HVR-A1E Versus DSR-PD170 at DVinfo.net

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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 December 8th, 2005, 04:30 AM   #1
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HVR-A1E Versus DSR-PD170

Hi:

I own a Canon DM-XM2 (PAL) and was planning to buy a Sony DSR-PD170 as a step-up.

Would it make sense for me to buy the HVR-A1E instead as it would give me the added HD capability. But is it as good as the PD170 - which I often hear people refer to as a workhorse -when it comes to general DV production.

Thanks for your comments.

Sarah Paris
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Old December 8th, 2005, 12:49 PM   #2
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I can't really comment on the DSR-PD170. I can however, comment on the HVR-A1U as I am an owner of one. I personally cannot imagine anything better than it. The HDV footage is simply phenomenal and I will never go back to SD again. The camcorder also packs a lot of features in a small/lightweight package which to me is essential as I needed something to double as a personal camcorder for trips and such. The only thing really lacking is independent IRIS and GAIN control. However, you can tweak the EXPOSURE which is a combination of both. After getting familiar with the EXPOSURE levels, you can basically set the IRIS and GAIN to any desired vaue.

I am obsviously going to suggest that you go with the HVR-A1; even though I am completely biased. However, I believe that the ability to record HDV is too good to turn down. HDV is definetely replacing SD and sticking to something "terminal" is just plain dumb. Besides, you can downconvert HDV to SD in real-time with the A1.

I will be going to this year's CES 2006. I am excited to see if Panasonic, Canon, or JVC is going to retaliate against the HC1/A1.

BTW - If you're considering the DSR-PD170, then size is probably not a main concern to you. Why haven't you considered the HDR-FX1? It contains all, if not more, manual control than the PD170 and it has HDV capability. The only thing is lacks, is XLR.
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Old December 8th, 2005, 01:34 PM   #3
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You might also take a look at the links in our "sticky" thread about the PD-170 vs HDR-FX1: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=50112
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Old December 8th, 2005, 01:38 PM   #4
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If you're looking to shoot in low light, IMO the PD170 is the hands down winner. If, however, you need to shoot in HDV, then obviously the 170 won't help you out there. I guess it all depends on what you need the camera for.

For me, HDV has been kind of a learning process and I'm still learning the correct way to import, edit and export in FCP. I can tell you that if you have a HDTV, playing a tape recorded from the A1, FX1 or Z1 will totally blow you away! I can't wait until we have HD DVD players and recorders.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 01:19 PM   #5
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When I got my A1 I was blown away with the picture and didn't think I would ever use my VX2000 again. I was wrong though. I have used it twice in this last week alone. Quite often low light is more important than resolution. Interestingly, these past two times were also the first time I've used my VX2000 in 16:9 mode. Outdoors with leaves and grass the 16:9 image just falls apart, but indoors with nothing but faces, walls and doors it doesn't look too bad. All the same, I've already started saving for either a Z1 or an FX1. I'll probably just use it indoors.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 01:27 PM   #6
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Confetti kills the Z1

Laurence, did you read the thread about the Z1 getting killed by confetti?
I wonder if the leaves situation is the same with your A1?
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Old December 9th, 2005, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence Kingston
When I got my A1 I was blown away with the picture and didn't think I would ever use my VX2000 again. I was wrong though. I have used it twice in this last week alone. Quite often low light is more important than resolution. Interestingly, these past two times were also the first time I've used my VX2000 in 16:9 mode. Outdoors with leaves and grass the 16:9 image just falls apart, but indoors with nothing but faces, walls and doors it doesn't look too bad. All the same, I've already started saving for either a Z1 or an FX1. I'll probably just use it indoors.
Laurence, this is why I am looking at the FX1 myself. I do mainly event videography (and shoot with VX2100's), weddings and such, and really need the low light ability in a camera. I generally use an on (20-30w PAG C6) camera light for receptions, but still worry about the low light ability of the A1.

I love the compactness and built in XLR's on the A1, but will probably opt for the FX1 first, and then get an A1 for backup. I would love a Z1, but it's out of my price range.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 01:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Lu
Laurence, did you read the thread about the Z1 getting killed by confetti?
I wonder if the leaves situation is the same with your A1?
I believe it! You don't need confetti though. Just a simple flash messes with the mpeg encoding bad enough!
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Old December 10th, 2005, 01:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot
I love the compactness and built in XLR's on the A1, but will probably opt for the FX1 first, and then get an A1 for backup. I would love a Z1, but it's out of my price range.
Boy are those XLR's and independant audio inputs important though! Especially on an "indoor" camera. Using the camera mic (replaced with a decent cardiod) and a wireless lav. is something I'd be doing constantly indoors. I'd rather wait until I can afford the Z1. Nobody's complaining about the VX2000 picture indoors for now.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 08:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence Kingston
Boy are those XLR's and independant audio inputs important though! Especially on an "indoor" camera. Using the camera mic (replaced with a decent cardiod) and a wireless lav. is something I'd be doing constantly indoors. I'd rather wait until I can afford the Z1. Nobody's complaining about the VX2000 picture indoors for now.
"Boy are those XLR's and independant audio inputs important though!"

I agree, but I do have Beachtek adapters to add XLR. Although I do preffer onboard XLR.
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