camcorders
  • Editors' Choice

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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Color

As usual, the Sony HDR-PJ710V produced pleasing colors in our tests, and those colors were quite a bit more accurate than the competition. The camcorder managed a color error of 3.14—a result that's a bit better than last year's HDR-CX700V from Sony—but it also produced a top-notch saturation level of 92%.

Note: We used new lights for our color test with the HDR-PJ710, and in doing so we obtained a better score using auto white balance than manual white balance on the camcorder. Originally, we based our color score on the manual white balance results, but we decided to change the numbers to reflect the auto white balance results instead. This process matches what we've done in the past, in scoring camcorders using the white balance mode that results in the best color accuracy.

More on how we test color.

3000 Lux Color Error Map
3000 Lux Test Chart

There aren't a lot of special color modes on the PJ710V, but the camcorder does have color temperature control that can push your videos cooler (more blue) or warmer (or red). Of course, using different white balance options also will have a huge impact in the way the PJ710 produces colors. In fact, we found the camcorder actually had better color accuracy when we shot with its auto white balance mode than when we manually set the white balance. Yes, we know, it doesn't make sense, but that's the results we obtained. The Sony managed a color error of around 4.5 using manual white balance, which is more than a full point worse than our auto white balance test.

Video Color Mode Image_1336893_1
Video Color Mode Image_1336901_2

Above we have sample images shot with the PJ710 using three different lighting setups. The first is regular bright light auto, and below this you can compare the bright light image with two low light images. The first is was shot with even, but very dim (20 lux), light. The second image was shot with a single incandescent bulb in order to create a shadow effect. All three of these images were shot using the 60p frame rate and auto white balance with automatic settings (and low light modes or enhancements turned off).

Low Light Color

Much like we saw with our noise test, color accuracy results were unchanged for the Sony HDR-PJ710V from bright light to low light. We measured the color error at 4.51 for the camcorder in low light, which is just two hundredths of a point different from the bright light color results. The saturation level did drop a bit in low light, however, but the camcorder maintained a decent 78% saturation. This saturation result is better than last year's CX700V from Sony, and it's stronger than what we saw from most of the competition in this price range. More on how we test low light color.

60 Lux Color Error Map
60 Lux Test Chart

Noise

Sony improved the noise performance on the HDR-PJ710, that's for sure. Compared to last year's HDR-CX700V, the PJ710 had both lower noise levels in bright light and low light. In bright light, the results weren't that different, with the PJ710 averaging 0.54% noise (just 0.06% less than the CX700V). In low light, the results were more improved with the new model, and you can read about that in our low light performance section. More on how we test noise.

3000 Lux Noise Crop

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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