HVR-A1U Accessory Questions: at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series

Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 5th, 2006, 11:36 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26
HVR-A1U Accessory Questions:

I would like to know what are the best recommendations for:

1) Is the supplied microphone adequate for general use or would the Sennheiser ME66/K6P be much more effective as an all around microphone?

2) Any brand and model suggestions for a decent on-camera light with XLR connection?

3) Do the Sony VCL-HG0737X 37mm 0.7x Hi-Grade Wide Angle Lens and the VCL-HG2037X 37mm Hi-Grade 2x Telephoto Lens really work well on the A1U ?

Pros and cons for any of ththis is much appreciated.

Thanks,
John
John K. Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 6th, 2006, 04:37 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 28
Hi John,

I'm a new A1U user so I can give you some advice, although a lot of people here have had the camera longer and used more accessories.

First, I didn't even bother trying out the supplied microphone, to be honest. I bought a Rode NTG-1 right away. From the reviews and advice I was able to get out there I believe it's regarded as a better microphone than the me66, and it's quite a lot cheaper, too (about $250 from b&h). I have been testing the Rode out a lot lately and am thrilled about the sound I'm getting from it.

I have not yet bought or used a light but am very interested in doing so.

I have the wide-angle lens and consider it pretty essential for this camera. It lets you get more in the shot, especially when you're indoors. (I kind of wish it was just built into the camera, actually.) Also, when you get closer to a subject for sound purposes the wide-angle lens makes it seem as if you aren't so cramped.

Lee
Lee Kazimir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 6th, 2006, 04:52 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Clermont, FL.
Posts: 941
Quote:
Originally Posted by John K. Anderson
I would like to know what are the best recommendations for:

1) Is the supplied microphone adequate for general use or would the Sennheiser ME66/K6P be much more effective as an all around microphone?
The ME66 is too directional IMO. Plus, it is long and is to big for camera mounting.

I have two mics that I use at different times with this camera: a cardiod Sennheiser ME64/K6P and a Rode NTG1 shotgun. The ME64's cardiod pattern works well in reflective indoor environments where shotguns can tend to sound boxy. The NTG1 is almost as small and has a similar pattern to the stock mic, but better bass response and overall sound. On either of these mics a shockmount is important because of the increased bass response. I use a Rode SM5 and really like it.

Here is the cardiod ME64/K6 (or the K6P if you want a slightly shorter but more expensive package)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=92909&is=REG

Here is the small shotgun, the Rode NTG-1:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Here is the Rode SM-5 shockmount:

http://www.fullcompass.com/Products/...070/index.html

About the only other mics I'd recommend are the

Audio-Technica AT4051A (cardiod)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=68314&is=REG

or the Audio-Technica AT4053 (hyper-cardiod)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=68315&is=REG

The 4051 is less boxy in reflective environments, but the 4053 has a little more reach. You can switch capsules between these mics. Both these mics have a flatter frequency response than the ME64. I chose the ME64 because of it's high frequency boost which I like for added speech intelligibility (especially with the fuzzy windscreen I keep on all the time).

Quote:
2) Any brand and model suggestions for a decent on-camera light with XLR connection?
I use the Sony HVL-20DMA with a Stofen diffuser:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=367190&is=REG

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=89908&is=REG

Without the diffusor, I didn't like the light that much but with it it is perfect. It uses the same batteries as the camera as well.

Quote:
3) Do the Sony VCL-HG0737X 37mm 0.7x Hi-Grade Wide Angle Lens and the VCL-HG2037X 37mm Hi-Grade 2x Telephoto Lens really work well on the A1U ?
There are two compatible Sony wide angle lenses, the Sony VCL-HG0737X, and the Sony VCL-HG0737Y. The "Y" model is a little larger (the thread size is the same though) and black to match the A1/HC1. I have the "Y" model and love it. I also have the "X" model mounted on an older TRV-20 that I've had for a number of years. The image quality is great either way. Whatever you do don't get the Century Optics version. The image quality is nowhere near as good. Get the the Sony VCL-HG0737Y. The black finish looks better on the A1 and it is designed for the higher resolution of HDV.

For a wide angle lens you also want to get a lens hood. The Cavision LH80M/P can be ordered with an adapter ring to perfectly fit the VCL-HG0737Y. If you use the VCL-HG0737X, be sure to tell them because the outside diameter is a little smaller:

http://www.cavision.com/lenshoods/LH80.htm

This lens hood won't work with the lens cap but the lens hood is threaded for a filter, so be sure to get a threaded 82mm UV filter to protect the lens:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search


Quote:
Pros and cons for any of ththis is much appreciated.

Thanks,
John
Laurence Kingston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 6th, 2006, 10:01 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26
Thanks Lee and Laurence for your input. Very much appreciated. I will definitely use your suggestions.

You find the wide angle Sony VCL-HG0737Y lens is very usefull and good quality. What is your opinion on the Sony VCL-HG2037Y telephoto lens attachment. Is it practical? Also, the Sto-fen #OM-EZ cap does fit onto the Sony HVL-20DMA light? Just double checking.

What type of tape do you both use? I presently have access to Panasonics Master Quality AY-DVM63MQ at a good price at 5.75 a tape. What is your opinion on the high priced Sony Digital Master tape at 17.00. Is there a substantial difference in HD quality for the price difference?

Thanks again,
John
John K. Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 7th, 2006, 11:05 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 28
John,

I don't plan on using the "premium" Sony Digital Master tapes. I don't think there's any improvement in image, just lower chance of dropouts. I did actually use one Digital Master tape that came with the camera, and a few others that were just standard DV tapes you buy in a drugstore. I haven't noticed dropouts when playing back any of them. At 3x the price I simply can't justify the extra expense, so I will live with the slighter chance of dropouts.

I have not used the telephoto lens so I can't comment.

Hey Laurence, what do you do about batteries for the light on the A1U? I imagine a QM91 would be far too big and bulky to stick on the back of it. Do you use smaller M-series batteries? If so, how long do they last on the light?

Lee
Lee Kazimir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Clermont, FL.
Posts: 941
Quote:
Originally Posted by John K. Anderson
Also, the Sto-fen #OM-EZ cap does fit onto the Sony HVL-20DMA light? Just double checking.
It's meant for a Canon flash I believe, but it fits the HVL-20DMA perfectly.

Quote:
What type of tape do you both use? I presently have access to Panasonics Master Quality AY-DVM63MQ at a good price at 5.75 a tape. What is your opinion on the high priced Sony Digital Master tape at 17.00. Is there a substantial difference in HD quality for the price difference?

Thanks again,
John
I've been using regular Sony Mini-DV tape and dropout has not been a problem. Lot's of people recommend getting one brand of tape and sticking with it. On my older Mini-DV cams I used whatever was cheapest for years and never had a problem mixing tapes, but currently I'm sticking with the Sonys. Sony uses a wet lubrication system and everyone else uses a dry lubrication. I feel that since it is a Sony camera, the "wet lubrication" tapes must be OK. I do however seriously doubt that it really makes any difference. I just value the camera too much to experiment.


The way I see it, the "wet/dry" lubrication issue affects the camera longevity. The "master" line of tapes is less likely to have dropouts, but not neccessarily any easier on the tape heads. Since I'm not having dropout problems on the cheaper Sony tapes, I'm not spending the extra money on tapes designed to avoid dropout.
Laurence Kingston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2006, 10:26 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26
Thanks guys.

Lee,

I'm going to buy a QM91D battery for the A1U and then use the supplied camera battery for the 20DMA video light. Will have to see how long the battery will last on the light.

John
John K. Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2006, 02:49 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Clermont, FL.
Posts: 941
Quote:
Hey Laurence, what do you do about batteries for the light on the A1U? I imagine a QM91 would be far too big and bulky to stick on the back of it. Do you use smaller M-series batteries? If so, how long do they last on the light?

Lee
Yeah I use the M-series batteries. I haven't run one down all at once yet so I'm not sure how long they last. Basically I just have a bunch of real Sony M-series batteries for both the camera and the light. The bigger batteries are too big for the camera too as I use the viewfinder more than the foldout screen.
Laurence Kingston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2006, 07:54 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26
Basically I just have a bunch of real Sony M-series batteries for both the camera and the light. The bigger batteries are too big for the camera too as I use the viewfinder more than the foldout screen.[/QUOTE]

Hi Laurence,

Are you saying the QM91D battery is too big for the HVR-A1U ? What size do you use ?

John
John K. Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2006, 09:13 PM   #10
New Boot
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Eureka Missouri
Posts: 15
I have had my A-1 for a while now, I love it. I think I had several threads that asked almost these same questions when I bought it. Laurence and others recomended to me these same accessories. I went with the VCL-HG0737Y lens. The Sony HVL-20DMA with a Stofen diffuser and several Sony NP-QM71D batteries with an ACVQ50 charger. All of these I am completly happy with. I have not done much with the sound yet. I thought the supplied mike was good enough for now. I think lighting is a better way of spending some money for the A-1. The outdoor shots are astounding. I take a lot of indoor shots and I am getting better results using White balance and exposure setting than I did at first. But not what I want yet, It takes some experementation. A friend of mine brought some Lowel lights over for fun. WOW what a difference. I am now looking for different light kit options to see what might fit my needs and budget...these kits aren't cheep any Ideas?
David Stieferman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9th, 2006, 12:18 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Clermont, FL.
Posts: 941
Here's a really simple idea: replace the incandescent lights in your house with high output, indoor lighting temperature flourescents. It's not that expensive, it will be brighter, and you'll save electricity too!
Laurence Kingston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9th, 2006, 12:21 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Clermont, FL.
Posts: 941
Quote:
Originally Posted by John K. Anderson
Are you saying the QM91D battery is too big for the HVR-A1U ? What size do you use ?
If you use the fold out screen the bigger batteries are fine. You can't get your face up close to the viewfinder with the 91D batteries. Even the "M" batteries are pressed against your face. I sure wish the viewfinder would pull out a little like it did on my old TRV-20!
Laurence Kingston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9th, 2006, 02:32 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence Kingston
If you use the fold out screen the bigger batteries are fine. You can't get your face up close to the viewfinder with the 91D batteries. Even the "M" batteries are pressed against your face. I sure wish the viewfinder would pull out a little like it did on my old TRV-20!

It's a matter of personal preference, but even with a QM91D in I'm happy to use the viewfinder. My eye gets within an inch of the viewfinder and that's enough for me. An extendable viewfinder would have been a good idea, I agree. But I need the long battery life and I don't consider the viewfinder thing even a semi-serious problem.
Lee Kazimir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9th, 2006, 07:51 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 234
For those who feel the viewfinder is too far away using the QM91s...have you tried using an iCuff with the camera? I have one on my PDX10 and it's fantastic. I was thinking that if I buy an A1, I'd use it to help minimize the viewfinder distance problem.
Duane Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2007, 12:13 PM   #15
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 23
Tryin' to find a good battery fo HVR-A1U

The Sony HVL-20DMA with a Stofen diffuser and several Sony NP-QM71D batteries with an ACVQ50 charger. All of these I am completly happy with. I have not done much with the sound yet.

I have been trying to find batteries that I am certain will work with a Sony HVR-A1U. I'm searched for

np-qm71d
and
npqm91d

But none the sites I've looked at (Amazon, Sony) say in the description that they are compatible with HVR-A1Us. They list a host of other Sony cameras, but no A1U.

Does anybody recommend a battery model that is a surefire match and/or can point me to a good website?
Philip Brubaker is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:41 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network