite, HDMI, etc. the colors are very rich and good contrast yet not loud or noisy. Also there is 6 different picture profiles 4 are preset and if you’re using this for a Wedding as I am today the portrait profile is a perfect choice for editing people sitting or walking and other 2 you can preset your own settings (just remember to have a flash card to save them)
To end with overall this camera is the best out there right now for under 5k actually you can find it easy for 2,500, I bought mine for 2465. If you’re just starting out in videography, if you’re an indie filmmaker or if you’re just a "pro-consumer" and want the best at an affordable price this is defiantly the camera for you! I love this thing.
Paul Gilmore - Chief Videographer/Creative Producer
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Magnificent camera in a very manageable package.
by mohrmh on March 17, 2008
Pros: Brilliantly crisp images, easy handling, far reaching audio.
Cons: A bit grainy in low light.
Summary: I am not one to change with the times, until those times finally present exactly what I'm anticipating. Sony has finally brought out an HD camera that allowed me ...
Summary: I am not one to change with the times, until those times finally present exactly what I'm anticipating. Sony has finally brought out an HD camera that allowed me to toss aside my VHS camcorder, the HDR FX7.
Initially I was torn, on paper, between the HDR FX1 and the FX7. However, when buying directly from Sony, they offer the very nice feature of a 30 day trial on any of their products.
So, I ordered both cameras and literally did a side-by-side comparison for a month. The result was that the FX7 won hands down.
The only situation the FX1 outperformed was in extremely low ambient light, like you would find in a living room with a couple of incandescent bulbs burning; the CMOS of the FX7 produced a grainier image than the CCD of the FX1. The FX7 is much more comfortable to use as a handheld, being much shorter and 10 ounces lighter. When holding the FX1 for an hour, shooting the kids' hockey games or swim meets, resulted in a very fatigued and aching hand. The FX1 is just too heavy and bulky to comfortably use over an extended period of time. It's really better suited for tripod shooting. The FX7, however, is a very tight little package, relatively speaking, and is quite comfortable and maneuverable. In bright light and outdoors, both cameras recorded equally crisp pictures with excellent color reproduction. The 20X lens of the FX7 that was criticized in other reviews as a sales gimmick is actually quite useful, as in allowing me to shoot from the stands the wide shots required of team sports, yet allows me to zoom in to a full frame of my son's face in his hockey helmet...nice to clearly see the big grin after a goal! The 12X of the FX1 just didn't allow for that tight of a shot from the same distance. The battery life of the FX7 is not qute as advertised, but 4 hours of continuos shooting is plenty for me. Though the FX1 does allow for a lot of customization of settings, this feature was way more than I ever need. The FX7 keeps this to just enough to not be overbearing. Relative to audio, for me, the onboard mic is wonderful...gives excellent stereo response, yet can pickup conversation from images I'm zooming in on 60 feet away. As far as playback, both cameras demonstrate very clear action shots, with no blurring or bleeding. The firewire feature lets you control all of the playback features directly through your Sony HD TV.
So, for someone who definitely wants beautiful, true HD prosumer recording, the FX7 is the camera for you.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
good starter camera for consumer thinking about a more professional camera without paying too much
by camguy321 on January 31, 2008
Pros: this camera is an excellent choice for consumers wanting to get their toes wet in more professional style shooting wet
Cons: having someone not knowing what they are talking about tell you what any of the cameras on the site are capable of
Summary: I would really like to see someone who knows what they are talking about to review this camera. The review did nothing but just tell me how many bad things ...
Summary: I would really like to see someone who knows what they are talking about to review this camera. The review did nothing but just tell me how many bad things there are on this camera. Its a low cost prosumer camera of course there are going to be less features then on a more expensive ones. try telling people what is good on the camera its a lot more helpful.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Beautiful Picture in the Day, Terrible Picture at Night
by joshcrabbe on July 29, 2010
Pros: Shoots beautiful picture in the sunlight and is extremely easy to use
Cons: Does extremely poorly in low light
Summary: This camera can do some great day time shooting at a park or maybe of the kids but once the lights go down, the picture can just be way to ...
Summary: This camera can do some great day time shooting at a park or maybe of the kids but once the lights go down, the picture can just be way to dark. The control interface is not that wisely designed for manaul shooters. Overall I would not recommend buying this camera.
Excellent Video Camera
by JCD0151 on January 26, 2007
Pros: Easy for the non-expert
Cons: The still images are worse than terrible!
Summary: I would think that on this caliber of camer, that sony would have made the still images a higher megapixel (They are just over 1 megapixel). I would have paid ...
Summary: I would think that on this caliber of camer, that sony would have made the still images a higher megapixel (They are just over 1 megapixel). I would have paid a additional fair amount to have a higher megapixel amount. One of the reasons that I chose this camera was so that I did not have to lug around my still camera, and a video camera. I still have to do that, because I would be embarrased for anyone to see the still images that the FX7 takes, after I spent $3,500.00 on it!
2 out of 13 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Sony
- Part number: HDRFX7
- Description: It's all in the details. And with the HDR-FX7 Handycam Camcorder, you'll capture every last one of them in high-definition. The first consumer level HDV 1080i recorder and player in the world turns all your memories into masterpieces. With a 20x Optical Zoom Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Lens and 1.2 Megapixel Image capture to a Memory Stick Duo, your moments will never fade away. Additionally, when you record video in high-definition, you can dual record still images at the same time. So no matter the occasion, the HDR-FX7 is the perfect camcorder for the situation.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Camcorder - 1080i
- Enclosure Color Charcoal
- Camcorder Sensor Resolution 1.12 megapixels
- Effective Video Resolution 1.037 megapixels
- Effective Photo Resolution 1.037 megapixels
- Effective Sensor Resolution 1.04 megapixels
- Total Pixels 1.12 megapixels
- Camcorder Media Type Mini DV (HDV)
- Optical Sensor Size 1/4"
- Optical Sensor Type 3 ClearVid CMOS
- Min Illumination 4 lux
- Analog video format NTSC
- Digital Video Format MPEG-2,
- Image Stabilizer Optical (Super Steady Shot)
- Digital Scene Transition White fader,
- Min Shutter Speed 1/4 sec
- Max Shutter Speed 1/10000 sec
- Shooting modes Digital photo mode
- White Balance Automatic,
- White Balance Presets Outdoor,
- Exposure Modes Automatic,
- Camera Flash None
- Image Recording Format JPEG
- Audio Signal Format MPEG1 Audio Layer II,
- Widescreen Video Capture Yes
- AV Interfaces S-Video,
Exposure & White Balance
- Built-in ND Filters 1/4,
- Type Carl Zeiss 20 x x Zoom lens - 3.9 mm - 78 mm - F/1.6-2.8
- Lens aperture F/1.6-2.8
- Features ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) glass
- Optical Zoom 20 x
- Lens system type Zoom lens
- Min focal length 3.9 mm
- Max focal length 78 mm
- Auto Focus TTL contrast detection
- Filter Size 62 mm
- Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 37.4 - 748 mm
- Focus Adjustment Manual,
- Zoom Adjustment Motorized drive,
- Low Lux / Night Mode Yes
- DV input Yes
- Additional Features Exif Print support,
Display brightness control,
Digital noise reduction,
Takes photos while movie recording,
- Remote control Remote control - Infrared
- Included Accessories Lens cap,
IR remote control,
Component video cable,
Audio / video cable
- Viewfinder Type Electronic
- Viewfinder Diagonal Size 0.54 in
- Viewfinder Resolution 252,000 pixels
- Type 3.5 in LCD display
- Connector Type 1 x HDMI output,
1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire/i.LINK),
1 x Component video output,
1 x Composite video/audio output,
1 x S-Video output,
1 x USB,
1 x Microphone,
1 x Headphones,
1 x Control-L (LANC),
1 x DC power input
Memory / Storage
- Media type Mini DV (HDV)
- Memory Card Slot Memory Stick PRO Duo card
- Image Storage JPEG 1440 x 810,
JPEG 1080 x 810,
JPEG 640 x 480,
JPEG 640 x 360
- Video Recording Modes LP,
- Supported Battery Sony NP-F570
- Supported Battery 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 2200 mAh ( Included )
- Audio input type Microphone
- Microphone type Built-in
- Microphone Operation Mode Stereo
- Microphone technology Electret condenser
- Service & Support 1 year warranty
- Service & Support Details Limited warranty - Parts - 1 year,
Limited warranty - Labor - 90 days
- Min Operating Temperature 32 °F
- Max Operating Temperature 104 °F
- Battery type - Lithium ion
Viewfinder / Display
- Display Features Rotating
- Resolution 211,000 pixels
- Viewfinder Color Support Color
- Width 5.7 in
- Depth 12.7 in
- Height 6.1 in
- Weight 3.1 lbs
- Canon WP V3 - marine case for camcorder (34930183)449.95 - 499.99
- Porta-Brace Hiker Backpack Camera Case HK-1 - case for camcorder (31058034)441.81 - 459.17
- Porta-Brace Shoulder Case SC-D500 - case for camcorder (31026190)372.37 - 429.00
- Canon WP V2 - marine case for camcorder (33984051)367.76 - 499.00
- Ikelite Underwater Systems marine case for camcorder (34929737)599.95
- CANON XL1S VIDEO CAMCORDER CASE (7032423)399.99
- Canon WP V4 - marine case for camcorder (35138638)499.00
- Panasonic SHAN-TM700 - tripod adapter (31027498)249.95 - 399.95
- Porta-Brace Smuggler Camera Case SMG-2 - case for camcorder (31053838)424.45 - 441.81
- Portabrace PKB-275PV - hard case for camcorder (35112263)578.95 - 589.00