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HDR-HC1 HDV 1080i Handycam® CamcorderHDR-HC1


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#1 Bill Totolo

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 11:16 AM

http://www.sonystyle...pfeature-HDRHC1

That's a ridiculous URL. I simply went to www.sony.com, went to camcorders and selected the HDR-HC1

I want to know if ANYONE knows anything about this camera that was released just this month. It's being marketed as an HD camcorder with 1080 lines interlaced.

Doesn't mention if it's 25mbs, 50 mbs or what. What system would have to be used to edit this with? FCP HD or AXP HD?

A friend of mine is thinking of using this for an upcoming project and I hadn't heard of it.

Thanks,
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 01:07 PM

Hi,

It's HDV, which is 8-frame-GOP MPEG-2 at around 19Mbps. Yes, compressed to hell, and that isn't even the best current camera for the format - it's single chip.

Can your friend be dissuaded, or is this something he owns?

Phil
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#3 Bill Totolo

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 01:48 PM

She's in the market for a small handycam style DV camera before she goes to 'Burning Man'. I'm trying to convince her to rent something like the FX1 or Z1. She brought up this camera and I never heard of it. Local camera store trying to push it on her. It's about $1,800 US.

I don't think this is for large format viewing (movie screens and projection). It will likely live on a TV screen, if that factors in anywhere.

Also, I was wondering if this is supported by FCP HD and AXP HD.

Can you explain what 8 frame GOP means?

So many questions, thanks.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 02:58 PM

Hi,

FCP yes, Avid not sure but presume so as there's otherwise no low-end HD stuff to feed it. The post path is slightly strange for HDV as it's long GOP - which means that it's compressed as a group of frames, so the codec can take advantage of the fact that there's usually similarith between adjacent frames. HDV has an 8-frame GOP, meaning it considers up to eight frames at a time for similarity. The first frame of the group is an I (intra) frame, meaning it requires no other frames to reconstruct. The following seven may be either B or P, in a predetermined pattern, usually alternating but I'm not sure with HDV. B stands for bidirectional, where a frame can use macroblocks from either previous or proceeding frames, or predictive, where a frame can use macroblocks from previous frames only.

This makes it difficult to edit non-I-frame codecs, as in order to decode frame 8 of a GOP, you also have to decode frames 1 to 7 to ensure you have all the right bits, making random access very computationally intensive. It is entirely possible to edit temporally compressed meda; most of the leading editors will do it, even if they rely on plugin codecs to do the clever stuff, but it's an undue load on the edit system professionally, so the MPEG-2 is generally transcoded - at the moment, usually a manual process - to some other format. Since "some other format" generally means uncompressed, suddenly you're into exactly the same system you'd want to post HDCAM. Difficult to reconcile against the camera you shot it on...

OK, I'm being puritanical here, as there are undoubtedly many codecs very suitable for low-compression HD work you could do on a desktop system, but really, with HDV being so crunched to begin with, do you really want to recompress it?

Interestingly, this very heavily mitigates the low data rate, as it's possible to achieve much better compression by considering the similarities between frames, as opposed to compressing each frame on its own as most other VT formats do. Temporally compressed formats can look subjectively good down to around 6mbps in SD.

However, this is all a discussion of the tape format and post path, not the camera. I'd certainly avoid any single chip camera in any format - they'll probably try to blind her with science over the CMOS imager technology, but feh, if you're into that market, wait for HVX-200 or the JVC thing.

Phil
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#5 Charlie Seper

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 03:26 PM

Hey Bill,

You might try looking through the follwing thread from the hi-def forum here. We were talking about the new JVC HDV cam and I re-posted a long review by a guy from a St. Louis forum (where I'm from) and he actually had a chance to compare this new little Sony HC1 to several other cams. Its pretty informative.

Comparing Cams

The HC1 produces a great image from what I've seen. Its big drawback is that its a very tiny consumer looking cam, with an equally tiny lens and therefore--not too great in low light.
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