Sony HDR-PJ710 Camcorder Review$1,299.00
As usual, the Sony HDR-PJ710V produced pleasing colors in our tests, and those colors were quite a bit more accurate than the competition. The camcorder managed a color error of 3.14—a result that's a bit better than last year's HDR-CX700V from Sony—but it also produced a top-notch saturation level of 92%.
Note: We used new lights for our color test with the HDR-PJ710, and in doing so we obtained a better score using auto white balance than manual white balance on the camcorder. Originally, we based our color score on the manual white balance results, but we decided to change the numbers to reflect the auto white balance results instead. This process matches what we've done in the past, in scoring camcorders using the white balance mode that results in the best color accuracy.
There aren't a lot of special color modes on the PJ710V, but the camcorder does have color temperature control that can push your videos cooler (more blue) or warmer (or red). Of course, using different white balance options also will have a huge impact in the way the PJ710 produces colors. In fact, we found the camcorder actually had better color accuracy when we shot with its auto white balance mode than when we manually set the white balance. Yes, we know, it doesn't make sense, but that's the results we obtained. The Sony managed a color error of around 4.5 using manual white balance, which is more than a full point worse than our auto white balance test.
Above we have sample images shot with the PJ710 using three different lighting setups. The first is regular bright light auto, and below this you can compare the bright light image with two low light images. The first is was shot with even, but very dim (20 lux), light. The second image was shot with a single incandescent bulb in order to create a shadow effect. All three of these images were shot using the 60p frame rate and auto white balance with automatic settings (and low light modes or enhancements turned off).
Low Light Color
Much like we saw with our noise test, color accuracy results were unchanged for the Sony HDR-PJ710V from bright light to low light. We measured the color error at 4.51 for the camcorder in low light, which is just two hundredths of a point different from the bright light color results. The saturation level did drop a bit in low light, however, but the camcorder maintained a decent 78% saturation. This saturation result is better than last year's CX700V from Sony, and it's stronger than what we saw from most of the competition in this price range. More on how we test low light color.
Sony improved the noise performance on the HDR-PJ710, that's for sure. Compared to last year's HDR-CX700V, the PJ710 had both lower noise levels in bright light and low light. In bright light, the results weren't that different, with the PJ710 averaging 0.54% noise (just 0.06% less than the CX700V). In low light, the results were more improved with the new model, and you can read about that in our low light performance section. More on how we test noise.