Sony HDR-HC9E HDV Camcorder - Sony HDR-HC9E

By James Morris

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

The is more pronounced as the illumination decreases. Sony has actually increased the HDR-HC9E's lux rating (a measure of lowlight sensitivity) to 5, where the HDR-HC5E and HDR-HC7E were rated at a more sensitive 2. In the equivalent of a living room lit by a 100W ceiling light (quite a common shooting situation for home video makers), the Sony still maintains a good colour balance, with plenty of saturation and just a hint of the duller conditions. However, if you compare this to what the Canon HV20 can achieve with gain on maximum and 25p shooting mode enabled, the HDR-HC9E's image is not as clean and detailed. A bluish grain is visible, which reduces clarity. With the light reduced still further (to the equivalent of a nearby candle), most of the colour information is lost, although dropping the shutter speed to 1/25th improves this considerably. However, the bluish grain also increases, further reducing detail.

Although AVCHD is fast becoming the standard for high definition camcorders, pushing the older tape-based HDV models out the way, the earlier format still has its strengths when it comes to editing. Now that virtually all editing software supports it, including the Windows Vista version of Windows Movie Maker, you will have no issues with the HDR-HC9E's footage. Aside from the requisite 4-pin FireWire jack, it also sports proprietary connections for component and composite video, plus RCA audio, although the breakout cable for S/video is an optional extra. A full-sized HDMI port is available, and the venerable LANC microjack is still included.

Verdict

Sony has consistently been dumbing down its high-end consumer HD camcorders. Where the HDR-HC1E was an enthusiast's dream come true, its successors have increasingly focused on ease of use over semi-professional features. Although the HDR-HDC9E offers great image quality in all but the worst illumination, Canon's HV20 beats it in this respect, and the very similar HV30 is likely to as well. The Canons also have more features for the budding professional, as well. So the HDR-HC9E is a great high-end choice for point-and-shoot HD video, but not one for more serious usage.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Value 8
  • Image Quality 8
  • Features 8

Alex Wonner

August 23, 2009, 3:16 am

I have a HDR HC7. Very similar to the HC9. Excellent product. Have used it extensively in harsh conditions. As well as underwater (in an underwater casing). To get the best reproduction you need a top HD TV. The best result will be on a HD TV via the HDMI cable. I have tried a Samsung HD Ready, LG and Loewe also HD Ready and a Sony Bravia also HD Ready. Best result were on the LOEWE HD ready TV.


Worse result was on the Sony BRAVIA. Very bad quality!!!! Samsung wasn't too too bad but the pictures were not always refreshed correctly.


The "photo" shoot are not bad but please if you want to take proper photos, use a dedicated Digital SLR. Again if you use a CANON (even the D50 MII), don't expect great VIDEOS!!! Either you shoot a movie with a dedicated camcorder or you shoot pictures with a dedicated equipment. The combination of both helps a bit but it is and will be always a COMPROMISE. So don't expect great pictures out of a camcorder. My old NIKON COOLPIX 3.2 megapixels ( about 7 years old) takes far far far better pictures that my SONY HD (one year and half old) camcorder who has more megapixels!!! The Sony BRAVIA is NOT a good TV. Their camcorder is fantastic. Be careful and shop around with your own camcorder and your own movies. Don't rely on the movies from the shopowner!!!

comments powered by Disqus