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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 May 2nd, 2006, 06:59 PM   #1
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Help in selecting Camcorder?

I know that many have asked for help, but here goes.

First off I am not a professional and most likely would not use it for any professional jobs including weddings and events. Would be mainly home/family use and just hobby type of things and so on...

The computer I built is well equipped to handle video and I do use Sony Vegas 6.0 as my main editor. I am looking forward to the arrival of blueray and/or HDdvd to the market, but probably won't buy the first run equipment....although I usually do :-)
We have a HD TV setup with Directv HD if this matters :-)

What I am looking for:

1) I want widescreen so this limits my choices.

2) HD would be nice, but not a must since the blueray type technology is just coming over here.

3) I like functionality...meaning I don't want the basic family camcorder that you can only make basic adjustments on.

4) I want a clear picture. Our current camcorder (Sony handy cam or something like that) is the typical small family cam that takes the typical family type video. Would like much better then this.

5) Does size matter? Not sure...I like the idea of the A1, but worry about camera shake from a small camera. Is this a big concern?

6) Want audio options. Does not have to be the top of the line, but need the ability for good quality audio. Would like to be able to mount and external mic on top or something of this nature.

7) Low light ability would be nice, but I think some of the low light criticisms are aimed at a more professional use.

* I would have about $3000 to spend give or take some, but obivously would love to pay less if all of you suggest a cheaper cam.

My thoughts....A1, FX1, HC1, PDX10 but there may be something else as well.

**Sorry I am posting in this forum, but I figure you can guide me in the right direction.

Thanks for any and all help.

Mike
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 05:16 AM   #2
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Mike

Well, this is the A1/HC1 forum, so the answer is one of these…

Seriously with your list and budget, the A1 sounds like the one for you. It has more options than the HC1 (to address your point 3 on functionality) as well as better audio support (XLR module, proper shoe). It ticks all the other boxes as well.

Size does matter in a number of ways. Smaller size can be an advantage, especially for family videos, you may be more likely to take the smaller A1 along with you than say the FX1. I have the HC1.. but without the mic the size/weight is more or less the same, I find it a nice size/weight to hold. Of course to really reduce camera shake best to use some support: tripod, monopod, Spiderbrace… etc

Mark
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 12:40 PM   #3
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Thanks Mark. I have narrowed it down to the A1 and HC1. The extra cash savings with the HC1 is nice although the A1 is not to far off with the mail in rebate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bryant
Mike

Well, this is the A1/HC1 forum, so the answer is one of these…

Seriously with your list and budget, the A1 sounds like the one for you. It has more options than the HC1 (to address your point 3 on functionality) as well as better audio support (XLR module, proper shoe). It ticks all the other boxes as well.

Size does matter in a number of ways. Smaller size can be an advantage, especially for family videos, you may be more likely to take the smaller A1 along with you than say the FX1. I have the HC1.. but without the mic the size/weight is more or less the same, I find it a nice size/weight to hold. Of course to really reduce camera shake best to use some support: tripod, monopod, Spiderbrace… etc

Mark
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 02:57 PM   #4
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I went for the HC1, but:

- There wasn't any rebate available (and still isn't here in the UK)
- I already had a external mic (Rode Videomic) I was happy with
- I'm less likely to make lots of adjustments/use the extra features

I would have liked the A1, but for me the price difference was too large (£700 pounds - over $1200 dollars) and for me I couldn't justify it. But for you, and with the rebate, A1 sounds right.

Mark
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Old May 5th, 2006, 12:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bryant
I went for the HC1, but:

- There wasn't any rebate available (and still isn't here in the UK)
- I already had a external mic (Rode Videomic) I was happy with
- I'm less likely to make lots of adjustments/use the extra features

I would have liked the A1, but for me the price difference was too large (£700 pounds - over $1200 dollars) and for me I couldn't justify it. But for you, and with the rebate, A1 sounds right.

Mark
Thanks again. Ordered the A1U from B&H. Wife let me order 5 weeks before my planned time and let me get it overnight shipping...hmmm...she is up to something LOL. I am sure I will enjoy the cam.

Thanks
Michael Stowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2006, 12:35 AM   #6
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First of all...this is a dumb question, but I am assuming there is no ergonomical difference between the A1U and A1E correct? I was looking at the spider and saw it listed A1E, but also another camcorder with US brand which threw me for a loop. Also curious about the monopod. I used one quite a bit with my DSLR, but always wanted to try the monopods with the 3 leg extensions. Have you tried these? I am also wondering about the tripod controlers. I will do a search, but curious if you use anything special.

Thanks





Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bryant
Mike

Well, this is the A1/HC1 forum, so the answer is one of these…

Seriously with your list and budget, the A1 sounds like the one for you. It has more options than the HC1 (to address your point 3 on functionality) as well as better audio support (XLR module, proper shoe). It ticks all the other boxes as well.

Size does matter in a number of ways. Smaller size can be an advantage, especially for family videos, you may be more likely to take the smaller A1 along with you than say the FX1. I have the HC1.. but without the mic the size/weight is more or less the same, I find it a nice size/weight to hold. Of course to really reduce camera shake best to use some support: tripod, monopod, Spiderbrace… etc


Mark
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