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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 March 28th, 2008, 03:23 PM   #1
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HC1 vs Hv20?

How does the HC1 stack up against the HV20? I ran a recent podcast side by side - the editor said the HC1 sucked in comparison, but I haven't seen the footage yet...
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Old March 28th, 2008, 04:43 PM   #2
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loaded question, and clearly biased answer...

HV20 is good picture quality, in most instances probably a bit better than the HC1.

In just about every other respect, the HC1 is superior - focus/zoom ring, better overall manual control, built like a tank not a toy, usable built in audio, those come immediately to mind... and ALL are significant features.

IF you can find an HC1 at a decent price (they are typically bringing big $$ on eBay, almost twice what a used HV20 does... guess they don't "suck" that badly!) it's a great camera, and a significant milestone in bringing HD to the mass market. It's "1st generation", but consider that the A1U (HC1's sister cam) is still being sold by the pro division... can't be TOO bad <wink>!
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Old March 28th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #3
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HC1 is a great cam (I have had one for, I think, nearly 3 years now.) Just, as with all small Sony 1 chip cams it's (very) poor in low light. Superb build quality and pretty good manual functionality but I only use it when it's sunny (not as often as I would like in England!) In good light it's images are, almost - not quite, comparable with a Sony V1 (I often edit stuff from both cams as A & B.)

I don't have personal experience of HV20 so can't comment (but I know/have seen that many on here get good results with them.)

My guess is either is a great, "affordable" start in HD.

But you know what, don't think about a cam's limitations, just think about all the possibilities that it will allow you to do.... and you'll have fun/shoot great stuff!
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Old March 28th, 2008, 07:18 PM   #4
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I agree 100% with Dave. The HC1 overall is a much better camera even compared to the other SONY single chip HDV cameras. The reason is because of the control and build quality. The HC1 is actually built very well and has a lot of nice controls. If you are serious about shooting and using a camera you feel that you are in control of then the HC1 is about as good as you can get in the cheap camera market.

The HV20 is a nice camera and it has an amazing image but it really is a pain to shoot with and it isn't built very well. With the HC1 I feel like I could drop it by accident and it would keep on ticking. The Hv20 on the other hand feels as though it would shatter into a bunch of pieces. The lack of controls will also be very frustrating for those used to pro cameras. The HC1 due to it's size is hard enough to use but the HV20 is even worse. If you come from a pro background the Hv20 can be very hard to use.

If we could only rip out the guts on the HV20 and plop it into a HC1 shell we would have a pretty darn good small HDV camera.

In my opinion if you want to shoot strictly 60i or 50i then the HC1 is a better choice. If you must shoot 24p then the Hv20 is the best choice since the HC1 doesn't really do 24p. It has a fake 24p mode that isn't very good at all due to the forced 125 shutter speed.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 05:23 PM   #5
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I sold my HC-1 for a HV-20 and have not looked back since!!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Delaney View Post
How does the HC1 stack up against the HV20? I ran a recent podcast side by side - the editor said the HC1 sucked in comparison, but I haven't seen the footage yet...
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Old April 18th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #6
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I'm a bit torn right now. I bought an HC1 back in Spring 2006 and my friend had also gotten one a bit later. However, he recently sold his to get an HV20 and I was thinking I should follow his lead so we can have the same camera and take advantage of that to shoot a short with some multi-angle scenes.

Today there was a real good deal on the HV30 on bhphoto so I picked one up, and I am now planning on selling my HC1. However, I think maybe I should get something better than the HC1 and that getting a HV20 is more of a lateral move. currently, I shoot stand up vids with my HC1 and am able to make some of my money back by shooting and selling DVDs of other performer's sets. So knowing that what I own will generate me some revenue, I'm know thinking of what a better cam would be that's in the $2k+ range.

Any ideas? The HV20 won't ship til april 28th so I got some time to make a decision.
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Last edited by Shahryar Rizvi; April 18th, 2008 at 03:24 PM.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #7
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I would agree that going from the HC1 to the HV20/30 isn't a step forward, but a step sideways. They both have their own merits. The HV20 has 24p, slightly better low light even in 60i, and an arguably better picture under any conditions, for starters. But the HC1 has a nice focus ring, better build quality, and less motor noise. Unfortunately for the HC1, you'd need to find a used one.

If you're looking for a step up, you should look elsewhere.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harris View Post
I would agree that going from the HC1 to the HV20/30 isn't a step forward, but a step sideways...

...

...If you're looking for a step up, you should look elsewhere.
That's what I'm thinking too. Perhaps the XH-A1 or the HVX200 then. I think the HVX200 might be out the price range but maybe the XH-A1 is doable (at least going by B&H photo's prices). I'll look into it some more and see what my choices are. I would love to stay Sony though.

I might even keep my HC1 if I did go get an XH-A1 or an HVX200. I'll have to sit down and really think about how much I could use the HC1's portability.
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