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Old March 27th, 2009, 08:45 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: London UK
Posts: 19
Sony HC96 filmmaking

I have been using a Sony HC96E (PAL) miniDV SD camcorder and have found the image quality pretty good – sometimes impressive - and the camcorder is reasonably versatile once you know how to get the best out of it. I have been busy researching an upgrade to an HD model. My head is full of HD model specifications and reviews and I reckon I have a good idea now of what to purchase (the Canon HF11 looks like a sound buy right now). Essentially, I want to be able to produce a good quality documentary, possibly for public viewing, using progressive (25p) and a bit of careful editing adding filter and cinegamma effects. I might record some audio separately using a digital recorder. However, I am telling myself to hold on a moment. Can I afford an upgrade, and after all, just how much inferior is the HC96 SD footage in comparison to HD? I am happy to go the HD route and would enjoy it, but don’t want to just dismiss the potential of my SD camcorder.

The HC96 impressed Camcorders - Independent Camcorder Reviews, Ratings & Comparisons reviewers with the resolution produced by the comparatively large CCD (1/3’’) with 3.31 gross MP (2.05 effective MP). There is no doubt HD resolution is a whole dimension better and, blown up on a large screen, will be superior to SD. Nevertheless, my HC96E, being PAL, has a 25p function and having tried it it’s not at all bad. I don’t have a particularly large TV or high spec PC monitor and I was wondering if HC96 footage will stand up to scrutiny on a really large screen. You may happen to know of consumer quality SD MiniDV camcorder footage recently included in a TV broadcast or even distributed movie. That would be interesting to hear about and whether it worked. I know the ‘Mr Bean’s Holiday’ movie featured an HC96 as part of the story but not sure if anything produced from the model was shown as part of it – it probably was. I would like to use my HC96 if I can but and at the end of the day the content is the most important element, but it also comes down to having confidence that the video material, after appropriate editing, is of sufficient resolution and quality to make it onto the screen without looking completely inadequate – that and of course good quality audio too. If you are experienced in this field, perhaps as a professional, I would be very grateful for your comments. Thanks.
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