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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 November 4th, 2005, 04:41 PM   #1
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A1U downsampling/SD quality?

Hi. Still looking into which camcorder to get. I like the idea of having HD available if needed, but will be shooting mainly for SD purposes. I am wondering if anyone could tell me the quality of the A1U in SD mode or downsampled from HD compared to other SD cameras.

Thanks for any imput.

Mike
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Old November 4th, 2005, 10:57 PM   #2
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Michael,

I have an A1 and a Z1 - and both give outstanding SD footage when down sampled from HD. I wouldn't hesitate to say that the quality is better than any other SD camera that I have used.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 11:28 PM   #3
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Thanks Graeme. I am leaning towards the A1 over the FX1 simply for size. I am a little worried about such a small camera and shake. Suggestions besides the obvious tripod/monopod? Any other comments on the A1 would also be welcome.

Thanks

Mike
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Old November 5th, 2005, 01:10 AM   #4
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I recommend using a wide angle lens. I use the SONY "Y" lens and it is amazing. Not only does the fact that the wider angle assist in maintaing the footage "shakeless". But the additional weight of the lens assisting in handheld taping.
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Old November 5th, 2005, 01:46 AM   #5
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Thanks Alexander. I am now 99.9% sure I am going with the A1u and really appreciate the tips. I watch a couple of videos made with the camera that, along with the feedback here, put to rest any questions I had about the CMOS. I like the idea of the Wide angle lens. How about the audio? I know I will be better off with a better mic, but how is the included one?

Thanks
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Old November 5th, 2005, 03:18 AM   #6
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I love the included mic. I am an film student at Tufts Univ. and for now, it is more than what I need in the audio department. The XLR option is essential if you're seeking professional audio options. I just shot a little with the integrated mic and it is also very clear. It just picks up a lot of noise from the back, unlike the boom mic that focuses on the subject ahead.

I still haven't really learned all the features of the audio module and how to maximize productivity with it, but I can guarantee you that you will not be upset. Besides, having both shoes (hotshoe and AIS) on the A1, you can use the Videomic, which for $150 will give you audio comparable to most high-end, professional mics.

Go for the A1...you will not regret it. ;)
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Old November 5th, 2005, 04:48 PM   #7
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Michael,

I must admit I was worried about the stability of the A1 when I bought it, but I have to say that I think it is one of the most stable cameras I have ever used. I always use my Z1 on a tripod, but bought the A1 for quick handheld outtakes. After using the A1 handheld I am getting fantastic footage which looks like it was shot on a tripod most of the time.

With regard to the audio - I have slight problem with the motor noise using the onboard mics (make sure that you only use manual gain all of the time to overcome this!!!!) - but with the XLR adaptor the sound is good. I am a bit fussy with my microphones - so I think that the provided shotgun is OK, but it does not compare to the Sennheisers that I use on my Z1.

Hope this helps.
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Old November 5th, 2005, 05:52 PM   #8
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Actually the A1 and Z1 come with exactly the same mic: the ECM-NV1. I prefer the Sennheiser ME64 cardiod mic as a camera mic on any camera that will fit it. That's what I currently have on my A1 and it sounds great!
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Old November 5th, 2005, 06:03 PM   #9
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Actually the Z1 does not come with a mike at all (except the built-in stereo one), even though the photos usually show one. See the specs at http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Broadcastan...sp=11&id=78439

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Built-in microphone
Wide range stereo microphone. Please note that the directional shotgun microphone is not included with this camcorder.
The PDX-10 and PD-170 include the NV1 mike though.
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