The Sony HVR A1E

October 15, 2006

The HVR A1E is a HDV camera from Sony that packs alot of features in a small package. Only been able to play with it for two days, but here goes:


  • Very compact form factor, nice sturdy body
  • Very nice image quality
  • Two-channel XLR input module included
  • DV, HDV and DVCAM (DV but faster) support, real 16:9 (anamorphic)
  • Touchscreen menu
  • Works pretty well with FCP (although getting HDV to work takes some time always…)
  • A lot of configuration options


  • 1 sensor (it’s CMOS, not CCD btw) - a bit noisy in low light. But probably less so than many other 1CCD cams
  • Mic inside the camera body. You can hear the noise from the headphones
  • Can’t select builtin mic when XLR module is attached (at least I couldn’t figure it out)
  • Touchscreen menu works pretty fast but the animations are totally superfluous
  • Price (?) It’s a lot of camera, but it’s also almost 3 000 EUR.

A pretty cool little camera. Some talented person could pull a lot of really high quality material with this one