Originally Posted by slothmeister
I bought this camcorder one month ago right after my original post above and I have been playing with it extensively.
In a nutshell, the HDR-UX7 is one impressive little camcorder for a $1,200 pricepoint.
Let me preface this by saying that I am professional Television Maintenance Engineer by trade and I have been for the past 25 years.
I have seen and worked extensively on every format of both analog and digital video recording, both broadcast quality, prosumer, as well as consumer grade equipment.
Let me give you my reasons and opinions as to why I think this is the best bang for the buck little HD camcorder out there at the moment.
First and foremost, it is an optical recording device, and not tape based.
This alone IMHO, is reason enough to buy it.
Tape based formats will most likely be obsolete in another 2-3 years.
Optical and solid state recording is steadily gaining ground and is the wave of the future.
So, if you want to buy a soon-to-be obsolete product, then buy the VHS or Betamax of the near future and purchase a DV or HDV based TAPE transport recording device.
Why, you may ask ? I can state 3 very simple reasons in a nutshell.
1.) Reliability. Less mechanical moving parts means greater reliabilty.
This is a simple Engineering fact that can not be argued.
2.) LINEAR (tape) vs. NON-LINEAR (optical disc, Hard Disc, or solid state memory)
Remember the first time you skipped thru "chapters" on a DVD movie ?
You said to yourselves, wow, look. no rewinding or shuttling back and forth to find the segment that I'm looking for.
Since you bought a DVD player, how many VHS movies have you rented ?
3.) Archival quality. Optical discs are unaffected by magnetic fields , including the earth's own, or humidity. 2 important negatives that do affect any tape based product in storage.
That coupled with the latest in optical disc manufacturing standards ensures a much longer term archival record of your treasured recorded memories.
A word on the AVCHD format. To my trained eye, the latest MPEG-4, H.264, or AVCHD codecs, or whatever flavour you or Sony decides to call it, are every bit as good and in some scenarios, BETTER than the equivelant same source material encoded in MPEG-2.
It is, in a nutshell, a more storage-efficient format and as I said, IMHO, slightly higher quality method of recording.
I know the detractors out there will say, "well what about editing support ?" Well, it IS coming, and sooner than you think. within the next 6-12 months.
I can assure you that I know a lot of inside people in the manufacturing end of things and as we speak, all the major players out there, Sony, Apple, Avid, and Pinnacle have their software developers working on this round the clock as we speak (I'm talking about AVCHD editing products).
Let me make one thing clear. I am not taking anything away from the HV20 and the HC7 camcorders, the UX series main "competition", so to speak.
But if you take this camcorder, and could see and hear what I have been seeing and hearing coming out of it for the past month, coupled with a Sony PS3 for playback and a 60 or 70" SXRD XBR2 TV, which is my current setup ( I have the 70"), you will have one very nice state of the art entertainment system for several years to come.
That is all I have to say on the matter for now.