Updating the HC1 & A1U 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 June 6th, 2006, 12:08 PM   #1
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Updating the HC1 & A1U

I was reading some posts about what improvements some of us would want in order to make the HC1 & A1U camcorders better (which will always happen no matter what camera we have from here til eternity, it's in our nature to find and want something better!).

I am new to this industry with regards to using my camera in a more amateur/pro setting (for Documentaries).

I was wondering if it is possible to update the HC1's software to make it more like the A1U? And make the A1U slightly improved?

I like certain features the A1U has (black stetch, cinematone gamma, etc..).

i realize that the hardware features (audio setup) that separate these camcorders is what makes the prices what they are.

But in the future, is it possible or even likely that Sony would give us HC1 users an update of the software?

i guess what i am asking is, is it possible or likely to make the HC1 a little more pro like the A1U with regards to the software?

Thanks in advance and enjoy shooting whatever it is that you shoot!
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Old June 6th, 2006, 01:52 PM   #2
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Don't count on it. If you want A1U features... get an A1U.

If you can't cough up the difference in cost, then you'll have to live with unbalance in the HC1, if you can still find one, that is. However, with a good mike, the HC1 can deliver decent audio.

If, however, you have an alternative means to recording audio on a seperate device, then you'll be fine (I'm not too keen on mpeg layer II as master for audio to begin with, and even the pro HDV cams will record audio in that format).

It's not unheard of to use an old DV cam with XLR to record seperate audio to 48KHz. You have to resync in post, and there could be issues with drift.

No matter how you slice it, you'll either spend the bucks up front for the right gear, or spend it in the backend in work arounds, frustration and lost time.

I can say this only because I have a Canon XL1s that provides what I need, (minus the resolution the HC1 gives obvioulsy). I will eventually replace the XL1s with a Sony Z1 by years end. The HC1 is more of a hobby, family cam and has some limited usage for pro work. Some of those limitations carry over into the A1U (low light issues, for one). The old adage, you get what you pay for. Which leads us back to your original question, if you want more features, you'll have to spend more.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 01:58 PM   #3
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Nice thought but unlikely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Vankirk
I was reading some posts about what improvements some of us would want in order to make the HC1 & A1U camcorders better (which will always happen no matter what camera we have from here til eternity, it's in our nature to find and want something better!).

I am new to this industry with regards to using my camera in a more amateur/pro setting (for Documentaries).

I was wondering if it is possible to update the HC1's software to make it more like the A1U? And make the A1U slightly improved?

I like certain features the A1U has (black stetch, cinematone gamma, etc..).

i realize that the hardware features (audio setup) that separate these camcorders is what makes the prices what they are.

But in the future, is it possible or even likely that Sony would give us HC1 users an update of the software?

i guess what i am asking is, is it possible or likely to make the HC1 a little more pro like the A1U with regards to the software?

Thanks in advance and enjoy shooting whatever it is that you shoot!
That would be great wouldn't it! Rather than buy a new and expensive camera we simply buy a CD full of new software (or download it from "www.NewSonyWarez.com" :o)

Unfortunatley this is unlikely and probably impossible for the HC1.

Cameras are currently built much more in an end-to-end manner, each component carefully chosen to optimize the total solution. This is not like the PC where components are now built primarily to work with each other.

Some day we may get a camera with upgradable DSP software, interchangeable imagers and upgradeable storage but don't hold your breath!

[A camera like the A1U that had progressive capability -1080p- would clean up IMO, give it a year or so...)


Regards, Nick.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #4
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Unfortunately, I don't expect that to happen direct from Sony. Significant functional upgrades would reduce the sales of new units. There's only so much that can be done with a firmware change, it doesn't improve the hardware.

Some people have been trying to hack the HC1 firmware to allow the use of A1 features. I think that's pretty risky, but I think the core hardware might be otherwise identical.
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Old July 9th, 2006, 10:18 PM   #5
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Interesting requests--no 24p?? (The most requested feature.) Of course, I don't recommend hacking a camera, esp. if it isn't out of warranty.

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Old July 10th, 2006, 05:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Vankirk
But in the future, is it possible or even likely that Sony would give us HC1 users an update of the software?
No chance. Sony really doesnt do that sort of thing, historically, and in any case the HC1 is no longer in production.
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Old July 10th, 2006, 07:09 PM   #7
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Never say never. 24p was officially added to the HDV spec, so who knows what we'll see soon.

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Old July 11th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #8
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I do remember reading a post about a software upgrade that is doable for the HC1.

However, it's not an approved upgrade, if you get the drift. You'll have to google for the details. I think the only google post that shows up for the hack is in Norwegian or German.

I say, instead of cracking open the camera, go buy a A1U.
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