My New Dream Toy: The Sony HDR-HC7

An unopened HDR-HC7 retail boxWell I lucked out. I paid close attention to the landing page for the HC7 on the Canadian Sony site and was astonished to see that there were models available at select Canadian locations almost a month in advance of the official launch date. Honestly I think I was going nuts waiting for the camera to get released so I felt particularly well off when I caught this aberration. The next day I called the Sony Store in Victoria who earnestly stated the model would not be available for another month (Mar 20). Well they checked into it and were astonished to find the HC7 available at a few stores back East 🙂

I dropped my cash, the camera was overnighted and VOILA! I am now a proud owner of the HDR-HC7 – and probably one of the first owners in Canada 😀

Opened HDR-HC7 BoxNormally I would not be too happy about being the first to purchase a new model of a product… especially one as techy as a High Definition Video camcorder. That said I had just spent literally 10+ hours over the past few weeks researching the best product for my needs and the HC7 appeared again and again as the best buy. Representing the first release from the second generation of consumer-level (read “somewhat affordable”) HD camcorders the HC7 really solved a crap load of issues from the HC3 and its competitor the Canon HV10. So what is it that caught my attention?

HDR-HC7 kit with accessoriesThe HC7 offers the perfect combination of elements for a newbie like me who wants to have a great camcorder to grow with:

  • 1080i – incredible resolution – I took a risk here and figured they would maintain this from the HC3.
  • Lux rating of 2 or 4 (depending upon shutter speed): this equals fantastic flexibility for various lighting (!!!)
  • Headphone input (!!!)
  • Microphone input (!!!)
  • HDMI out + MANY other outputs… it is insane how many were packed into this tiny device – I am in AWE
  • Hot shoe
  • Optical image stabilization: as far as I know this is the first consumer-level Sony HD camcorder ever to have optical stabilization (the previous were all software based)
  • Optional manual focus (!!!)
  • 10x Zoom
  • Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens: a fantastic lens according to what I have read
  • Excellent ergonomics: Handycams definitely have the comfort level down pat – it fits like a glove
  • 6.1 mega pixel still shots using Sony Memory Pro DUO memory cards (I HATE proprietary pushes like the Sony Memory Stick but ultimately the Sony was a clear leader)
  • Nightshot (night vision)

There is much much more to this incredible device but I bore easily so… time to play! I am off to Vegas tomorrow morning for a few days and I have decided not to take this puppy with me… sad I know, but I don’t imagine it would be relaxing to walk around with my camcorder everywhere. Especially one this sexy 🙂