Sony HC7 - good companion for Z1 for church video? at

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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old November 12th, 2007, 02:47 PM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta/USA
Posts: 2,502
Sony HC7 - good companion for Z1 for church video?

I have read tons of reviews and everything available on this and other sites, now looking for real world experience from those using Z1/FX1 cameras in a church environment.

We have no budget for another big gun, so I have to settle for $1K or slightly above. Besides, for the particular application, a small camera will be more beneficial - I plan on putting it on a pan/tilt head and control it remotely with LANC... so the HC7 looks like a good choice.

My concern is twofold: light sensitivity and color matching with the other two cameras, a Z1 and an FX1 feeding analog component into the Datavideo switcher (live streaming and DVD as final product with plans for cable/TV later). We work 4x3 SD for now, planning on moving to 16x9 SD soon, the environment is a conservative church with so-so light (low); a 6dB gain is what we have to use at the minimum, looks great in SD, no grain (18dB when lights are dimmed for prayer time). Anyone using these two cameras mixed (or an HC5) please chime in.

Thank you,
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
Certified Legal Videographer
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Old November 12th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #2
Regular Crew
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 176
Ervin - I use (1) FX1 and (2) HC1's for most of my stuff. You can watch any of the wedding videos and especially the new bridal & short ceremony highlight on my site to see if you can tell the difference in the different cameras. The FX1 is typically my far cam (because my wife runs it and isn't comfortable with the small one yet), and the HC1 is the upclose / onstage shots.

The Bridal Portrait used both the FX1 & HC1 pretty much equally throughout it. I love the little HC1 but its been giving me problems with Moisture Condensation Errors and I fix it each time by taking the battery out and giving it a good knock in the head, but its kind of emberrassing to have to do that infront of clients / wedding guest. I will probably have to buy a new HC7 soon to replace it if it keeps it up.

Here is the link to my site:
Zach Stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #3
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,815
Hi Ervin -
PM'd you on a defective Z1 on Ebay, but it looks to be out of your budget.

I use the HC7, great little camera, and I think it manages fairly well in low light all things considered. I think the color is a bit more vibrant (consumer-y) vs. the Z1, but it's not a huge deal, probably could adjust it if anyone even noticed. Never used it side by side with the Z1 or FX1, but have used both cams along the way, and I frankly like the small light cam (with it's limitations of course).

I did do one short test tape in moderate light (indoors, late afternoon), with the Z1, the HC7, the HC1, the FX7 and an HV20. Overall I think the concensus was the FX7 was the "popular favorite", followed closely by the HC7 and the Z1... ALL of the cameras looked excellent, no complaints about any of them, and I wouldn't be afraid to shoot with any of them (the Canon had a different look, but quite good, not as easy to color match to the Sonys though).

I'll also mention the CX7 (memory stick cam) - Sony rates it at 2 lux vs. the 3 of the HC7 - I was testing some component cables the other night, and was surprised at how much better this little guy (with I *thought* the same lens and sensor as the HC7...) was able to pull detail out of areas that were just black to the HC7. It only has the composite A/V "D" jack and a mini HDMI out on the actual cam, so no composite (it's on the dock), but it might fit in with your set up. (oops, just noticed the LANC - CX7 lacks that, unless you cobble up an interface through the aforementioned "D" jack - I'm sure it's possible, just haven't had time).

The tiny cams don't look so impressive, but once you get to know what they are capable of, you can squeeze quite a lot out of them. I still have an FX7 for "visual impact", but the small cams get used more, just easier to take along!
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