Does anyone have an HC1 just to shoot standard DV? 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 February 3rd, 2006, 01:32 AM   #1
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Does anyone have an HC1 just to shoot standard DV?

I've been looking at the HC1 a lot lately. The price is very attractive and I would really love a native 16:9 camera (and please correct me if I'm wrong here.. from what I've read it looks like it has a 4:3 CMOS chip but records HD in native 16:9). Right now I don't have any need for HD but you never know in the future. My thought would be to shoot in HD and then convert to DV in Vegas. That way I get 16:9 and have HD masters if I ever want them in the future.

What I'm wondering is really how the downconverted DV video compares to what a GL2, GS400, etc, would produce. I've seen some discussions on it but can't find any real comparisons.

If there's anyone using their HC1 (or A1U) for this I'd love to hear what you think..

Thanks,
Michael
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 04:39 AM   #2
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Due to the current limited delivery formats for HD, many of us are doing what you are thinking - shooting in HDV, and producing SD. If you are creating SD DVDs there is no need to convert to DV (unless you want to use a DV proxy)... you can either render the HDV m2t directly to SD MPEG2, or use Cineform intermediate files. A SD DVD created this way in Vegas will be slightly better quality than if you have the camera do the HDV to DV downconversion.... and this is better than if you shoot DV in the camera to start with.

I can't help with the comparisions with the DV cameras you mention though, as I have not used them myself. The HC1 is better than my old Sony PC9 (single CCD) DV camera.

Mark
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 07:09 AM   #3
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Here's a one reason why what you are considering is a great idea:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=59514

And yes, the HC1 uses a true widescreen pixel area for its 16:9.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 11:10 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys..

In my original post I was saying DV when I really did mean SD, I plan on delivering SD DVD's right now.

I do multitrack audio recording and I guess my question seems similar to the 'Why record at 24 bits when you're going to deliver on 16 bit cd's?' question. The discussion about increased chroma information and applying effects before downconverting to SD is pretty much the same reason I record at 24 bits. It's better to apply effects on 24 bit data because there's more information for the software to work with and you get less 'digital artifacts' and degredation of sound quality. It looks like this applies to video also, with the extra information contained in HD.

Very interesting!
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Old February 4th, 2006, 06:13 PM   #5
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Shoot in HDV

I'm not sure if the HC1 does this, I imagine a simple search would tell you, but something my A1U does is in-camera output of HDV footage at SD (Standard Definition) res.

I've shot with my A1U in HDV mode and transferred into Final Cut Pro at DV/SD res, something the camera can do on the fly, either by a) squeezing the 16:9 into 4:3, b) letterboxing the 16:9 in a 4:3, or c) centering the 16:9 image in the middle of the 4:3, filling the screen but losing the edges on the image.

The quality is fine, and like others here have posted, I think I'll just shoot everything on this camera at HDV. With the down-conversion to SD looking great, as well as taking no actual effort to do other than to set the camera for it, there seems to be no reason to not get everything from here on out in HDV at least.

Unless of course, you need to hand your tapes over to someone who doesn't have an HDV camera or deck to use for editing or transfer. Then I suppose you need to shoot SD/DV.

In a few years, if I happen to have a shot or an interview in HDV, I can go back and use it again if a higher-quality than SD is needed. HDV has it's issues as well, but SD footage doesn't look so hot when moved to the 16:9 digital TV world we are heading towards. A little planning for the future, just in case.

It's sort of like shooting with your digital still-camera in a lower-res than it can handle - why do it? Maybe to save some space on the memory card, but that is it. You can always down-res, but it starts to show when you up-res.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 02:36 PM   #6
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Yes, the HC1 can also take HDV footage and convert it in camera to SD DV output... but it doesn't have the various 4:3 processing options.

Mark
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Old February 6th, 2006, 02:01 AM   #7
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Actually, the hc1 has two of the three 4:3 processing options - you can downconvert to anamorphic 16:9 or letterboxed - you can't do a cropped 4:3 output though.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 05:32 AM   #8
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Evan,

How do you do this?

The A1 has a "downconvert" option, which supports various conversion options (letterbox, squeeze, edge crop), which applies to the HDV --> DV downconversion. I can find no similar options on the HC1. On the HC1 you can set the TV type to 4:3 to get letterboxed output, but I didn't think this applied to the HDV --> DV downconversion (though I have not tried this - is this how you do it?).

Mark
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Old February 6th, 2006, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bryant
On the HC1 you can set the TV type to 4:3 to get letterboxed output, but I didn't think this applied to the HDV --> DV downconversion (though I have not tried this - is this how you do it?).
Exactly - if you set it to 4:3 you get a letterboxed DV signal, 16:9 gives you an anamorphic DV signal.

I'm not sure if it flags the anamorphic signal as such though - I've only used these options when capturing into iMovie on an older laptop which isn't fast enough for HDV. iMovie doesn't seem to correctly recognize that the signal is anamorphic, but it could just be iMovie - it seems to have some issues when capturing from the HC-1 because it recognizes it as HDV even when the camera is set to output DV. I'll test it in final cut to see how it works...

Update: When captured into FCP it's recognized as anamorphic and plays back properly, giving very nice 16:9 DV video...
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Old February 7th, 2006, 02:24 AM   #10
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Evan,
Thanks - that's good to know!
Mark
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