10 Replies Latest reply on May 5, 2010 12:42 AM by Craig in Egypt

    Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder

    Craig in Egypt


      I know strictly speaking this forum isn't really for this type of request, but it seems logical to me that it could be the best place to ask a question about cameras. I apologise if I am wrong!

      I've been doing a bit of research into 'prosumer' video cameras and the Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i seems to have some great feedback.

      Can anybody tell me if this is good choice based on the following criteria:-




      1.     Manual Control Capability

      2.     Low Light capabilities.

      3.     Button Positioning and Size

      4.     Image Quality

      5.     Size and Handling

      6.     Night Function

      7.     Inbuilt Audio

      8.     Price / Value


      Is there something I am missing - perhaps there's a better prosumer camera around that price? it needs to be be PAL and also available in the UK.





        • 1. Re: Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Actually, the number one thing is the CODEC used for the video files, and will that CODEC edit "easily" in PreElements 


          All the technical details of the camera won't matter much if you find you can't edit the files without a lot of extra work and other software to convert the files to a format that you may edit

          • 2. Re: Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            That's an excellent camcorder, and it should interface with Premiere Elements very well in standard HDV mode.


            Although, if you're buying a $2,000 camcorder (the upper end of pro-sumer, to be sure), it might make more sense to go with the Pro version of Premiere Elements.


            Or you might consider one of the Canon HV series or the Sony HDR-HC series -- both of which shoot excellent HDV for well under $1,000.

            • 3. Re: Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder
              Paul787 Level 3

              Since the Sony records in the HDV format using miniDV tapes Craig, it should be very compatible for use with Premiere Elements.


              I can't vouch for the camera boes it does get very good reviews online. Another miniDV HDV camcorder in that range that might fit your needs is the Canon XH A1s which also gets excellent reviews.


              I'd suggest checking with your camera store and finding one that will allow you to use the camcorder first for a day or one that has a cash refund policy as opposed to exchange only so you can see if the camcorder specifically suits your needs before being locked into the purchase.


              Let us know what you end up purchasing and how it works.

              • 4. Re: Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder
                Craig in Egypt Level 1

                Thanks for the feedback gentlemen. Unfortunately this camera is no longer available but a specialist UK company have reccomended 2 panasonic cameras around the same price: -

                Panasonic AG-HMC71E

                http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/public/view_item_cat.php?catalogue_number=panasonic_ag-hmc7 1&cvp_com


                Panasonic AG-HMC41E

                http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/public/view_item_cat.php?catalogue_number=panasonic_ag-hmc4 1e&cvp_com


                Does anybody have any comments on either of these? I am about to go through the specs but initially have noticed that they are both AVCHD and record to memory card.





                • 5. Re: Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder
                  Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                  Once again, Craig, you're looking at professional camcorders -- which would really match better to professional level software, like Premiere Pro CS5.


                  But they should also interface with Premiere Elements -- assuming your system is powerful enough to work with AVCHD video. The power demands of AVCHD -- particularly with Premiere Elements 8 -- have often kept people from successfullly working with it.

                  • 6. Re: Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder
                    Craig in Egypt Level 1

                    Hi Steve,


                    Thanks for your reply. Well I think officially these cameras fall in to the 'prosumer' range - at least according to the equipment dealers in the UK, but I understand what you are saying. I suppose I can always upgrade to 'pro' if need be, but I want to make sure we end up with a camera that will meet our needs and allow us to carry our a wide range of projects.


                    I have read a little about the AVCHD format and understand that PrE8 will handle it, but it does place a lot of strain on the computer.


                    Forgetting the issues of PrE8 and AVCHD, if you were in the market for prosumer/pro camera, would either of these be something that you would consider?





                    • 7. Re: Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder
                      Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                      Well, personally, I prefer tape-based cams.


                      But, as AVCHD video goes, these are a couple of great pieces! I think you'll be thrilled with the results.


                      Before you purchase them, though, I'd recommend borrowing an AVCHD cam and shooting some test footage, just to ensure your computer can handle it with version 8. As I've said, version 8 is a bit of a resource hog -- and the added weight of AVCHD video can really squeeze the life out of even the fastest computers.


                      So see if you can try before you  buy -- just to make sure you like the workflow.

                      • 8. Re: Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder
                        Craig in Egypt Level 1

                        Thanks Steve.


                        To be honest, I guess because we're relatively new to video, I am terrified of buying a 'consumer' camera that just doesn’t do the job as I know we probably won’t get the chance to get another. All our music studio gear is top of the line and I know you get what you pay for.


                        However, I think I will give the Canon HV series and the Sony HDR-HC another look. I guess they won’t have the array of manual settings (focus/iris/shutter etc) and the 3CCDs, but if they shoot good HDV, then that may suffice, given the superb filming conditions we have here.


                        I'll keep you posted!


                        Thanks again,



                        • 9. Re: Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          Hi Craig,


                          When you make the decision, please update this thread on your choice and your reasons. If you have had time for a shakedown, a mini-review of your choice would be appreciated too.


                          Good luck,



                          • 10. Re: Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder
                            Craig in Egypt Level 1




                            Thanks Bill. I sure will.


                            In the meantime, for anyone else trying to work out the best camera for their needs, here’s where we’re up to:-


                            It seems to be a bit of a mine field out there when trying to determine the best camera to buy. At the moment, we are evaluating 3 main cameras (or types of cameras/price points if you will):-


                            1.     Something like a Sony HDR-HC9.
                            http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/public/view_item_cat.php?catalogue_number=sony_hdrhc9e&cvp_ com

                            2.     Something like a Sony HVR-HD1000E
                            http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/public/view_item_cat.php?catalogue_number=sony_hvr-hd1000e& cvp_com

                            3.     Something like a Panasonic AG-HMC41
                            http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/public/view_item_cat.php?catalogue_number=panasonic_ag-hmc4 1e&cvp_com


                            As I understand it, picking up information from reviews and product specs: All will shoot excellent HDV. The main differences are in their Pick up Devices, Recording formats, manual capabilities and of course price. There are clearly numerous other differences but we are trying to focus on the main criteria that set these cameras aside from each other.


                            Option 2 seems to me to be a ‘middle ground’ camera, in between an excellent consumer camera (option 1) and a top flight Prosumer camera (option 3). It offers a few more manual capabilities, looks a bit more ‘pro’, (which is important here in sandbox land I’m sorry to say) generally has good reviews and a good selection of affordable filters and lens.


                            We will keep working through the process and hopefully end up with a camera that suits our needs now and the foreseeable future.

                            As ever – the feedback & comments from this forum are invaluable. Thank you.