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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 25th, 2009, 09:22 AM   #1
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Small format sony which one ? HC1 / A1 / HC9

Hi guys
I'm looking at buying a small format Sony model for its nightshot function/some under water use and also general second cam stuff.

My primary cam is an JVC - HD110

I have narrowed it too. ( I will be buying used)

HC1 / A1 / HC9

I know the A1 is by far the best all rounder but of course is the most expensive. Sound isn't really that important for me and am I right in thinking the HC1 is a cut down version of the A1 without XLR. The lens structure look very similar !? The HC1 also has a manual focus ring which I'm sure isn't great but would be a bonus over the HC9 which I don't think has one !?

Anyway I just thought I'd throw this up and see what folks think.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 09:45 AM   #2
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The HC1 is pretty much the same as the A1. It is also true that it is a pretty rare consumer based camera that had pretty decent manual controls. This is something you don't usually see on consumer cameras.

I have a HC1 and it has been a pretty darn good HDV camera. I used it to shoot some wild life in South Africa. Personally I prefer progressive shooting which is the only thing the HC1 really lacks. If you like interlaced shooting then the HC1 is a great camera.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #3
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Thomas
Thanks for your view, yep that confirms what I thought really. The A1 is interlaced as well is it not ?

Yes progressive would be nice but some of the imagery I 've seen certainly looks the part, I guess it just creates an extra step in editing. - Does the HC1 have some sort of pseudo progressive ?
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Old March 25th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #4
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Mat -
Aside from some firmware (advanced features in the A1U) and the ability to add the XLR mic module, the HC1 and A1U were basically the same camera (the lens hoods were different...). Same sensor block, shell and overall physical layout, only minor differences in the electronics to add "pro" features to the A1U, and the XLR shoe...

A1U/HC1 is SEVERAL generations old now (1st generation HDV), still a great camera with manal control though. They don't come cheap, even used, because they are great cameras.

HC9 does have a sort of mini wheel/button thing that can be set to focus, and there is spot focus available via the LCD. It's 3rd generation sensor (if you count the HC3 with its lower res sensor) improved over the HC1 image quality wise.

FWIW, ALL the small Sony HDV cameras are now two generations back in sensor design, they have gone over to the tapeless/AVCHD format, and the newer sensors/electronics improve on a number of points. And the new cams still have nightshot, though the latest XR's appear to almost see in the dark even without the IR...

You may want to consider the options, there are some pretty impressive new small cameras avaialble...
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Old March 25th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #5
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Hi Dave
Thanks for your response.

To be honest from the footage I've seen I think the A1 / HC1 looks nicer than that I've seen from the HC9. Now of course this may just be down to the shots I've come accross but the footage just seemed more nicely toned with less tendancy to blow out bright areas and give that 'palm cam' look. I'm surprised that you say the HC9 produces better footage, but if you have any tasty link I can look at then certainly throw them up.

Cheers
Mat
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Old March 25th, 2009, 07:42 PM   #6
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Mat,

The A1U has cineframe 30 and cineframe 24, the HC1 does not.

Duane
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Old March 28th, 2009, 03:54 PM   #7
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Hey people
Thanks for the help.

Managed to pick up a great used HC1e at a bargain price.

Seems like a great little camera for its size and fits my exsisting UW housing (happy days).

Mat
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 05:47 AM   #8
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--I'm surprised that you say the HC9 produces better footage, but if you have any tasty link I can look at then certainly throw them up.--

comparison of the two sony near line prosumer cameras

Sony HDR-HC9 vs the Sony A1U on Vimeo
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 08:05 AM   #9
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comparison test of HC-5,HC-9,A1U

this a footage with my HC-9 sound is from the camera.
the image has been color corrected,and control of contrast.

I have a A1u,HC-5,HC-9
A1u is still my favorite camera,because its more rough for everyday use and I feel its a Hummer compared to HC-9. But Hc-5 and 9 are more fun to use and look more amateur,
it can help sometime.

HC-5
YouTube - Grimskunk Petite Nation avec Mononc

HC-9
YouTube - The "nouveau" Stevie Ray Vaughan in HD!!!

A1U
YouTube - Kiki&Montreal's Lesbians!!!
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 09:12 AM   #10
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--But Hc-5 and 9 are more fun to use and look more amateur,
it can help sometime--

Not, if you've pimped it :D

This is my HC9

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3525/...da73775794.jpg
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