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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 6th, 2006, 07:50 PM   #1
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To small for gigs?

Do any of you use the A1u as your main camera on paid gigs? I am considering the camera, but I知 concerned that the size will be underwhelming for my clients. I know Quality of the work is more important than the tool, but since I am just starting, I want to look professional.

This is the main reason I知 considering the Panasonic DVC60. If I walk into an event with the DVC60 on my shoulder they will instantly assume I知 a professional (whether that痴 true or not). If I walk in with the A1U, they might think I知 a consumer with a nice gadget.

Personally, I壇 much rather shoot in HD (A1u), but I also like the more professional cameras that have specific dials for shutter speed and aperture (not to mention a larger focus ring).

I was hoping to stay around $2,000 for the camera, which both A1 and DVC60 are (after rebates).

What do you think? Is the A1u gig worthy (corporate, music videos, short films)? Would the DVC60 be a good choice?

Any opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

-Kris
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Old April 6th, 2006, 08:13 PM   #2
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I think if you leave the audio module with microphone on, it starts to look more professional. The Lens Hood helps the look too, and the more you accessorize, then more professional it looks, in my opinion. I find that adding a Spiderbrace 2 really gives the A1 a professional oomph in the looks department too. Then, if you attach a second shockmount and mic on top of the audio module, or a video light or something there, it looks even more impressive. If you have small DOV adaptors or wideangle lens, you can add those on as well.

By itself, the A1 might look like a typical consumer camcorder, but with a few accessories, I haven't had a problem with not looking professional.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 09:13 PM   #3
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Well if I go with the A1U, do you know a good steady cam under $500 (as far as possible) that will work for it and bigger, heavier cameras in the future.

One of my philosophies is to spend less on cameras (they are always changing) and spend more on equipment that can be used on future cameras.

Thanks,
Kris
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Old April 6th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #4
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You can use the Spiderbrace for many types of cameras, big and small, but it's not a real steadicam, although I feel it makes my shots extremely steady as opposed to handheld (even with image stabilizer).
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Old April 7th, 2006, 07:34 AM   #5
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Definetly would recommend a shoulder rig such as the spider brace. The problem with palm-size cams, even if professional, is how light they are, and you get movement that suggests a home-made hand-held shot. Adding accessories, and the brace would help to make the camera "heavy", and the shots will look more professional.

(BTW, this is the reason I chose the XL1s over the GL1. The camera was heavier, especially when accessorized, and hand held shots appeared 'heavy', as if shot from a large format 30lb, cam. When I wanted the 'home-made' hand-held shot, I would mount the cam onto a thin metal flange on top of a should rig, the flange would add some wobble and make the camera feel and behave as if it was very light).

It's not the outward appearance of the cam, but what goes on tape that matters.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 10:26 AM   #6
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If you're really into client oriented videography, definitely don't go with the A1. the DVC60 will have the more professional look and manual controls to make sure you never mess up a shot.

To be sure, the A1 fits a niche, but its not the "impress clients and improve workflow" niche that you're looking for.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 12:55 PM   #7
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I'd get the A1 over the DVC60. HDV resolution is about four times more pixels than any SD camera. I know people will disagree, but slight red problems and all, the output of the A1/HC1 makes the output of even the best SD cameras look like lo-rez webcams. The difference is not some slight subtle thing. It's "knock you on the head" obvious! Yeah you lose a bunch of this difference when you downrez to an SD DVD, but that is just a temporary situation. Get the A1!
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Old April 12th, 2006, 09:44 PM   #8
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There seem to be quite a lot of people that use this camera for paying work. While the larger cameras generally shoot better video, this is mostly about psychology, a big camera can hurt as well, by being intimidating.

Heck, some people think this camera is big. Add a bunch of the necessary accessories to make the most of the camera and you should do well. If you can dig up the "Laurence's Rig" thread or .PoNeH's recent post.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 05:40 PM   #9
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Hmm

Just my opinion since u asked, but don't you think the dvc60 looks a lot like grandpa's vhs camcorder?

Not to offend anyone who has one but that is the first thing I think of when I see it. Go with image quality. Just my 2 cents
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