i would like to buy my first camcorder. iwant it to be hd but i only want to spend 1500.my question is two. should i wait. or would i be happy with sony? moneys burning a hole in my pocket but i dont want to jump the gun
I'll second the Sony HDR-HC1. A local production company is even using it for an upcoming documentary series in tight fit situations and places where anything bigger would be too conspicuous. They said the footage can be cut right in with the higher end HD material without too much trouble. With a pro behind the viewfinder and good light, the results are amazing for the price.
Originally Posted by chazklf
see i didnt know if i should what because last time i jumped on something new like my tv it was a grand cheaper 6 months later
Well that's the norm for any new technology...if you can wait, do so, and you're almost certain to get it cheaper 6 months down the road. My wife got me the the HC1 for X-Mas...but we're also expecting our first child in April so we needed something sooner than later, and I couldn't see myself getting anything standard def with the explosion of HD media and hardware that will be out this year. So far I'm quite impressed with what this camera can do.
I can't argue with the quality of the HDR-HC1, but I'm such a fan of Canon optics and hardware that I'll probably hold off for another six months and see if they step up with a HDV model in the same price range. The touchscreen on the Sony is also a big turnoff.
Not too excited by the Sanyo announcement. Sanyo is near the bottom of camcorder manufacturers in quality. 720p is no 1080i. An yes, those SD cards will add up in cost unless one transfers every hour to a hard disk after taking it.
Also, the tiny-bodied matchbox style camcorders so popular today are kind of ridiculous IMO. Extremely few have decent optical stabilization which is required to make handheld shots not nauseating. They're fine if you shoot with a tripod of course, but then why do you need such a tiny camera to begin with? The size/shape of the HDR-HC1 is about perfect to me and allows for a decent sized lens on the front.
If there is any way you can afford an FX-1, get it. It really can look about 85% as good as a f-900 - better on closeups. Sure, it is missing some pro options. But if you want the ability to look about as good as HDNet native (1080i) material, but on a relatively small budget, FIND A WAY to get an FX-1. It will completely blow you away. Beware, the FX-1 isin't as forgiving in bright light situations as the HC1. But it will always look better than its smaller cousin in bright light, if appropriately controlled (manually).
Get the FX-1. Find a way. Its almost the same as a mineraturized version of their professional HDCAMS (same technology), minus the pro bells and whissles.
I'd be a bit more hesitant on a blanket recommendation for the FX-1. While I have little doubt that it will outperform the HDR-HC1 (which it should, since it is a 3-chip model at double the price), there is a real trade-off on size. Certainly, I'd have no desire to trade my HC1 for the FX-1 -- because I know that a camera that size is not something that I could conveniently carry around and use in my normal life. Aside from price and performance, size and convenience also do matter...
As for the upcoming Sanyo for $800 -- I think it is impressive that they can build something like that at such an inexpensive price point, but I wouldn't expect it to approach the performance of either of the two Sony models. Chances are it won't even match the performance of the older JVC HD camcorder.
The *REAL* thrust of my recommendation was based on the quality issue. If you want to really capture the essence of a pro HD-CAM (but at a fraction of the size and cost), the FX-1 is the way to go. But most women do not like it for the size.
(this has been reported elsewhere, and I can provide links).
If you were recommending this to the thread starter, then I don't think it's the right camera since they say it's their first. For the rest of us who are just looking to upgrade to HD, or already have the HDR-HC1, then Thomas' comments are right on. 2x the cost and weight and 3x the size are significant issues. Not everyone wants to do independent film or HD videocasting, but almost everyone wants to take their camcorder with them on vacation or to many places where the FX1 wouldn't be welcomed.
I had been worried about the quality possible from the single chip, smaller units based on how weak the JVCs were, but the video at the link I posted above is not bad at all. With a tripod and better control over lighting, it would be spectacular.
I also downsized from a JVC HD1 to a HC1. I like the results.
As long as Sanyo doesn't put edge enhancement like JVC did with the HD1 it could be a decent little camera. I know the video folks whine at the idea of expensive SD cards but most folks should probably keep their home videos to under 20 minutes anyway (some would say 5 minutes is enough).
Been using the Sony hc1 since August '05. SIZE MATTERS!!!!!!!!!
Other then a pro- MOST- if not all people- will use something more if it is easy to use & transport.
It fits in a tummy bag- hands & shoulder free.
I put the cables & 6â€ flex mini-tripod (use against chest, on table, hold as stead cam, above head, etc) in 1st- then a zip bag & then camera. Zip protects camera from scratches in bag & is ready in case of rain/water issues. The pocket of tummy bag holds extra battery, light, & wide angle lens, & extra tape. That is 2 hours of tape (1-cam-1 spare).
The 20 minute/ 5 minute seems off base unless this was referring to filming the same scene for 20 minutes otherwise I have just the opposite view. 1 hour tape can capture several months of family stuff & THEN you can go thought as MUCH or as LITTLE trouble of editing or burning straight to a 1 hr DVD. Only then, will people likely want to see a finished product that spans a while & is not shown to them often.
Opposite seems true for stills. People want memory cards for instant access to 1 or 2 pictures from a still camera & -Yes- offload right away to hand them a "print" of the picture. Not the same for video.
This Sony is a better overall cam then my prev SD digital Sony -beyond the HD advantage. Auto exposure, white bal, & color are great. No more yellow indoors & blue outdoors & the zebra grid works wonders to ensure proper exposure & no overexposed bright white areas. The option to output to a 4:3 or 16:9 set & to choose compressed or letterbox are nice options.
drpepper: I agree - HC1 footage is realy great. The increase in resolution makes its output look like a higher end standard definition (big lens) Canon type. This camera would be perfect for indie art school film students (as long as they aren't mistakengly hung up on 24P/B&W krap). Actually, it would be quite easy to get B&W out of this, lol.
For the money and the size, overall, I do not think you will get a better image than with the HC1.
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