HDR-HC7 Discontinued - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old January 26th, 2008, 01:26 AM   #16
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Steve -
The price for the HC7 is probably a closeout price, as it was originally priced around $13-1400, so the "introductory" price is a couple hundred cheaper on the HC9.

The HC9 manual link seems to have been removed from the site, but I grabbed it when it first went up, and aside from the few minor additions, it's the same cam in black with a lens hood, unless they unleash some last minute changes. It would have been nice to see more upgrades, but the HC7 is a great little cam, so the HC9 should follow in it's tracks.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 12:44 AM   #17
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Thanks Dave - so you're saying that your HC9 manual claims all the same manual functions as the HC7, and not just focus like B&H claims? I hope that's the case, and as I said I've caught B&H in more than one error in their "specs" pages.

I'm considering one of these cams for some industrial crane work, mostly because theyre 1/3 the price of any Canon that has LANC - I'm still not sure who (if anyone) Canon asked about eliminating LANC from their lower priced offerings, but so far Sony is the only choice I've found with LANC for under 3 grand. Now if they'd add a 20x zoom for the same price :=) - You find out what "big" really means when you shoot industrial stuff without a WA adapter - I almost never take the 0.5 off my cams, and they're 16x... Steve
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Old January 27th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #18
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Yes, it's identical menus from my brief perusal, and I'd swear it's the same cam painted black <wink>. The "upgrades" are a center marker, peaking, and a single spot focus/exposure. It does NOT appear to have the facial recognition or the other software type upgrades that the new SR cams do. I'd expect near identical performance, but without one in hand, no way to tell for certain.

Just FYI - LANC is a Sony protocal, so they charge to use it, Canon may not have felt there was enough demand to justify licensing on the low end. AND, you should know that the Sony AVCHD cams have LANC functionality which can be accessed from the A/V jack. Have it about 90% documented, but my LANC controllers all work 100% with my CX7, and the new SR's appear to have the same capability. SO, if a flash or hard drive cam is an option, keep that in mind - a LANC can be adapted.

I'm confused by WA and 20x zoom... These cams have an adequate 20x digital zoom (basically an electronic doubler, which with HD is not as bad as it might sound - "full" zoom starts to degrade, but most of the range is usable).

Yes, a WA is a necessity to get a good enough field of view, in MOST situations I mount one of the HG series .7 Sony lenses, and have a .3 fisheye in the bag.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #19
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Just to note, I've renamed this forum from HDR-HC1/3/5/7 to HDR-HC Series.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 03:21 PM   #20
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HDR-HC9 Hybrid HDV/Memory Stick Camcorder

According to the B&H info., the HC9 is a hybrid, and will record to tape or Memory stick. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that the HC7 does this. The HC9 also shows Exmor technology, where the HC7 doesn't. And the HC9 shows a 5 lux rating, where the HC7 shows 2 Lux.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 04:25 PM   #21
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As with the HC7, the Memory Stick Duo is only for stills on the HC9 (p. 24 of the manual).

And while it was rumored that the HC9 would incorporate the Exmor technology, it doesn't appear that this is so. At least the phrase does not appear in the official specs in the manual.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #22
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Dave, thanks for checking those items - what I meant by the 20x zoom is that it should go wider without an adapter than a 10x lens. Some of the stuff I shoot is 30 feet tall/8 feet wide in fairly tight quarters, so I almost need a fisheye for some shots. For some of these shots, if I need a close-up detail I'll zoom in while tilting/panning to put the object of the closeup center screen, then chop out most of the zoom footage using a dissolve so the effect is to lead the eye enough to recognize what/where the close shot is about. Seems to work visually so far.

Most of my shoots are several hours at a time, so HDD or expensive cards aren't looking too good - still using SD and tapes, forseeably for quite a while. Top loading is a MUST because I'm using Manfrotto's with quick plates - makes it easy to put up my Nikon for high res stills of same scenes.

There are several conflicts for me - I need a wide range of zoom in a fully controllable cam that's cheap or free (possible damage due to environment) and full auto operation (so I don't get killed) with none of the downsides (piece of cake, right ? :=)

There've been quite a few times when a crane would have greatly improved impact, so giving that one quite a bit of thought.

Been using a pair of Elura 65's so far, lusting after a XH-A1 or two but can't justify the cost just yet - can't stand the AGC audio, so have a Microtrack for main audio track. Battery life is marginal with the microtrack, so looking at a USB sled of some kind, but hate carrying/connecting 12,000 peripherals. I'd prefer a manual audio cam and just a remote mic - have both mono and stereo Rode video mics, they don't work too bad.

Seems like for every solution, there are at least three problems...
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Old January 27th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #23
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Adam - durn, am I the ONLY one that didn't get the HC9 manual before they dumped it??!?

'nuther rant on B&H - (or sony) - the hc7 is referred to as "top loading", the hc9 as "side loading", but the pix says they're just different colors. Consistency/accuracy would be greatly appreciated... Steve
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Old January 27th, 2008, 06:39 PM   #24
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Steve -
One possible consideration when you mention environment - these small sonys have an accessory called the "sports pack" - depending on the specific environmental threat, the $200 spent might save a 1K camera? I'm setting up to do some stuff in a woodshop, with lots of dust/flying wood chips potential - the cams are going into sports packs...

The SPKs have microphones that connect to the cam when in the case, but you'd have to mod them somewhat as they use the LANC, but are designed to be handheld with the cam in a sealed box... and watertight controls on the outside. If you didn't need the watertight part, you could mod for an external LANC.

HC7&9 are "top load", I guess someone thought since the side pops open...

AND, I'm pretty sure EXMOR didn't make it into the 9... sadly. And it's definitely not a hybrid like the SR11/12, which record either to HDD (with lots of capacity, so no need to change tapes), or to the memory stick...

Main challenge with HDD (hard disk drive) or Flash recording is an adequate archive/backup workflow, but there are some advantages over tape. Don't rule it out entirely... I did for a while, but after testing it, I'm moving that way - won't miss the piles of tapes!
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Old January 28th, 2008, 09:49 AM   #25
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Dave, I agree about the piles of tapes - just recently did a 3-day seminar on vacuum and leak detecting, got a stack of 40 tapes (20 hrs each A and B roll) - there's a lot of chaff, but some useful info for training as well. Dubbed all the A roll onto DVD's to make it easier to catalog, then the fun (editing) starts.

Methinks I need to re-examine some of the reasons I was against HDD. Also checked out the sport packs on B&H, only found one model. Still, some sort of underwater housing might be a good idea for some of my projects, thanks again... Steve
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Old January 28th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #26
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main reason I'm not sure about HDD is the lifespan - figure it may mean a 3-5 year camera "life" as a dead HD is a dead camera... and my hard drives seem to do about 3-5 years, but they are spun up most of the time, and seem to get fidgety when "retired" to less vigorous duty... a cam is a whole different usage profile.

For your use the HDD might be great, as you could edit out the chaff in camera, or fairly quickly in edit without waiting for tape dump - the AVCHD seems to xfer around 1/3 real time here, and I've heard better in some cases - nice workflow boost if you'll be dealing with a lot of material.

I think the SPK-HCC is the "current" Sony offering, but the HCB is similar, and pops up on occaision - if you want an empty shell (no electronics) PM me - I think there's one or two in my scrap pile, no guarantees on watertightness, but would protect the cam and you could mod for external LANC.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #27
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Dave, thanks for your generous offer; before I put you out any further, I'll "cogitate" on this a bit more - most of the paranoia I'm feeling is more along the lines of physical damage due to being in the wrong place/wrong time, and so far no one's asked me to shoot in the SERIOUSLY dirty portions of the plant - this company has so much money (rare metals) that if that ever comes up, I'd not be surprised if they just bought me a camera to throw away after :=)

On the HDD subject, I wasn't referring to any of the INTERNAL HDD cam's, just not enough shoot time before dumping on any I've seen so far. I'll be studying up on stuff like Firestore instead, so I can carry a handfull of high cap laptop drives, dump 'em later to OTHER, even higher cap externals that I use for editing (can you tell I've not researched this much yet??!? :=)

Starting to think I've pulled this thread about as far OT as I should... Steve
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