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Old March 31st, 2006, 08:24 PM   #1
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Replacement for HC1?

On other forums, there's been talk about a replacement for Sony's canceled HDR-HC1 camcorder. Some have mentioned an "HC5" and an "A5U" but I don't think they have any inside information. Will the A1U pro model and the consumer HC3 be sufficient for Sony's customers or will a new semipro model like the HC1 appear soon? If it had the newest type of CMOS, an HDMI output and all the manual features of the HC1, it would likely be a big seller.
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Old April 1st, 2006, 04:57 PM   #2
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I was almost ready to snap up an HC1, then stepped back and gave it some thought. A newer replacement at NAB would drive the cost down, or give me another choice. I can wait a few months. (HDMI connection was also a factor).

My take, the HC1 was cutting into the FX1 market, so kill it and thus the HC3, more consumerish. The HC1 "is" the market due to small size, and kill the FX1 in favor of an HC5? Dunno.
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Old April 1st, 2006, 05:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Peter Ferling
I was almost ready to snap up an HC1, then stepped back and gave it some thought. A newer replacement at NAB would drive the cost down, or give me another choice. I can wait a few months. (HDMI connection was also a factor).

My take, the HC1 was cutting into the FX1 market, so kill it and thus the HC3, more consumerish. The HC1 "is" the market due to small size, and kill the FX1 in favor of an HC5? Dunno.
Sony has a history of giving the ax to models and even whole series of camcorders, that are too good for their price and cause a shift in sales down from high-end equipment. During the first year of ED-Beta in 1989, twice as many camcorders and VCRs were sold, as Sony had projected for the entire life of the format. Yet, they killed it the next year, as a lot of lower-budget pros and even some small TV stations were buying them, instead of Beta SP, which was 5 times more expensive. This gave rise to the lower-cost PVW and UVW series of Beta SP equipment, to partially accomodate the types of users that had gone for ED-Beta.

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; April 1st, 2006 at 10:31 PM.
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Old April 1st, 2006, 08:46 PM   #4
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So, this would be an admission on Sony's behalf that the HC1 is too good a deal and threaten the FX1 (and more likely the A1U), in which case, killing the HC1, they could milk another $1000-$2000, even if the filmed result is no different?

Man, that sucks.
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Old April 1st, 2006, 08:47 PM   #5
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...in which case, then there's no need for an HC1 replacement (the HC5)?
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Old April 1st, 2006, 10:40 PM   #6
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I suppose it's inevitable that there'll be conflicts between what a manufacturer wants and what its customers want. The old policy of "The customer is always right" has been modified to "Sometimes the customer is right". I wonder how long you have to be involved in video, to learn how to play this game to your advantage?
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 06:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald
Sony has a history of giving the ax to models and even whole series of camcorders, that are too good for their price and cause a shift in sales down from high-end equipment. During the first year of ED-Beta in 1989, twice as many camcorders and VCRs were sold, as Sony had projected for the entire life of the format. Yet, they killed it the next year, as a lot of lower-budget pros and even some small TV stations were buying them, instead of Beta SP, which was 5 times more expensive. This gave rise to the lower-cost PVW and UVW series of Beta SP equipment, to partially accomodate the types of users that had gone for ED-Beta.
Yep, no conspiracy there! There is so much evidence of non customer serving behaviour throughout the history of industry in general, why should we be surprised.

We know that the HC1 was good for what we expect from the market, but realistically, it could have been a lot better for the price. Researching parts for the Digital Cinema experiments, we got an idea of the true performance now achievable, which, in part, is why the HC1 did so well, but it could have been better, and the new generation of sensor technology is much better again. I look forward to the new cameras, they could be much better.

Sensor technology is probably maxing out, requiring significant breakthroughs as it reaches the current physical limits of technology, all that is left is to combine the best technologies through cross licensing, for now. So, if they combine them in the next batch, or the one after, it might represent a plateau of sensor technology for the foreseeable future. So, look carefully at camera choices this and next year, for purchasing decisions.

I'll list some of the companies and technologies:

Foveon: X3.

Cypress Semiconductor (Fill-factory/Smalsensor): fill-factor, high speed, multi-slope, Autobrite, global shutter, low noise

Micron: Various low power/cheap stuff, not much too significant, high speed.

Altasens (and others): high light conversion rate, low noise.

I think Dalsa is releasing some interesting stuff, forget the details, but a good combination of technologies.

There was one new sensor alternative, that was put in the news section, probably along with the Dalsa announcement.
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 11:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
I'll list some of the companies and technologies:

Foveon: X3.
Foveon technology is as yet unsuitable for HD video.
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 12:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lawrence Bansbach
Foveon technology is as yet unsuitable for HD video.
Well, with regard to Fovean I agree...
But, Fuji - no...
Patent filed by Fuji for a new multilayer sensor for digital image capture - both still and motion.
http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...RS=20050205958
It will likely appear in the Fuji S3 Pro's successor and/or a new Nikon flaship - possibly full frame model. Then a few years later a variation could appear in an HD cinema camera.
This type of sensor technology has been discussed at great length on the DPreview forums. Coupled with their exclusive SR Super CCD technology, this new sensor is expected to offer the "next step" in significantly advancing the quality of digital image capture.
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 07:55 PM   #10
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I remember when I laid my hands on the Canon EOS 1Ds digital still. It has a true 35mm image sensor -to exact a 35mm negative. The shots I get from that will easily fill a double page spread. Coupled with a cheap laptop for instant preview, my studio shot time was cut in half. Then I thought, what if a DVcam had the same 35mm sensor? After all, it's just 30 digital stills a second, and the canon could squeeze off 8 into the buffer. However, that Canon set us back $7000. Of course the other half of the puzzle is how do you work with the data? Interesting times.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 11:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lawrence Bansbach
Foveon technology is as yet unsuitable for HD video.
Foveon has not made a chip for it yet, the technology is still usable if anybody wants to. You can get pretty close to SD video resolution out of at least one of the chips. I think Sigma 9 (was that the name) could record this uncompressed.

I forgot, there are other manufactures with different technologies that I am not upto date with, but just the ones I mention will give most of the performance needed.


Fill-factory made a 35mm SLR sensor for Kodak, and one for one for one of the major cinema camera manufacturers.


Fuji Sensor:
That Fuji device sounds a but like the Foveon X3 technology, maybe even a bit like one of my ideas as well. If it is, and they are willing to pump it out on the market, that will be good. Foveon has not done much with X3 that I know of. Jacob, can you point me to news releases and threads on this, it is the sort of thing I would be interested in, I dread having to make a 3chip prism?
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