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Sony HDR-PJ710 Camcorder Review

Sony's new HDR-PJ710V is one of the most impressive camcorders we've reviewed this year.

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Panasonic HC-X900M Comparison

Last year, Sony included its built-in projector feature on only three camcorders, all of which were mid-range models (the HDR-PJ10, PJ30V, and PJ50V). This year, Sony put the projector on high-end products as well, which is why we're comparing the HDR-PJ710V to last year's flagship Handycam, the HDR-CX700V.

The CX700V was no slouch, but it had one glaring weakness: abysmal low light sensitivity. This year, Sony went ahead and improved the low light performance across the board for the HDR-PJ710V, and, in doing so, drastically improved the overall performance of its new flagship Handycams. The PJ710V showed a clearer image in low light than its predecessors, as well as featuring a much better low light sensitivity and better color accuracy in our low light test. In bright light, things weren't much different, with Sony maintaining its top-notch results from last year.

We don't know the exact reason for this low light improvement. It may be from minor updates to the sensor or image processor, or it may be from the tweaked lens that now features a Zeiss branding on its side. Whatever it is, Sony certainly made something click. Along with this improved low light capability, the Sony PJ710V also has a better optical SteadyShot system than its predecessors. One thing's for certain: the HDR-PJ710V is a better camcorder than last year's HDR-CX700V.

Features on the new HDR-PJ710V aren't much different than what we saw on the HDR-CX700V, but there are a few discrepancies. The PJ710V doesn't have a viewfinder, and it has just a third of the internal memory that you got on the CX700V (32GB vs. 96GB). You can get both of these features by spending a bit more cash and upgrading to the HDR-PJ760V, a camcorder that should perform identically to the PJ710V.

And if you have no use for the cool, but ultimately unnecessary, built-in projector on the HDR-PJ710V, then you have the option of going with the HDR-CX760V instead. The CX760V is the true successor to the HDR-CX700V—it has 96GB of built-in memory, it has a viewfinder, and it doesn't have a projector. It also costs $1299, which is the exact price the HDR-CX700V launched for in 2011.


/r:render

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Design
  3. Product Tour
  4. Performance
  5. Color Performance
  6. Low Light Performance
  7. Motion Performance
  8. Sharpness Performance
  9. Usability
  10. Ease of Use
  11. Handling
  12. Controls
  13. Features
  14. Recording Options
  15. Hardware
  16. Other Features
  17. Sony Handycam HDR-CX700V Comparison
  18. Panasonic HC-X900M Comparison
  19. Canon Vixia HF G10 Comparison
  20. Conclusion
  21. Photo Gallery
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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