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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 31st, 2006, 06:34 AM   #1
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HC1 and the pop-up flash & external mic

Goosh,

I hate gadgets that make decisions for me, especially when the are more stupid than myself ;)

I have attached the smaller external mic (just forgot the model type - but the short one with 90 - 120 degree soundfiled switch). The mic is very small so there WOULD be plenty of room for the built in flash to open when shooting stills. BUT NO. The HC1 refuses to use the flash when the mic is attached to the smart shoe!!!

What can be done? Is there a pin on the smart shoe (at the mic side) that could be disabled so that the camera does not know that the mic is attached but still would be able to use the external mic AND the flash? A schematic would be of great help. Or can this behaviour be selected somehow? I have NOT found such a control in the menus. Probably tweaking the firmware it could be possible to acheve this. Or Sony should add such a setting. But it does help us that already have purchased the beast... Would be nice to upgrade firmwares on cams as well. And also get the zoom speed fixed... ;)

I think Sony screwed up here with a too "smart(ass)" camera. I fully undestand that some bigger mic's could prevent the flash from operating but with this one there is PLENTYYYY of space. A stupid limitation...

I have NOT tried to first open the flash BEFORE I attach the mic - must try this in the evening... Maybe that could be a workaround....must test.

Any comments are mostly welcome. Does this disturb someone else ???

Christian
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Old February 1st, 2006, 09:34 AM   #2
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Well? Did the test work?

Even if it did, aren't you still stuck in the same boat because you still have to detach the mic to pop up the flash every time? (which is the whole beef anyway, unless you want to leave the flash open from then on.) By the way, why would you want to use the mic and the flash at the same time? You don't mean at the same exact time ...do you?

Now this is just my opinion , ( I speak as a fool )The HC1 is a wonderful video camera but as a still camera.... "fugeddaboudit". You can buy a 8 megapxl camera, (for a couple notes) that fits in your shirt pocket and will run circles around the HC1 in that department. After the first few snapshots with the HC1, I haven't even thought about using it as a camera.

Last edited by Chaz Kempter; February 1st, 2006 at 11:02 PM.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 12:07 PM   #3
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HC1 total refusal to use flash with mic attached !!!

Hi Chaz,

Hmm... Lets say that HC1 takes better than decent stills - handy if you dont happen to have your supermegapixel camera with you all the time. But under low light conditions you need the flash for photos. And if you want best possible audio, you need the external mic...

The ultra-small ECM-HST1 microphone leaves PLENTY of room for the flash to open and be used - BUT THE HC1 prevents it!!!

So I did the test. Used the flash and left it open. Then I attached the mic. Tried then to use the flash with the flash open. The HC1 just stupidily reports that the mic is attached and you cannot use the flash.... This is very stupid behaviour of in a othervise smart CAM. BAAAD design SONY !!!!

So in this situation I am forced to drag along me a separate camera. This drives me crazy. Again, I hate STUPID appliances and the Sony engineer skill rating gets a serious HIT...

I hope you understand my frustration. The HC1 thinks its smarter than I am. I am given manual control of lots of shooting parameters, but my right to decide do I want to use the flash (with plentyyyy of roooom) simultaneously with the mic is taken away from me.

I hope that someone at Sony reads this.

AND -as an electronics proffessional - I know that there is possibly NO technical reason why these two could not be used together - there is no common resource needed between a mic and a flash. None !!!


A very disappointed user here... :(

Christian
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 12:27 PM   #4
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Yea, you can use the HC1 for stills if you're in a pinch. Say... what do you think of the ECM-hst1? Thats the stereo one right? How does she sound? Do you think it would record a tennis match better that the internal mics? All it needs to be is somewhat directional (a little like a shotgun). I've been curious about how the sony mics sound on the hc1.

Thanks

ps. sorry about the retarded flash.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 12:53 PM   #5
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Hi,

The ECM-hst1 is remarkably better than the internal mic. No noises from the spindle motor at quiet passages, and the stereo field is excellent, especially at the 120 degree setting. I recoomend it warmly. She has, however, a big sister, that is probably even better and can do other tricks as well.

An external mic can aim directly at the tarrget, the internals normally have to do it inridectly, as in the HC1.

I am hoping that someone would have info about the pins on the smart shoe connector. That is the last resort to try to resolve the mic/flash problem. There might be one pin that indicates the presence of the mic. Ripping that pin off could do the trick. But I would like to see a schematic first, before i start disabling pins. They are spring loaded so possibly an itsy bitsy piece of sticky tape on one pin at a time and the observing whant happends...

Goosh....

Christian
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