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CAMERAS: The Sony HVR-A1 HDV Review

Since HDV is the current buzzword, everyone and their brother seems to be talking about the move from miniDV to HDV. Here's a review of Sony's midlevel Prosumer camcorder, the HVR-A1. It sits between the cheaper HC3 and the Z1, and seems to offer a nice feature mix as you'll see.
Let me be clear at this point. The image quality of the A1 (or the bigger and more expensive Z1, which has three CCDs) will never compare side by side with the full-sized HDCAM cameras, but more and more these small, cheap HDV cameras are providing acceptable B-roll and alternative angle shots to the productions that I work on. If anything, the A1 should be compared with the Z1, and in that realm it is awfully close. Except under low-light situations where the A1 shows quite a bit more noise in the shadows, this one-chip wonder is almost identical in image quality to the Z1, which has a terrific picture to begin with. In a pinch, I would have no problem cutting shots from the A1 into a show shot with a Varicam or HDCAM. Especially if using a small camera is the only option.

The rest of the review can be found here.

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