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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 February 18th, 2006, 07:25 AM   #76
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Most peculiar.

I changed to a different tape and still wouldn't work. So I reinstalled Aspect HD and it is now capturing HDV properly (and shows HDVout on the screen when doing so).
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Old February 21st, 2006, 03:23 PM   #77
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HC1 HDV Capture

Mine says HDVin, until I click on the "PLAY" button in Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinium, when it switches to HDVout.

I however, cannot get the HDV capture to work on two different computers. The control buttons work (PLAY, REWIND etc), however, once I select PLAY, the video starts playing on the camera, the timer starts on the Vegas software, but I don't see any video preview whatsoever (even though I can see it on the HC1 LCD screen). The software on both test computers are fresh installs of Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinium v6.0.

Any suggestions?

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Old February 21st, 2006, 03:46 PM   #78
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I use Premiere Pro - I'm not familiar with Vegas. But shouldn't there be a button for "reocrd" or "capture" rather than "play"?
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Old March 1st, 2006, 07:31 AM   #79
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Lens Magnification in HC1 and HC3

I've calculated the lens magnification that is found in the Sony HC1 and HC3 HDV camcorders. Although they have different diameter lenses, they both provide 10X zoom range.
The actual effective magnification is a different factor than the zoom range. Based on the focal lengths posted by Sony for the video and still picture modes, I came up with these figures:

The two models have focal lengths, both at the wide and tight ends, that are almost identical. The 35mm film equivalent focal lengths of the HC3 are 594mm at the tight end for video and 370mm for still pictures. This difference is due to the EIS margins taking up 41% of the diagonal measurement of the 1/3-inch CMOS, in video mode. So I figured the magnification effect to be 13.75X at full zoom in video mode and only 8.1X in still mode. When the EIS is shut off for still mode, the whole CMOS is used and this lowers the magnification effect.

Many people assume that the X-power of the zoom range indicates the magnification as well, but this is not always true and is coincidental when it happens. The 13.75X magnification is based on a comparison with other camcorders that use the 35mm film equivalent as their base. This is a nice magnification power for such small models, but a major part of it comes from the reduced active CMOS area, due to the EIS margins. If you add a highgrade Sony 2X telextender, you get 27.5X magnification in video mode and 16.2X in still mode. A drawback is that only about half of the CMOS pixels are active in video mode. If you could only turn off the EIS and have the whole CMOS become active, as it does in still mode, video quality would likely be increased. Maybe some control trick could be devised to accomplish this, as so many hidden features in these camcorders have been enabled.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 02:41 PM   #80
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Revision to Still-Picture Mode Magnification Figure

I re-calculated the figure in an improved way, for the image magnification in still-picture mode, that is given in the message above. At full-zoom, the still-mode of the HC1 and HC3 gives 8.57X (17.14X with a 2X telextender). The video mode magnification, calculated to include the effect of the EIS pixel margins, is the same as stated above for the HC3 and just slightly different for the HC1. It is 13.7X (HC1) and 13.75X (HC3). It becomes 27.4X (HC1) and 27.5X (HC3), with a 2X telextender.

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; March 1st, 2006 at 04:08 PM.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 01:59 AM   #81
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New Separate Figure for HD Video Mode Magnification for HC1 & HC3

I have one more adjustment to make to the magnification figures for the HC1 and HC3, that I've listed in the two previous messages:

The magnification levels for the SD video mode of the HC1 and HC3 at full zoom are the same as I stated before, at 13.7X (HC1) and 13.75X (HC3). However, the figures for the HD video mode are different, at 11.2X (HC1) and 11.25X (HC3). With a 2X telextender, the HD video mode magnification is 22.4X (HC1) and 22.5X (HC3). The reason for this calculation change is that I've discovered that a larger active sector of the CMOS is used for the HD video mode, than I had believed earlier. And this is due to a smaller sector being used for the HD video mode EIS margins than I had previously thought. Consequently, the effective focal length, with the EIS engaged, is less for the HD mode than for SD. The larger active HD sector means that the magnification effect is less than I had previously calculated.

As this indicates, the portion of the diagonal measurement of the CMOS for both models, that is taken up for the EIS in HD video mode at full zoom, is less than I stated earlier. It is only about 22% and the amount of the total pixels that is dedicated to EIS is about 38%. This amount drops down to about 26% of the total pixels at low zoom, as the width of the variable EIS margins is reduced at that end of the range.

Only about 50% of the available pixels are used for the active sensing area of the SD video mode. I can't be sure how much of the outer margins are actually used for the EIS, as this zone may not extend all the way to the edges for SD video. Also, the variability in the EIS margins may be at the same percentage as it is for HD, but I can't calculate that with the limited information I have at present about the SD mode's functions. Nor do I know how many active pixels are used at each end of the zoom range in SD video mode. I hope to find these details later. If I had an HC1 or HC3 in my hands, I might be able to determine this.

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; March 3rd, 2006 at 06:33 AM.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 03:28 AM   #82
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HC1 DV Passthru

Been up all night playing with the new toy and just freaked to find out it's 3am, but still haven't been able to get something to work right.

I captured about 10 minutes of video and imported it into Premier Pro 2.0, the MPG file plays just fine, made some cuts and edits and moved some stuff around and I'm pleased.

Now, I have my TV Monitor setup with component cables in and connected them to the AV ports on the camera, when in normal record or playback modes, the TV shines with HDVideo, cool so far.

The only issue is that I can't seem to get the NLE to pass video into the camera thru the firewire port, Adobe keeps telling me that the only external monitor option is my 2nd PC monitor, won't show up as the camera so I can't pump video to cam and pass it thru to the TV monitor.

Is this normal or am I missing a setting somewhere, tried all sorts of combinations, but can't seem to work it out.

Hoping someone can help.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 05:57 PM   #83
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HC1 shutter speeds? 1/4?

Does the HC1 have slow 1/4 shutter speed or it is limited to 1/60 only?
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Old March 10th, 2006, 07:29 PM   #84
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Yes, shutter will go down to about 1/4second. Maybe 1/3rd second. not sure but it's something around there.

1/60th sec is the default shutter speed on NTSC cams. You can change it via the SHUTTER SPEED function.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 07:51 PM   #85
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1/4 - 1/10,000 (in AE Mode)

All of the specs are readily available on Sony's site.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #86
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HC1 discontinued - how about A1U?

I am considering an HDV camcorder. The pro audio features of the Sony A1U are appealing. Since the HC1 is now discontinued in favor of the HD3, does anyone know if the A1U will be discontinued as well?

I'm torn - the prosumer features of the A1U are appealing, but the small form factor of the HC3 have merits as well. For now, most of my HDV shooting is for personal use, and the small HC3 may fill the bill. Unless Sony introduces a companion "pro" version with with pro audio features (unlikely in a small camcorder?), perhaps the A1U is the way to go.

The lack of mic input and expanded focus are steering me away from the HC3, and if the A1U may soon be discontinued along the the HC1, maybe now is the time to snag one of the remaining A1U's.

Any thoughts on this?
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Old March 13th, 2006, 07:05 AM   #87
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Hi Kris and welcome to DVinfo. Cross-posting the same question to multiple forums is against our rules so I've removed your other thread.

Sorry, I'm at a public airport terminal now and can't find the other thread on this topic, but I'm not sure the HC1 has been discontinued here in the US. Isn't it still listed on the Sony Style website? The A1 has definitely not been discontinued and I don't think it has even been on the maket for a full year yet. Highly unlikely that it will go away anytime soon IMO. Sony typically keeps pro models on the market for somewhere around 3 years. But of course my crystal ball isn't any clearer than anyone else's...
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Old March 13th, 2006, 07:14 AM   #88
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Some folks think the HC1 is discontinued, others don't. If the A1 is what you want, them by all means buy it. Now is always the right time to buy. All cameras are discontinued sooner or later. It's no big deal. You need to look at feature sets and ergonomics... if they appeal to you... then go for it.

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Old March 13th, 2006, 09:22 PM   #89
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New to the board -- audio concerns going from PDX10 to HC1

Hello all, I'm Chris from Alaska and I'm new to the board.

I'm seriously thinking about picking up an HC1 -- which I can get for $1000 even with a sale combined with a gift card from one of the big box stores. I know the A1 is the logical jump from what I have, but even with the rebate there's a $1000 difference and there are a few toys that I want to pick up *IF* I make the switch.

Currently I have a pretty extensive PDX10 setup that I use for all sorts of things - short documentary, ENG, sports/event videos, cheezy shorts and so forth.

My setup:
Century .65 wide angle
Century ultra fisheye
Sennheiser EW100 wireless w/ handheld transmitter
Sennheiser ME66 mic
Shure VP64 - great wired interview mic
Azden WM Pro wireless - backup
NRG light with battery belt
Generic 3w light as backup/portable
A CF tirpod with a small video head
Shure SM7b for v/o work
And a couple of things that don't come to mind at the moment.

I'm also planning a trip around the world and I'm going to shoot ENG type stories that I can later turn into something documentary-ish. I want to stay reasonably portable while not sacrificing audio/video quality.

So my main worry is the audio situation. I've never used a Beachtek adaptor and in my experiences the ME66 is too hot for a mini jack. I can however use the EW100/Azden with a mini jack and I've had good results with the VP64L plugged into the PDX's mini jack.

Basically I need to be able to get clean nat sound along with interviews that are "broadcast quality." I know the A1 is probably the way to go, but the extra grand is holding me back in a big way.

Any thoughts or experiences are greatly appreciated. I may hold on to the PDX if I'm gonna lose audio quality. But I have seen others talk about the Rode videomic as being an excellent mini jack mic. Getting the HC1 and a beachhtek seems kinda pointless with the A1 around. Thanks.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 06:46 AM   #90
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HC1 now or wait for HC3?

Assuming the pinkish reds exhibited on my first HC1 may have been a QA issue (based upon testing another one at CC), should I try another HC1 or just wait for the HC3?

I'm willing to give the HC1 another shot if there's any hope of "reasonable" reds. I don't mind the larger size and at $350 less, it sure is tempting.

I know there's only a few HC3's out there, so reviews are scarce, but based upon the preliminary specs and feedback; does the HC3 produce a better image than the HC1? From the specs on the Sony site, the HC1 has more pixels on it's sensor than the HC3 (3MP vs. 2.1MP). One would think that's better except you only need 2.1MP to capture 1080x1920 video, right? Are the additional pixels just for the still camera resolution?

So here are my pros and cons:

HC1 Pros:
I've used it and liked it.
The price is right.

HC1 Cons:
Red color accuracy on my first unit was terrible!!!
Older (relative) technology

HC3 Pros
Better color accuracy???
Better overall 1080i image???
Smaller, lighter
Higher resolution LCD

HC3 Cons
Not a proven performer yet
Missing mic/headphone jacks
No manual shutter

Am I missing anything?

For me the #1 criterion is picture quality. I need to capture videos that will look good on my Sony 60" SXRD 1080p RPTV. That's the only reason I attempted to move up from my older Sony MiniDV 480i in the first place.

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