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Thread: Has Anyone Used the Sony HVR A1P??

  1. #1

    Default Has Anyone Used the Sony HVR A1P??

    Hi Folks,

    Has anyone had a chance to play with the Sony HVR A1P? I am looking at buying an ex-lease model. It is over half the retail price, so I thought it might be a good deal.

    It is for some projects I wish to take on next year (a mini docco and some corporate video work). I am not a pro, and don't wish to spend a massive amount of cash, but I want something above entry level in terms of features, and that has credibility when shooting in a professional business environment.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has used this model and has some constructive advise.

    Many Thanks!!

  2. #2


    I've got one of the larger Sony cams, so not this one, but one thing I can tell you is that it only has a 7-lux low light rating. That's incredibly bad. It's a small cam with a very narrow range lens which means you'll end up using a wide angle lens filter with it for almost every interior shot. (It only has a 37mm thread size which is about half of what you'd expect from a cam in this price range). And you have to use the touch screen to make a lot of important adjustments. Most people don't seem to like touch screens. You're constantly cleaning them. This unit also has a bottom loading cassette whcih can be rather inconvenient when using a tripod. I personally think it's a very over-priced cam and that you'd be far better off buying something used.

  3. #3


    Thanks Swoopie!

    What is the minimum low light rating you would recommend for inside shooting? Also, what difference does the wide angle lens filter make to low light situations?

    OK... Maybe a better question: for the same price range - what would you recommend?

    Thanks for the response!

  4. #4


    I picked up my Sony HVR-V1U for less than $2000 used on Ebay, and it's been great. The guy I bought it from had a really good seller rating, and I found some posts he had left here and there on the internet that just left me with a good feeling about him. He really took good care of the cam, and I thought I could trust him not to have rolled back the hours on the meter. So, if you can find somebody selling something used that you feel you can trust, you can get something much better.

    As to the low light thing, I was talking with Mr. Blue here a while back about how Sony has always had a reputation for having more usable gain in their cams. So even though my particular model only has a 4 lux rating, the gain is usable enough that I can still get good low light shots with it. Not superb, but good enough. You probably couldn't do that with a Canon or Panny. So it depends on the cam. But in general, anything worse than 4 lux is gonna be tough to work with. 3 lux is better and about as good as you're going to get with HDV.

    I've seen Sony FX1 cams go for as little as $1500 on Craigslist in recent months. The hard thing is to find one with low hours that's been taken care of, but they're out there. Sony also dropped the price on the FX7 down to $1,800 now, so that's a heck of a deal, except that cam doesn't have XLR inputs if you need them. But those are very professional looking and good working cams that would be great for you if you can afford them. If you have to go under $1,500, then I would look for a top-notch used miniDV cam instead. You can always bump the footage up to HD in post with something like UpRez, and it'll still look darn good. I'm seeing Canon XL1 and Pannny DVX100 cams going for less than a grand on both Craigslist and Ebay now and then. It seems like Craigslist has most of the better deals, and you can buy from someone local then and see what you're getting. Heck, I bought my Dodge Ram from a guy on Craisglist.

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