Re: camcorders

From: Mitsu Hadeishi (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Jul 24 2006 - 11:57:34 PDT

It's possible to mess up the HDV encoder but it's surprisingly robust, even
with pans, etc. I think it makes much more sense to get one of the low-end
Sony HDV cameras than a similarly priced DV camera, at least. A friend of
mine with a very low budget was thinking of getting a Canon GL2 but I
convinced her to take a look at the HC1 instead, and she ended up getting
that, and she loves it.

Keep in mind that though the A1U and HC1 are "one chip" cameras, they're
one-chip CMOS, not one-chip CCD, which makes a difference --- CMOS cameras
give a much better picture at least with good light, have better color
resolution, etc. So they're not going to have quite the same drawbacks as
the one-chip cameras you might be used to. The only drawback to CMOS is that
they're a bit less light sensitive than CCDs.

An example of A1U footage I found posted on the web:

It's hardly a very good stress test of the camera, as it is daylight and well
lit and the footage is all of stuff far away (and thus not a good test of
focusing), but still, you can see the sharpness of the video from this tiny
camera. Note that I have read the autofocus on the A1U/HC1 isn't nearly as
good or accurate as on the Z1U/FX1.

The A1U has professional XLR inputs but the HC1 only has unbalanced inputs, so
to attach a pro mic you have to add a box to it. My friend got an HC1 with
an adapter so she could attach a nice XLR microphone to it; the total cost of
her setup was about the same as an A1U by itself.

Note that the HC1 should not be confused with the HC3 --- the HC3 is totally
unsuitable for professional use, it's almost entirely automatic with very few
manual controls. The HC1 has enough manual control to be usable. The A1U is
better but more expensive.

I just got my Z1U so I don't have a lot of experience with it yet, but so far
I'm pretty happy with it. It has very clean response to gain, which is nice
in low light (with zero gain it's not great, but you can boost it up to 18 dB
and it's not excessively noisy.)


On Monday 24 July 2006 11:01, Sam Wells wrote:
> > I have also been tempted by the little Sony HDV, but I still
> > prefer DV to HDV. maybe I'm overly sensitive to artifacts, but I
> > shudder to think about the further blocking and such that will
> > happen once it's transcoded, edited, then recompressed to even HD-
> > DVD, let alone a standard def DVD. Resolution isn't everything.
> > But my hatred of mpeg2 in any form borders on the irrational.
> Worked on - and shot a little of - an IMX format "film" when it
> first came out - 30 hours of raw footage no temporal artifacts worth
> talking about.
> A friend with the HDV A-1U devised a fiendishly clever test to fool
> the encoder etc - shooting the sun through screen window - with an
> electric fan in front of the screen ... yes he did manage to throw
> the encoder into a tizzy, but he had to work a bit to do it ;-)
> Strictly, I might agree with you - as far as HDV is concerned - but,
> in perspective - you get an HD camcorder for *somewhat* less than $
> 65,000, $ 100,000 --
> And for that matter I think bigger bro Z-1 makes a better picture
> than any mini DV camcorder I've seen....
> Blocky shadows, well that's 4:1:1 when you fuck with it, that's
> fragile in any format.....
> -Sam
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.