New Sony HDR- HC3 Compact HDV 1080i Camcorder! - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 372 Old 04-21-2006, 07:31 PM
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I just bought the HC-3 tonight and I agree the PQ is stunning. But not in a good way. I shot a test video inside the house and then hooked into my Fujitsu plasma by both HMDI and component and I was underwhelmed. It was grainy enough to make sasquatch video look good. I am not by any means a camcorder expert so any help would be greatly appreciated. My wife wants to take it back but I told her it can't be the camera. What am I doing wrong? :(
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post #92 of 372 Old 04-21-2006, 08:23 PM
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No, thats what you should be expecting.
Inside house shots were pretty bad on HC1, don't expect it to be heaps better in HC3 either.
Either have good lighting, or take outdoor shots.
Testing it at night is probably a bad idea.
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post #93 of 372 Old 04-21-2006, 09:09 PM
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Thanks, I will try again tomorrow in daylight. I never thought it would look that bad in low light...the HC-3 was supposed to be better. Does this mean essentially this is an HD camera only when shot outdoors? Oh well, I hope I get the HD wow factor when I shoot outside.
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post #94 of 372 Old 04-22-2006, 12:37 AM
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Same thing here. I just got mine today and had the same experience. Hopefully it will be a nice day tomorrow.
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post #95 of 372 Old 04-22-2006, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbo1861
I just bought the HC-3 tonight and I agree the PQ is stunning. But not in a good way. I shot a test video inside the house and then hooked into my Fujitsu plasma by both HMDI and component and I was underwhelmed. It was grainy enough to make sasquatch video look good. I am not by any means a camcorder expert so any help would be greatly appreciated. My wife wants to take it back but I told her it can't be the camera. What am I doing wrong? :(
Inside shots, in general, with almost any video camera leave something to be desired. About the only exception I've ever found to that is the Sony VX2000/VX2100. These cameras make dim light look like bright light. The FX1 HDV camera is better than its smaller brothers in low-light, but now you're lugging around a big, heavy camera. However, the one thing that holds true in video, is that if you want really good indoor footage, you need a camera light. But with this, if you asked me which camera I'd choose for 'fun', it would most certainly be the HC1/HC3. As with you, my HC3 is hooked up to my Fujitsu plasma via HDMI.

When you did your shots in the house, were the lights on? I'm still surprised that your results are THAT grainy. You should put on all available lights you can. I shot in my living room with all of our ceiling mounted recessed lighting on and got nice results...still not as impressive as a more brightly lit environment, but with very little grain at all. In a typical indoor lit shopping mall (I just tried this yesterday), the results are much better than indoor incandescent lighting. In fact in this type of indoor lighting, the results are just as impressive as outdoor lighting, very sharp, very punchy and a very 'you are there' feel. Try putting the HC3's white balance in the indoor setting when the only lighting is incadescent. In my case this gave me a better color balance and a slightly brighter picture.

If you don't get the 'wow' factor outdoors, then there IS something wrong with your setup! And yes, the HC3 is a bit better than the HC1 in low-light, but not by much.
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post #96 of 372 Old 04-22-2006, 01:18 PM
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Thanks Ken. The picture was probably not as bad as I made it out....just when you are all set to see HD and you don't get it, you know what I mean? The lighting was so-so..I think we are definitely going to get a light for it and I will start looking into how to use the settings. Do you like the cam ctrl wheel? I need to look into how that thing works.

I did do a quick test this morning (rainy here) and I did get the HD effect. My backyard never looked so good. I am happy with the camera after this confirmation.

On your Fujitsu do you have a direct HDMI input or is it DVI? Mine is DVI so I am using a HDMI-DVI cable to connect but it is coming up in what appears to be in 4X3 format. I connected via component and it was full 16X9 and looked better. Any thoughs?
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post #97 of 372 Old 04-22-2006, 01:29 PM
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Kevbo, no, my Fujitsu does have an HDMI input. I did have the prior Fujitsu model that only accepted DVI, but I don't recall how that DVI behaved with HD. Since you ARE getting a picture, did you try to set the 'wide' mode on the Fujitsu? See if that brings it back to 16:9. I'm not sure why the Fujitsu would be down-rezzing an output from the Sony.

I love the control wheel on the HC3! The fact that it's parameter can be changed to several different modes (white balance shift, focus etc) really makes it a terrific and easy control to use.

Let us know how it works out.
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post #98 of 372 Old 04-23-2006, 06:45 AM
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The 10% web price discount at BB and CC is over. BB's web discount is now $75 and CC's web discount is $105 as of today.

Ron
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post #99 of 372 Old 04-23-2006, 11:08 AM
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I went to my local BB yesterday afternoon, along with my HC1, and spent alot of time comparing one camcorder vs. the other. Being limited to "in store play" I inserted my tape into the HC3 and did some recording in the camera dept. using the display unit which was attached to a 19" LCD HD display. I went at a time when the dept. was not real busy and they let me spend as much time as I wanted.

The first obvious thing is the sheer size of the HC3, which is considerably smaller than its predecessor. That was appealing factor #1. Second is the better LCD display, although the tradeoff is the viewfinder. The HC3 uses the P battery series, which is smaller and fits inside of the camera, as opposed the the M series on the HC1 which extends in the rear.

I was not able to discern any difference, whatsoever, in the material I recorded in the store's camera dept., comparing the results of the HC1 against the HC3. Unfortunately, I don't possess Ken's critical eye, however I did find the HC3's video to be more pleasing in color and sharpness. But it's very subtle.

I think they are both great cameras, but size wins, and I'm amazed at how they were able to reduce the physical size without sacrificing the great features of the HC1. So I purchased the HC3, and have done some outdoor test shots, and continue to be amazed and pleased. Oh, an added plus is the 4MP still camera capability, as compared with about 2.8MP on the HC1.

As I pointed out at the beginning, anyone planning to get one of these beauties, and who has a collection of batteries, should take into account that the M series batteries used in the HC1, will not fit the HC3.

Ron
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post #100 of 372 Old 04-23-2006, 12:26 PM
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The more I use my HC-3, the more I love it! It really is a technological marvel considering the size, features, and PQ.

I have been using the camera all week and I have a few more observations.

The HC-3 really does need some good lighting conditions. I was shooting the other day in a fairly well lit restaurant and it still exhibited grain in the picture. No big deal but understandable. I just purchased a video light which should help. Outdoor shots in daylight look fantastic!

I also noticed that the HC-3 requires a close eye on white balancing. Many of my shots in the restaurant came out with a redish hue using the "Auto" setting. I changed the white balancing to "indoor" and it looked great.

I actually kind of like how the viewfinder is setup. It allows me to rest the camera on my face for better stability.

Chris Blount
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post #101 of 372 Old 04-23-2006, 01:23 PM
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Chris you are absolutely right about WB and indoor shots. I too found the 'auto' setting to be too warm, while the 'indoor' position looked very good.

Ron, trust me, sometimes having a critical eye is more of a curse than a blessing. I would have saved countless hours over the years if I had an 'average eye'! Congrats on your HC3 and let us know how you like it as time goes on.
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post #102 of 372 Old 04-23-2006, 06:18 PM
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One-Call, a large retail/mailorder house in Washington State, has the HC3 for $1,371. with free shipping. However, they state that they will price-match any deal, with any shipping charges calculated into it, that is offered by certain other online dealers. Best Buy and Circuit City are two that they name.

They also offer NSI extended warranties, the longest being 5 years for $149.99. Read the fine print on their website for details about this warranty coverage. I have one NSI warranty, but I've never used it. They say they have thousands of authorized repair people on their list, all over the country, so you don't have to pay for shipping to a central repair facility with them. This beats the 4-year in-house extended warranties that Circuit City and Best Buy offer, at $240. and $250., respectively. Whether or not local repair shops can work on HDV camcorders, I don't know. One-Call has always given me a straight deal, with fast service.

I couldn't find the HC3 on their website last night, but a salesman sent an E-Mail today and assured me they have it in stock at $1,371., delivered. Today, it's on the website, but is listed at $1,499. You'll have to phone to get the lower price.
http://www.onecall.com

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post #103 of 372 Old 04-28-2006, 08:15 AM
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Just ordered one at canoga camera. Good price ($1200) and nice reviews at resellerratings. It's out of stock right now (I hope my order goes through, cause I think I got the last one), but still a very good price from a reputable dealer.

Just a note. I thought you could not post prices here. But since some people did, maybe I was wrong. If it's against the rules, please edit my post.
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post #104 of 372 Old 04-28-2006, 07:42 PM
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i also picked one of these bad boys up. it's charging right now.. can't wait till its done. unfortunately, i didn't have time to pick up any DV tapes yet, so i'll be doing that tomorrow. which programs do you guys use to edit your videos?
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post #105 of 372 Old 04-28-2006, 08:25 PM
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Edius Pro is what I use.
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post #106 of 372 Old 04-28-2006, 08:53 PM
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Does anyone know how PowerDirector is for this camera?
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post #107 of 372 Old 04-29-2006, 12:50 AM
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PowerDirector 5 has HC1 on compatibility list which means it'll work with this as well.
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post #108 of 372 Old 04-29-2006, 06:00 AM
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A new rumor has surfaced that Sony will soon be releasing a new HDV camera. The same rumor has Sony dropping the FX1. Nobody knows how big/small it will be or whether it will be a 3-chp/1-chip design. Sony loves to complicate things. :)
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post #109 of 372 Old 04-29-2006, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianoh
which programs do you guys use to edit your videos?
While I'm relatively new at this, I use Sony Vegas Movie Studio - Platinum Edition, and although feature packed, it handles simple editing quite well, and it's reasonably priced.

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post #110 of 372 Old 04-29-2006, 06:32 PM
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I use capdvhs, dgindex, avisynth and virtualdub to edit MY videos.
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post #111 of 372 Old 04-30-2006, 05:40 PM
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Got one of these today @ Best Buy and recorded an indoor piano recital. I thought playback on my 17" LCD thru 1080i componet looked great. I zoomed on some balloons and flowers during the recital and everything looked really good. I agree that dark areas are grainy, but only if I reallly zoom in on just the dark area.

Now to see how it looks thru HDMI on my projector on the 104" wall.

And see how easy I can edit....

So far .. good camera for the price.
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post #112 of 372 Old 04-30-2006, 05:55 PM
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Has anyone who owns/played with both HC1 and HC3 noticed if the auto focus in dark has been improved? on HC1, focusing to an object in the distance in a dark(er) place would result in autofocus continously fading in and out.

Has anyone noticed this on HC1 and is this "issue" still present on HC3?
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post #113 of 372 Old 04-30-2006, 07:54 PM
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Timecop, no, I haven't noticed any significant difference in low-light focusing between the two. The 'threshold' may be a bit better with the HC3 since it maintains a brighter picture at the same lux level. So it may be easier for the HC3 to focus at the same low lux level. But when the light dims to about the same point the HC1 would 'see' it, the misfocuses seem to be about the same.
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post #114 of 372 Old 05-01-2006, 06:37 PM
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is the only way to transfer your videos to your PC, using their i.link? this whole time i thought i could just transfer my data using the USB adapter they gave me. boo.


i'm about to pull the trigger on the i.link firewire cable thru monoprice.com, but i don't know what size i need. there are the 4 pin to 4 pin, 4-6, and finally 6-6. anyone have any clue as to which we need? looks like, from the pictures, we need a 4 pin to 6 pin i.link cable.
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post #115 of 372 Old 05-01-2006, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianoh
is the only way to transfer your videos to your PC, using their i.link? this whole time i thought i could just transfer my data using the USB adapter they gave me. boo.


i'm about to pull the trigger on the i.link firewire cable thru monoprice.com, but i don't know what size i need. there are the 4 pin to 4 pin, 4-6, and finally 6-6. anyone have any clue as to which we need? looks like, from the pictures, we need a 4 pin to 6 pin i.link cable.
It's 4 pin on the HC3 (or HC1) and the other end is dependent on what's on your computer. Most computer firewire connections I've seen are 6 pin, so that would mean 4 pin to 6 pin cable. If you need to buy a firewire card for your computer, sometimes they are packaged with a cable.

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post #116 of 372 Old 05-01-2006, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Tobin
It's 4 pin on the HC3 (or HC1) and the other end is dependent on what's on your computer. Most computer firewire connections I've seen are 6 pin, so that would mean 4 pin to 6 pin cable. If you need to buy a firewire card for your computer, sometimes they are packaged with a cable.
thanks for the quick reply.
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post #117 of 372 Old 05-01-2006, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianoh
is the only way to transfer your videos to your PC, using their i.link? this whole time i thought i could just transfer my data using the USB adapter they gave me. boo.


i'm about to pull the trigger on the i.link firewire cable thru monoprice.com, but i don't know what size i need. there are the 4 pin to 4 pin, 4-6, and finally 6-6. anyone have any clue as to which we need? looks like, from the pictures, we need a 4 pin to 6 pin i.link cable.
If your computer has standard firewire, you need a 4 pin male/6 pin male firewire cable.
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post #118 of 372 Old 05-02-2006, 03:03 PM
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Sorry for not getting back to everyone sooner. Circuit City’s price went down to $1,349 on 4/20 (the last day the coupon was valid); therefore making it $1,215 until midnight. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this out until late in the day and there was only a couple of hours left before the coupons expired when I posted. I’ll keep my eyes open for $1,349 and 10% off when it comes along again and let you know.

I am considering the purchase of the Sony 4-Year "Service Plans with Accidental Damage from Handling Protection (ADH)" for $179.99. Anyone have experiece with this warranty (espeically with the Accidental part of the coverage)?
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post #119 of 372 Old 05-03-2006, 07:15 AM
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I got my HC3 last night. I shot some quick HDV clip and projected onto a 125 inch screen with the Z4. The picture looked very high def just like most decent HDTV programs but not as good as CSI Miami.

As watching the HC3 on 125inch screen was like seeing through a big window, I became quickly dizzy from watching the moving video footage. I think I need to do a lot better job in holding the HC3 steady when shooting the video clips, something different from a SD camcorder.

I asked earlier about the download software, but I think I found the HC3 drive in window XP. Thanks anyway.
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post #120 of 372 Old 05-04-2006, 12:04 PM
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With HD you always have to watch stability more. Try getting a Sony wide angle adapter. That's what I use most of the time for videoing family gatherings and there are special settings on the HC1 if you are using a wide or telephoto adapter. I assume they're still there for an HC3.

Sony had some product placement last night on "Invasion" as one of the characters was shooting video with an HC1.
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