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Sony Handycam HDR-FX1000E review




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Sony Handycam HDR-FX1000E
  • Sony Handycam HDR-FX1000E
  • Sony Handycam HDR-FX1000E
  • Sony Handycam HDR-FX1000E
  • Sony Handycam HDR-FX1000E
  • Sony Handycam HDR-FX1000E
  • Sony Handycam HDR-FX1000E
  • Sony Handycam HDR-FX1000E
  • HDR-FX1000 HDV Camcorder


Our Score:


Sony led the market for high definition camcorders, with the first semi-pro HDV model to hit the UK at the end of 2004, the HDR-FX1E. Less than a year later, the technology had been brought down to the consumer level with the HDR-HC1E. But as high definition has become cheaper for the everyday videomaker with models like the HDR-CX105E, Sony's semi-professional models have remained similarly priced. Although the latest model in the line, the HDR-FX1000E, doesn't buck this trend, it does provide professional performance at a much more tempting cost than Sony's fully professional models.

Sony is somewhat different to other camcorder manufacturers. Although it has distinct HDR consumer and HVR professional high definition camcorder ranges, most HVR models have HDR equivalents, with the same core chassis but fewer professional options. The seminal HDR-FX1E was sibling to the HVR-Z1E, the HDR-HC1E had the HVR-A1E, and the HDR-FX7E was a consumerised version of the HVR-V1E. The HDR-FX1000E is next in line, with its pro equivalent being the HVR-Z5E, which costs around a grand more.

What you lose in the transition from HVR to HDR is primarily the XLR audio inputs and some important professional features. The XLR ports provide balanced audio connectivity, so cables don't pick up electrical interference. The FX1000E just has a single stereo minijack input, making connecting multiple audio sources more difficult. However, unlike previous FX models there is still a progressive shooting mode available, so you have 50i and 25p HDV options as well as DV. The HDV modes are still recorded in 1080i format so will both be entirely compatible with editing software.

The most important feature you don't lose between HVR and HDR is the core video hardware. Like the FX7E, the FX1000E uses ClearVid CMOS sensors. But instead of using smaller 1/4in units, which gave the FX7E no better performance than the FX1E, the FX1000E sports 1/3in units with Exmor derived technology. They still only have 1.1-megapixels each, though, which is lower than the 1.55-megapixels required by the HDV recording format. The Sony G lens is fixed, but offers a healthy 20x optical zoom. The downside of the meatier sensors is that the FX1000E is back up to 2.1kg, where the FX7E weighed in at a svelte 1.4kg.


June 6, 2009, 11:25 am

Wait a second...if the Canon XH-A1 is a better value with XLR, why not do a review on that? The Canon XH-A1 was also referenced in the Canon HV20 review link: http://www.trustedreviews.c...

James Morris

June 7, 2009, 9:57 pm

The XH-A1 came out a couple of years ago! The HDR-FX1000E has only just been released.


June 8, 2009, 8:36 pm

Another fine review James, you clearly know your stuff.

This one is not really a good fit for me or for my wallet. But I wonder if you can help?....What I really need is a camera capable of filming HD quality footage, sometimes in very low light levels and with little or no actual operating by the user. Ideally it needs to be small too, you know the sort of thing that could go unnoticed in a wardrobe.

James Morris

June 8, 2009, 9:06 pm

@TheMonkeyHead Thanks for the kind words! However, you're worrying me a little. Are you after some kind of spycam? I'm not sure any mainstream camcorder offers truly operator-free function. What are you trying to record, and what's your budget?


June 9, 2009, 7:55 pm

@JamesMorris An internet 'friend' also suggested that a spycam may suit my needs. While that would certainly tick one box, I really seek a dual purpose machine (i.e. I want something that I can also film family excursions with). No need to be apprehensive about my other intended use, I merely hanker after some concealed camera wildlife action. Budget wise I am probably thinking somewhere between a monkey and a gorilla. what do you think?

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