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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 March 14th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #1
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Got my HC3

I rolled the dice on eBay and managed to purchase a new "import" model. While I was very skeptical of the whole deal since it has not been released yet per-se, it just arrived, is NTSC, in English, etc. I also have an FX1 but plan to use this for mobility. I have to say that it is super small and so far exceeds my expectations. It even has a small thumbwheel you can use for manually adjusting a few things like exposure and focus. The only big thing I do not like is it does not have a mic-in jack but man is it small and I can't believe I was able to get it.

Bryan
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Old March 14th, 2006, 09:14 PM   #2
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Awesome Brian! You are the first person in the U.S. that I know has acquired this camcorder. You should be proud! ;)

I would love to see some low-light footage and the slow-mo feature working. That would be really helpful. It would also be neat to have some comparisons between the HC3 and the FX1.

Enjoy the camcorder! It is quite small indeed; I got to play with it for a while at the Sony event at PMA.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 11:42 PM   #3
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I don't expect this do do as well as the FX1 since there is no gain control on it so I expect more noise but I will try to post some comparison footage shortly. For now here is a link to a clip I created tonight with a rack focus using the manual thumb knob. It is 13 seconds and 43meg in full Quicktime 7 HDV format if anyone wants to see it. I was zoomed in a bit to help the DOF. All I added was a standard deinterace filter in Final Cut Pro.

http://www.tampahighdef.com/HC3-1.html
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Old March 15th, 2006, 02:11 AM   #4
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Thats great that you got us a HC3 to tinker with *cough* I mean it's great that YOU got an HC3 to tinker with! One problem, I can't see the video, missing codec...? Our company is Premiere Pro 2.0 based so no FCP plugins or what have you. Any inspiration to help with playback?

What I'm really interested in is the slow-motion feature for us to use in complemet to mostly FX1 based footage. So when you get around to playing with that, a clip would be great, um... one that I can play ;) keep sharing your thoughts on this interesting little camera.

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Old March 15th, 2006, 04:52 AM   #5
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Bryan, there has been some conflicting information and quite a bit of discussion about the manual capabilities of the HC3, using the thumbwheel. Some say that there is no way to directly change the shutter speed. But, I just read a review from Japan, that said the thumbwheel could be shifted to adjust the shutter. If you could determine the fact about that, it would be appreciated.

Good luck with your new little friend. Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out that you used it more than your bigger, expensive one?
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Old March 15th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #6
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Byran, Thanks for the video clip. Awesome. Keep 'em coming!
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Old March 15th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #7
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Bryan, I see there are a few HC3's available on ebay. Does yours have a US warranty? I assume not since Sony USA has not yet released the camera here.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 04:59 PM   #8
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Old March 15th, 2006, 05:03 PM   #9
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Steve,

From the menu, the "dial set" feature has 4 options and no menu options for shutter speed anywhere:

Focus, Exposure, AE Shift, WB Shift.

Exposure controls the tiny iris - I can see it open and shut as I turn the dial.

Bryan
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Old March 15th, 2006, 05:10 PM   #10
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Exposure controls both, the iris and the gain.

I don't know why they didn't include shutter speed in that list. So easy to do, and it would indeed be quite helpful.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #11
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Upond further digging there is a Camera Set menu option called "Auto Shutter" and it can be on or off. But all that it does is adjust the shutter speed when recording in bright conditions according to the manual - default is on.

There is also an Digital effect called "slow shutter" that lets you set it to 1/25, 1/12, 1/6, 1/3 but that seems like something I would not use.


I wonder if the camera runs at 60/fps in most settings. I can't find anything that lets you control it beyond what I just mentioned.

Bryan
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Old March 15th, 2006, 06:24 PM   #12
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My mistake Boyd. I won't do it again.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Suthard
There is also an Digital effect called "slow shutter" that lets you set it to 1/25, 1/12, 1/6, 1/3 but that seems like something I would not use.
Aha !! this is interesting and actually useful. 1/25th sec. is useful for low-light situations. a bit marginal on speed from point-of-view of subject-movement though. The slower speeds than that will rarely be used IMHO, but this does look like a Sony concession towards shutter-speed control.

One thing - from those speeds, it sounds like a PAL model... not NTSC. I'm assuming that it IS an NTSC model that you've got ? could you confirm pls.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Suthard
I wonder if the camera runs at 60/fps in most settings. I can't find anything that lets you control it beyond what I just mentioned.
Hsa it got Data code? i.e. on playback, Data code, camera data, to see aperture and shutter used? if so you can see what shutter it's using as 'default'. Most Sony NTSC cams use 1/60th sec as default. PAL cams generally 1/50th sec default.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #14
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Stu,
My mistake. I pulled those specs from a PAL owners manual I had found on the web. My model is NTSC. Once I get home and check my actual manual and I will let you know if it is any different - probably is. One other tidbit. The box says it is an HDR-HC3K. I don't know if the "K" is since mine was black or what but the manual says functions for the HC3K is the same as the HC3.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #15
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Ah ok. i´m predicting that the slow shutter speeds for your model will be 1-30th, 1/15th etc. as it´s a NTSC model.
´
'K' is Sony´s normal designation for NTSC 'International' model. - it´s nothign to do with the colour. Japan i think is the only market to get a silver model and a black model. I *think* all other markets only get the black model.

HC3E will be PAL version intended primarily for Europe
HC3U will be NTSC version primarily for USA and Canada etc.
HC3J will prob. be Japanese market version
HC3K is NTSC version that´s intended for markets other than Japan and USA etc. Some of these are still sold in the States. It'll probably be 99.5% as HC3U except maybe you might get one or two more little accessories.
' This is how it was with the HC1 and other cams more or less.
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