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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 September 2nd, 2005, 12:26 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Panama City, Panama
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Which one to buy?

Hi all:
It's been almost a year that I've been reading specs, reading reviews, waiting for new cameras to come, etc. Today, I'm still not sure what to buy or wait to buy.

First, there's the FX1 and the Z1U.
No 24p. HDV.

Then, the HD100.
24p. HDV. No FCP support on 24P.

Then, there's the HVX200.
24p. DVCPROHD. 1080p. But, expensive P2. Short running times.

Nothing yet.

I know the answer is very personal, but please consider that I want to buy a camera that will last for the next 5 years. Just as my current XL1, which I bought in May 1998 and after 7 years I still work with it and have happy clients.

What would you answer to this:

A- Is the lack of 24p in the Sonys a problem for a person like me, who just love the 24p film look of the DVX100A and the XL2 ?

B- If going for a SONY, is it really necessary to buy the Z1U instead of the FX1, in terms of overall image quality and film like look? Is it really a difference other than the DVCAM or the balanced audio, and the PAL/NTSC?

C- Should I wait Panasonic for the 24p/1080p, DVCPROHD?

D- How hard it is for an 1.8 Ghz iMAC G5 to handle HDV?

E- Is the image quality of the JVC HD100 with the provided lens a good rival against the SONYs? Does it really look like film?

F- Is Cineframe 24 and Cineframe 30 really unusable?

G- Are the new SONY 1 chip CMOS HDV worth anything?

H- Which of these cameras do you think will be a better long term investment?
Edwin Hernandez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:31 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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I would say go for the HVX. For the first time I've seen Jan from panasonic broadcast confirm the existence of the HVX version of the firestore. This will make the camera capable of long shoots, so there are already no more down sides to this camera. The only problem I see is the lack of a release date for such a device, which would make for the lack of immediate affordable HD recording at the camera launch.

However, you can still do HD with a 4gb Card, probably 8 minutes at a time (not 1080P 24, tough. Probably only 720P)...

And I'm sure Canon's option will be the best in the HDV consortium. The thing is how long do you have to wait for it, and the fact that, if it sticks to HDV, it will be locked for color information at 4:2:0, regardless of the interchangeable lens possibility... (But, then again, 28 days later was recorded on a XL1-or xl2, can't remember in PAL, which also was 4:2:0) and it looked excelent- the main reason for the result being the possibility of changing lens, a feature the HVX doesn't offer...
If you don't believe in your film, no one else will.
Sergio Perez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2005, 04:48 AM   #3
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28 days later was shot with an 'old' XL1 PAL. Not even the -s version :-)

Edwin, I can't answer all your questions, and I doubt if I will be able to answer them well, but I have some things to say:

A: I think this could be a problem for you, yes. You can always deinterlace, that's true, but it's much render time, and you loose resolution again.

B: Image quality between Z1 and FX1 is reported to be overall the same. The Z1 just has some extra features, from which you already named a couple. Are these extra features a need for you and are they worthe the extra 1500 dollars? That's your decision.

C: Do you need a camera now or not? If you need one NOW, then you should buy NOW. That said, the HVX looks very promising! I have never worked with a DVX so I actually don't know a lot about them, but the technical specs about the HVX looks very promising. But postproduction seems very expensive (although HDV postproduction is a lot heavier then usual DV too, so)

D: No idea, I don't really know much about computers, but I think it could maybe be a problem... HDV is kind of heavy, 1.8Ghz is maybe a little bit slow? Don't know, I'll let other comment on that.

E: No idea, there have been a couple of bad reports of the lens that ships with the camera, but I don't know about the other lens(es). There is an article about it on the DVinfo page, but it's with a Mini35 adapter, so that's not so objective.

F: It has been reported C24 and C30 are really useless. Some people DO claim that C25 (only on the Z1) is very usable in getting the 25 fps PAL look right.

G: Don't know, I don't think you can really compare them to a JVC HD100 or a HVX200 or a Z1. Although, maybe with the last one. Maybe the image will be a little bit (I must be careful here) comparable with an FX1, but you lack many manual controls, no?

H: That's a decision only you can make. Do you need a interchangible lens? Do you want to wait for Canon? Are you ready for the heavy postproduction of HDV, let alone the HVX?
I think if you are interested in film work, maybe the FX1 or Z1 is a less smart option to go for.

Best regards,
Mathieu Ghekiere is offline   Reply

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