hdr-hc1 vs hc3 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-19-2006, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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i am looking to get the sony hdr-hc3 does anybody have any experience with the hc3 vs the hc1 i can get either one for a simular price ($75 more for hc1) my main question is which one has the better PQ thanks
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-21-2006, 10:23 AM
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The HC1 should give you better PQ in every situation except low light.

Tyler Pruitt - Technical Liaison at SpectraCal
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-21-2006, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiFi-Spy View Post

The HC1 should give you better PQ in every situation except low light.

plus the hc1 just looks a whole lot better than the hc3. that's just my 2 cents though...
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-23-2006, 11:40 AM
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Here is a review from Ken Ross one of our forum members concerning the HC1 and HC3. My 2 cents, is that both cameras put out a great image!


"Well I think it's only fair to relate my first-hand experience with the HC3 and the HC1. It forces me to throw egg on my own face, but it wouldn't be fair to let my own initial opinions stand uncorrected.

I was at Sony Style on Long Island a few days ago to see the HC3 for myself. I was immediately struck with its beautiful color rendition as its live output was displayed on a large screen Sony plasma. I had called prior to ask the store manager if it was OK to bring in my HC1 to do a side by side test with the HC3 on tape. She said it was OK (but I was still questioned once I got there).

At any rate I tested both cameras, swapping tape back and forth as I shot different scenes. The salesman was watching with interest and asked what I thought. I responded "I'll tell you when I get the tape back home and watch on my display". He offered to play the tape back on their Sony plasma. As an intermediate step I thought that was OK. I was shocked to see what I felt was decidedly better and more accurate color from the HC3. But I thought to myself (I didn't have my TV glasses) I bet the HC1 is still sharper once I get my glasses at home and the tape on my Fujitsu plasma. To cut the salesman short, I asked if they were in stock (I really had little intention of buying it since I didn't think it would hold up once I got home).

Once I fired up my Fujitsu and put on my glasses, I got one of the bigger 'video shocks' in my life. Not only was the HC3 every bit as sharp in THAT situation, but the color was indeed better.

So I called a buddy who's also anal about video and also has the HC1. He agreed to go half with me on any restocking fee should I buy the HC3 and find, after more in-depth shooting, that the HC1 was better.

So I hopped back to Sony, bought the camera and tested it for 2 days....bright light, low-light, medium lighting, outdoors & indoors.

I'm here to tell you I was wrong. The comparison clips I downloaded simply don't do the HC3 any justice whatsoever and I have no idea why. In the many tests I ran, the HC3 was either at least as good as the HC1 in some situations and better in many others. My buddy came over to see the results (I didn't tell him which video came from which camera). He consistently picked the HC3 as did my wife and as did I.

My friend is leaving for Vegas today, but needless to say, upon his return, he is picking up an HC3 too.

The other nice thing about the HC3 is the available HDMI output. Even if you believed the HC1 was slightly sharper (it isn't based on my tests), you'd lose that advantage since you'd need to output component from the HC1 while the HC3 can go HDMI. My tests showed an advantage to HDMI with a brighter picture, better color and a tad more sharpness. The only way I had been able to use an HDMI on the HC1, was via its firewire output in to my JVC 5U D-Theater deck. This was a bit awkward and it was about the only use I've had for the JVC these days. Most people will not be able to output the HC1 via firewire since most HDTVs sold today don't have firwire inputs, but rather HDMI".
Last edited by Ken Ross : 04-17-06 at 12:26 PM.

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post #5 of 20 Old 09-25-2006, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiFi-Spy View Post

The HC1 should give you better PQ in every situation except low light.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FACP View Post

plus the hc1 just looks a whole lot better than the hc3. that's just my 2 cents though...

I have an HC3 and its image is absolutely incredible. I find it funny when I read some of the criticisms of the HC3 which are apparently written without actually having used the camera or without, for example, doing a direct hands-on comparison of it to the HC1.

I DID do this and I can tell you that the image quality difference between the HC1 and the HC3 even under good lighting conditions is minimal. The HC3 however beats the HC1 in low-light conditions by a wide margin.

I am not saying the HC3 is the be-all and end-all of HDVs but please, come back to reality when you are offering comments on it.
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-26-2006, 09:57 AM
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A year ago I purchased an HD90 from Sony, one of their better rated 16:9 camcorders. Alas, its merely 480i but at least its native widescreen.

At the time the HC1 was too pricy. But now the HC3 seems to be at a more reasonable pricepoint and I am wondering if I should upgrade.

My main concern is one of editing. Just what exactly are you guys doing with your footage? The only way to show it is really to use the camera as your player, no?

Or are you copying to a codec on the PC where you can output from there? I use Pinnacle Studio 10 as my editing solution, and while it says it can do HD I shudder to think about the requirements. My current rig is a P4 3.4Ghz with 2gigs of Ram and a 256m videocard.

I assume you can also render to 480p with your footage to make standard def DVD's in the mean-time? How are the results from that?

Even though the HC90 is only 1 year old, I have enjoyed using it and its low-light results (shooting indoors with only standard house lighting) have proved to be pretty good, but I realize now I do very little shooting in dim conditions, with most of my video being on brighter days.

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post #7 of 20 Old 09-26-2006, 07:31 PM
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HeadRusch, if you can do a upgrade.... run.... fast..... and get yourself a HDV cam. I have the HC3, and it is an excellent choice. The Canon HV10 HDV cam has been getting some great reviews from fellow forum members. As for editing I'm using Ulead Movie Factory 5, and Nero 7 to take footage from my HC3 into the PC, edit, and then burn it to dvd, keeping the HD footage. Here is the link to learn all of the specifics. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=705146

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post #8 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 05:34 AM
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I am quite tempted, with the kids First Birthday Party coming up soon. The HC90 does a very good job but with HD dropping I keep going "you know you could have shot this in HD"

The HD90 does an admirable job, I'll have to see if there is still any value to it on ebay, to help dissuade the cost of the HD unit.

WOW I just checked..HD MiniDV tapes are $15 bucks a pop? Yikes.......I guess the key here is to invest in a good 400gigabyte hard drive and offload your movies to that format, rather than leave em on tape?

How much space is a 60 minute tape going to take up raw on a HD...I think its like 15 gigs for a standard MiniDV...or...8gigs..I can't remember. How much space are we talking about for archiving recordings in HD?

Also the Sony has the hot-shoe right, so my shotgun Mic will work? Does it have a 30mm lens, will my Sony Wide-Angle Lens work on the HD camera as well?


Oh,and sorry for the Thread Hijack....I'll probably pass on the Canon as initial tests would seem to indicate it has horrible low-light performance.

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post #9 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 08:02 AM
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You can use the regular DV tapes for your HDV cam HeadRusch. I use the Sony premium tape and have had no problems with dropouts. Alot less dough my friend I use the sony shotgun Mic (ECM-HGZ1) on the HC3. I don't have an answer on how much space a 60 minute tape will use on the hard drive. A note on the Canon. I'm going to do some filming in the store with my HC3, throw the tape into the Canon HV-10 and film the same scenery, take the tape home and check out the difference.

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post #10 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 09:16 AM
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Well I already have the Sony Boom Mike and the Sony Wide-Angle lens for the HC90, so I'm tempted to stay in the Sony Camp (that and I've grown accustomed to the menus), since I'm pretty sure I can re-use both accessories.

I didn't realize the price on these had come down so much since the HC1 debuted.

And thanks on the MiniDV tapes, I read that after I had made my post above
I read that it uses the same 25mbs transfer rate so the tapes don't change, which is niice.
I assume it also means this machine will play standard DV tapes as well (if I unload the HC90).

I'd consider the Canon, but without any kind of mic jack (or even a shoe), I know I'd be swearing up and down...the shotgun mic can really make a difference if you want to keep background noise to a minimum when shooting.

I learned the hard way shooting with the HC90 that sound is at least as important as visual quality, hence the boom mic.

One thing..the HC90 has decent video quality for a SD/Widescreen camcorder.....but when I take the video and burn it to DVD via Pinnacle, the output does fill a 16:9 screen...but is it Progressive or Interlaced. I imagine I'm putting that image to Disc interlaced and then my DVD Player is outputting it as progressive?

I know, totally off topic The HC3 looks tempting..any gotchas?? Focus is good?
resolution is, I hope, at least twice as good as the HC90...

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post #11 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 01:01 PM
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The HC1 was a 2k camcorder, the HC3 is its replacement and is much more economical. Many stores have reduced the HC1 to prices below the HC3 to clear. Advantages HC1 manual focus ring, moveable CEVF, external mike input, telemacro button on camera. Advantages HC3 newer model, smaller, lighter, HMDI output

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post #12 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 03:57 PM
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I can't find the HC1 anywhere at a price approaching what the HC3 is going for......if its clearanced, nobody told the online vendors

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post #13 of 20 Old 10-01-2006, 09:54 AM
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If your main consideration is to buy based on picture quality get the HC-3, any difference in picture quality one way or the other won't make a big difference. if you like to manually control your recordings go with the HC-1. The HC-3 is smaller and lighter, and has a little more detail with night recordings. The HC-1 has a more proffesional look to it, which I like. Both have exellent built quality.

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post #14 of 20 Old 10-01-2006, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks guy for the responces, looks like im going to pick up the hc3 within the next day or two, one question about the editing, i have nero 7 with the recent updates do i still need MF5 or can i get away with just nero thanks again
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post #15 of 20 Old 02-27-2007, 08:27 AM
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I'm very happy with the HC-1, but I'm glad to see the HC-3 is fantastic. My only beef with it is the downgrade of some manual or advanced features.

As for tapes, I have had great results using regular Sony MiniDV tape. I shoot with it and master with it - although you may want to master with the HDV-optimized tape. Technically, it's supposed to be better, but the jury's out on that.

For delivery, after editing (using Final Cut Pro 5), I output to tape as HDV, then I set the camera to downconvert to DV and recapture back into the computer as anamorphic DV. I then output to tape to get an anamorphic DV master and from the new timeline I can output to MPEG-2 and make a DVD.

Hope this helps,
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post #16 of 20 Old 03-01-2007, 04:15 AM
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An external mic is now possible on the HC3 thanks to the $20 Sony VCMK100 adapter. This plugs into the HC3 hotshoe port and allows mic input.

It's also possible to capture UNCOMPRESSED 1920x1080 HC3 video via the HDMI port ($250 Blackmagic Intensity card). I haven't done this yet, but if you want quality (and have REAMS of hard drive space) it's there for you.

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post #17 of 20 Old 03-01-2007, 03:08 PM
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I thought the sensor on the HC3 was only 1440x1080 to begin with......

(???)

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post #18 of 20 Old 03-01-2007, 09:56 PM
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No, it captures at 1920x1080 but then COMPRESSES to 1440x1080 for HDV -- at least that's my understanding.

Blackmagic captures exactly what the HC3 captures...BEFORE compressing to HDV tape.

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post #19 of 20 Old 03-02-2007, 07:00 AM
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I thought the Canon HC10 was the only one with a full 1920x1080 panel, and that the Sonys used a 1440x1080 panel....which is why the Canon has that incrementally sharper picture than the HC3 in many reviews (because its a higher rez capture, even tho it gets scaled to the HDV standard of 1440..).


????

Dunno, whatever! So long as you're happy!

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post #20 of 20 Old 03-02-2007, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean (Alabama) View Post


It's also possible to capture UNCOMPRESSED 1920x1080 HC3 video via the HDMI port ($250 Blackmagic Intensity card). I haven't done this yet, but if you want quality (and have REAMS of hard drive space) it's there for you.

The key to remember here is that black magic captures UNCOMPRESSED, so you need one BIG mother harddrive.
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