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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 27th, 2005, 04:25 PM   #1
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Built in microphone on the camera

If I want to go without the big microphone that is attached on top of the camera. Does the HVR-A1 have a built in microphone.?

How is the sound quality like?

Thanks guys
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Old September 27th, 2005, 06:02 PM   #2
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Manuel,

The A1 does have a built in stereo mic which is located on either side of the lens barrell. If you do not use the XLR adaptor (which is removable) the on-board stereo mic is your primary sound source. I have not picked up my A1 yet, but initial user reports are that the on board mics are OK - for on camera mic's that is.

I often used my Sony PDX10 without the XLR adaptor as it is light and very convenient when you do not need serious sound. I intend to use my A1 the same way.

Hope this helps,
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Old September 28th, 2005, 08:40 AM   #3
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Don't forget that the A1 still has the typical Sony 1/8" microphone in as well. This means you can use a Studio1 Productions XLR beltpack if you want to use a boom:

http://www.studio1productions.com/xlr-menu.htm

You can also use a Rode Videomic or any of the extremely cool microphones at microphonemadness.com

By the way, the microphonemadness.com mics all use power from the A1's 1/8" mic in jack.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 01:08 PM   #4
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go for hdr-hc1 instead of the hvr-a1 instead

Is it right to decide to go for the hdr-hc1 instead and save a couple of hundred and just buy the a xlr adapter to connect to the 1/8 connector then.

Of course I will have to buy a external microphone which I am seriously considering. But I am more interested in a wireless uhf setup.

If I go wireless how will I connect the reciever to the camera. Will I use the xlr or the 1/8 connector. I hate having to use too much cable adapters or converters hanging on the side of the camera. First of all there is too much cables to connect to setup. Then it is not nice to see the wires dangling from the sides of the camera. When using the camera these wire might get caught into anything that you can imagine.

Hey, thank you for all the help and information.
You guys are the best.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 01:45 PM   #5
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Well I got the HRV-A1 and certainly don't regret it. There are a number of reasons, mostly audio related, why I like it better:

For one thing, the independant audio levels and sperate AGC/manual on each channel is something I'll use all the time. That way I can plug in a boom whenever I need it and still have the camera mic for backup. When you're not going incognito, the XLR assembly and shotgun are really important and much more convenient than a patched together approach. The ability to use a camera mic and a light at the same time is really important to me. The A1 has timecode, which is important if you're ever hired on to a multicamera shoot. The A1 has some great options: B&W viewfinder if you want it, simultaneous viewfinder and screen if you want it, etc. Black stretch improvement is minimal, but every bit of low light performance helps.

Besides, B&H just dropped the A1 price another hundred dollars!
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Old September 29th, 2005, 08:05 AM   #6
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HVR-A1 or HDR-FX1

"Besides, B&H just dropped the A1 price another hundred dollars!"
Laurence, being that the price of the A1 is less than the FX1, which would you rather have?
I like a lot of the features that the A1 posesses, especially on the audio side, but don't like the bottom load, especially when shooting from monopod or tripod. I'm not to concerened with the low light as much, as i would generally shoot with on camera light, when possible. But I do like the better lux rating and manual control features of the FX1.

How would you rate the manual control features of the A1 for run and gun shooting, low light with black stretch, and quick tape changes. I see that you can assign a few shortcuts to a button, to alleviate going into the menu to change settings like white balance.

I am curious as I am looking to add a new camera to go with my VX2100, and am still deciding to wait or switch to HD. I am not looking at delivering HD now or in the near future, because if delivery formats. So I am looking at either going with another VX2100 or possibly, the FX1 or A1, no interest in the HC1.

Thanks for your feeback,
Michael
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Old September 29th, 2005, 04:01 PM   #7
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A1 or FX1

I know that this is getting away from my original thread but I have that same question nagging behind my mind. Aside from the size and perhaps a couple of other things different between the A1 and FX1. What would you rather have or use?

I do not have either but I am in the final stages of deciding which one. Budget wise the A1 is comfortable enough. But I can still stretch a bit and afford the FX1.

Yet what is the real defining reason for me to get convinced that I go for the FX1?

Thanks guys.
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 08:38 AM   #8
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Well I really like my A1 and would still rather have it than the FX1. The way I see it, it's a size vs. low light issue. For most of what I do the A1's lux rating is just fine. That tiny size though is just wonderful! You can pack this camera as an afterthought, and come home with video that looks just stunning. I really use the pro-audio features as well.
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 08:43 AM   #9
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How would you rate the manulal controls for run and gun shooting? This is another very strong point of the FX1.
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 09:42 AM   #10
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The FX1 is better. You have to do everything on the A1 using the touchscreen. You can however preset what comes up and where on the touchscreen.
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 11:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel Albarracin
Yet what is the real defining reason for me to get convinced that I go for the FX1?

Thanks guys.
In my opinion the biggest factor that will probably determine whether you would be happier with the A1 or the FX1 is simply this : size, and weight.

If you're doing pro-shooting etc and making money out of the cam, and have to transport all the other gear and accessories then fine get the FX1. But for me, as a hobbyist doing a lot of travelling, the much smaller size and weight of the A1 hugely outweighs any technical deficit that it may concede to the FX1. I know several people selling FX1 to get HC1 or A1 because (and they're to be commended for their honesty here) they simply don't get the FX1 out often enough or take it with them on a day-trip due to the size/weight factor.

"The best camera is the one you actually have with you."

rgds
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 01:45 PM   #12
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portability then !!!

I guess Stu is right. As from my experience with my Canon XL1s I rarely use it or bring it along because of the size.

The only time I would bring it is when I have to do business stuff on the side like weddings and conventions. Yet this entails a lot of preparation. Charging the batteries, tapes and of course the big bag that the XL1s sleeps in. Not to mention lights and tripods.

I am a strong guy but after a while this things starts hurting your back and shoulders. (I sometimes wonder how those news camera guys can carry all that weight... huge camera, battery belt and more).

I ended up really using my Sony PC305. Its small enough to carry in my fanny pack with an extra battery and couple of tapes. Easy to store in a car and carry with you on the fly... run and gun type of thing. Be it when you malling, outting, hiking or at Disney with the kids.

I guess you got me convinced here. Might as well go for the cute light things that you can use conveniently than the big cameras that collects dust inside the closet.

Since I am on the run here... another example is my Nikon digital Slr that is collecting dust while my little sony digital camera is always by my side.

thanks guys
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 03:28 PM   #13
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the grass isn't always greener...

hi everybody..i just bought the hc1 and like that there's no smear...and microphones shouldn't be taken so seriously when they're attached to the camera...since you're locked in at one one point which is not ideal for sound production..also let's not forget the beauty of cmos..you're battery does last longer..alot longer...let's talk about night shooting...i try and shoot towards the light and find the hc1 sensitivity fine...of course i live in a city and that helps..i guess i'm writing this memo because there's a bit of trashing of the hc1 which i think is a problem of film making aka orson wells may he rest in peace..than the limitations of camcorders..
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