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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 18th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #1
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HC3 & Fireworks/Night sky.

Hello All,

New member here with a question on the HC3 and shooting fireworks. I purchased an HC3 on Saturday, and brought it out to test last night. The results were pretty good for the minimal adjustments I made on the camera, such as shooting with manual focus, the "Sunset & Moon option" etc... What I noticed was the black sky seemed to be kind of blotchy if that makes any sense. I tested this out on a few monitors (22" LCD & 21" CRT), and my 50" Plasma and they all looked the same. Is this normal behavior from the HC3? Any tips on improving this, and also any tips on shooting fireworks? I'm going to run a few more tests during the week and upload video if need be. Also, this was hand held and not mounted on a tripod.

If it is normal behavior, does the HC7 improve on this? I noticed the HC7 has a lower lux rating compared to the HC3, 2 vs 5.

Thanks,
Bill
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Old June 19th, 2007, 12:30 AM   #2
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I own the hc-7 and I think that night pictures look good. I think that is better that the hc-3 since it has a better lux rating. 2 lux
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Old June 19th, 2007, 12:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronica Smith View Post
I own the hc-7 and I think that night pictures look good. I think that is better that the hc-3 since it has a better lux rating. 2 lux
Thanks for the response Veronica. I'm going to purchase an HC7 tomorrow and test it out in low light conditions. While messing around with the HC3 this morning indoors, I noticed a whole lot of noise due to the low light condition. I played with some manual settings and it got better, but the noise is still very very noticeable, and quite annoying. I'm hoping the HC7 improves on this.

So now I have 2 beefs with the HC3.

Noise in low light conditions
No mic jack

I'm really picky :-) Still, for a camcorder that I paid $549 for brand new, it's still quite good and I just may keep it for the wife.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #4
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Bill -

Having owned the HC3 and done some side by side testing against the HC7 before I sold it, I can tell you that you'll find the HC7 MUCH better in low light - I ran the two cams through my fireware/capture on the computer - the macroblocking (what you describe as blotchyness) was pretty bad on the HC3 - it actually surprised me because the HC3 was my "go to" cam because of the small size.

I don't think the video I've shot with the 3 looks "bad", but when put side by side with the HC7 (or even the older HC1), it isn't as "there" as initial perceptions indicate. It's a cool little cam without a doubt, but there's "better", and the HC7 is definitely better.

The 7 is pretty much the same form factor as the 3, adds the mic and headphone jacks, and stays small - pretty nice camera, and if you don't keep the 3, the wife will probably never let you get to play with the 7 <wink>! You may want to budget for TWO 7's if she's very particular about video quality...
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Old June 19th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #5
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Dave,

Thanks for the response. I'm glad to hear from someone who has experience with both cams. I love the HC3 because of it's size, but it doesn't seem that the HC7 is much bigger. I'm having trouble finding one near me to check out.

As far as the picture quality between the 2, how does the HC7 compare to the HC3 in light conditions, such as daytime filiming? I did some tests this afternoon with the HC3 and the picture looked pretty good. It was a bit bright out this afternoon so I'm going to add a filter to it and see the difference. I know with my photography I always use a circular polarizer filter during daytime shooting and the results are great.

I'm most likely going to keep the HC3 as a backup cam or for the wife to use. For the $549 I paid, I can't justify returning it. Heck, I can sell it on eBay and make some cash if I wanted to. I'm going to research who has the best prices on HC7's and pick one up for myself, not the wife ;-). Is B&H the cheapest around?

Thanks again,
Bill
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Old June 19th, 2007, 06:13 PM   #6
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Hi Bill -
The 7 is more or less identical in size - for some reason I think the 3 looks smaller, probably because of the black and gray finish vs. the 7's silver.

I did a dusk session with all the cams at the same approximate time - the 7 is noticeably better than the 3 to my eye - overall you just will get better results. The 3 is no slouch, and at the price you paid, well... couldn't go wrong! But the 7 is superior on a number of counts, for me it was a no brainer - only thing I'd wish for is better external control but on a cam this size... nowhere to put buttons and such - the touchscreen is not a bad interface.

And yes, I'd use an ND or a polarizer for daylight - just did this for some nature stuff in shaded bright sunlight conditions so I could see the Koi in a pond - worked great to cut the glare!
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