A walk with the Sony HVR-A1
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Back in December of 2006 I was buying my first video camera. At the time I was looking at HD consumer cameras but as I was researching I started to see the benefits of choosing a camera with more professional features such as manual controls and XLR mic inputs.
At over £1,500 The Sony HVR-A1 was at the upper limits of my budget so before taking the big step of spending that kind of money I managed to persuade Jigsaw systems to let me borrow one of their demo cameras for a weekend.
Up until this point my only shooting experience was using an extremely cheap and crappy handycam that I borrowed for a weekend to take on holiday with me, the results from that were exactly what you’d expect from a first time holiday video! Like most people starting out in video my first subjects were my family, my dogs, and pretty much anything that was around me on a day to day basis.
Looking back at this video now I see all the mistakes that most people make to begin with, including overuse of zoom, and leaving the camera on auto resulting in too much gain, bad framing etc etc. None of that matters though because this video, as crappy as it is inspired me and moved me enough to want to continue making video. It has to be said that a lot of that is down to mixing in the gorgeous “Golden Porsche” by Mogwai. The main thing is, after making this video I was hooked!
I didn’t buy the Sony in the end, deciding to save for a while longer and eventually buying the even more expensive Canon XH-A1. Looking back now I’m sure the camera would be capable of better footage if I’d known how to use it properly and laid off the zoom rocker for a moment!