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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 23rd, 2010, 08:20 AM   #1
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What the world needs is an A1 ...

What the world needs is a solid state version of the HVR-A1, and the world needs it now! :-)
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 12:57 PM   #2
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I think it's called a HDR-AX2000...

Sony | HDR-AX2000 AVCHD Camcorder | HDRAX2000/H | B&H Photo Video
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 03:52 PM   #3
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The JVC HM100 and the Panasonic HMC40/41 are as close as you'll get, although they are slightly larger than an A1.

The AX-2000 is just a little bit larger!
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 05:58 PM   #4
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The AX2000 is actually a solid state FX1000 - so quite a bit larger than an A1!

Sony have a 'pro' handycam coming out which looks to be an upgraded version of the CX550. I sincerely hope this is not the A1 replacement because has no XLR audio, focus ring, or 24p/25p.

There's no denying that the images coming out of these little cameras are very impressive but a 'pro version' at least needs to have extra manual controls on physical buttons and proper audio inputs.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 02:52 AM   #5
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I'm certainly not going to argue with your assessment, John - I'm just a hobbyist using the HDR-HC9, a consumer cam.

With regard to the pro derivative of the CX550, I would only point out the following. When Sony derived the HDR-HD1000 from the HDR-HC7, it gained nothing in the way of features that I am aware of. The only things it gained is a shoulder mount form factor and "professional appearance" according to Sony. With that in mind I am pessimistic as to what extra goodies the HXR-MC50 brings to the table. It doesn't even get the shoulder mount form factor. In this case I will believe when I see it.

Which kind of leaves the HDR-AX2000 as Sony's entry level pro model. Which is a slightly stripped down HXR-NX5U. And the HXR-NX5U is a solid state HVR-Z5. Not a bad derivation...
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Old May 24th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #6
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Do you know what was stripped down on the AX2000 from the NX5? Also, on the old FX1 or HC1 you couldn't use the viewfinder and the lcd screen at the same time. Something you could do on the Z1 and A1. Does that hold true with the AX2000 as it relates to the NX5?

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Old May 24th, 2010, 07:03 PM   #7
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I don't know all the answers to your questions, Ozzy.
You should spend some time reading, starting here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-nxc...camcorder.html

And ask owners your questions.

A few things I do know:

Both the HXR-NX5U & HDR-AX2000 shoot the expected 1080i60, 1080p30, 1080p24 modes.
Only the HXR-NX5U shoots 720p60.

Only the HXR-NX5U can record uncompressed PCM sound, the HDR-AX2000 records Dolby Digital.
The HXR-NX5U will take the HXR-FMU128 128GB solid state record module. The HDR-AX2000 doesn't.
The HXR-NX5U has HD-SDI, the AX-2000 doesn't.
The HXR-NX5U has GPS for tagging where you shot your footage. The AX2000 doesn't.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 04:45 PM   #8
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So, if my A1 dies, what do I replace it with that has a similar near infra-red (night-shot) mode? That was my original reason for getting this camera.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 08:19 PM   #9
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Annie -
You'd be stuck in the "consumer" end of the Sony line, but you could do worse than the CX550, already mentioned - it's excellent in low light and also still has nightshot. Manual control isn't great, but it's usable, no XLR inputs though, so you'd need an adapter. I wish they would "update" the HC1/A1U with new "guts", but I doubt that will happen.

It's too early to say for sure if the VG10 has nightshot (I don't recall it being mentioned, and don't see it in the specs posted...), but if it does, it might be an option.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 04:01 AM   #10
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For me, the Sony A1 is used only to supplement the Canon A1 with features like the infra-red capability. But I use it extensively for bat surveys (with additional infra-red lighting), which means I'm often stumbling around in the dark - so knowing if there is a cheaper alternative around is useful
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Old July 30th, 2010, 02:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzy Alvarez View Post
Do you know what was stripped down on the AX2000 from the NX5? Also, on the old FX1 or HC1 you couldn't use the viewfinder and the lcd screen at the same time. Something you could do on the Z1 and A1. Does that hold true with the AX2000 as it relates to the NX5?

Ozzy
For detailed discussions of the differences between the NX and AX try the following threads:

Should i buy HDR-AX2000 or HXR-NX5U?
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-nxc...-hxr-nx5u.html

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-nxc...5u-ax2000.html

Both the AX and NX have menu settings that allow you to run the screen and viewfinder together.

These are relatively large cams.

If you are looking for something smaller, then I'd look at the CX550v. Sony will be coming out with the "pro" version sometime "soon" and it will probably have the same kind of hot-shoe XLR box/mount that that the A1u had. Might be a little unbalanced

If you get a CX500 or 550 now, you can get XLR with a bit better balance using an adapter that mounts to the bottom of the camera -- . BeachTek, Studio 1, and Sign Video seeming to be the most readily available. But, while the XLR adapters mount to the tripod mount and have another tripod mount on their bases on a camera this small, the XLR connectors will stick out awkwardly in the area below the hand-hold strap. (Either that or, if you reverse them, the adjustment knobs and switches sit there and complicate hand holding even more.) Also you would need a bottom mounting bracket to hold a shotgun mike.

So, maybe you wait for a pro tiny cam or maybe Sony goes with things like the VG10 which is a bit bigger and has its own set of tradeoffs..
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Old July 30th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #12
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The CX550 is pretty expensive in the UK - around 1000 seems to be the average, and that's online price from reliable retailers, not the list price. To me that's a bit "ouchy" to be an occasional B cam used just for the night shot.

I hated the Beachtek box on my VX2100, I felt it made the camera really bulky and hard to carry, especially hand-held. Purely personal opinion, I know lots of people don't mind this.

So a Beachtek or Juicedlink + CX550 is 1200 or more in the UK. Even less of a cheap B cam now, if sound is important.

Unless I'm missing something, the next "pro tinycam" from Sony is the MC50E. 1300 at Mitcorp, and no XLR inputs, just a consumer cam with a lens hood and an unbalanced, non-XLR mic on top.

I mentioned JVC's HM100 and Panasonic's HMC41 - both good "pro tinycams", both around the 2000 mark at the moment including XLR, solid state etc. - but no IR nightshot!

What about the more consumer-oriented cameras? I wonder if any of them have an acceptable nightshot, or if they would work with an external IR lamp? Might be OK for uses like Annie's, if XLR inputs aren't too important.

I can't help but feel that Sony have missed a trick here.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 02:59 PM   #13
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Don't know why the CX550 would be so expensive in the UK, I've managed to pick up a couple quite reasonable, lightly used.

One thing to be aware of if you use an XLR adapter box, the tripod socket on the CX550 is VERY oddly placed - forward and offset to the left, towards the LCD screen. I've noticed it being a problem with QR plates, causing the the camera to tilt towards the left when mounted... I'd expect it to be the same or worse with an adapter box. I'd wonder why worry about it though, since people seem happy with Rode mics that would go direct to the mic jack.

The MC50U is the "pro" version of the CX550, no XLR adapter ala the A1U (instead has a mic mount and a mic that plugs into the 1/8" jack), but if the price were close to the CX550 (UK), it might be a decent choice - the price difference in the US doesn't make a lot of sense for the "value add".

FWIW, the form factor of the small "consumer" cams is what it is, and doesn't lend itself well to putting a pile of accessories on top, but there are ways. They are designed to be small, easy to take anywhere, and deliver high quality video. The CX550 (64B flash memory version) and XR550 (HDD version) actually represent pretty decent cameras feature wise, the image quality is quite good, keeping up with the "big boys" rather well, and the designs are pretty well thought out for what they are intended to do (aside from that wacky tripod socket!). Sony crammed a good feature set into a really SMALL camera body with the CX550 - it's significantly smaller and lighter than an A1U... but once you get to know how to work it, it's very capable.

And if you want "nightshot"...
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