Sunday, 17 February, 2008

Anything Under The Sun -

Anything Under The Sun and the link is

A new online shopping site based in New Delhi, India. My film maker friend Dev Benegal, who's from Delhi, but spent a larger part of his life in Mumbai, recently pointed it out to me., have a rather nice variety of things. I've checked out only the computer and electronics portion, but that is growing. That's because, what makes this site different is that if you don't see what you want, you can recommend it along with a preferred price. And they try to get it and offer it for your price.

I wanted to see a Canon HV-20 - fast becoming a cult camcorder in the indie film circuit - so I recommended it. And they now have it. Available in India, free shipping anywhere in India, the Canon HV-20 for just Indian Rupees 70,000.00.

A lot of people will Google the HV-20 and come across prices like US$ 800, even 750. But hey, that's for the NTSC version. The PAL version is US$ 1200 at least and that's before taxes. Add Indian Customs Duty and it gets to 70k anyway.

Earlier, my friend Dev recommended a Western Digital MyBook Studio Edition 1 Tb hard disk, and they now have it there. 1 Tb for under Rs 16,000 or so. Great for video editing and backups. It has Firewire 800, USB, eSATA and is small.

Autsun also sell iMacs, MacBooks and other such.

Another interesting item is the Sony HC 96 camcorder. is the only place I've come accross this camcorder. No Croma, no Sony showroom, no Vijay Sales. No one has the HC 96.

What's special about the Sony HC 96 is that it is the only DV camcorder left that has DV in and out. The other models like the HC 36, 26, 38, 28 whatever, all have analog out, DV out, but no DV in. And no analog in DV out. What's called 'analog in, DV-passthrough'.

And since the HC-96 is a Sony it will play back miniDV and DVCam tapes. Canon, Panasonic, and JVC will not play back DVCam. So if you need a good capture deck for DV/DVCam for film editing, and have the ability to capture live from a analog source into your MacBook on location (like a video assist) then the HC 96 is the only current camcorder that can do it. And as far as I can tell, only autsun has it.

I just realized that don't know these guys from Adam (or Eve) and have not yet bought anything from them, but I'm still recommending them. So please speak to them, do your research, and make your own choices.


  1. Dev Benegal9:51 PM


    Your suggestion to get a WD 1TB My Studio is an excellent one. I snared TWO drives from autsun and getting 5 more for my new project.

    Based on your suggestion I also got the Canon HV20. Of course I got the NTSC version (from B&H) as I could not afford the price jump for the PAL version.

    A quick disclaimer about autsun- it's the brainchild of my cousin and her husband. What I like about it is that unlike Amazon this is an "on demand retail" concept. The shopper demands a product and autsun sources it.

    Now here's my experience of shopping on line: The box was shrink wrapped. The drive and all components inside were sealed. And it even smelled new!

    It really felt like buying from Amazon or from the Apple Store.

    Most Indian vendors tend to open the box, inspect the product and then re-package it. And a buyer always suspects one has bought something which has been used o tampered with.

    The drive also comes with a warranty and replacement from WD India which is always good to know.

    Now here's what I really liked about the drive:
    It not only has TWO firewire 800/400 ports a USB2.0 port it ALSO has an eSata port. The drive has a great build quality and comes with a superb set of connection cables. Even the La Cie drives do not come with so many options. Western Digital ships with two sets of power cables- a UK style as well as a US style.

    I also bought a Palm Treo 680 for my associate from autsun which came in at an amazing price especially when compared to the grey market deals one gets at Heera Panna or Alpha.

    After this experience we are sourcing all our technology purchases from autsun.

  2. Hey Neil,

    Thanks for the heads-up on will check it out.

    I was planning on asking a friend to buy the HV20 and get it from the States... What confuses me though is a Canon HV20 NTSC will record in HDV.. so the frame size will be 720p / 1080i? the only thing different from the PAL version will be the frame rate? Am I correct? The price is something like $670 or so.. which is killer for an HDV cam..

    I would really appreciate it, if you could clear this up for me.. Thanks!

  3. Read up about the 24p vs 25p here...

    HV-20 shoots 1080i or 1080p not 720 anything. It also shoots miniDV 576i or 480i depending on if you get the PAL or NTSC version.

    I have no clue why the PAL version costs so much more than the NTSC version.


  4. Hi Neil,

    After reading your post, I checked out and tried to order an HV20. I've been looking for one for awhile now and even the Canon RM for Mumbai told me personally that they have no stocks right now, as they're waiting for the upcoming HV30 launch in March. I had also tried stores in Delhi and Bangalore in case one had a piece in stock, with the same reply.

    Autsun was really responsive and called me back as well as emailed to say this (I'm quoting their email verbatim):

    Dear Sir

    Further to your query and subsequent telephone conversation with us,
    there is an update for you regarding this product.

    This product has been completely withdrawn from the market by its
    manufacturer Canon (it was in stock till last week). According to
    sources at Canon, they are expecting to launch a new model HV30 in mid
    March (next month), which will offer better features at a better price
    than HV20.

    AUTSUN.COM will incorporate the new product in its catalog as soon as
    it is launched. We will keep you posted.

    Please let us know if we can assist you in any other manner.

    Thank you
    Customer Care

    From what I've read HV30 is only cosmetically better than the HV20, more a 20.1 than a 30.0, but I guess if the price is better (or the same) and if it's available at least, that's pretty good.

    About the PAL/NTSC price difference, I believe the main reason is customs import duties and taxes. Also the dollar (NTSC version) is down, while the Euro and Pound (PAL version) are up.



  5. Dear Sir,
    May you please email me address and telephone numbers where I can take red-camera on Rent.


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