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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 June 29th, 2009, 09:36 PM   #1
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Playback/record deck

I'm not sure if this is the best thread for this post.... but here's hopin'

I have a need for a dedicated playback/record deck for uploading and exporting of edited HDV content. All of the content will be coming from the HC line of camcorders, (HC3s, HC5s, HC7s and HC9s) All of it is 1080i. I use these cameras for remote wildlife research and need to upload quite a lot of content into FCP. I have been using the cameras to upload, but recently have been provided some money towards the project to spend on more equipment, so I feel a dedicated deck would be money well spent, and also free up the camera I've been using to upload and get it back out in the field.

So the question is.... which deck? It needs to obviously play well with a Mac and FCP via firewire. I have been looking at the HVRM15 and HVRM25 decks. I also understand there are 'A' versions of each which I think add 24p playback?

If anyone has any experience with either of these two decks (or the 'A' versions) I'd be grateful for some advice. I really don't need 24p for this project since the HC cams only record in 1080i, but I do have a few tapes from a V1U shot in 24p laying around (I have since sold that camera and purchased an EX3)

I might also have some money left over for a decent HD monitor if anyone has any reasonable recommendations in that area. I was thinking of something for editing, but the ability to use it in the field might be a plus too.

thanks
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Old June 29th, 2009, 10:40 PM   #2
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The most economical alternative is just to use the cams until they burn up and replace as necessary... you can get three or four used HC3s for the price of the M15.

You could also consider the GVHD700, which is an HDV deck for under a grand. Has HDMI out, which the M15 lacks, and also has a built-in screen.

The M15 is a rugged piece of hardware and may be more than you need, but if you have the budget, why not? It tends to FF/REW extremely quickly so don't count on it to be very accurate in batch capturing (depending on the device control ability of your NLE. I'm told it works flawlessly with FCP but it's been problematic for me with Premiere.)

The M25 has a few more options but is more expensive. I'll try to find the post that lists its advantages over the M15 and will edit this post when I do. Until then, here's a brochure that lists the differences between the models: http://www.humanvalues.net/hdv/pdf/S...U_Brochure.pdf

Edit: Ah! Found it! On another forum I had said: "Most notable feature lacking from M15, in my opinion: HDMI out." And another poster, who is far more professional than I and uses the M25 daily, responded:

"Oh, no. There are five major differences (plus many others) which are worth the price difference and much more:

1. The M25 has a built-in monitor. It doubles as info panel, too, you use it for menu navigation, and you see what (and if!) you are recording and playing without an external monitor connected. You CANNOT use the M15 without an external video monitor!

2. The M25 has much more advanced mechanics, tape handling is very fast and accurate.

3. The M25 can convert 1080i50/i60 to 720p50/60! All that talk about de-interlacing to 50/60 full frames bla bla - here you have the hardware solution which works. Even if you don't intend to use this feature, it appears in a wonderful way on the internal monitor at the machine's front: it can show interlace flicker or reversed fields (because it shows 50/60p generated from fields). A life saver if no broadcast monitor is around.

4. There are assignable buttons on the front. I use them for DV/DVCAM/HDV modes toggling - a huge time (and error) saver because you don't have to dive into the menu.

5. Serious mains section. No fiddling with kindergarden external voltage converters which get lost or fail because of these fragile unreliable connectors.

Only those who feel these five points are not an issue should save the money and get the M15. Image/sound quality is identical, of course."


All send out the exact same signal so that's not an issue.

I've used the HC3, HD1000, M15 and HD700 all for capture and the only one I'm less than thrilled with is the M15. But the HC3s do tend to get a little hot after a while, particularly if there's a lot of shuttling back and forth.

This discussion definitely belongs in http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/long-blac...ck-thread.html so maybe mods can move.

Last edited by Adam Gold; June 29th, 2009 at 11:35 PM.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #3
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Thanks, Adam!
This is very helpful. I'm leaning toward the 25.... especially with the built-in screen. I appreciate your detailed reply. That's why I come here!
cheers
Derek
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Old June 30th, 2009, 08:35 PM   #4
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Adam, what do you know about the Sony GV-HD700? This also looks appealing, however it appears that it does not record in HD, only playback in HD.
Sony | GV-HD700 HDV Video Walkman VCR | GVHD700 | B&H Photo Video

Would love some feedback on this one as well if possible-
thanks
Derek

oops.... I just noticed this is the same unit you mentioned earlier. I mis-read that as a JVC something-or-other, and wanted to stick with Sony for compatibility issues. Still interested in what you think of this one? It looks perfect, minus the progressive content capability (which I don't think I'd use anyway)
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Last edited by Derek Reich; June 30th, 2009 at 10:18 PM. Reason: poor eyesight
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Old June 30th, 2009, 10:51 PM   #5
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I have one and I like it a lot; it's a lot of deck for little $$. And as noted in the other thread, it does indeed record HDV via i.Link.

A nice feature for your field purposes is that it runs on batts, although not, unfortunately, the ones that work your HCs.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 09:01 AM   #6
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Thanks again, Adam...
Glad to hear you have one and like it! It does sound perfect for my needs, and while it would have been great to use the same batteries as the HCs, I do have some batteries from a V1U and PD150 which will work.
cheers
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 11:06 AM   #7
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FYI, it comes with a battery. You might want to buy a Sony NP-F970 battery if you are going to do extended field use, as it runs something like 450 minutes on that battery....for occsional use the NP-570 that comes with it is good for about 150 minutes.../Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 08:20 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tip..... I actually have a couple 970s from other cameras, so I think I'm all set!
Nice to have a use for them again-
cheers
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