aussiemick wrote on 11/28/2006, 4:29 PM
In researching info on this video camera one of the most strident criticisms is the fact that you have to make any menu changes via the LCD screen.

For those who have this video camera is this a problem as it is made out to be. I am in the process of making a final decision on what I get. I am resticted to reviews as I cannot get to use one in the flesh.

Thanks Mick.


Spot|DSE wrote on 11/28/2006, 7:01 PM
It's not as big a problem as some make it out to be. There is an assignable button that can be used for your most common uses, I've got WB assigned to mine. If you're constantly changing your shooting parameters, I can see how the A1 menu context might become a PITA, but with the user assignable menu options, it doesn't bother me at all. I'm constantly changing between 30p and 60i, HDV and DV Downconvert. I've got those set up on my menu for fast access.
Laurence wrote on 11/28/2006, 7:12 PM
I assume you are talking about the small Sony HVR-A1. I have one and really like it but it's not perfect. The main issue is that low light performance is weak. In good like it looks incredible but in low light there is a lot of very active noise and the resolution falls off to about SD levels. In low light the auto-focus is constantly going in and out of focus as well.

Manual adjustments with the touch screen are a problem for a lot of people. I use a lanc controller and that helps a lot. The small size can make holding the camera steady difficult, but I get around that by using a spiderbrace any time I'm not on a tripod.

For the money it is just an incredible camera. I do a lot of daylight outdoor events and I couldn't be happier with it in this context. If you're shooting bands at nightclubs or wedding receptions, the poor low light performance means that this is not the right tool for the job.
Quryous wrote on 11/28/2006, 8:18 PM
Some, like Spot, may not find LCD-based controls a problem, but they drive me N U T S. I hate them with a passion.
Laurence wrote on 11/28/2006, 10:15 PM
I kind of like the LCD screen controls. One reason is that in my forties I have become too far sighted to be able to read the labels. I have to memorize the functions because I can't read them without reading glasses. I can however read the LCD screen.

The lanc controller I have on my Spiderbrace makes this sort of a non-issue...kind of like the standoff plate that lets you change tapes as easily as non-bottom loaders.

Be aware that the first menu page you go to on the touch screen is one that is full of the favorites that you can assign yourself. There is also, as Spot has pointed out, a customizable button.

My one and only complaint is it's low light performance. Aside from that I just love it. At some point I want to get either a Z1 or V1 to use when I don't have enough light for the A1. When I do get the upgraded camera, I still plan on using the A1 whenever I can. I just love how small and light it is and when the light is good, the picture is so close to the bigger cameras that it really isn't an issue.