Despite its smallish sensor, as with Sony’s excellent HDR-CX105E, the TG7VE records a surprisingly good picture in low light, thanks to its Exmor technology. The autofocus can be rather sluggish, and the picture is a little noisy in poor illumination, but it’s also surprisingly bright and full of colour. So you should be able to shoot watchable – or at least visible – footage in most conditions.
Most of the TG7VE’s connections are to be found on a separate docking station. This includes a proprietary A/V out which provides either composite or component video output, alongside RCA audio. There is also mini-USB, and even HDMI, as well as a power socket. However, the camcorder itself does have a couple of connections on board. Aside from the essential power socket – so you don’t have to carry the docking station with you on holiday – there’s another A/V output.
Now that we have 1080p-shooting pocket Internet camcorders costing under £200, the HDR-TG7VE’s £500-plus price looks a little steep. However, it is in a totally different league in terms of both image quality and features. You can also pick up similarly good camcorders for much less, in particular Sony’s own HDR-CX105E or JVC’s Everio GZ-HD300. Nevertheless, neither are as small or stylish as the TG7VE. It may be a little on the pricey side, but this is one camcorder you could stow in your breast pocket, yet it’s capable of very impressive video quality for its size.
Score in detail
Image Quality 9