A camcorder is an electronic device combining a video camera and a video recorder, typically used for consumer video recording. [read more at]

  • sony hdr sr7AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) is a new high-definition recording format introduced by Sony and Panasonic. It can use various storage media, including 8 cm (3") recordable DVD discs, a hard disk, or flash memory cards. The format is to compete with other handheld video camera recording formats, particularly HDV and MiniDV.[from WikiPedia]

    The major complain when it come to reviewing Sony SR7/SR8, panasonic SD5 or any previous model is the lack of editing tools for AVCHD (beside low light performances, but that is common on consumer camcorder). That's why I propose You some links now:

    Playing AVCHD (*.m2ts)

    • Natively on a PS3 directly from the camcorder
    • Sony Picture Motion Browser is also a good player (Free, on your sony's camcorder cd suite, PC only)
    • Power DVD 7.0 Ultra ($99), by the way the best non free player (VideoLan being free and multi platform)



    Converting .m2ts to .wmv

    Windows Media Encoder + K-Lite Codec Pack
    I have been able to use this combination and it works well. I can't recommend encoding to .wmv (not as open as mpeg for many device) except if you wan to stream to an Xbox 360 (Media Center Extender

    Converting.m2ts to .mp4

    Nero Recode will convert .m2ts files to .mp4 without a hitch. Good quality, as well 

    Fast and multiple format converter

    elecard converter studio avchd
    Elecard Converter Studio AVC HD Edition is a program for movie file conversion from AVCHD® to MPEG-2 HDV and MPEG-2 DVD compatible formats. Owners of AVCHD® Camcorders (for example, Sony® HDR-SR1E, Panasonic® HDC-SD1. Click here for a full list of camcorders.) will find it a useful product which allows them to convert the footage from their cameras into format supported by their favorite editing software.
    You can download a demo here ($75 for the full edition), it is working great and play the original m2ts a lot faster than Power DVD 7 Ultra on my machine. It is also damn fast (on my HP NW9440)

    Nero 7 Ultra Edition Enhanced, is a software suite which contains the AVCHD editor Nero Vision. Also included in this suite is Nero Showtime, which plays AVCHD files natively. Nero Vision can convert AVCHD files to other formats such as MPEG-2 or AVI and can import them for use in video editing projects. Nero Vision can also export Sony's M2TS format to MPEG-4 files that can be viewed by Quicktime 7. Edited video can also be burned to DVD discs in AVCHD format for playback on hardware players or in Blu-ray format.[from WikiPedia]

    Editing AVCHD

    Ulead Studio 11 Plus (30 days trial here). It also keeps AVCHD files with 5.1 audio, in it's original state. You can then convert it to any output format; to Hardrive, DVD, HD DVD etc. It's the first AVCHD editor, that allow to trim the front part of the AVCHD files, without crashing, hanging up, losing the video. You can edit AVCHD file from any brand,, not just Sony.

    Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 8 ($119), is just for Sony AVCHD cameras and is maybe the more adavanced editor on the market as for today. I was able to use basic functions (cutting, moving track, exporting) in a few minutes. Speed and use of great is great. Same rule apply, try it yourself before buying it.

    Some .m2ts  video samples to play with

    I recommend You to download low light video, pictures and judge yourself.

  • I can't review camcorder, a lot of site are doing it in a professional way. Like always I propose You some links that You can use to gain a loooooot of time.

    Video Playback

    you must deinterlace video to have the best experience! I use Elecard Converter Studio to view them (free for viewing, use De interlacing:option  best for speed),
    You have to deinterlace because computer monitor are not interlaced!
    1080i30(60 fields) or 720p60 or 1080p30 have the same raw data rate, while 1080p60 has twice more data!

    I've tried

    Sony SR7 SR8


    Judge Yourself by looking at video samples

    By canadiankorean 

    Canon HG10


    Judge Yourself by looking at video samples

    Finding source of video samples
    Vuze has some video as well

    Side by side table

    The best way to compare characteristics is to look at them side by side, below are site that allow this. Ive choose to compare Panasonic SD5, Sony SR7/SR8 and Canon HG10

    Thread from users

    Best Forums

  • While searching for a comcorder across internet, I found this model which look very promising, except low light performance and the poor hunting auto focus...anyway at 890euro on ebay, it is a winner....

    The JVC Everio records DVD Quality video in MPEG-2 with AC-3 audio. It has a maximum bit-rate of 8.88Mbps. Directly recording video onto a 4GB CF Micro Hard-drive or SD Memory Card

    JVC Everio GZ-MC200

    JVC Everio GZ-MC100 same specs, different case

    Update: The JVC MC500 will be available in mid march in store, same case but a lot more options and 5 Mega Pixel!!!

    A lot of companies are now trying to sell solid state camcorder: read Hereand Here (running uClinux)

  • If you're shopping for a new CamCorder with HD (720p, 1080i) support, you should take a look at what Sony offer:

    "The HDR-SR1 is one of the best examples of why this is an exciting time for camcorders. Within this single model, we see the major advance of an emerging media – hard disk drive – and the birth of a new video standard – AVCHD." has already 2 reviews: review1 and review2

    and JVC with their new HD Everio GZ-HD7 (but not before april 2007).
    All in all, the market is now offering more than 5 Camcorder: Panasonic NV-GS500, Sony (4 models) and JVC (2 Everio)

  • I've ordered 3 hours ago aSony HDR-SR8 AVCHD 6MP 100GB High Definition Hard Disk Drive Camcorder with 10x Optical Zoom. Since I ve already provided some links before, and here about viewing AVCHD and editing.
    I can not wait any longer for review, as I will be in hollidays in 18 days for my 7 weeks Australian trip. 

    Why Did I choose the SR8?

    • Size factor and hard disk, 100GB is luxus, I agree  60GB (SR7) would have done the job... 
    • I have a PS3 so HD playback on a 4 meters screens is not an issue Cool
    • PC playback is also not an issue, even on moderated single core cpu, if you use the right codec (coreAVCHD or Elecard converter)
    • Sony Vegas 8.0 is the best editor, I was able to cut and move part of video without efforts/reading a tutorial.
    • The Sony docking station is great  for keeping cable  in place. (canon HG 10 has none)
    •  QUALITY of fabrication, handling compared to Canon HG10
    • Not reviewed yet by CamcorderInfo (even if camcorder is since 4 months available) but I suspect that It will blow th HG10, Ive seen a too many Canon Ads recently on CCinfo...hum

    Sony SR8 AVCHD camcorder

    Some words about

    Batteries:  NP-FH70 (134CHF) is in the same size as NP-FH60 (99CHF), but has a 1800mA capacity versus 1000mA of NP-FH60. They both are 33mm 'long'. But the NP-FH100 (190CHF) is 55mm long, with about 3980mA battery power.

    Sony.NPFH50.Hybrid.InfoLithium.Battery.jpg Sony.NPFH70.Hybrid.InfoLithium.Battery.jpg
    NP-FH50 NP-FH70

    Bandwidth: The Sony SR8 record at max 15 Mbps, AVCHD being able to go as far as 24Mbps, (no camcorder on the market is able to sustain that bandwidth). More bandwidth, means less compression. Less compression means fewer artifacts, less fast motion jumpiness and higher resolutions of video with less 'graininess'..

    Low Light: I will put as soon as I have it, some videos, mainly Zurich by night :-), indoor shootings, so You can all decide yourself it the SR7/SR8 is worth the money.. Some people have  noticed that the camera raises the exposure levels up to 100% when you're doing a low light recording. This adds of course some grain to the footage. To prevent this, switch the scene-modus from Auto to one of the low light scene-modi: sunset, candlelight, fireworks. The image gets a bit darker, but the grain is gone. I've already tried my Canon G9 in low light condition, and the result is also not ideal. Remember this is a consumer camcorder well below pro size and prize!

    You can also press the button next to the lens a bit longer, and set the dial to Exposure, and lower the exposure a bit by rolling the dial downwards.

    SR7: The SR7 is a nice compromise. Less pricey (200 CHF) It has the same good low light performance, same quality feel, same handling, outstanding feature set, and compact size.

    Wide Angle: The Sony Sony VCL-DH0737 37mm Wide Conversion Lensis a bit pricey (250CHF) and has some vignetting issues, in fact any fish eye will work as long as it has a 37mm thread. the Raynox HD5050 pro come with a set of  thread adapter , has a filter thread and is cheap! (106CHF). Ive bought also the sun protective cap

    Sony VCL-DH0737 37mm Wide Conversion LensOrraynox hd 5050 pro wide conversion lens+raynox sun protection cap

    Tele Lens:I do not have the need of Sony VCL-DH2637 Tele Conversion Lens at the moment

    Sony VCL-DH2637 Tele Conversion Lens

    Technical Details Sony HDR-SR8

    • Record high-definition (AVCHD) video directly to a 100GB HDD
    • ClearVid CMOS sensor; Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonar T* lens
    • 2.7-inch widescreen hybrid touch-panel Clear Photo LCD Plus display
    • Simultaneously capture video and 4.6-megapixel still images while recording. 6.1 megapixel still images as camera only
    • Includes Handy Cam station; one touch AVCHD disc burn with optional accessory
    • Optical zoom: 10 x
    • maximum_aperture_range: F/1.8-2.9
    • Minimum focal length: 5.4 millimeters
    • Maximum focal length: 54 millimeters
    • Included Flash Type: Built-in flash
    • form_factor: Rotating
    • Display: LCD display
    • Display Size: 2.7 inches
    • Image types: JPEG
    • video_input_format: MPEG-2, AVCHD
    • video_input_special_effects: Sepia, Pastel, Monotone, Old Movie, Luminance Key
    • Optical Sensor Resolution: 3.2 MP
    • optical_sensor_technology: ClearVid CMOS
    • optical_sensor_size: 1/2.9"
    • Viewfinder Type: LCD
    • Audio Input: Microphone
    • microphone_operation_mode: Surround
    • Height: 3.0 inches
    • Weight: 2.0 pounds
    • Depth: 5.9 inches
    • Width: 6.0 inches