The "Official" Sony HDR-SR7/SR8 Owner's Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 228 Old 10-30-2007, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm noticing that the camcorder area of AVSForum doesn't have as much activity as some of the other areas of the forum that I frequent, and I'm concerned that posts pertaining to the Sony SR7/SR8 camcorders are going to get separated and lost in the shuffle. So... I'd like to ask that we consolidate posts about these camcorders under this one thread. It will make research so much easier for people.

To begin with, I'm very impressed with my SR7! I've had it a couple of weeks and am just beginning to explore it. I've made two additional purchases to go with it:
1) The Sony HVL-HL1 light, which uses the active shoe connection for power and control. It performed very nicely in a small, poorly lit living room setting for a birthday party. While it's only 3 watts, it really helped make the footage less grainy, and the lighting didn't look too artificial. The camera's auto white balance seemed to handle it very well. It's very small and not too expensive at all.
and
2) The Sony VCL-HG0737C Wide angle lens. In tight settings I didn't find the stock lens wide enough and this seemed to be a good option. Kind of pricey -- though I got a 15% discount coupon on it for registering my camcorder, it's made for HD camcorders. It just arrived today and in playing with it I can see that the extra wideness will really help. I was concerned that it would affect sharpness and color balance, but it looks really great.

Other areas of interest I'd like to expore in this thread would include what editing software are people using (I've tried Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate and have just ordered Sony Vegas Pro 8), how are people making disks to distribute videos, what other attachments are helpful, and so on...

I hope this all helps gather and build interest in these camcorders, and I hope I'm not out of line in starting this thread...

Larry Becker
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post #2 of 228 Old 11-04-2007, 01:20 PM
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Awesome idea.
I have an SR7 and am pleased with it.
I do find some issues.

It's not as sharp or crisp as the HV20 clips I've seen.
Don't get me wrong, it's sharp.. but not the sharpest out there.

The lowlight noise is noticeable but I've managed to minimize it a lot by adjusting the exposure.
The overall picture is a bit darker (1 exposure setting down) but the noise is reduced a lot.
Lowlight such as 60watt bulb lit room.
Candlelight and other dark settings, the video is great.

I don't like the touchscreen too much. I'd rather have a joystick.

The Picture Browser that the camcorder comes with sucks.
The mt2s files don't look good on it.
I compared it to the PS3 and PowerDVD and the PBrowser makes things a lot more grainy/noisy than it is.

Overall I'm very happy with the SR7.
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post #3 of 228 Old 11-04-2007, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiankorean View Post

The lowlight noise is noticeable but I've managed to minimize it a lot by adjusting the exposure.

This may seem obvious but one thing I noticed was the camera doesn't default to the best quality setting and switching that made a huge difference in the amount of noise in the image.

While I've tried various things, including VirtualDub and Pinnacle Studio, Sony Vegas is currently the best thing I've found for editing AVCHD from all camcorders.
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post #4 of 228 Old 11-05-2007, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sync2play View Post

This may seem obvious but one thing I noticed was the camera doesn't default to the best quality setting and switching that made a huge difference in the amount of noise in the image.

While I've tried various things, including VirtualDub and Pinnacle Studio, Sony Vegas is currently the best thing I've found for editing AVCHD from all camcorders.

I noticed that also, and switched the camera to its highest setting -- looks absolutely great. I have a 37" 1080p Mitsubishi LCD in my office and it's really nice, but on my home tv -- a Sony 34" XBR 960 TUBE that does 1080i -- wow! I'm very impressed. Maybe it's a Sony camera-TV bonding issue... or maybe the CRT is able to handle the colors better because of the X.V. Color feature on the camera (probably not -- I don't think any tv has really implemented that yet...

I tried Pinnacle Studio Ultimate and it kept crashing on my Vista Ultimate portable pc, so I've just got Sony Vega Pro 8 and am trying to sort it out. It seems fine on both my XP Pro and Vista Ultimate 64-bit pc's.

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post #5 of 228 Old 11-05-2007, 05:15 PM
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I have it on highest setting and I have the 40" 1080p Sony Bravia.

I think my expectations were too high.
I looked at other HD camcorders and they too have noise.
But it's so hard to find lowlight clips.
I find a lot of people post candlelight clips which SR7 does amazing (a little focus issue)..
But it's the 60watt room lighting that generates the noise.
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post #6 of 228 Old 11-07-2007, 02:23 AM
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I am thinking of purchasing a SR8 soon as my wife is about to give birth. Nothing like video taping the birthing process in HD!!! Some of the questions I have for SR7/SR8 owners are:

How easy is it to skip between videos on the camera? If you have 4 hours of video, can you skip from the 1st minute to 3 hours 3 minutes?

Do you find that the 40, 60 or 100 gig HD are enough space? I am deciding between the SR5, SR5C, SR7 and SR8 and it really comes down to HD space. I don't know if there is much difference on any other aspects of the camera, but if there is, please let me know.

Has anyone tried to import their videos to the computer, saved it onto a memory stick pro and played it back in the camera via memory stick? I figure this would be an easy way to keep the HD on the camera free of files but if someone wants to have files available to view they can have it on the memory stick.

Converting files and transfering it to DVD seems to be a problem right now. I have tried to read up on buring m2ts files to dvd and playing them back but haven't found much information. Today at a Sony Expo they said that you can buy the MC5 and burn it in HD straight to DVD. You can then play it on a Blue Ray player. Is there a program out where you can burn or convert these m2ts files to avi, mpeg, etc on to a DVD and play them in a regular DVD player but in HD? Sounds kind of crazy, but I think Xbox 360 games are burnt onto DVD DL disks and they are in HD, so why couldn't movies be put on DVD's and played on DVD players too?

Thanks for all of the help. I found this site and love all of the information I have found already.
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post #7 of 228 Old 11-07-2007, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeolaL View Post

I am thinking of purchasing a SR8 soon as my wife is about to give birth. Nothing like video taping the birthing process in HD!!!

you are videotaping the birth? not a good idea!
besides, you'll probably have to hold a leg!


Quote:
Originally Posted by KeolaL View Post

How easy is it to skip between videos on the camera? If you have 4 hours of video, can you skip from the 1st minute to 3 hours 3 minutes?

very easy. You can see a thumbnail view of all your clips and just scroll thru and touch the one you want to watch. Additionally, if you have a really long clip, you can get a view of it that shows many thumbnails from that clip (you choose the interval, I think it starts at 12 seconds and goes up from there) and again you just scroll and touch the one you want to start at. While viewing clips of course you have rewind/fast forward functions too.

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Originally Posted by KeolaL View Post

Do you find that the 40, 60 or 100 gig HD are enough space? I am deciding between the SR5, SR5C, SR7 and SR8 and it really comes down to HD space. I don't know if there is much difference on any other aspects of the camera, but if there is, please let me know.

I've got the sr7 @ 60 gigs and to me it's the sweet spot of the sony avchd hdd cams. Personally I thought the price increase (about $400 isn't it?) was too much to swallow to get up to the sr8. So that gives me 8 hours of the highest quality hd. I can't see how that wouldn't be enough in almost any situation. There are features gained too with the sr7/8 that the sr5's don't have, and those aren't much cheaper than the sr7. Of course that is a personal preference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeolaL View Post

Has anyone tried to import their videos to the computer, saved it onto a memory stick pro and played it back in the camera via memory stick? I figure this would be an easy way to keep the HD on the camera free of files but if someone wants to have files available to view they can have it on the memory stick.

I don't believe it plays video off the memory stick, only stills. Could be wrong. I really don't think space is going to be such a concern that you need to keep your hdd free. 8 hours is a LOOOOOONG time for home videos! Unless you are planning to wake up, turn it on and tape your whole day, I wouldn't worry about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeolaL View Post

Converting files and transfering it to DVD seems to be a problem right now. I have tried to read up on buring m2ts files to dvd and playing them back but haven't found much information. Today at a Sony Expo they said that you can buy the MC5 and burn it in HD straight to DVD. You can then play it on a Blue Ray player. Is there a program out where you can burn or convert these m2ts files to avi, mpeg, etc on to a DVD and play them in a regular DVD player but in HD? Sounds kind of crazy, but I think Xbox 360 games are burnt onto DVD DL disks and they are in HD, so why couldn't movies be put on DVD's and played on DVD players too?

You can put hd content on standard dvd's but it won't play on a standard dvd player. The included software will convert to sd and burn to standard dvd, and I'm sure many other programs will too. Because of the nature of avchd this is a very time consuming process and one of the (temporary) drawbacks of avchd. You might be able to do something with divx but I don't know much about that.
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post #8 of 228 Old 11-07-2007, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeolaL View Post

I am thinking of purchasing a SR8 soon as my wife is about to give birth. Nothing like video taping the birthing process in HD!!! Some of the questions I have for SR7/SR8 owners are:

How easy is it to skip between videos on the camera? If you have 4 hours of video, can you skip from the 1st minute to 3 hours 3 minutes?

Do you find that the 40, 60 or 100 gig HD are enough space? I am deciding between the SR5, SR5C, SR7 and SR8 and it really comes down to HD space. I don't know if there is much difference on any other aspects of the camera, but if there is, please let me know.

Has anyone tried to import their videos to the computer, saved it onto a memory stick pro and played it back in the camera via memory stick? I figure this would be an easy way to keep the HD on the camera free of files but if someone wants to have files available to view they can have it on the memory stick.

Converting files and transfering it to DVD seems to be a problem right now. I have tried to read up on buring m2ts files to dvd and playing them back but haven't found much information. Today at a Sony Expo they said that you can buy the MC5 and burn it in HD straight to DVD. You can then play it on a Blue Ray player. Is there a program out where you can burn or convert these m2ts files to avi, mpeg, etc on to a DVD and play them in a regular DVD player but in HD? Sounds kind of crazy, but I think Xbox 360 games are burnt onto DVD DL disks and they are in HD, so why couldn't movies be put on DVD's and played on DVD players too?

Thanks for all of the help. I found this site and love all of the information I have found already.

KeolaL,
sievers' answers are right on the money. The SR7 is the same as the SR8 but with a smaller harddrive and is about $200 less (The SR5 is a much inferior camera). I was already spending more than I could imagine for a camera, so... AND the SR8 is only available through the Sony website at this point. I ended up going through a local Sony store (Costa Mesa, CA). I paid list (eek!) for the SR7 AND I bought the accidental damage warranty for 3 years. The price of the extended warranty was cheaper there than most places I'd seen, AND it included accidental damage.

I bought Sony Vegas 8 pro and am just learning how to use it. With programs like this you can edit the footage down and convert it to SD for now and still have the raw footage for later when such things are more easily available.

With HD the files are HUGE and you and your computer would DIE trying to go through 100g of data. If you're on a long trip, I think you'd want to be dumping it to a pc or burning it to something like the Sony MC5 recorder to archive them. If you're archiving regularly (and you shouldn't keep tons of footage on your camcorder alone!), 60 vs 100gb isn't really an issue to me since the camcorders are the same otherwise.

I'm finding that I shoot 2-3 minute snippets of footage and then will blend it together into a project. My dual core 2g RAM high-end laptop is up to the job... my P4 3.4ghz 2gb RAM is hurting a bit so I'm trying to tweak it.

The memory stick is only usable for still photos as sievers said. The still photo quality, by the way, is pretty disappointing on all these camcorders (not just Sony). Don't think it will replace a regular camera. The files are maybe good for up to 4x6 prints but would be a waste to do much more.

The Sony Vegas Pro 8 (only the pro version) and Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate can handle the AVCHD files and render them to the different formats. I don't know what else will -- and I haven't actually advanced to that point to try it. The Pinnacle software was crashing on my laptop (which uses Vista Ultimate 64bit) but the Sony Vegas software runs well on it. However, the Sony Vegas Pro 8 costs 3-4x what the Pinnacle software costs.

Hope this helps,

Larry Becker
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post #9 of 228 Old 11-07-2007, 01:24 PM
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thank you very much for the information! im thinking that the SR7 may be the way to go. better than the SR5, yet cheaper than the SR8.

THANKS AGAIN!
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post #10 of 228 Old 11-08-2007, 12:31 AM
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An issue that I have is that on my Mitsubishi 62" DLP using component, the noise level is horrible even on best HD setting. I plugged it up to my 32" Westinghouse LCD in the bedroom and the difference was shockingly better. Is it that the DLP can't show the video well? The footage was taken in my living room. I started to think that I needed to buy that light accessory, but I'm not sure.
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post #11 of 228 Old 11-08-2007, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawilson2 View Post

An issue that I have is that on my Mitsubishi 62" DLP using component, the noise level is horrible even on best HD setting. I plugged it up to my 32" Westinghouse LCD in the bedroom and the difference was shockingly better. Is it that the DLP can't show the video well? The footage was taken in my living room. I started to think that I needed to buy that light accessory, but I'm not sure.

Indoor shots can be a problem, especially blown up to 62" as it will magnify the problem. I was going to suggest using an HDMI cable (mini to regular) but it really won't help the noise in your case. As with regular photography, adequate lighting is key. I did some shooting in my church yesterday and the video is pretty noisey -- doesn't look too good -- but I know that I have the same problems with film and digital cameras in there as well. Gotta have the light.

I DID buy the little 3 watt HVL-HL1 light. I was impressed to see how well it worked out to 8-10 feet. It might be just the thing for a livingroom shot, and it isn't too pricey (under $40 as I recall). There are stronger ones, too, of course.

Also, try the different settings on the SR7/8 to see if they make a difference. Play with it before you get into a situation where you need to use it for something special and will be disappointed if it turns out badly.

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post #12 of 228 Old 11-09-2007, 02:22 AM
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Try Ulead Video Studio 11 Plus and install the new Power Pack. You can create AVCHD Disk on regular DVDs with menus. I was able ro run that DVD on PS3.

Cheers,
-Gus
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post #13 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 11:51 AM
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anybody tried/verified the xvYCC (expanded color)? what settings on camcorder and tv? i thought i recorded with the option on and displayed on a samsung HLT LED and did not notice a difference... what happens when you record with xvYCC and display on a regular HDTV set? will the colors be wrong?
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post #14 of 228 Old 11-15-2007, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by memnoch2 View Post

anybody tried/verified the xvYCC (expanded color)? what settings on camcorder and tv? i thought i recorded with the option on and displayed on a samsung HLT LED and did not notice a difference... what happens when you record with xvYCC and display on a regular HDTV set? will the colors be wrong?

I played with this a little but basically took the manual at its word and left it off. Neither of my displays have deep color -- I kind of took the inclusion of the feature on the camera as helping make it more future-proof, giving us features that WILL be of use, but not yet for most of us.

I didn't see any real difference with my setup -- have you tried additional shots with your camera/video?

I REALLY Like the output on my Sony XBR 960 -- the colors are unreal. On my Mits 1080p 37" they're pretty good. I'd be interested in seeing something on one of the new Sony deep color sets.

Larry Becker
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post #15 of 228 Old 11-19-2007, 07:09 PM
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OK, maybe someone can answer me this these questions three...

1- Can I use my Sony HotShoe Wireless mic? It works fine on the SR200, butthe guy at the Sony store said the one on the SR7 might have been changed?

2 - Does it have a USB port on the camera too upload directly too a computer? I noticed something about USB ports for Video, up and down, but don't know if these would work for Data as well. I hate having too bring the stupid docking station for my SR200, data transfer is all I use it for.

3 - Is it worth it too have the 10 hour battery? I will be using it too film future 4 hour radio events, and I'd like too have it on as often as possible so I don't' have too miss anything too conserve battery power.

4 - Anyone hear anything about Adobe Premier Elements supporting AVCHD? I was thinking about getting Sony Vegas 8 after trying it, but I like Elements 4..and the built in youtube uploader is a time saver.

That's all the major ones I can think of at the moment. That and I hope the current Amazon $1000 range price point stays till after the holidays .

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post #16 of 228 Old 11-20-2007, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NV5655 View Post

OK, maybe someone can answer me this these questions three...

1- Can I use my Sony HotShoe Wireless mic? It works fine on the SR200, butthe guy at the Sony store said the one on the SR7 might have been changed?

2 - Does it have a USB port on the camera too upload directly too a computer? I noticed something about USB ports for Video, up and down, but don't know if these would work for Data as well. I hate having too bring the stupid docking station for my SR200, data transfer is all I use it for.

3 - Is it worth it too have the 10 hour battery? I will be using it too film future 4 hour radio events, and I'd like too have it on as often as possible so I don't' have too miss anything too conserve battery power.

4 - Anyone hear anything about Adobe Premier Elements supporting AVCHD? I was thinking about getting Sony Vegas 8 after trying it, but I like Elements 4..and the built in youtube uploader is a time saver.

That's all the major ones I can think of at the moment. That and I hope the current Amazon $1000 range price point stays till after the holidays .

Hi, NV5655,

I'll try...
1) if your wireless mic is the ECM-HW1 from Sony, it's listed on the compatibility list for the SR7 (as well as the SR200. Should work. I've been thinking about getting that myself. How well does it work on your SR200?

2) Oddly (to me) there is no USB port on the camera itself. You have to use a dock. There IS a mini-HDMI port for direct plug in to a tv, but no USB without the dock.

3) If you're going to regularly record parts of a 4 hour anything, you might consider the longer battery, or at least the NP-FH70. The NP-FH100 is about $60 more and is HUGE -- really sticks out. The NP-FH70 isn't so bad. My question is, how are you going to deal with so much data? AVCHD files aren't small.

4) I haven't heard about Adobe Elements support. I'd like that, too, as I'm a long-time Photoshop user. I ended up buying Sony Vegas Pro 8 and am having grief with the steep learning curve, as well as the really choppy AVCHD preview in it (despite the claims of machine compatibility for Vegas). I'm looking into their tech support's suggestions that the AVCHD clips be rendered into an "intermediate format" for processing, or another option seems to be a 3rd party add-on software that lets you edit a "proxy file" and then substitute it for the real data. Sheesh...

The Amazon deal sounds great. I paid list at a Sony store because I wanted their extended warranty WITH accidental damage protection. I didn't see any other options for that.

Let us know how it works out.

Larry Becker
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post #17 of 228 Old 11-20-2007, 10:19 AM
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Oh, and the other thing I forgot...

- Hard Drive noise. Is it really so loud that it picks up on camera when tilted a certain way?


Yep, that's my mic. If the other camera makers had something that worked just as well, and took video just as good as the Sony, I might consider them just because that stupid docking station is a pain too have too remember too carry around..

But as far as mic demonstrationss...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjIrjHtf8Y0 - The first 5 seconds in he's holding the mic mid waist. The rest of the video is without the mic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybcnma8Vigg

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post #18 of 228 Old 11-20-2007, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NV5655 View Post

Oh, and the other thing I forgot...

- Hard Drive noise. Is it really so loud that it picks up on camera when tilted a certain way?


Yep, that's my mic. If the other camera makers had something that worked just as well, and took video just as good as the Sony, I might consider them just because that stupid docking station is a pain too have too remember too carry around..

But as far as mic demonstrationss...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjIrjHtf8Y0 - The first 5 seconds in he's holding the mic mid waist. The rest of the video is without the mic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybcnma8Vigg

I don't notice any hard drive noise at all... certainly less noise than my old camcorder that used HI-8 tapes!

A couple of questions...
- Why didn't you use the wireless mic for the whole recording?
- Is YouTube your main use for the video? If so, you may be able to use the SR7 in standard def mode. That would make editing easier. I'm debating that kind of choice now... HiDef for stuff I want to archive, standard def for stuff I want to have for general use.
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post #19 of 228 Old 11-20-2007, 11:04 AM
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Well in this case, I wasn't part of the official operation and didn't really know the guy all that well, so I didn't get the chance too ask.

Yep, YouTube is the main choice for this stuff... but I'd love too have it in HD just for the sake of having it in the best format possible. How much footage in GB's per hour is it? For example, 1GB = 3 hours footage? Too bad you can't record in both simultaneously.

I'm thinking of getting at least one Terra byte Portable hard drive just in preperation for this alone.

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post #20 of 228 Old 11-20-2007, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NV5655 View Post

Well in this case, I wasn't part of the official operation and didn't really know the guy all that well, so I didn't get the chance too ask.

Yep, YouTube is the main choice for this stuff... but I'd love too have it in HD just for the sake of having it in the best format possible. How much footage in GB's per hour is it? For example, 1GB = 3 hours footage? Too bad you can't record in both simultaneously.

I'm thinking of getting at least one Terra byte Portable hard drive just in preperation for this alone.

I took some clips at a kid's soccer game the other day. Mostly short clips, but a clip that was 59 seconds was 117,120k or 114-ish mb. Times 60 = 6.84 gb -- is the math right? I have just a few minutes of stuff on my SR7 and it shows 485 minutes of space remaining (and 145 minutes left on my pretty much fully charged FH70 battery), so I guess with a 60 gb harddrive, you could get quite a bit on it. Note that this is at highest resolution/quality, and are my estimates only... As always, YMMV...

I'd HATE to try to edit that much stuff at once. You'd want to break the file up and put them together. The rendering time would be HORRIBLE!!! I think I'll be making hard choices about what to put in HD and what can go in SD.

I've got a 750gb eSATA drive to use for videos, and another 500gb firewire 800 drive for backup. This could fill up pretty quickly...
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post #21 of 228 Old 11-20-2007, 11:45 AM
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Agreed. I guess I'd have too save the Nature/Outdoor events for HD and the Indoor events could be HD..especially when it's just 'talking heads' so too speak..

The other thing I may have too get in april for the SR7 would be the waterpack enclosure. But with no viewable Flip screen LCD(since the pack protects it), it'll be tough too film stuff..

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post #22 of 228 Old 11-23-2007, 08:54 AM
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Can someone answer this?
Why does my new 1100$ HD camera shoot terrible video??? I just downloaded my first round of video and the quality is horrible. I have it set on HDHQ and just made a AVCHD movie using the Picture Motion Browser and watched it with the utility viewer that came with the camera. Can someone PLEASE tell me i am doing something wrong, before I shoot myself in the foot for buying this camera.
Otherwise, i love the camera. HAHAHAH.
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post #23 of 228 Old 11-23-2007, 08:59 AM
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Not having the camera, I've been told that you need too set it too the highest quality setting, XP I think it was. Also, what type of monitor and connection are you viewing it on? I assume being a HTPC person, you're video card is also top notch .

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post #24 of 228 Old 11-23-2007, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NV5655 View Post

Not having the camera, I've been told that you need too set it too the highest quality setting, XP I think it was. Also, what type of monitor and connection are you viewing it on? I assume being a HTPC person, you're video card is also top notch .


Is this reply for me??
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post #25 of 228 Old 11-25-2007, 06:09 AM
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Wow, my head is spinning trying to figure this out. I am a web designer and a mom-to-be, but a total newbie when it comes to camcorders. I've looked at several reviews of HD camcorders but most of them aren't up to date. This is the only site I've found with ANY new information.

Is the SR7 really the best HD camcorder out there? at the recent price of $629? Has anyone upgraded from Canon HV20? I understand that there are free apps to decode AVCHD to burn to DVD but is the quality the best or should I look to other formats of HD?

I actually don't have an HD player or TV at the moment and watch DVD's on my PC (crt monitor). I am looking toward the future of HD viewing and the future of showing video of my daughter and other retail video on websites and HD players. Can you get both Blu-Ray and HD DVD from AVCHD?

Can anyone tell me the most useful accessories that an SR7 owner should have right from the start? What lighting accessory? Do you need a mic because of the "no wind screen"? What battery should I buy? Should I get the battery with the most juice or 2 of the smaller-life batteries?

I am running Win XP 64 bit Pro but only have 1 gig of memory right now. Should I upgrade to 2 gigs before considering editing any of the video? I do have 700 gigs of space for keeping the AVCHD files.

Thanks for any help!
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post #26 of 228 Old 11-25-2007, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jenngood View Post


Is the SR7 really the best HD camcorder out there? at the recent price of $629?

I actually don't have an HD player or TV at the moment and watch DVD's on my PC (crt monitor).

Can anyone tell me the most useful accessories that an SR7 owner should have right from the start? Do you need a mic because of the "no wind screen"? What battery should I buy? Should I get the battery with the most juice or 2 of the smaller-life batteries?

I am running Win XP 64 bit Pro but only have 1 gig of memory right now. Should I upgrade to 2 gigs before considering editing any of the video? I do have 700 gigs of space for keeping the AVCHD files.

OK, lets start in order here . First off, where did you find it for $629? The lowest I've spotted is $1039.

Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but it should still look pretty good on a CRT monitor, hence why they still sell CRT HDTV's.

SR7 Accessories: I would get a video light. If it takes bad pictures in low light like my SR200 SD camcorder, it will look ten times better. I had taken a picture of our holiday turkey with no light and one with the flash. The non flash looked like a VHS tape in grainy quality.

As for battery, I am seriously kicking myself for not getting the 10 hour one when I had the chance. Not only is it nice too have just in case you need it, but for my purposes I thought 2 2 hour batters would be more than enough for my use. Now I'm finding it's much nicer too keep the camera on for as long as possible so I don't miss anything good and worry about editing it all down later .

windscreen is a must. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI1usbSWIfw This was taken on a relatively light wind day with my Sony SR200. It did not feel anywhere near as windy as the audio made it seem. They include a windscreen with the wireless mic, ECM-HW1, but I am currently looking too see if it'll work on the SR7.

More RAM is always good .

-edit - heh, since all that video minus one was taken on a Sony Sr200, maybe I should getthem too sponsor me and give ma a free SR7 .

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post #27 of 228 Old 11-25-2007, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agewon View Post

Is this reply for me??

Yep, mybad. Forgot the quote button..

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post #28 of 228 Old 11-25-2007, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenngood View Post

Wow, my head is spinning trying to figure this out. I am a web designer and a mom-to-be, but a total newbie when it comes to camcorders. I've looked at several reviews of HD camcorders but most of them aren't up to date. This is the only site I've found with ANY new information.

Is the SR7 really the best HD camcorder out there? at the recent price of $629? Has anyone upgraded from Canon HV20? I understand that there are free apps to decode AVCHD to burn to DVD but is the quality the best or should I look to other formats of HD?

I actually don't have an HD player or TV at the moment and watch DVD's on my PC (crt monitor). I am looking toward the future of HD viewing and the future of showing video of my daughter and other retail video on websites and HD players. Can you get both Blu-Ray and HD DVD from AVCHD?

Can anyone tell me the most useful accessories that an SR7 owner should have right from the start? What lighting accessory? Do you need a mic because of the "no wind screen"? What battery should I buy? Should I get the battery with the most juice or 2 of the smaller-life batteries?

I am running Win XP 64 bit Pro but only have 1 gig of memory right now. Should I upgrade to 2 gigs before considering editing any of the video? I do have 700 gigs of space for keeping the AVCHD files.

Thanks for any help!

jenngood,

Just to chime in here a little late... $629 is too low a price -- there's something wrong there. It either "fell off a truck" somewhere, is used, or it is some sucker deal from a low life company that will never deliver it at that price unless you buy their extended warranty (which is likely useless) and a lot of shoddy accessories. That figure is less than half the list price -- buyer beware...

Next... AVCHD files are still pretty new, and they're huge. You need as much RAM, processing power and hard disk space as you can get. I actually bought a second external hard drive for mostly video.

I wouldn't know what to expect from your crt... what resolution are you running it at? The way it looks might have more to do with your graphics card than your monitor. I have an HD CRT TV at home and the images are stunning, but it is a 34" 1080i display. I have a 37" 1080p LCD attached to my computer and it looks pretty good there, too. A standard, older crt pc monitor might be disappointing. How big is it?

An external light will come in handy, Video gets grainy really quick. Haven't picked up an external mic yet so can't answer on that.

Is it the "best" camcorder? Don't know, but it seems a good one at this time. AVCHD is a pain to edit on an underpowered pc, but so is any HD format. Different editing software packages let you make either a blu-ray compatible dvd or an HDDVD compatible dvd, but that sounds like it's more a future feature for you.

Good luck! Let us know what you do. And watch out for deals that are too good to be true...

Larry Becker
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post #29 of 228 Old 11-25-2007, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenngood View Post

Is the SR7 really the best HD camcorder out there? at the recent price of $629?

definitely a scam, for the love of god don't give those guys your credit card #!

Here's a quick summary: that canon hv20 is widely regarded to have the best pq available in an hd cam. So if you must have the best pq, you must buy that cam. If you can sacrifice a small amount of pq for the convenience of a hard drive based cam, then yeah sr7 is probably the best one.

Not because I have one or anything!

AVCHD may be a hassle if you plan to do lots of editing, that's the main strike against all AVCHD cams.
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post #30 of 228 Old 11-26-2007, 08:54 AM
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Try Ulead Video Studio 11 Plus and install the new Power Pack. You can create AVCHD Disk on regular DVDs with menus. I was able ro run that DVD on PS3.

Cheers,
-Gus

As a new owner of a HDR-SR7 I could not figure out how to post-process the AVCHD format files (other than buying the Sony Vegas $$$ software), thus decided to try Ulead Video Studio 11 Plus, but wihtout the Power Pack I found out it was going only up to 720p.
Do you need to install the Power Pack and pay extra for it, in order to get 1080i?
Thanks,

The devil is in the details!
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