HD Camera advice with a £1500 - £2000 budget Sony HVR A1E?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by MIDI_EVIL, May 21, 2008.

  1. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2006
    Well, I've been commissioned to produce a documentary on a steam engine that we own at the museum I work. It's the Penydarren Locomotive invented by Richard Trevithik in 1804 if anyone is interested, it was the worlds first steam engine to run on tracks.

    We need to purchase a camera, and have a budget of £1500 but could push to £2000 if need be.

    I'm way out of the loop when it comes to HD cameras, as my work has been on SD and I was quite happy with it.

    We are considering the Sony HDR-FX7E Handycam HDV 1080i here or the Sony HVR-A1E here??

    I'm guessing that tape is still a better format than the HDD camcorders but again, things have probably advanced considerably since I cared about camcorders.

    I would love to hear your opinions? I have until tomorrow morning.
  2. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    I've got an A1E. It's alright. I've not used the FX7, but I've used a V1E. The A1E is smaller and lighter but the controls are more fiddley. The A1E has XLR audio inputs (the FX7 hasn't), but it's not good in low lighting conditions (the FX7 is supposedly better).

    Also, on the A1E front, I've had problems with the shutter speed resetting itself to auto and being 'greyed out' when I try to alter it. It can be reliably fixed, but it's annoying.

    In conclusion: horses for courses.
  3. iJUNKY macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Belfast, Ireland
    I work in the film department in a university.

    We recently purchased 4 Sony A1E's as a training camera for the 1st year students.

    I'm afraid we've had nothing but trouble with them, and several have had to go back with intermittent power supply problems and firewire port issues. And I have had the same problem with the shutter speed.

    They are nice cameras if they worked. two xlr ins are a great feature for a camera this size.

    If thats your budget you could try and score a second hand Sony V1, or something thats more suited to low budget industry purposes. The A1 is for rich amateurs.

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