Sony HC3 vs JVC HD1 at

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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 October 15th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #1
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Sony HC3 vs JVC HD1

I was asked by a friend to find reasons for buying the Sony HC3 instead of the JVC HD1.

His daughter is willing to spend up to $ 1,200 on an HDV camera.

For me the main problem in the JVC is reliability, as has been my experience with JVC's products. But that is too generic and nobody thinks it could happen to you.

What other deficiencies or problems will a JVC owner be facing that won't happen with a Sony's?

I think Sony did a wretched thing when they discontinued the HC1, and the fact that the HC3 has no audio input and it's all automatic leaves very few arguments to recommend that model. But the HC3 can do fine as a second camera, I think. And it may be a better investment than the JVC HD1.

Opinions, please...

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Old October 16th, 2006, 07:29 AM   #2
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The lack of audio inputs and earphone outputs is probably the HC3's worst feature.

The HC3 does have manual controls for the picture (focus, exposure, etc.), but the menu system makes it hard to control more than one at a time.

The biggest advantage of the HC3 is that it is tiny.

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Old October 16th, 2006, 07:13 PM   #3
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You don't say what the daughter wants to use it for. However, as a general comment (I own the JVC and the Sony HC1) the HD1 is much heavier and bulkier and has a nasty low-resolution viewfinder ..... and so is much less user-friendly for a casual user used to typical small handy-cams.

Then at the other end of the spectrum, a professional user will have problems with lack of manual control on the HD1 (not sure about the HC3 in this respect), lack of balanced audio, the overaggressive edge-sharpening (which cannot be disabled), and being limited to 720p30.

Personally, I much prefer shooting in 720p than 1080i, but that's kinda a matter of taste.

Hope that helps.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 02:53 PM   #4
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I admit I don't know much about camera but I thought that the HC3 was a 1080i camera and not a 720.

sorry not part of the topic but just wondering

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Old October 17th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #5
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Well, at $1,200 you could even go for a Canon HV10, the video quality is slightly better than the HC3 to my eyes (the 1920x1080 sensors don't hurt either ;) ) but whichever way you look at it you're going to be cutting out audio with any of these cameras except for the HD1. I did much research into getting an HD1 myself very recently, but the consensus was to go with an HD10U, however that model is discontinued and has its own set of problems and ultimately the HC3 seemed to be a much better buy.

I definitely wouldn't go with any of the AVCHD cameras from Sony, after some extra testing in the store I saw that it was pretty easy to get a noisy picture out of it. The same goes for the Sanyo HD1a, while cheaper than these other cameras, it too is limited to 30p and, coming from a guy with big hands, I find it unnecessarily difficult to set up with the little joystick on the back compared to a scroll wheel or multi-button layout. However, it is a pretty nice bang for the buck camera regardless.

If I were in your shoes, I'd wait to see if Canon or someone else releases a new <$2,000 HD model with audio inputs. If you need something immediately, the ultimate best buy would actually be a Sony A1U for about $2,000 - $2,500. That's quite a bit more than what you were aiming for but you get pro menu features, HD, XLR inputs, and it still manages to be wrapped in a small package.

So, in order of my personal preference:

1. Sony A1U - Best cheap HD(v) camera
2. Canon HV10 - Best resolution and form factor size
3. Sony HC3 - Cheapest 1080i solution to date
4. Sanyo HD1a - Tiny form factor and best bang for your buck
5. JVC HD1 - Can produce very filmic images but is very outclassed by today's standards and the footage is supposedly very easy to mess up due to such lack of manual controls
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Old November 29th, 2006, 10:39 PM   #6
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I just got my HC3 today and was happy with the top loading of the tape, unlike with my MX300 always having to take it off the tripod plate to change tapes. but arh!! i hadn't read anywhere that the battery won't come out when on the tripod plate :( so i;m still stuck with having to take the tripod plate off to change battery...
apart from that its a pretty cool little camera :)
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Old November 30th, 2006, 07:19 PM   #7
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There is no way I would give any consideration to the older JVC cams, like the HD1. Its minimum illumination is 30 lux. Today's cams are a much better deal.
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