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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 August 11th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #1
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HDR-HC9 for live feed

Need a camcorder for my church. Primary use is going to be sending a video signal of the service to an overflow room. I've been given a budget of up to $1000 for the camera. They know they'll be stuck with a smaller camcorder, but they don't mind and realize that they won't be able to afford the real thing any time soon. I'm pretty knowledgable about the prosumer cameras in the $3000-$9000 range, but don't know that much about the cheaper consumer cameras, so I need some help with this one...

We'll be sending signal over an RF converter and Coax cable to a TV in a separate room. The camera needs to have an audio INPUT jack for sound off the board (mini or RCA is fine), a composite video output jack to go to the RF converter, and a 2.5mm LANC jack to work with the LANC zoom controller on our Libec tripod.

I think the HDR-HC9 fits all those requirements, but I'm a little confused with this whole "10 pin connector" thing on Sony's cameras. I saw the separate 2.5mm LANC jack on the camera schematic and I assume that will work with our Libec controller. But, will I have the option for audio input AND video/audio output at the same time, or will I need to make some sort of DIY hack cable for the 10-pin connector?

While my budget does allow for up to $1000 (B&H has the HC9 for $899.95 right now), I would probably win cool points if I brought it in much less. While I know our needs wouldn't make use of HD right now, that could/would change in the future and I'd rather spend our money in a forward-thinking way so that we don't have to turn around and buy another camera in two-three years. We probably won't be doing a lot of recording, but if we ever did, I'd rather not work with the AVCHD format (I prefer XDCAM or DVCProHD, but I know I'm not going to find either of those in this price bracket). So, that said, any recommendations for a camera other than the HC9 that will fit those requirements?
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Old August 11th, 2008, 04:00 PM   #2
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Your options are the HC9.... and... the HC9. Still has the standard 2.5mm LANC, and you can use either the composite and A/V or component and A/V jacks for your audio and video feeds. There's a standard 1/8" mic input as well.

Canon HV30 comes close, but no LANC.

You've indicated tapeless/AVCHD cams aren't on the menu, but a CX7 or CX12 or a SR11 will come in under budget - you would need to hack the 10 pin, but it's doable for LANC and A/V simultaneous - I've hacked and tested so I know it will work. AVCHD is not as difficult as many make it out to be, I took the jump and am quite happy.

If you have other Q's feel free to ask - I'm pretty well acquainted with the small cams by budget and choice...

FWIW, if you're going for the HC9, I may have a practically new one available... going back and forth between selling my FX7 and just keeping a small cam for dealing with archived tapes... PM me if you're interested.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 07:14 AM   #3
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Thanks Dave, unfortunately, my church wants to buy new w/ warranties and all that fun stuff...

I sent in my recommendation for the HC9 last night and so far two of the three decision makers have approved it, so it'll probably get ordered by our secretary today. Thanks for the input!
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