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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 May 6th, 2010, 02:40 PM   #1
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would the hc1 be good for me

I have shoot some weddings, non profit events really as favors or for a little cash. Im using a low-end consumer cam 1/6ccd with on camera lighting which helps alot but I really need something better. I plan to shoot for at least another 6 months to a year before I start demanding a decent price. Right now Looking to spend about 500-600 for a used cam, would I be better off trying to find an older 3ccd cam (ie PDX10) or would the hc1 fit my needs. Either way it should be an improvement?

Last edited by Corey Munns; May 6th, 2010 at 04:34 PM.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #2
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I would say the HC1 would be suitable if all you shot was outdoor weddings and receptions, both in full daylight....

Since that is probably not the case, the HC1 is poor in low light and by PD170 standards, far less superior.

Keep shopping!

John Reilly
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:28 PM   #3
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The HC1, while a great camera, was the first HD "consumer" cam... it's been a long time since it was "the latest and greatest". As fondly as we all may regard the camera, it's been surpassed in a lot of ways (unfortunately not in the control aspect, it was one of the better ergonomic designs for what manual control it offered).

If you can actually get one in really good condition for $5-600, with accessories, it will probably give you a decent start in shooting HD. Most of the ones I see cheap are beat, and need work/repairs. It isn't going to be great when the light gets low, as aleady noted, but it will knock your socks off in comparison to what you've got now... especially in decent light.

You might look at the HC9, which is a generation later in sensor design, and not a bad camera (I may have one available in the near future) or a Canon HV20/30/40 (look for a later model, but they are fairly similar), and HV20's and 30's can come up cheap if you're patient.

Depending on what you have for editing, you might even want to consider a tapeless camera, as that's the way things are going, and as long as you're jumping on the HD learning curve anyway... but if you go tapeless, be sure you've got the computer horsepower, otherwise you'll find the workflow frustrating (HDV was really ugly when the HC1 came out, but now it's smooth... AVCHD/tapeless is just about there now if your computer isn't too old).

While you might be able to get an SD camera fairly reasonable and in your price range (like an old TRV900), it would probably be better to start moving toward HD - consumer grade SD cameras are dropping in value, and even pro grade cams aren't bringing anywhere as much as they used to. If you buy and HD cam you're more likely to have a camera that will retain enough value 6-12 months down the road to resell and come out close to even when you want to upgrade.

The other consideration is if you're charging, whether showing up with a handycam will fly. In the end, it's what you deliver, not what you shoot with, but sometimes perception matters. There are a lot of cheap options to acquire HD images, and more are available everyday, you have to have something to separate yourself from the "pack" if you intend to make it a business.

Everyone and their dog will have a HD cam in the near future, something to consider...
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Old May 7th, 2010, 03:01 AM   #4
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Thanks guys for the input, more homework for me
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