Sony Handycam HDR-HC3 Video
The Sony Handycam HDR-HC1 is a good first effort at a consumer HD camcorder, but only HD fanatics should consider it.
The Sony Handycam HDR-HC7 is a great high-definition camcorder for deep-pocketed leisure shooters, as long as they like the camcorder's touch-screen interface.
Though their geotagging capabilities are mostly novelty and their interfaces could use a complete overhaul, the top-notch video quality, performance, and consumer-friendly feature sets of the Sony Handycam HDR-XR500V and HDR-XR520V make them worthy camcorder options. Both are overpriced, but since 14 hours of recording time is plenty--especially if supplemented with flash media--the HDR-XR500V is the better deal of the two.
At CES 2007, we take a look at the Sony HDR-HC7 Handycam. This tape-based camcorder films in 1080i resolution, takes 6-megapixel photos, and comes with an easy-to-use menu system.
Capturing video on MiniDV cassettes and 3-megapixel stills on a Memory Stick Duo card, the DCR-HC96 comes in at the top of Sony's HC tape-based consumer camcorder line.
The Sony Handycam HDR-XR550V fares well compared with the competition, though its video could be a bit sharper and the interface less cumbersome. Unless you absolutely need to store a lot of video on the camcorder--which I don't suggest--or have large hands and therefore could benefit from the extra grip the hard drive provides, the cheaper and nearly identical flash-based CX550V is a better deal.
Sony's DCR-SR40 is a solid, midlevel, hard drive-based option, though still-image buffs won't be impressed with this camcorder's submegapixel snapshots.
Unless this camcorder's low-resolution, low-quality stills are importantto you, you might as well go for Sony's less-expensive DCR-HC26.
Sony's top midlevel MiniDV camcorder delivers quality video that'sworth the step up from its less-expensive siblings.
The 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.