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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 26th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #1
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Choosing between HC3\HC7

I've been looking to the HC1 for a while, and it was the perfect choice for me. Too bad I need the european model, that costs way too much here in Italy (1600 €), and that is nowhere on the online market at a lower price. Since I can't wait for other auctions to show up on ebay (I need the camcorder before march), I'm forced to choose between these 2 options:

1\buy this HC3 on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.it/SONY-HDR-HC3E-DIG...QQcmdZViewItem this is the best auction I have found. I don't care if the extras are not of exceptional price, the important thing is that I have the cam for 1099 $ (847 €)
2\Wait for the HC7, since it has manual shutter speed, better viewfinder and microphone input

I think that the HC3 is fairly good, but the two things that I dislike mostly about it are the features that the HC7 has. So, as of now, are there workarounds to these defects? In particular:
A way to control the shutter speed in some way
A way to extend the viewfinder, maybe with 3rd party accessories
A way to connect a non-Sony microphone, maybe with an hot shoe adapter.

Since I need the camera by March 8, it would be a shame to have waited for the HC7 only to discover that the HC3 had workarounds to these defects, or that the HC7 has worse image quality.

EDIT: I just learned that I can't refer to a shop that doesn't sponsor DVinfo, but if someone could email me and tell what he thinks about that auction it would be great. Thanks
Daniele Lauretti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #2
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A way to control the shutter speed in some way
A way to extend the viewfinder, maybe with 3rd party accessories
A way to connect a non-Sony microphone, maybe with an hot shoe adapter

For 1st and 3rd, there's no EASY way to workaround this. It CAN be done, but it is certainly not easy.
As for 2nd one, i don't know about that but i doubt its easy either.

My advice would simply buy an HC7 or a 2nd-hand HC1 (if you cannot get on new anywhere - it might be possible there is some unsold units in your area).
Stu Holmes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #3
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I bought an HC3 a month ago to complement my FX1 when I do a 2-camera shoot. Color balance and image quality are very similar once you turn down the HC3 sharpness one notch. It's a great camera, and one you can take anywhere!

You can go into the Digital Effects menu and select a slower shutter speed than 1/60, but to my knowledge you can't lock the HC3 on a faster shutter speed. Also, the new HC7 has an option to automatically default to 1/30th in low light levels, effectively doubling the light sensitivity.

They are about to make generally available an adaptor for the hotshoe that allows the use of any stereo microphone with a stereo miniplug output. No way to connect a headphone for monitoring, however. Also, the audio input has no manual adjustment. Here's a link that shows the adaptor:
http://babelfish.altavista.com/babel...t.de%2f14.html

You will have the choice of buying a brand-new HC5/7 or buying a brand-new HC3, probably at a considerable discount. Can't lose either way; it just depends on how important the differences are.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 05:36 PM   #4
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That adapter would be great! But where do you attach the microphone? It should have a normal shoe on it's upper body.

BTW, my audio needs aren't those of a pro (for now). How's the sound quality from the HC3 internal mic? I know it has AGC, but what about directionality, stereo effect, noise etc?

The external mic I would like tu use should be capable of recording ambient sounds (possibly not the tape mechanism or me fiddling with the camera - maybe a cardioid would do that), stereo if possible, with the option of putting on it a fur cover to cut wind. Does it exist a mic like this under 70$? If not, is there a close one?
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