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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 25th, 2005, 04:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Harrisburg PA
Posts: 4
Greetings & Salutations HVR-A1

New Member

I am anxiously awaiting shipment of the HVR-A1 I purchased just to see what all the fuss is about with this 1 chip HD thing.
What has everyone else experienced with the camera?

Having read the various posts on this Website I must say that I am very impressed with peoples knowledge and enthusiasm.

Stewart Rein
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Old December 25th, 2005, 05:37 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,463
Welcome to DVinfo Stewart! We'll be interested to hear your impressions of the A1 after you've put it through its paces.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 03:11 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Harrisburg PA
Posts: 4
HVR-A1 Initial Test

First reflections on the Sony HVR-A1
Price $1,740.00 with AC Adapter/Charger, Mic, XLR Adapter, battery,
cables, 1 HDTV 63 Minute cassette

Extremely well designed for a "toy" HDTV camera feeling very robust for its size and weight. For the price extraordinary!
Though I am not a fan of Menus (having these on the computer is enough) I was surprised by the thoughtful feature sets and versatility of the camera. The only important thing you cannot control is the gain (which, of course I am used to on Beta SP cameras) but manual exposure can mitigate against this failure. Further, I shoot in controlled light wherever possible so not a huge concern of mine.
The XLR setup is surprisingly good and I have tested both the included shotgun and a wireless lapel mic with success and useful sound quality considering it is MPeg I at 48.

To the Picture Quality
I was surprised at the quality of the image shooting at 1080i 60 using all on auto and out of a moving vehicle in low light and then later morning light with Steadyshot on was amazed at the camera's tolerance as it was sat in my lap, pointed out through the windshield on a road with some bumps.
The color range was more than acceptable bearing in mind that I have a propensity to understate color.
Indoors with low light it gets grainy.
Indoors with some flood or natural light available its great.

Camera and NLE Editing
I use Avid Xpress pro HD or Premiere pro 1.5.1. with Cineform HD

Here we had a problem. Not in Premiere but with Avid as I have written in another thread.
In Avid, the camera registered well for 30i as DVCam (I used the HVR-Z1U template) but Avid refused to recognize the camera in 1080i HD Project Mode.
After about 50 hours of laborious investigation and much trial and error, I discovered (what I suspected) that the problem exists within the Avid. So a note to all who use this camera with Avid HD (only) you must run a simple program to get Avid to recognize the camera in HD 1080i Mode. It is
regsvr32 and you can run it from Windows XP start menu. If okay it throws up a box saying that it was successful.

All in all, I am now up and running and I think this is an extremely useful little camera with a small footprint and excellent quality. It would be very interesting to see how its images would translate if edited up in 24 frames and transferred to 35MM film-Gee who can afford that experiment?
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