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Old February 6th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #1
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Sony HVR-A1U or Sony HDR-FX1?

I don't know which cam to get. What are the major advantages to getting the more expensive HDR over the HVR?
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Old February 6th, 2006, 04:54 PM   #2
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I would like to know this too.

Especially with the $500 rebate on the A1.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 05:39 PM   #3
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FX1 over A1U

1. Three chip v. 1

2. Heavier camera, less shake.

3. larger camera, "looks" more professional

4. Neutral density filtering. (I assuming A1 doesn't, as HC1 doesn't. Someone correct me if I am wrong.)

5. Bottom tape loading.


A1U does have of FX1:

1. XLR audio imputs
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Old February 6th, 2006, 05:57 PM   #4
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Thanks a great deal. Where are you seeing a $500 rebate! I would like to take advantage of that.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 07:15 PM   #5
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BH Photo

Go to BH Photo.com, request a lower price quote, they will refer it to you. Also should be able to find it at Sony site now. Earlier, there was indication it wasn't showing up at Sony for confirmation, but I checke rebate availabilty, and it showed up a Sony site.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 07:20 PM   #6
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Rebate Site

Found this in another thread. Go to site, then check current promotions.

http://www.rebate-zone.com/sonyb2b
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Old February 6th, 2006, 07:30 PM   #7
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Nice thanks a bunch. I am probably going to Grab a full level 3 or 4 kit now with the DCR-VX2100. I thought I could get a the HDR cheaper than I am willing to spend after adding accessories. After making a list of pros and cons I realize that I will only be able to view the footage on my PC or from the camera directly. There is no cheap HD-DVD-R for my PC nor an HD-DVD player to be had right now. It would be beautiful footage but pointless otherwise. Using the HD models for DV only would be a waste too. I am needing max compatibility right now. Those cameras will be half the price in a year or two. So looks like I'll wait unless I win the lotto.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 10:09 PM   #8
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Whoa, Nelly...

That 2100 is a nice camera, but... You should update that list of your pros and cons.

I hear what you're saying, as I was worried about that too, but the money might be well-invested in the HDV format, as you can shoot in HDV and output in standard def, either over the analog cables (the camera will convert your signal to SD if you use the RCA/S-Video cable output, and output the HD signal over the componant cables).

At the same time, when it comes time to digitally transfer the signal out over firewire, you have the option to output it as an SD DV stream, even if it was shot HDV - my A1U will squeeze the 16:9 HDV image to fit in a 4:3, float it as a letterboxed image, or blow up the vertical height to center it in the 4:3 space, while losing image on the 16:9's outer edges, all three options in real-time transfer, just as though it was shot in DV. The only incompatibility comes if you need to give someone HDV tapes if they don't have an HDV camera or deck.

The advantage is that you can have HDV material recorded but edit and produce stuff in SD. I have been transferring stuff in at HD, putting it in my SD Final Cut Pro project, then pushing in a little, or panning and scanning the image to crop what I want from it.

Also, you should look into this thread about a rebate on the A1U if you get it before March 31st.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=57935

I realize many out there will argue that you might get a better image in certain situations from the 3 CCD 2100, but at least look into the A1U, it's a fun camera, and with the rebate, it's a good value.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 10:48 AM   #9
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I haven't used a VX2100, but I would think the A1U or FX1 would be far superior for SD widescreen. I have a JVC DV300U and wouldn't consider shooting widescreen with it, and I think the CCDs are roughly equivelent to a VX2100 (with the DV300 possibly being a little sharper, but not quite as good in low light as the VX2100 - but still, basically the same 4:3 shape, size and pixel count)

What I am really curious about is the resolution differance between the A1U and FX1/Z1. The specs on the A1U imager would indicate that it might yield a sharper image (slightly higher actual aquired resolution). Some posts I've read would hint that it does. Does the A1U indeed produce a slightly sharper image than the FX1/Z1? If so, is it noticable when mixing footage from the two cameras?
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Old February 14th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #10
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I took both the A1 and FX1 to Hawaii at Christmas on Vacation and shot over 10 hours on Sony HDV tapes (0 dropouts) and have just finished editing down to 35min.
I have looked at the footage for hours and in my opinion i'm coming down to thinking that the FX1 gives the smoothest image for medium to close ups but to my supprise the A1 is much sharper and detailed on the long shots with perhaps slightly more grain overall, Colourwise if anything the colours are brighter if not a tad unnatural on the A1, amazing for a 1 chip cam.

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Old February 14th, 2006, 06:37 PM   #11
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Wonderful. Now I am not hesitant about trying the A1. Weird how the colors would be brighter on the one chip.


I just purchased a very nice package from a fellow visitor for $2125. VX2100, 2 hour bat., 6 hour bat., huge video light w/extra bulbs, windsock, .07 Wide angle lens, and all the stuff that comes retail as well.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #12
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I had them both and I kept the FX1, no comparison there, no brainer.

My HC1/A1 (In case anyone asks the question they are "image wise" the same) was very grainy mostly in low light, although I was amazed by the quality it wasn't until I got the FX1 and compared the images side by side and decided to keep only the FX1 (3CCD)

But that's just my opinion! (Personal Opinion)
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Old February 14th, 2006, 10:12 PM   #13
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There's a problem with the A1 in Manual controls. The camera, as it seems, has no separated gain control. So when you film at night it will automatically add gain.

The fx1 has every manual control you need.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 11:02 AM   #14
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I was surprised to read your post, that the A1U gives you no control over gain, so I took a quick at the manual again, and gosh-darn, I don't see any reference to gain settings. That's a big strike against it. Even my HD10U has the ability to control gain manually (not much else though!).
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Old February 15th, 2006, 01:12 PM   #15
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On the A1/Hc1 the exposure lever controls both gain and aperture (shutter as well if you don't lock the speed first). However, you can read the settings on playback from the data code and use this to map the exposure positions to gain/aperture values - there's a chart here:

http://hdvforever.com/hdv/exposure/

so six notches from the right on the exposure bar is 0db and from that point it's only aperture (and apparently some ND's to keep the lens in the f4 range as much as possible). While it's not as nice as a separate gain control it's still workable as far as keeping the camera out of gain is concerned.
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