Sony HDR-HC1 vs HDR-HC3 update 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 April 1st, 2006, 09:35 AM   #1
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Sony HDR-HC1 vs HDR-HC3 update

How is the race going here. More people have now probably tried the HC3 and can compare quality etc.
The days are running out to be able to buy a HC1 and I'm still on the fence.
Any input would be appreciated.
ty
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 05:11 PM   #2
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HVR-A1U Rebate Extended to 9/30/2006

Sorry I posted this in the wrong thread.

----------------
Looks like there's plenty of time to get the HVR-A1U... and now we know the truth. The HDR-HC1 was discontinued so it wouldn't cannabalize sales of the HVR-A1U and was replaced by the HDR-HC3, which definitely won't hurt HVR-A1U sales.

I copied this information from the Sony HVR-A1U Rebate Site:
https://www.rebate-zone.com/default....DirectID=10680

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Promotion Details

Promotion Name Sony HVRA1U HDV Camcorder $500 Rebate
Promotion Description Receive $500.00 mail-in rebate for the purchase of a Sony HVR-A1U HDV product.
Promotion Number 060010A
Start Date 4/1/2006
End Date 9/30/2006
Hardcopy Postmark Date 10/31/2006
Customer Service (866) 881-1114 or Email Customer Service

Click next to confirm your selection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

If you want to get the HDR-HC1 you'd better get-a-move-on. There's still one here in San Diego at the Best Buy in Oceanside.

--Dave
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Old April 4th, 2006, 08:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Nicol
How is the race going here. More people have now probably tried the HC3 and can compare quality etc.
The days are running out to be able to buy a HC1 and I'm still on the fence.
Any input would be appreciated.
ty
I've been having some serious fun with my HC3 for the last few weeks, and have very few reservations about it. It's hard to believe a tiny camera like the HC3 could possibly produce HD video that looks as good as it does. It's the best looking single chip camera I've ever seen, and HC3 pictures intercut nicely with footage I shot on a 3 CCD Z1. The CMOS imager is incredible. Color accuracy is great, considering the limitations of the HDV format's color space. I'm an editor on a network series shot in 1080p Sony HD CAM, so my eyes are quite used to look at pretty HD pictures.

The small and light HC3 is a stealthy camera, and I've been able to get away with shooting behind the scenes HDV videos on a big studio project I'm working on without so much as a grumble from protective unions or studio execs. But the quality of the video would surprise them, as it does me. The camera is small enough to fit into your jacket pocket or cargo shorts/pants pocket.

The low light capabilities are surprisingly good - better than the HC1 so I'm told. The automatic lens caps is a welcome feature, as is the variable function manual control dial on the lens barrel. I use manual functions quite a bit, and there are enough manual controls on the HC3 to satisfy my needs. There is no external mic jack which currently limits pro use, although it's rumored that an input block for the accessory shoe on the top of the camera is coming. The top loading cassette drive makes it easy to change tapes when the camera is mounted to a tripod. The tiny zoom control is a bit touchy - I haven't quite gotten the hang of reliably feathering zoom speed, and there are no manual zoom/focus rings.

Shooting HDV, capturing in FCP 5 for edit, then printing back to HDV tape to watch on an HDTV is easy. I've even used Compressor to downconvert my HDV edited sequences to SD DVD, and the results are suprisingly good.

I had considered buying one of the few remaining HC1's or upping for the pro A1, but I'm so glad I didn't go that route. For my needs, the HC3 is an amazing camera. I predict it will be a huge success for Sony, and anyone who buys one is going to love it.

My 2 cents.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 09:23 PM   #4
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Could you explain what the limitations of the HDV format in regards to color space (and anything else too) are?
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Old April 5th, 2006, 05:44 AM   #5
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Progressive Scan??

Check out this Sony website from Germany, comparing the specs of the HC1 and HC3. Down in the section marked "Kamera" and on the line for "Bildwandler:System" (CMOS), it lists the scanning of the HC3 as being progressive, while the HC1 is listed as having interlaced. Is this correct and if so, why hasn't it been mentioned and discussed before?

http://www.sony.de/product/ComparePr...odels=HDR-HC3E
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Old April 5th, 2006, 05:57 AM   #6
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Kris, thanks for that excellent and encouraging report on the HC3. There's been a lot of sniping against the supposed quality of its imaging on some other HDV forums, but this kind of information from someone who's been able to make some good comparitive tests, is the best sort of reference. I think you are correct that Sony may sell a lot of them.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 03:46 PM   #7
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I'm not sure its just sniping, the tests on the other forum seem fairly conclusive. Low light better on the HC3, resolution better on the HC1 on a static target. Looking at the ClearVid sensor design its fairly easy to see why.

What isn't clear is about movement. Oweing to the whole zigzag interpolation mechanism, resolution fakery buisness, the camera chip of clearvid has to be progressive. You need an entire frame to interpolate from in both directions. But is the 1080i two fields of the same image, or are they taking frames at 60 (50) Hz and only outputing half the frame? If the former, then its almost a 1080p30/25 camera.

Edit,

After going through the thread on the other forum, there are jaggies in the stills. But this makes no sense. Why would you build this camcorder and add no 1080p capability to it? Even worse, will the next camcorder they release use the same sensor but add 1080p60(50) processing from this rather dissapointing chip?
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #8
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"Smooth Slow Rec" function

Somebody has shooted yet at 200fps?
I'm interested in a lot!
How can do this? To the internal memory?
Later write to the tape?
Have you videos to download?

thx,
Marton
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Old April 14th, 2006, 06:37 PM   #9
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They could be running at double the frame rate extracting odd lines from one and Even from the other, or maybe odd lines summed with even liens from one and the opposite from the other.

In the digital cinema projects I advocated that you might be able to capture a raw (bayer patterned) image from the HC1, and we looked at normal uncompressed also. But this diagonal pixel thing puts an effective end to that. Now the sensor pixel has elements of upto five pixels in each pixel by the looks of it. Imagine the resolution if they didn't do smart interpolation. The HC1 is quickly disappearing to.
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