Camcorders forum

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Sony HDR-HC7

by Bobping / March 11, 2007 9:55 AM PDT

I am in the market for a new camcorder. I have been looking at some prosumer units. I am not sure if I should invest in a HD camera. The Sony HDR-HC7 camera will record in either the HD format or the SD format. According to the camera specs both formats will record on a mini dv cassette. I thought HD required a special cassette. I do have a question regarding HD recording. If the camera records in HD would it be possible to play that on a TV that is not HD? Is it worth buying a camcorder with an HD option?

Thanks for any tips you can offer.

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I use a Sony HDR-HC1.
by boya84 / March 11, 2007 11:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Sony HDR-HC7

I do not use "special HD miniDV tape". I use Sony Premium miniDV tape. I was on a shoot yesterday with 2 Canon XL2 cameras and 2 rather high-end Panasonic cameras (one being an AG-HVX200). Everybody used the same kind of tape.

Regarding your second question: Yes. Using the analog (composite) cable that comes with the camera, you can connect the yellow-video/red-right audio/white-left audio and playback on a standard definition TV. To playback high-definition, the HC7 has an HDMI port. It also has a composite cable for video (you need to use the red-right audio/white-left audio on the composite cable for audio if you use this method).

I have been shooting with my HDR-HC1 for over a year. Import the video to my computer, edit, burn DVD. The resulting DVD is Standard Definition... REALLY REALLY clear Standard Def, but only Standard def. I got a high-def Panasonic plasma about two weeks ago. The DVDs still look great (playing through a 4 year old progressive scan Sony DVD player using component rather than s-video) on the new TV. I can also output from my computer back to the camcorder and playing that back via the component cables is quite impressive. The HD read/write optical drives are still too expensive for me.

If you plan on doing any editing, be aware that when you transfer the hi-def video from the camcorder to the computer, the file on the computer will take up about 4x more room that a standard definition clip of the same length. 1 hour of high def is about 30 gig.

When was the last time you got a camcorder? If it was more than 5 years ago - and you are planning on using this HC7 for at least 3-4 or more years, I would suggest that you go with the HD option - and stay in miniDV tape based camcorders. If you don't have a HD TV, that's OK... I found the irony of having a HD camera but nothing to watch its HD video on quite amusing...

It is too bad the HC7 doesn't have a mic-in jack - though it can use Sony proprietary mics in its Sony proprietary "active accessory interface" - some would not consider this an external mic jack...

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More questions on an HD camcorder
by Bobping / March 11, 2007 11:32 AM PDT
In reply to: I use a Sony HDR-HC1.

Thanks for the tip regarding the amount of space HD uses while editing. I will plan on using an external hard drive. I currently have a Sony minidv camera (about 5 years old). I am using Pinnacle 9 Studio software for editing. I am still confused about the minidv tapes. I thought that when recording in the HD format it was necessary to use a special tape. I do not currently have a high def TV but as you say it may make sense to buy a camcorder with the HD option.
If I were to edit video from an HD camera and then create a DVD, would that dvd play using a regular dvd player attached to a TV that is not HD?

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When you output your edited
by boya84 / March 11, 2007 2:30 PM PDT

video to a standard definiton rig, it will be astandard definition DVD that can play in a normal DVD player - My DVD player is a 4 or 5 year old Sony Progressive scan DVD player. As I previously indicated, it will be REALLY REALLY clear standard definition. At this point in time, it you want to play back in high definition rather than output to DVD you output to the high def camera. Playback using the camera... via the HDMI or component cables.

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