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Old February 1st, 2006, 09:49 AM   #1
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HD-1, HC1 or some one chip camera?

I have spent the past two days combing these forums and I must say I am overwhelmed with input. Amazing resource!

I am looking for a small camera, light enough to carry all day that will deliver decent quality (SD or HD) for possible broadcast. While I'm at it, I'd like good low light performance for the documentary I will be working on. As I type this I am thinking I should have started the post with "Dear Santa" (laughing here).

I am a working still documentary photographer and would love to find a video camera that would handle like a Leica...quick, quiet, non-intrusive and doesn't look like anything worth stealing. I have seen both the HC1 and HD1/10 and they seem right but a bit on the large size. Are there one chip "prosumer" style cams out there that I might consider or am I kidding myself given this wish list?

More info to help point this conversation would include that I'm less interested in getting "perfect" sound, a simple add-on mic would be the extent I might go for an interview otherwise the onboard mic is fine for wild shooting.

Your short list of impulses would be great...and I am very grateful for this space and your time.

Michael
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Old February 1st, 2006, 06:33 PM   #2
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If the HC1 is "on the large side" for you, then you should resign yourself that you will be shooting in SD. Maybe the Panasonic GS400? (Not really broadcast quality though....)

The Sony A1 and HC1 are the closest to what you want in HD. They are substantially smaller than the two JVCs.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 08:15 PM   #3
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Hd10 not great in low light

I would use caution. The Jvc Hd10 are not very good in low light.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 08:34 PM   #4
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Michael

The upcoming Sony HC3 may be the perfect camera for you. It's Hi-Definition (HDV), is by far the smallest and lightest HDV camera (when it comes out) and doesn't look any different really (to the uninitiated) from any other Sony standard-def cam. In other words, it's not too hi-profile.

it uses a 1-chip CMOS sensor, can take 4Mp still shots, will take stunning HDV footage (or you can shoot Standard Def. if you want).

Also the low-light is rated at 5lux which is better than HC1's 7lux. In fact this should be definitely noticeable.

It doesn't have a mic jack (slight shame) BUT you can buy Sony external mic which will slot straight into the to AIS shoe.

As i say, it's not even officially announced yet, but it does exist, and it's due to be announced in a coupla months (at least that WAS the plan - Sony may announce it earlier). Sales date is probably Springtime - maybe around April.

From what you've written, you sound like an ideal purchaser of this new cam.
(just don't expect your local camera store / Sony store to know anything at all about it yet..)
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 11:06 AM   #5
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HC3 sounds amazing...and perfect...and maybe DVC30?

Thanks for all of this. I know going into this that there are compromises all over the map given my needs. And so it goes. I will look at the HC3 when its available...if it were on the shelves today I would buy it...simple. For now I started looking at the high end single chip SD cams, the Optura 600 and the Sony HC90, they have alot going for them by way of size, etc. But then the HC1 can be had for not a whole lot more. And it really isn't about money at this stage, its about having the right tool.

I am totally open at this point and will look at all the gear. In fact, a colleague suggested the DVC30 as another option. Not sure of its relative size vis a vis the HC1 but I do understand it is built tough...which is a consideration.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Again, thanks.

Michael
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 09:04 AM   #6
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Michael,
The DVC30 larger than the other mentioned cameras -- I have one, its a nice machine, but doesn't have the native 16:9 (but still a nice stretch) -- for portability and 16:9, I use an Optura 50 -- real value here and almost pocket size if you don't add a hood. the optura 50 can be had for $450 delivered -- the features of the 60 didn't make sense to me for the cost dif.

Someday I will go HD.

Mike D
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Old February 14th, 2006, 06:25 AM   #7
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I wouldn't suggest the HD1 for low light (it's downright dismal in low light - I don't have one, but I do have the HD10, which is basically the same guts). If the HC1 is to big for you, you might look at picking up a TRV70 on eBay. I got one in mint condition for about 400 bucks and love it. Very nice camcorder for how small it is, especially at that kind of cost. The biggest downside to the TRV70 IMO is the silly touch-screen (but after a little getting used to, it's managable).
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Old February 14th, 2006, 02:04 PM   #8
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I have another suggestion - I went on a trip to Wyoming. I wanted a cam to shoot the landscape, but I didn't want anything as heavy as my DVX, wide lens, extra batteries, tripod etc. I found the Sony PC-1000 (3 CMOS) that was 1/3 the size of the HC1, under $1K new, and gave good picture.

I needed a li'l cam for the occasional tight shot, so I picked one up. I was able to fit a wide lens, filter kit, extra batt. in a case about the size of a brick and use a light fluid head. The total weight was about 3 lbs (perfect for hiking). The 1000 has manual control - it ain't as accessible as most like, but itís there.

The image looked good while I was shooting, but the monitor is small. Home again, I plugged into my Sony HDTV. I was BLOWN AWAY by the footage. It was on par withthe best SD I have seen from any Sony SD Camera (and I have worked with all of them). The color and contrast were accurate to point you almost never see in DV (I work mainly with film too). Giving I was shooting mainly landscapes in sunlight, but there were late sunsets and early sunrises... all were perfect.

Itís a limited use camera, the audio options are bad, and is TINY, but if you know what you are doing and you just want an image - you definitely can get what I would call broadcast quality out of this little beast. I look forward to playing with the HC3 and more CMOS cameras in the future.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #9
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I recommend the Canon Optura series- they're great single chip cameras and the new models do true 16:9!
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Old February 15th, 2006, 11:03 AM   #10
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Some of these little cameras really can produce very good images under the right conditions (even one chippers). Nothing really beats a good solid pro camera, with a robust set of controls, though. I love my GY-DV300U, but I can't put it in my pocket.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #11
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HD10 Or HC1

The HD10 is not that great in low light.. However.. With the Redrock micro and a Nikon lens it is incredible.. Check out some of my links in this forum and see some of the low light tests I did with the HD10U.... Also the HD10 can be bought for around 1500.00 on Ebay and it takes XLR audio inputs. Which the HC1 does not. It has it's limitations but I feel the results are pretty good for the price.. Plus 720 30p is more film like then 1080i HDV. It is just my opinion. Feel free to contact me with any questions.. I have used the HC1 and the HD10u. O feel free to ask away...
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Old February 19th, 2006, 01:35 PM   #12
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I think I once read somewhere that American Idol uses HD10s.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 08:05 PM   #13
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What about the Sanyo HD1? That's supposedly a REALLY nice consumer-grade HD alternative.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 09:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hintlian
I am looking for a small camera, light enough to carry all day that will deliver decent quality (SD or HD) for possible broadcast. While I'm at it, I'd like good low light performance for the documentary I will be working on. As I type this I am thinking I should have started the post with "Dear Santa" (laughing here).
Ha, that's a good one all right! You don't need Santa Claus, you need a magician...

Seriously, if small size and low light performance are important, you may be better off limiting yourself to SD cameras. I just tested several of the latest HD cameras and didn't find any of them to be particularly good in low light: not necessarily bad, but not great. I'm not sure what to recommend, but I don't think the HD1 or HC1 are likely to fit all your needs.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 10:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Ha, that's a good one all right! You don't need Santa Claus, you need a magician...
Isn't creating a little magic what this business is really all about anyways?

;)
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