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AVCHD Format Discussion
Inexpensive High Definition H.264 encoding to DVD, Hard Disc or SD Card.


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Old August 22nd, 2007, 11:06 AM   #16
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For backpacking, the tapes would be better than a portable hard drive. If you were staying in hotels though, a small hard drive would be fine. 40 gig seems awfully small though.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 02:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle View Post
Unfortunately, Sony have dropped LANC from their AVCHD camcorders as well. This is the *greatest* shortcoming I've seen in the Sony CX7 thus far. I've asked Sony Electronics (which is different than the broadcast group) to respond to my inquiries about why, and if they'll offer it in the future.
Unfortunately, the PR group at Sony Electronics doesn't seem to be nearly as responsive nor capable as the PR group at Sony Broadcast.
Hi Spot -
Just FYI, there MAY still be a LANC capability on the CX7 - Sony is showing that the CX7 works with the HCC underwater housing, I presume this means that the "D" shaped A/V connector has a LANC in, as did the HC3 and HC7 so you can control the cam while in the housing. I picked one up (CX) to check it out, will know more in a couple days... I'm thinking that with a little reverse engineering, it might be possible to build an adapter from a standard miniplug LANC control to the "D" jack... may even get around to experimenting a bit!

I've fiddled with that A/V jack, and found an almost usable audio signal on the HC3 for headphone monitoring (needed a preamp IMO), never tried the mic inputs, but presume it would work, and that LANC thing has been an interesting additional function, sounds like with the CX7, it may deserve some attention... I've got the block diagrams and schematics from the service manuals for the HC3 and 7... just have to get brave and see what can be cobbled up!

I'm not even sure Sony's "first line" guys know much at all about the actual products/compatibility/capabilities, I've gotten outright incorrect information when calling in... I'd rather poke the thing when in hand and see what it can do! And maybe look over the service manual <wink>.

I'll post if I get to fiddle with this idea further - but I'm throwing it out in case anyone else wants to experiment at their own "risk"!
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Old October 1st, 2007, 07:18 PM   #18
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OK, got a CX7 in hand, and it functions with the LANC control signal built into the SPK-HCB, which conrols at the least on/off, W/T, mode, rec, and photo... doesn't fit any HCB plates quite right, but I'll just mod a spare... should work fine, think this is a good candidate to add a WA lens to the equation...

SO, there IS a LANC input per se, it's just hidden in the "D" shaped A/V connector. Think it's time to order a cheap import A/V cable to cannibalize! Shouldn't be a lot of trouble to mod a cable to have a minijack on it! Think maybe I'll try to put a mic in on it too! The SPK have a built in mic that goes in through that same input...
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 04:53 AM   #19
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That should make sense, since the early specs specified remote through multi av jack. Can someone investigate the unidirectional aspect? The most important LANC function for me is the rec status command, since I use LANC on a helmet setup. (In short, I need to see wheter the cam is recording or not)
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 01:15 PM   #20
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I'm really intrigued by the possibilities, so I'll probably get the old sharp stick out and poke at this in time...

One thing I noticed is the cam doesn't have to be on for the HCB to power it up - I think my other cams had to be on? Also noticed that it's smart enough to disable the flash (sort of a good idea for an underwater housing). You can definitely start and stop recording, and I would think the remote circuit could supply an indicator LED (saw something like this from a skydive supplier on ebay).

Just a matter of cobbling up an adapter... hmmm, let's see, I want a LANC jack, mic inputs, maybe a headphone out with preamp... think the LANC is the most critical, and hoping it will control focus... but as long as one is dreaming!

Still have to do some more picture quality tests with this little guy, but so far it's an amazing piece of tech. I definitely see the low light capability is improved over the HC7, contrary to some reviews, and PQ looks pretty darn good so far, but golly gosh a LANC jack woud have been nice!

One peculiar observation, I notice because this cam is SO light it seems to be FAR easier to keep steady in the hand - there's no mass there to counteract! I can practically run with the thing handheld and keep a shot steady! Interesting... gives new meaning to "run and gun"!
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 10:32 AM   #21
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How about Panasonic's AG-HSC1U Pro AVCHD 3CCD High Definition SD/SDHC Camcorder?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...3CCD_High.html
Looks pretty impressive.
Thoughts?

I wish Adobe Premiere Pro edited AVC.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 11:04 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
SO, there IS a LANC input per se, it's just hidden in the "D" shaped A/V connector.
Do you have any more info about this? I am interested in the CX7 but need to use a lanc record button (Like the CamEye http://www.skytools.m.se/cameyesport.htm) I'm willing to mod a D connector cable.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 01:50 AM   #23
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I'm hoping to find out later this week... busy times with the holidays, but this is becoming a priority question - after shooting some with the CX7, I'm seriously thinking going tapeless - and a LANC control would certainly be a helpful thing to have.

I'm certain the capability is there, as the HC3 and 5/7 both use the same A/V jack with the HCB/HCC sport packs, and it is called out as a LANC in the service manuals for those cams.

Silly question... is there enough of a market for an adapter to make it worthwhile for me to design with the idea of making a few of these, or would most rather have a diagram for DIY?
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Old December 4th, 2007, 10:49 AM   #24
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If the mod is reasonably priced, then I think so. Otherwise I think I have a correct diagram, see link: http://www.321govideo.com/av_out_pinout.jpg

Now, the only thing the D connector doesn't have is "Jack In". Do you know what this does?

Another option is to take the camera apart and see if the board has the LANC plug soldier locations. If so, then just add some wires and route it out of the camera somehow.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 04:56 AM   #25
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Hi John -
Sorry I haven't had time to post on this sooner, but I just got the chance to work on this LANC question a bit more...

The LANC input is definitely THERE on the camera - tested with Sony and Giottos (including focus functions) LANC controllers... that's the good news.

THE BAD NEWS is that there is another connection on that A/V plug that has to connect somehow to tell the camera there is a LANC signal coming in on the two leads... the Sports Pack electronic modules have that magic circuitry... I used an older HCA module which has both the A/V and a standard LANC plug - I could parallel a controller on that and everything worked perfectly...

SO, now it's a matter of reverse engineering the circuitry on that stupid board... got to figure out what that other lead connects to and how, and if there is additional circuitry required to activate the LANC (and mic inputs). I'm hoping it's a simple circuit... probably not, and it's of course SMC, so time for the magnifier headband!!

ANYONE got a service manual for any of the Sony Sports Packs???? A block diagram or schematics would save a LOT of time...
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Old December 21st, 2007, 06:16 PM   #26
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I've got a CX7 working 100% with a Sony and a Giottos LANC right now on my bench - my "adapter" currently is a pile of test leads and hemostats, but I will be able to put these together or offer instructions.

SO, the CX7 has a LANC input, AND it can be accessed!!! I'll start another thread since this is sort of off topic...
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