Some questions about the HC7 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 February 20th, 2007, 01:08 AM   #1
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Some questions about the HC7

Hi everyone -
Been reading such great stuff on these boards, finally decide to join in the fun!

Have some questions that I'm trying to find the answers to - the Sony rep I chatted with online didn't seem to have anything more than the same limited info on the websites, and since the HC7 is so new I'm a little uncertain as to how "up to date" and accurate the info is ;-)

I've got the HC3, it's the "family cam", B/C angle/backup, and I've managed to collect some nifty add ons for it. The 3 actually surprised me with how good a cam it is for the compact package. But of course that lack of mic and headphone jacks is an issue that I see the 7 resolves along with adding some spiffy specs.

Contemplating the "upgrade" - I can get that Sony mic adapter cheap enough, may get it anyway... since it may be a while before I upgrade! I'm toying with using the a/v output for a jerry rigged headphone out - I've tested, and there is output there! Sounded a bit weak, and building a preamp would be more work than seems practical... but it's an option...

SO anyhow, 3 questions about the HC7 -

1. does the x.v. colorspace add anything to the capabilities in edit - the rep indicated Vegas7 supports the extended colorspace and it seems to me this could be a HUGE advantage - more info in, at least theoretically should equal a better output? Sort of how HDV footage output to SD beats footage shot in SD. Anyone dump some footage shot with the xv color yet, and does it look "better"? Spot? (BTW - that Swoop and Hook jump shoot footage was just NUTS!!!)

2. I see the 7 uses a battery that looks like the FP series (and apparently will share SOME chargers), but carries a "FH" designation - ANY chance the FP series will run this cam, since I've got several extended batteries for my 3... Anyone have both (FP battery and HC7) and want to try to stuff one into the slot and see if it works? Or did Sony build in an extra couple hundred profit with a new battery format...

3. Last question... this one is probably the real tough one. Happened across a couple HCB sports packs on the cheap, making the HC3 an "all weather" and shallow dive cam... since the 7 is almost identical in size, I'm pretty sure it will "fit", BUT... the 3 interfaces with the sport pack electronics/controls through the "d" shaped jack that the cam uses for composite output (lots of interesting things going on with that jack including an external mic input!). I know the similar jack on the HC1 won't function with the HCB... anyone have a 7 and and HCB sports pack, and does the pack work with it? Anyone have the serive manual for the 3? Sony posted the SM for the 7 the other day, haven't had a chance to look at the jack in detail...


The HC7 looks like a nice upgrade - I presume from the comments that the video quality is a step up from the HC1 and HC3, and being a gadget hound I am always looking at the next cool thing, but trying to judge the overall cost of upgrading - the answers to 2&3 could be big budget busters <wink>!


THX

Dave
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Old February 21st, 2007, 03:56 PM   #2
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found some answers

If you dig around enough you find answers.... thought I'd share what I found in case anyone else is wondering!

First, thanks to Ron for posting the xvcolor samples - that helped answer THAT question - I figure Vegas will be able to process the expanded colorspace, so that's a handy plus for the HC7.

Second, compared the service manuals for the HC3 and HC7 - turns out the A/V out (D shaped plug) also has a LANC interface, and the pinouts match, so the sports pack "should" work... no guarantees until I see both in the same room :-) but sure looks like I can "recycle" my foul weather solution!

As for battery compatibility??? Anyone with an FP series (what the HC3 used)extended life battery manage to stuff it into the HC7 and get it to work?

I found the FH battery compatibility lists show the HC3, so the BATTERIES are backwards compatible... but did they make the HC7 incompatile with the older batteries by software or a hardware (most likely a molded "bump" on the battery compartment... that's how they blocked the smaller FM30 on an HC1) block?

If anyone happens to be able to check this out, I'd sure be interested, as I'm thinking of clearing out some gear now, and if the batteries don't fit, I may as well "accessorize" my cam(s) when I sell!

THX
Dave
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:18 AM   #3
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xv color space in fcp?

does fcp support the xv colorspace? and what exactly is it? I captured some footage with and without it and I couldn't tell the difference.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 04:53 PM   #4
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Hi Andrew -
from what I've seen (check out the thread with ycc color in the title - excellent samples with vectorscope readouts - bring the pictures up in your browser and go back and forth - the difference is pretty clear, easier to see that the stuff on the Japanese site) Sony says that with a TV capable of displaying the extended color space, you get "real" colors rather than the limited RGB colorspace (hope I got that right), roughly twice as many displayable colors.

I doubt fcp will support it now, but it might well become supported in a patch - from what I've heard Vegas supports it now (or soon will?). Since I don't yet HAVE an HC7 to test with, I can't say, but I'm sure interested in the answer - I see it sort of like having a computer display that can only represent 32,000 colors or one that does 64,000... the latter should look superior all else considered.

My working theory is that that additional information stuffed into the NLE can't help but produce a better looking output, but until I have one in my hands, and the budget doesn't allow that :-( I'm just researching and speculating... looks like a nice cam though, and I could see xv color catching on in time.

DB>)
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:29 PM   #5
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Surely SOMEONE can answer the FP battery question? Inquiring minds want to know!!!
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:00 PM   #6
 
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The older FP batteries will not work. I learned this by accident, having ordered an FP90 for my HC7. :-( Expensive mistake.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 12:47 AM   #7
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Hi Spot!
Bummer... I've got some FP71 and 90 I in stock so I hate to think I will have to upgrade batteries too. WAY expensive part of the upgrade as I like to have a couple extras around... just in case.

Now here's an interesting question, since you've got the battery and cam...

is the inability to use the FP series mechanical, IOW the battery simply will not fit in the slot because there is a block of some sort (my HC1 prevented FM30 series batteries just this way - there was one of the "bumps" molded into the battery cavity that there was no "hole" on the FM 30 to accomodate) - not suggesting you dremel your new cam to defeat such a feature, but I'm crazy enough to consider it...

OR, will the battery mount up, and the camera gives an error message or won't start, suggesting a software lock that a dremel would be less effective in "fixing"?

Reallly looking forward to seeing your review of this camera (DMN subscriber), it looks pretty sweet from the specs, and aside from having to replace some accessories, I've got my HC1 and 3 add ons and at least some would work. Looking like there wil be some awesome cams hitting the street (the 7 and the HV20) at pretty reasonable prices... HD has arrived!

DB>)
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 01:13 AM   #8
 
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The battery won't fit in the slots. I'd imagine you could Dremel the slots out should you want to.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 12:32 PM   #9
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Thanks Spot!

HMMMM... sounds lke it "might" be possible to reuse those "old" (when did a year old become obsolete.... gotta love technology!) batteries.

Guess I'll have to wait until I can get a HC7 in hand... or a good scan/picture of the FH battery to see how they "keyed" the battery/slot (anyone got a sec to scan the "bottom" of the battery and post/email me?) - got a couple FP71's I got really cheap on Ebay that I'd risk sacrificing for the experiment... probably better than modding the cam, just in case there's a "software" lockout too :-P

Just a note about my speculation on modding for those who might think it's a cool idea, I'm not responsible if you try it and wreck something <wink>... "don't try this at home... Ize a perfeshinal..."

DB>)
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