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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 26th, 2006, 09:27 PM   #1
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A3u ???

Now that Sony has released the HC3 does the rumor mill have any feeling about an "update" to the A1?

I do realize that the HC3 is not really an "update" to the HC1. More like a downgrade actually......... with the exception of the price.

Anyway, if there were to be an A3, what would your wish list include?

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Old May 28th, 2006, 06:57 PM   #2
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A precise manual focus ring instead of the servo. But then I'd be ticked I bought the one with the servo. I have been shooting test footage with it on the past two weekends during breaks in my actual shooting on two weddings. I believe I can make it serviceable should my DSR 300A go down. The viewfinder is sharp enough and bright enough I think to manually focus it well. But to follow moving objects even in close and stay "tightly" focussed with the lag & lack of precision of the servo setup is really frustrating. Static shots that can be set up, no problem.

Maybe the answer which I've prepared for with the purchase of a standard shoe mounting stud but haven't tried yet is just to use my heavier mini Frezzi with the 75 watt lamp dimmed to about 35-50 watts & the difusser flipped up, and turn it loose on auto focus. The 20 watt max 2 bulb Sony light doesn't put out enough for the auto focus in low light. I bought one of those difussers for that too, but forget that in dynamic, fluid shooting situations. You're back down to probably 10-15 watts illumination.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 07:37 PM   #3
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Nope, Sony is not releasing a professional version of the HC3. I got this information from the Sony Camcorder Engineering Department Director himself at this year's PMA in Orlando. Hence why the A1 is not discontinued like the HC1.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #4
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At some point in time Sony will come with an updated A1. Whether it's called an A2 or A3 or something else, what are some other improvements you guys would like to see, that they left out of the first one, as the original poster was asking?
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Old May 29th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #5
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- Top loading tapes.

- Independent gain/iris control (preferably through the ring).

- Zoom rocker and slower zoom speeds.

- Better low-light performance.

- No rolling shutty effect and better reds.

- Some people might not agree with me here, but I would like a flash like the HC1. It's essential for still pictures.

That would make this camcorder as near to perfect as possible.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 01:28 PM   #6
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But lots of vertical smear, although it has a cmos chip .. VERY strange ..
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Old May 29th, 2006, 11:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Karol
Nope, Sony is not releasing a professional version of the HC3. I got this information from the Sony Camcorder Engineering Department Director himself at this year's PMA in Orlando. Hence why the A1 is not discontinued like the HC1.
I will say that I was told similar by someone in the professional HD division. However, Sony is the type of company that the "right hand doesn't know what the left is doing" sort of thing applies. The rep can be honestly telling you what they know, but they might not be getting good information.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holger Leonhard
But lots of vertical smear, although it has a cmos chip .. VERY strange ..
eh? Where do you see smear?
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Old May 30th, 2006, 08:28 AM   #9
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My wish?

Take the PDX-10 and upgrade it to full HDV.

That would be killer.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 08:34 AM   #10
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While you're working on your wish lists, keep in mind that the PDX-10 (which filled the niche that the HVR-A1 now occupies) was introduced in April 2002 and discontinued in March 2006. A lifespan of 3 to 4 years has been pretty typical for similar products in Sony's pro line, so I suspect the A1 is going to be with us for quite awhile longer...
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Old May 30th, 2006, 11:16 AM   #11
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Briefly:
- True manual focus/zoom ring

- yes, truer reds, not pinky reds

- MUCH slower zoom speeds (or user configurable via menu)

- OIS not EIS !

- LCD screen with 200k+ pixels

- Ability to use 'Data code, camera data' DURING filming to show aperture, gain etc. (this is easy to do Sony!)

- bit more saturation as default, warmer color balance as default.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #12
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Shrink the Z1 to 1/2 it's size, label it A3.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 02:59 PM   #13
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- Missed the LCD; definetely need a higher res LCD.

- Also missed stabilization; OIS for sure.

- Aside from the flash, I would like it if it had an LED for some emergency shots. It was quite useful on a previous Canon I had.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 08:28 PM   #14
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My opinion is that *if* they just release an *updated* version that it could fairly easily have things like a res LCD screen, and a zoom-rate change (maybe..) and perhaps better reds and things like that, but as for things like top-loading tapes and better low-lighjt performance, that really isn't likely on an 'updated' model. Those items are fundamental consequences of the current hardware design and for that sort of stuff it'd have to be really quite a new design IMO. (Which *may* well happen don't get me wrong - but to change fundamentals like tape loading and CMOS/optical design isn't really in the realm of 'updates' - it's in the realm of substantial re-design.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #15
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Color balance:

In various cameras, I notice that depending on your playback option the color will change. Do some video formats record the color balance settings separate and record the footage native, only applying the balance at playback? If this is the case with the HC1, it would be worth turning it off and seeing what the reds are like?
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