bw wrote on 10/3/2006, 3:03 PM
I am only an enthusiastic amateur with a perfectly good Digi 8 cam (and 100 plus tapes to edit) but always of course looking upwards.
Have been offered a HDR HC3E for about Aud$1400 new in box.
Is the limitation of no mic jack important? I assume adaptors are available for the hot shoe? Will my DV footage be noticeably better?
Should I wait until I can justify a pro model?
TIA Brian


p@mast3rs wrote on 10/3/2006, 3:24 PM
I was under the impression that it would support no mics at all even if with a hotshoe. Maybe Im incorrect. Someone will chime in.
farss wrote on 10/3/2006, 4:02 PM
I believe you can use Sony mics.
No one has figured a way to get anything else into it.
Even if you could I believe there's no way to disable the AGC and get manual level control.
Still that's not much different to the D8 camcorders.
And yes the pictures will sure be a lot better than the D8.
A coworker bought a HC3 for a recent overseas trip and he's very happy with it.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 10/3/2006, 4:04 PM
> Is the limitation of no mic jack important?

It depends on how you will use it. Cameras with no mic jack are for people who would never use an external mic no matter how many jacks it has (and I would guess that covers 98% of consumers). If you plan on using an external mic then this camera is not for you.

> I assume adaptors are available for the hot shoe?

[edit] Saw Bob’s post so maybe he knows more. I guess if there is mic for the Active Interface Shoe that might work. Not sure but I don't think so. It also has no headphone jack so you can’t monitor your audio anyway.

> Will my DV footage be noticeably better?

The video will definitely be way better than your Digi-8. Shoot in HDV mode and even if you downconvert to DV it will look better (and will be 16:9)

> Should I wait until I can justify a pro model?

Only you can determine that. If you are ready to use externals mics, then I would wait until you can afford an HC1 or HVR-A1. If you are not ready to use external mics then go for it. It’s a sweet camera for what it does. You can always sell it later and upgrade to something better.

dhill wrote on 10/3/2006, 8:36 PM
Hi Brian. I have an HC3 that I use for my toss in the travel bag kind of camera and it is truley amazing for the price in my opinion. I think i paid around $1,100 or $1,200 from B&H. So, as the others have stated, yes it will be quite a bit better than what you have now. The audio is certainly not great, but will suffice for an "enthusiastic amateur." Derek
frazerb wrote on 10/4/2006, 6:33 AM
For pure consumer work, you may never need the external mic input. Have you ever used it on your D8 camcorder?

Someone (and I forget who) posted a schematic for taking the optional zoom microphone and converting it to an external mic input. The zoom microphone, available from Sony, clips to the hot shoe. This does not disable the auto gain circuit, and there is still no earphone jack so you can tell if it is working. I hope some third party will make a more rugged version of the mic adapter.