Since the FX1000E is a professional model and in a different price bracket to most of the camcorders we test here at TrustedReviews, image quality is also naturally in a different league. To put things in perspective, the FX1000E has three CMOS sensors of a similar size to the single ones used in models such as Canon’s HF11 or Sony’s HDR-XR520. So it has around three times the light collection area.
In optimal conditions, the FX1000E produces a crisp, colourful image, and Sony doesn’t apply the extra saturation which is the hallmark of its consumer camcorders. The image is a little darker than some camcorders in its class, notably the similarly-priced Canon XH-A1, and very slightly more noisy, but overall performance is very faithful and packed with detail. The darker image carries forward into low light, although the FX1000E produces more colour saturation than the Canon XH-A1. There is a little less detail, but also less noise, so you can turn up the gain with fewer ill effects. This is likely the result of the Exmor technology – the use of A/D converters at each column of photodiodes on the CMOS sensor as well as pre and post conversion noise reduction – and it means that the Sony can shoot cleaner video in poor illumination than the Canon.
We also like the way Sony has integrated the camcorder’s connectivity. The rear ports are very cleverly designed, with covers that swing out of the way entirely, but lie flush with a nearby surface so there is no risk of damage. Compared to the annoying rubber flaps on even some professional camcorders, this is very ergonomic. Furthermore, the separate flaps for headphones, power, and video I/O show excellent attention to how professionals actually use these connections.
The Sony HDR-FX1000E’s name is rather reminiscent of the seminal DCR-VX1000E, the camcorder which arguably kick-started the digital video revolution. This model is far less of a radical change, but it’s still a great professional camcorder, and improves yet further on the video quality of previous HDR-FX models. If you’re familiar with Sony camcorders, this is likely to be a very appealing package indeed. However, with Canon’s similarly priced XH-A1 and XH-G1 both offering similar video performance, but with XLR audio as well, the Sony loses out slightly on value.
Score in detail
Image Quality 10