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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 April 27th, 2007, 11:27 AM   #16
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Hi guys - just took a pic of my bracket rig - seems HV20 owners are having stabilizing issues, so though I mihgt help them a bit, posted over there, but I realized I owe this thread a picture too!

This is a great little rig for mounting accessories and stabilizing the small cams without too much expense and hassle. Hope it gives you some ideas!



Last edited by Dave Blackhurst; April 27th, 2007 at 11:28 AM. Reason: picture didn't attach properly...
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Old April 27th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #17
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How did you put that together? It looks like camera brackets, which must help with added stability. Any other hidden pieces? Thanks for sharing the photo.

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Old April 28th, 2007, 06:16 AM   #18
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Hello all,
Ruth I have migrated from the still photography to an HC3 a few months ago and realized that the Fstop speed relationship works differently on the moving pictures camera. After a lot of experimentations where I tricked the HC3 into lower speed so I could climb to f11 and higher, I noticed that my sceneries(I shoot a lot of them)went soft, and it seems at least as far as my experiments went that F4 was the sweet spot. As far as other settings as sharpness colour and AE, I went up and down on all, and reverted pretty much on the standard settings as I could not see that much difference otherwise.The main thing I still control from the wheel near the lense is the aperture, and focus.
Those are thoughts with the HC3 and I am sure your HC7 cannot be that different.
Cheers from Maryland
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Old April 28th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #19
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HI Ruth -
I'll post a couple more pictures later, but it's two stratos folding brackets and a flat one bridging between them - the two stratos screw into a tripod hole and and another set of threading at the end of the tripod screw slot on the flat bracket (not all have threads, this one does) - then the whole thing attaches with the tripod screw on the flat bracket to the camera. The total rig is VERY solid, very little flex, and it is quite good for stabilizing the camera without being big and clunky.

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Old May 1st, 2007, 08:54 AM   #20
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Lens sharpness info

[QUOTE=Ruth Happel;657879]...
For example, in the SLR world, the Nikon 50mm f 1.4 lens is not quite as sharp at f1.4 as at f1.8 or above, and seems sharpest at between f2.2 and f2.8.

I don't own the HC7 yet, but here is a little of what I have learned about lenses through training and experience. In the filmmaking world, getting a faster lens, meaning one with a lower fstop number such as getting an f1.4 lens as opposed to an f 2 lens, means that the lens is generally built to a higher tolerance. So the f1.4 lens set at f2.8 might be marginally better than an f2 lens set at f2.8.

Another very big factor that affects us in the camcorder world as opposed to the 35mm still film world is the phenomena of diffraction. Diffraction is a fringing effect that sets in as a lens opening is made smaller. Sure, making the opening smaller (higher f-stop number) increases depth of field and makes focussing less critical but the diffraction effects undo the benefits. For that reason, your video cam may put out a sharper image in bright sunlight when an ND filter is put in place. In the 35mm world the optimum fstop is often around f5.6-f8 for that reason.

Today's video camcorders have very small chips, which make the diffraction effect come into play at larger openings (numerically lower fstops) so the optimum setting for a lens may be around f2.8 or lower. That is one of the design problems of using smaller chipsets, and why video pros often want 2/3" optics.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 11:27 PM   #21
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Thanks for all the responses- very helpful.

Patrick- your experiences with the HC3 are very useful for me. I'll experiment some with what you describe.

Dave- I've got a few folding brackets sitting around I rejected for mounting my GPS to my camera, so will play with those in a new context- always good to recycle equipment.

Mark- I have experienced the negative effects of diffraction in still photography, so it's good to keep that in mind with video, where it seems even more of an obstacle to good imaging. I appreciate your insights, and will experiment more with these settings. I sometimes do use an ND filter too, so will consider trying that more extensively when conditions permit.

Thanks again.

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Old May 17th, 2007, 06:32 AM   #22
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This thread needs a bump ;)

My notes for having it for 5 hours...

You cannot fit a Raynox 5050 Wide in the HCC sports housing (a question I saw on another forum).

Without comparing video, just through the LCD, the Raynox 5050 with or without the adapter rind does not viginette in any noticible fashion (will need to get footage to really see it.)

The 3w Sony light is 3watts. I will have to shoot some stuff to see ranges on it (it was less than $30, so I decided "what the heck, I will try it")

The HCC sports housing is big. Bigger than the old VHS-C brick cameras and almost up to VHS size. Width is bigger.

If you were wondering, the HCC has a flipout mirror with sun shades. When you plug in the remote control, the image on the LCD flips. You fold the LCD in so that the screen faces out. Since the image flips, in the mirror, it is normal. Cool.

The HCC has not warranty for your camera. If it leaks, regardless, it is your problem to pay for.

Why could they not put a focus ring on instead to that stupid dial? They are fractions of inches apart. And filling out the registration survey (optional), they never ask if you want a focus ring when they ask about what you would like on a camera.

For a Glidecam 2000 with a Bogen (hex style) QR plate, it is 1 washer on each screw for balance. You will need to extend the tube. 2 washers is too much. Without a QR plate, you may need NO washers.

The clip that holds the battery in is the weakest link. I see trouble in the future with it. A good bump on the FH100 battery might damage it.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 11:36 AM   #23
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Hiya George -

Never reallly had a problem with vignetting on a WA - I think unless you get one with far smaller threads, you should be fine - isn't the 5050 37 or 43mm?

The 3w light is handy - sometimes even useful for "fill" light - won't reach too far or brighten that much, but will get you close in video in low light. While the HDV cams are supposedly so poor in "low light", I find they do fairly well with what you can feed them from an add on light. The 10/20W model with a diffuser is nice if pricey (and you need a different battery, but I already have those from my HC1). Just having the 3w one is a good idea for an cheap accessory!

I'm looking at modding the HCB sleds to mount the camera farther back so a WA can be fitted - lots of room back there, just a matter of figuring out a suitable mounting situation since obviously the "factory" mounting positions and screw aren't going to work - plus I'm thinking moving the camera back will foul up the mirroring... HMMMM, still will be on my list of whacky things to try!

It's understandable that Sony leaves the setup and checking of the housing to the user - can't really expect them to cover "consumer malfunctions".

And YES, a focus ring would have MADE this camera - but the practical fact is it would have made the camera bigger TOO - I've got a cheap LANC controller on the way that suppisedly will control focus - for my rig, this would be even better than a ring, so anxiously await the arrival and testing...

I had an HC3 prior to this, and the HC1, and they have all used a similar battery retainer/release - don't worry about it, you'd have to set out to bust it and be pretty brutal - if you insert and take out the battery as designed you'll probably NEVER break this... plus if you're using the pull out viewfinder, it would protect against "a bump" to the battery - and that pull out VF is certainly better than the prior fixed versions!!

Flying these small cams is tricky any way you slice it - I dug out an old Hollywood VS1 that was sort of too small for my HC1 (only rated to 4 lbs., but has a incredibly smooth and blanced micro bearing gimbal). The HC7 balances quite nicely on it, looks like sombody left a big steadi rig in the dryer and shrunk it a LOT! I was going to sell that "micro" steady rig, but now it has a purpose, and it really does behave like a much larger package! I'd think the glidecam would be "overkill" and a pain to balance... good to know you got it balanced - HD benefits A LOT from having a stable shooting platform over handheld, and these mini cameras present some unique challenges when EVERY tripod/steady/whatever dwarfs the camera itself!

Speaking of whacky things, I tried dropping a tape from the HC7 into my HV20... and vice versa. The strangest thing happened - the vid from the HV20 didn't look as good on the HC7 LCD as it did on the HV20 LCD, and the HC7 vid looked AWESOME on the HV20 LCD... I've come to the conclusion that the LCD on the HC7 leaves a lot to be desired, while the HV20 LCD really "pops" the visual perception... still testing the ACTUAL VIDEO QUALITY, but starting to think that the obvious difference between the LCD's on these two may be one of the things that makes HV20 owners so much more excited about that cam over the HC7...

I'm not seeing huge differences in the actual tape shot and dumped to Vegas to edit... in fact I think the HC7 with xvcolor on is getting a "truer" color balance in the purples and reds. Purples seem to be more vibrant (since my kids LOVE purple, this is IMPORTANT, at least until they grow out of it!), and the reds don't overdo it when comparing to the HV20. Still got more test footage to shoot, but the HC7 looks better and better to me, with the only "advantages" of the HV20 being 24P and better low light handling (and that not by "much", but enough to justify it as a tool).

I'm still spending time with the two cameras - the HC7 definitely is a more familiar and comfortable cam to me, and way better built - enjoy yours George! ...and fuggedabout that battery retainer!

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