sony dcr-hc90 1st impressions at DVinfo.net

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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old June 8th, 2005, 02:56 PM   #1
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sony dcr-hc90 1st impressions

In a 2 week period , I got a z1 and an hc90 , so my manual reading times have been stretched , to say the least. And to have to compete in my mind against the z1, for obvious reasons , was just not fair for the little hc90 . But if I was trapped on an island , I'd chose the hc90 over the z1. Yea, I'm a little crazy but the camera is a little rocket. I love the touch screen menu. Excuse me. I know alot of folks will think that's sooo low skill of me, but it's fast , intuitive and got just about everything I need. You can change the hierarchy of the menu to your liking , moving deeply embedded items to the forefront. The 16:9 is excellent and I'm still evaluating the 30p but I'm really happy with the images. More in importance than any other feature is size. These little cameras are like sketch books. And you can go where you could never go before. Some places I'd like to shoot , I'm simply not prepared to risk losing my z1 (or even my pd100 ). The hc90 is easily hid and can be used in true guerrilla fashion. The wide screen lcd is simply beautiful and can be decluttered . The only things so far I don't like are inability to set shutter speeds and the lens needs to be alittle wider. Yes , I've got a wa attachment but you really lose the size advantage fast by hooking things on , i.e. lenses , mikes , etc. All in all , to think I bought this little jewel for 7 bills just makes me giggle 'cause I haven't had so much fun shooting images since I bought my first s8 camera in 1973. Have a nice day- Kurth
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Old June 12th, 2005, 03:32 PM   #2
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ok- a small addition- I've been comparing footage shot at 16:9 30 p with the hc90 against downconverted 60i shot on the z1 on a samsung 17" 16:9 lcd- it's a tough call - really , it's that good. I also got a raynox hd4500 .45 wa adapter for the hc90 that works very nice. Also , forget the digital cinema effect on the hc90 - it looks nice until you begin to move the camera but the 30p looks very nice and unvideolike but smooth as silk. I'm now in the process of shooting 16:9 60i which I'll put thru nattress and see how that looks compared to straight 30p. The problem is , you can't lock the shutter speed , so I don't know how well nattressed footage will look , but I'll let you know in a couple of days. I bought 2 cheap np70 batteries and a sony charger 1/2 price on ebay- good and cheap place for these consumer products. Finally a widescreen video camera I can take anywhere. I thought seriously about the pc350, which has been discontinued , esp. with John Jays' great recomendations, but the hc90 , I believe is producing as good an image at a much cheaper price point. If you need a low profile camera , I don't think , for the money , you can beat the hc90. Kurth
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Old June 15th, 2005, 03:25 PM   #3
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Good to hear you like the cam, Kurth. How is it in low light? Also, you wouldn't have a clip to show, would you?

Thanks for your time!

Jonas
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Old June 18th, 2005, 01:46 PM   #4
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Jonas- sorry , I don't have a place to host. I think the low light is pretty good. Not quite as good as my pd100a but it's my 1st cam w/ nightshot and I think that pretty cool as long as your subject is not real close. I read all the posts at the usual suspect sites about motor noise - also no problem on my unit. The 16:9 w/30p makes beautiful images for such a small camera. Dvspot might have a clip hosted and there's a few floating around the forums at camcorderinfo. From my experiments projecting hdv z1 downconverted compared to hc90 - I think we just about reached the dv pinnacle . I do wish someone would have released a real 16:9 24p dv camera but ...oops I forgot about the XL2 ( shows what happens when you're late to the party). If you're just going to sd dvd material , this is a nice sized package. It gets bigger w/mike and a wa lens but they can always be left at home. Kurth
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Old June 18th, 2005, 03:31 PM   #5
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Kurth, this works on my 350 so will probably work on the '90

Q How to fix shutter speed at 60 (50 for PAL)?

A Boot the camera up with the lens cap on, then choose manual exposure, then take lens cap off, adjust exposure to taste, shoot.


you will find by playing back the tape that the shutter speed is locked at 50/60
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Old June 18th, 2005, 05:18 PM   #6
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John - where do you learn all these great tricks-do you know why this works? now I'll have to reshoot for the nattress test- great man - thanks Kurth
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Old June 19th, 2005, 05:23 AM   #7
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OOps

A should read

'Boot the camera up in automatic exposure mode with the lens cap on, then choose manual exposure, then take lens cap off, adjust exposure to taste, shoot.'

Reason is the automatic exposure mode with lens cap on makes the camera go to wide aperture, full gain and lowest standard shutter speed. Switching to manual locks the shutter speed leaving you free to adjust the aperture .
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Old June 20th, 2005, 04:16 PM   #8
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thanks John - really great info- Kurth
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Old July 11th, 2005, 01:10 AM   #9
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But how does the single 3.3 megapixel 1/3" CCD compare with the images from the PDX10? It's till single chip....
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