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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 January 2nd, 2007, 08:05 AM   #1
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Balanced audio for HC1

Hello - I'm a newbie owner of a HC1 - this is my first posting on the list.
The HC1 accepts external mics but has no XLR inputs: here are my list of questions:

1. What is gained ("bang for the bucks") by adding balanced audio using e.g. external Beachtek adapter and mic?

2. If desireable, how would you recommend I outift the camera for balanced audio (equipment, hotshoes etc)? The HC1 has no normal hotshoe but Sony's prioritary shoe.

3. For a non-professional video (basically, research docmentation), should
I bother with "balanced audio" or is that better left to pros/semipros?

4. Simple audio set-ups for the HC1 , such as Sony's external mics, are they good enough, altough not "balanced"?

Yours,

- Are, Bergen, Norway
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 02:35 PM   #2
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Well... based on my experience as a hobbyist... I won't try to educate anyone on balanced or unbalanced...others here will...just based on MY experience,

Unless you find a need to mix/input multiple mics, input a "line" feed, or both, I don't think you really need a XLR adapter like the Beachtek or the one I have, the Studio 1 XLR-BP Professional. They do have a purpose and serve it well when needed.

I have the Shure VP-64 XLR mic, and it sounds good through the XLR-BP, or plugged straight into the camera with an XLR to 1/8" Stereo cable. It can used as a handheld, and works pretty well mounted. It is a non-powered condenser mic.

A Rode Videomic works very well for a gun and general use mic, and plugs directly into the camera as well. It also works well on a boom pole.

The on-board mics work very well for my purposes, unless it is windy, or there is a need to cut out background and ambient noise, to focus in on my subject. Then a gun mic is needed, with a windsock if outdoors in the wind.

Again the Rode Videomic works well for that, and I do have the Sony HGZ1, which works "okay", but not as well as the Rode as to sound quality. The Rode is powered by a battery and outputs a little hotter than a non-powered condenser mic, but the HC1 handles the input fine.

My advice?.... stay simple to start with...

1. Have a mic that works in the wind. Howling noises can ruin a good video.

2. Have a mic that can cut background sound when needed.

3. Use the on-board mics for simplicity, they work very well and are stereo if 1 or 2 above are not a problem.


If you are planning to work for hire, or sell your work...disregard this post.

edit: PS: do a search of this forum, one of the buttons above, and type in "audio", "balanced audio", etc.., you'll find some useful discussions.
Jamie
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 03:27 PM   #3
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I'd support (aaarghh - no pun intended!) all of Jamie's advice. Except in a multiple mic situation, or with a very long mic cable, the biggest bang for the buck will come from using a better external mic and having it raised somewhat above the body of the camera. Moving to balanced audio will be a lesser gain.

Here's three options for mounting an external mic on the HC1, in order of price:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ist&sku=133276

http://dm-accessories.com/AIS-FLAT.php

http://www.spiderbrace.com/
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 01:28 AM   #4
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If you're starting out and just need a general all purpose Mic for the HC1, the Rode VM + the AIS-Flat pointed out by Graham & Jamie will more hten suffice.

I used the same setup with my HC1 for wedding videography (plus Rode deadcat) and it was more then sufficient for the most part.

People will argue that other mics are better but nobody will argue that for the money, the Rode VM is the best setup for your dollar, heck I plan to use it for a full year with my XH-A1 b4 I upgrade (to perhaps an NTG-2)

Also, believe it or not the built in mic on the HC1/A1U has excellent sound quality, considering it's supposed to be a crappy on board mic
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 09:16 AM   #5
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RE: balanced audio for HC1

Michael, Graham and Jamie:

Many thanks for very useful comments and web-links. I will skip
balanced audio for now and go for a Rode ext mic. attached to a dm-accessories hot-shoe).

A short follow up on lenses: there has been discussions on how to add a filter to the HC1 without ruining either the sun visor or the lens characteristics(adding the filter to visor, places the filter too far from the lens etc): any final solution(-s) to this?

Also: the HC1 lens does not provide much "wide-angle" -- adding a wide-agle converter is possible: does this work well? What types can be recommended?

- Are

PS: I am a recent convert to video; I hope to be able to take some decent
footage at home and during fieldwork (mostly in Lebanon) and edit this
using Adobe Premier Elements (stepping up to Premier Pro later).
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 10:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Are Knudsen
A short follow up on lenses: there has been discussions on how to add a filter to the HC1 without ruining either the sun visor or the lens characteristics(adding the filter to visor, places the filter too far from the lens etc): any final solution(-s) to this?
either you use a screw on filter directly ontop of the HC1/A1U lens or use a screw on filter on top of the HC1 lens hood, just note that the farther away the filter is from the lens itself you will likely get vignetting @ full wide angle setting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Are Knudsen
Also: the HC1 lens does not provide much "wide-angle" -- adding a wide-agle converter is possible: does this work well? What types can be recommended?
One definate grip that I have about the HC1 is that its full wide isnt that wide, so yes you will need a wide angle for many occasions IMO, i simply went for the Sony HD 37mm WA lens made specifcally for the HC1/A1U and it is excellent. I also picked up the .3 Raynox WA-Fisheye, you do get distortion @ the sides and I only recommend using the lens with GOOD outdoors lighting but it is a great little 'effect's lens for the money.

http://www.sonystyle.ca/commerce/ser...ductId=1001626

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 02:02 PM   #7
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Are,

You'll find a WA conversion lens invaluable, particularly indoors and in confined areas.

Anything more than around .7X will start to give some "fisheye" effect as you pan.

Stick with a high grade lens for your high resolution camera. I have the Sony VCL-HG0737Y, and find it flawless. Check B&H Photo www.bhphotovideo.com for competitive pricing, though I'm not sure how international sales works with them.

Jamie
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