A look at the controls and image samples from Sony's entry level hard-disk high-def camcorder, the SR5.
Sitting on the dock
Sony bundles docks with all its SR series models. Though many of the connectors also appear on the body of the camcorder, the USB port for downloading video only lives on the dock.
If you like to shoot via an eye-level viewfinder, you'll have to pass up the SR5 in favour of the higher-end, viewfinder-equipped, HDR-SR7.
Like many of its kind, the SR5 can only save still photos to flash media, in this case a Memory Stick Pro Duo. It seems silly that with an entire hard disk available few of these camcorders can record stills to the disk.
Surround sound, still
Sony still includes 5.1 surround audio on its higher-end camcorder models, but we'd gladly trade this infrequently used, gimmicky feature for an excellent directional microphone.
We were actually a bit disappointed in the SR5's video quality. Though relatively sharp, the automatic white balance in many situations looked far too cool, and the video tended to be more washed out with significantly more blown-out highlights than we typically see in this class of camcorder.
This video frame grab is of a New York Times reporter interviewing a protester and his dog at the feral cats versus Port Authority of NJ/NJ demonstration in Manhatten.
Photo credit: Lori Grunin
As expected, the SR5's video looked pretty sharp when zoomed out, though when zoomed in lacked some definition. Plus, the auto white balance under tungsten lights rendered a bit too pink.