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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 January 10th, 2006, 04:44 AM   #1
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Camcorder less than 2,000 euro for documentary

Hey there,
am from Greece and want to make a documentary, historical one.
My budget just for a camcorder without accessories,software etc is less than 2,000 euro!!
The best solution I found till now is the
SONY HC1! It is the small "brother" of FX1 which I read somewhere is used by some BBC productions. As I see, reviews for that camera are very good, it produces same quality like FX1 or A1 even it does not have some functions like these cameras do, or maybe has some low light problem but for me HC1 seems the proper choice.
Any suggestions? Can be HC1 be the best solution or not worth for it?
Can I convert from HD to SD at my computer? Will be better quality than shooting only from the beginning in SD? Because for now or next year I guess can make DVDs only from SD. Also good editing programme is Sony Vegas?
In general I need some help from you, if HC1 is good for documentary production that can be shown in festivals, DVD release or even TV broadcast.
Thank you!
Snake Plissken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2006, 06:10 AM   #2
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Hi Snake,

I am no expert, but I did lots of research, spoke to people in the TV industry and ended up purchasing the HC1 for documentaries. It is a good small cheap option for documentaries but be aware that this camera definately has its limitations. You only get what you pay for. So you will need to be creative and resourceful to make up for this camera's shortcomings, but it can be done. Also note that for filming indoors or low light you will definately need additional lighting. And you will also need to get either a Beachtek adapter (xlr adapter and good mic) OR the cheaper option is to get a decent external mic to plug into the 3.5 socket. There are lots of other audio options and Iam still trying to find the very best solution. Be aware that external mics sitting too close to this camera will nearly always pick up some camera motor sound. So you will need to keep whatever mic you get, away from the camera. I must that that in hindsight, I probably would have purchased the HVR-A1(have you considered that?) but I believe with the right amount of tweaking.. the HC1 should do the job.

You can downconvert from HD to SD at your computer. I believe the best option, if your computer can handle it, is to shoot in HD, edit in HD and save that copy so you have a HD copy for the future. Then, downconvert to SD and you should have a superior SD copy.


Tracey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake Plissken
Hey there,
am from Greece and want to make a documentary, historical one.
My budget just for a camcorder without accessories,software etc is less than 2,000 euro!!
The best solution I found till now is the
SONY HC1! Any suggestions? Can be HC1 be the best solution or not worth for it?
Can I convert from HD to SD at my computer? Will be better quality than shooting only from the beginning in SD? Because for now or next year I guess can make DVDs only from SD. In general I need some help from you, if HC1 is good for documentary production that can be shown in festivals, DVD release or even TV broadcast.
Thank you!
Tracey Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2006, 09:23 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bath, England
Posts: 119
I agree with Tracey that best flow for quality is to shoot in HD and convert to SD with your editor (e.g. Vegas, which is what I use). Or, to save time you can shoot HD and have the camera downconvert to DV (SD), and edit with this. Quality doing it this way is only so slightly less than the first method, and with either you still have the HDV originals for future use.

Not sure about prices in Greece, but I don't think you'll get an A1 for under your 2000 Euro budget, while the HC1 comes well under budget. For example at the Greek site of pixmania.com, the HC1 today is 1597 Euro, the A1 is 2984 Euro. You can probably find better prices than these, but I'd still expect the A1 to be at least 1000 Euro more than the HC1. I was very tempted by the A1, but for money reasons went with the HC1.

Mark
Mark Bryant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2006, 04:35 PM   #4
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Thank you for replying my post. HC1 is good option, know the price in pixmania, well A1 costs nearly 3,000 euro so is not for my pocket:) I will do my best with HC1, even will find ways with mic etc.
thank you again,
yours Snake
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