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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 August 28th, 2005, 01:56 AM   #1
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HC-1 or XM2 (GL2)?

I'm after some help again!! I bought an XM2 and have been disappointed with a "light fall off" / vignetting issue. I changed the camera and found the replacement does the same. I've just clarified that the 7 days exchange deal started again at the time of exchange, so I have 4 more days to make a decision.

Does anyone know if the HC-1 shoots true 16:9 in DV mode or does it "spread" the image like the XM2 and others?

iMovie 5 (no laughing! I'm not a pro and it's good enough for what I do!) can work with HD. However, I have heard a rumour that MPEG2 cannot be edited and the footage has to be converted to DV, edited, and then re-compressed. Is this true? If so I can see it adding quite some time to the process.

Anyone got any other comments before I make the decision?

Basically, I am awed by the XM2, but am worried about the light fall off in certain situations. From reviews I've seen, the HC-1 also produces awe inspiring video.

All comments greatly appreciated.
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Old August 28th, 2005, 06:44 AM   #2
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You can work with HD provided you have fast enough computer. You can also output DV from HC-1 in case you don't have fast enough computer...

I don't know about your issue with the XM2 but the low light performance isn't that great on HC-1. The A1 is a bit better there from what I have heard.
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Old August 29th, 2005, 02:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Holland
Does anyone know if the HC-1 shoots true 16:9 in DV mode or does it "spread" the image like the XM2 and others?

iMovie 5 (no laughing! I'm not a pro and it's good enough for what I do!) can work with HD. However, I have heard a rumour that MPEG2 cannot be edited and the footage has to be converted to DV, edited, and then re-compressed. Is this true? If so I can see it adding quite some time to the process.
Yes, the HC1 shoots true 16:9.

I've heard that HC1 footage in m2t file format can be edited natively in HD in Final Cut Pro 5. SOme other editing packages (Final Cut HD for example) convert the footage to an intermediate codec before you edit it. Apparently the quality is still VERY good though. So to edit natively in HD, get FCP5. I think there are one or two other NLE's out there that will also edit natively in HD.

I too have heard that the A1's low-light footage is meant to be better than the HC1. It has Black Stretch feature for example (HC1 does not) which apparently helps. Someone on a different board has shot an HC1 side-by-side with an A1 and has said that the image quality is unequivocably better (paraphrased) on the A1. in what ways exactly, we don't yet know since he can't talk in any detail about A1 as per a NDA. But it does sound like Sony have, despite essentially the same hardware with HC1 and A1, done something a bit differrntly with A1. maybe different image-processing algorithms etc.

Personally i'd get HC1 or A1 (it's being shipped this week, apparently, by B&H for the people who were at the head of the queue for pre-ordering) rather than the XM2.
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Old August 31st, 2005, 12:51 AM   #4
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Thanks

Gents

Thanks for taking the time to post your advice.

Despite your recommendations, I've decided to keep the XM2. The main reasons are that the XM2 appears to be the better camera for honing videographer skills, which I need to do, and that at the end of the day my efforts are going to end up on DVD, so HD is a bit of a waste at the moment. Nobody I know has an HD TV, but most have 16:9 standard. I know I can "downgrade" HD video to SD, but can't see the point and know it's going to cause more headaches during processing.

By keeping the XM2 for a couple of years, I'll hopefully improve my camera work and the whole HD-DVD format issue should be resolved and more mainstream, at which time I can upgrade.... if her indoors lets me :)

Thanks again.
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