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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 4th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #1
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HCR-HC7 Helmet cam?

Hello to all. Im looking for a small HD camera to use with a helmet cam. Im not having much luck with a camera that accepts the lens( av input) and a remote LANC. I know the HC7 has a LANC but if I use the Ilink to get the signal in it will be in the dubbing mode. Will I be able to control the camera through the LANC in the vcr mode? And does the Sony waterhousing ( Sony SPK-HCB ) work in the surf at surface level? Any input is greatly appreciated
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Old June 4th, 2007, 02:20 PM   #2
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I can state that the manual in the HCC warns that it should not be used in large surf. I don't know what their definition is though. I would guess they mean that 12' Pipe would be large (you could easily get below 16' ducking a second reef set). One of our bretheren from Kauai recommends using a bodyboard leash too, which is a great tip. Going to buy one (all mine are Balin leg cords with BB plugs).

I did not plan on using the LANC control and may only use the remote if I do (and a mirror). The issue is that the control is behind a fold down hinged door that runs about the same length as the screen when stowed. It is ABS or PVC or one of the other sometimes brittle plastics. It only has two hinge points and will break easily as it opens only 90 degrees (a similar caution when using it with headphones. It would have been better if Sony had used the rubber plugs they usually use).

As for a mount, I am going to build up a section of PC7 Epoxy on a fullface and mount a Bonehead Composites Dbox HC3 to it. It may actually have arrived today. Another forum member has one too. Think is coming out with a XJacket for the HC7, but it was not available as of 2 weeks ago.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 03:11 PM   #3
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Hi John -
See you made it over here! And looks like guys are doing similar things to what you are!

George - probably the main consideration in "high surf" is going to be impact of whatever rig you use with the surface of the water at high speed... and the end result either internal to the housing (should be able to use foam blocks to fill empty spaces effectively, eliminating THAT problem/risk), or of more concern (in my mind at least), the camera operator!

Knocking this around over in the Canon forum, I was contemplating a backpack type setup with the helmet cam feeding via firewire. While the leash sounds good, still seems a bit scary having that housing in the same churning wave with a live body... no worse than a board I suppose? Maybe a breakaway shoulder harness (w/leash) of some sort? Or John was looking at the HV10, which is really small, but how to waterproof and maybe head mount it?

DB>)
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Old June 4th, 2007, 05:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Knocking this around over in the Canon forum, I was contemplating a backpack type setup with the helmet cam feeding via firewire. While the leash sounds good, still seems a bit scary having that housing in the same churning wave with a live body... no worse than a board I suppose? Maybe a breakaway shoulder harness (w/leash) of some sort? Or John was looking at the HV10, which is really small, but how to waterproof and maybe head mount it?

DB>)
Do not get the HV10. It has problems with extreme POV and shake. This was the main reason I ruled it out. If I could find that they had fixed it in the HV20, I might have gotten that. But the element shake and better In/Out on the HC7 sold it to me.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 06:52 PM   #5
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That's pretty much what I told John over on the HV10/20 thread... that the OIS was not going to give usable results. I was just thinking perhaps the 10 on a head mount MIGHT work since the operator is effectively a shock absorber... and the cam is pretty small.

Sounds like it's been tried though and didn't work- always good to know, and you never know if you don't try!!

DB>)
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Old June 4th, 2007, 07:43 PM   #6
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On the Dbox HC3, it will require some mods to allow the FH100 battery. A little Dremel work. Now, if I could figure out where mine is. I found the diamond cutter.... ;)
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Old June 6th, 2007, 01:09 PM   #7
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Puled the trigger and bought the hc7. Sony's housing sold me. While I wont be out at second reef pipe, I do plan on filming in Large Sunset Cliffs winter surf (San Diego). I also plan to use this wakeboarding

What? Is there a remote lens with a firewire hook up??? If so the helmet cam option is back on
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Old June 6th, 2007, 04:49 PM   #8
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What? Is there a remote lens with a firewire hook up??? If so the helmet cam option is back on
Never heard of that option. Most are 540 lines and composite video only. There is a HD "lens", but it cost about $3k and I think is HD-SDI. Just seen a pic in a mag.

Most of use do a housing attached to a helmet.

http://www.boneheadcomposites.com/cammount.htm
may require some "engineering" depending on your application.

Last edited by George Ellis; June 6th, 2007 at 04:51 PM. Reason: add link
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Old June 14th, 2007, 04:48 PM   #9
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George, thanks for the HOT tip. Good thing about Bonehead its pretty close to where I live. Just talked to them and I will be going to see them with what I have and to look at their products.
Good Company it looks like
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