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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 10th, 2006, 02:01 PM   #1
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Just got the A1U, working on accessories... need help!

So I got my A1U last week and shot some test footage and oh man, this thing is amazing. I have bought some accessories and plan on buying more but I wanted some opinion on the ones I already have as well as what to get. This was mostly inspired bu Laurence's A1U photos and post.

Currently I have the A1U.

I have already bought:

Vanguard VGP-13 hard case:
(for camera and high price accessories like mic, lens, hood, etc..)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...50425?n=502394

Samsonite SSN 296 Leather Camera Bag
(for cheaper accessories like cables, batteries, etc..)
http://www.circuitcity.com/IMAGE/pro...SSN.296.RT.JPG
(circuit city removed the product page but they left the image on the server)

Velbon CX-690 Tripod
(lots of people recommended the CX-570 but this is a few steps higher and its on sale at Amazon for the same price as the CX-570 with free shipping.)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...lance&n=502394

Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 Series
(wireless lavalier and XLR-to-Wireless adapter. Good for making wireless boom mic or a wireless handheld for weddings)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Random M-series batteries from eBay
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=7605572714

What I'm looking to get:

Spiderbrace 2
(for nice handheld shots)
http://www.spiderbrace.com/

Sony VCL-HG0737Y Wide Angle Lens:
(a no brainier, but the black looks good with the cam)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=396837&is=REG

Cavision LH77 Lens Hood
(perfect fit for the 0737Y Wide Angel lens. Also looks much more professional)
http://www.cavision.com/lenshoods/LH77.htm

Sony HVL-20DMA Light
(good for weddings and interviews)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=367190&is=REG

Sto-fen Omni-bounce diffuser
(for making the light above actually look good)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=89908&is=REG

Azden SGM-1X Shotgun Microphone Kit
(comes with mic, foam and fur windscreens, articulated boom pole, all cables and mounts for only $300)
http://cgi.ebay.com/SGM-1X-Shotgun-M...QQcmdZViewItem

A few questions:

1) I have heard rave reviews of the Velbon CX-570 tripod but cannot find anything about the CX-690. I assume since it's a higher model then the 570 that it should be just as good or better - or is that not a good judgement to make?

2) The Evolution G2 100 mics should be great for weddings and such, right? Use the lavalier for the pre-interviews and for the ceremony? I can use the XLR adapter for the post-interviews. Would that brick-looking thing look bad on a regular studio condenser mic?

3) Can the microphone mount on the XLR adapter on the A1U handle other mics, not just the NV1 ? Shoe mounts are kind of scarce here so I would love to use that for the Azden mic.

4) Is the Azden SGM-1X kit a good deal? Remember, I want to use it for for a camera-mounted shotgun mic as well as on a boom pole for a boom mic. I want to use the Evolution G2 Wireless XLR adapter to make the boom mic wireless. Does this all sound like a good plan?

5) I'd also like any and all comments you have about the equipment I have as well as the equipment I plan on buying. Thanks!

Thanks everyone for helping me make my decision on the A1U and thanks for helping me make it an awesome professional camera! I plan on shooting commercials, some short (maybe even feature?) films as well as videography for weddings.
Adam La Prade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 10th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #2
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Adam
In answer to question 3, the A1u mount is a non-standard size, but will work fine if you can find a way to adjust the diameter of the mic you want to use. I have AT 835b and my local audio store suggested a velcro strip, which made the AT work just fine.
francois
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Old April 10th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #3
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some thoughts

These are just my opnions from my experinces, take them for what they're worth...

1. If you're planning on doing any pans or moving the sticks around a lot - I find all low end tripods to be cumbersome, those snap adjusters on the legs are slow in terms of adjustments and the heads aren't very smooth. If you just need a place to plant the cam it'll be fine.

2. The wireless setup is awesome, not so sure why some are concerned with they way a mic looks, when the sound is what you should be worried about. If by "brick" you referring to the battery pack/transmitter, watch TV reporters doing live shots, you'll frequently see them on interview mics - they look fine. And personally I think its a pro look, but I see pros with them all the time.

3. I took the little rubber piece off the Sony mic and put it on my ME66 to make it fit snug in the Sony mount, some gaffers tape or a strip of rubber will do the trick if there's still slop.

4. Mics are a very personal thing, but looking at that setup there are a few things that I'm not big on. The Azden isn't that great of a mic IMHO - but remember that's just my opinion. I wasn't happy with the ME66 either. I'm gonna try the Rode next. I'm not a big fan of the cables either - Neutrik connectors provide a much tighter connection than the ones pictured in the Ebay ad. Also - again a personal thing - I don't like articulated poles. More places to develop play and introduce handling noise. There's another thread where someone is sprouting a lot of audio info and he seems to like this setup, but I don't think its all that great. Its a decent BASIC start, but you can piece together something with a better mic for a few $$$ more.

5. Other thoughts - again a personal thing, hard cases are a pain, slow to get setup. I'm a fan of shoulder bags. Everything else looks great to me.

The A1 is an amazing camera, you have some top notch gear that will be capable of producing top notch video.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 06:27 PM   #4
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1. A 10 to 20 pound cloth bag of lead shot hung or layed across the tripod lower braces really anchors a light tripod and allows to set the damper for smoother pans. If you hang it, make sure that if you are outside the hung bag is against something to keep it from swaying. The wind can make it look like you are on a boat! (New way to get an effect?)

I have seen some tripods with hooks at the bottom of the riser tube for that purpose.

I use lead shot made for re-loading shot shells, still in the cloth bag it came in. Have had it for about 22 years.

Jamie
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 11:40 AM   #5
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Thank you guys for your input. I got the Velbon CX-690 Tripod and was very impressed at how heavy it was. It's built for heavy use...I like it!

Also, thanks for the info about the lead bags. I see a place on the Tripod to hang things so I think I'll look into that.

As far as the Sennheiser "mic brick" is concerned, it is a bit heavy but I just saw an MTV interview where they use it and you're right - it just adds to the professionalism of the shot, especially when the mic has a flag on it.

Also, I've decided against the Azden SGM-1X because of a bunch of reviews and recommendations I've read on this site. Now, I've recently purchased the Rode NTG-2 mic. I figure I can use it with phantom power from the cam, or use battery power when using it as a wireless boom.

As far as the Sony non-standard size mount, Rode actually makes a mount that fits into the Sony slot. I think it's called the SM5 shockmount. B&H have a used one for $30 so I think I'll pick that up too.

This cam is starting to become an expensive obsession! :-P
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Old May 4th, 2006, 12:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois Camoin
Adam
In answer to question 3, the A1u mount is a non-standard size, but will work fine if you can find a way to adjust the diameter of the mic you want to use. I have AT 835b and my local audio store suggested a velcro strip, which made the AT work just fine.
francois

I'm about to purchase the A1U and am trying to decide on a mic for it. I'm thinking between the AT897 or the AT835B. Can you tell me any particular comparisons or differences between the two mics? My initial goals with the camcorder are to do some wedding/event videography, as well as, some possible short and feature length film work.

Ozzy
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzy Alvarez
I'm about to purchase the A1U and am trying to decide on a mic for it. I'm thinking between the AT897 or the AT835B. Can you tell me any particular comparisons or differences between the two mics? My initial goals with the camcorder are to do some wedding/event videography, as well as, some possible short and feature length film work.

Ozzy

Hi Ozzy! I purchased the Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic because just about everywhere I read said that that mic is really better them mics twice it's price. I haven't tried the AT mics, but I did read an article about "shotgun mic shootout" and they chose the NTG-2 over the AT's. I just finished my A1U and I'm going to write up a huge post about it later today, with pics! Just wanted to let you know!

-a
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