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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


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Old December 1st, 2007, 08:45 AM   #1
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Focus catch up?

I was using an HV20 the other day and noticed 2 things
1) when I focused in on something far away (let's says item A-FAR and item B-CLOSE giving shallow DOF), then I switch the focus of the items (so now focusing on B-close), it takes less than a second and then it clicks into the new focus. There is no blurriness or trying to find a focus, it just happens or even a smooth transition. Is this normal? On other camcorders, it takes a second and I find it a little more pleasing how it searches for the focus rather than just clicks onto it (with a beep).
I do understand this ON the AF function.

2) Trying to zoom with 24p looks weird. It looks almost like slow motion or something.

Ok, so is this a normal function the camera or is something maybe amiss here?
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Old December 1st, 2007, 09:55 AM   #2
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24p and zoom do not belong in the same sentence.... there is more to a 'film look' than 24p, and not zooming is a major part of that in my opinion. If you want to give your viewer a closer look, take the camera to them. :)

of course, this is greatly dependent on what you are trying to achieve, but as a general rule for a film look, it works well. If you're not trying to go for a film look/indi film, why the 24p?

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Old December 1st, 2007, 10:21 AM   #3
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True, I am just sussing out the capabilities of this camera before I decide to buy. I also noticed something else that is odd -there are a lot of striations (lines going up and down) going top to bottom of the LCD in low light when shot against something darker. Is this normal as well?

If this is normal, I thought this camera excelled in low light, for me, I am not seeing it - in 24p mode and with exposure set to cinema, it doesn't look that great to me - but I also don't have a Mini-SD card to set the exposure for it either.

I am wondering if I am doing something wrong because I just tried a JVC $180 miniDV camcorder and found no grain in low light - maybe there is a sharpness setting I am missing or something...
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Old December 1st, 2007, 10:58 AM   #4
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AF mode

In the Camera Setup menu there is a choice to turn off "INSTANT AF". (pg 37 in the manual, but you said you haven't bought the camera yet) It allows quicker AF by using the sensor next to the lens. Turning it off selects the more traditional (and slower) TTL AF.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 11:25 AM   #5
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You can download the manual from the CanonDV web site.

Best not to judge the image in the LCD, view it on a HD screen. The LCD is mainly for shot composition/framing.

I would say that the HV20 has about average performance in low light for its price point and market segment. Keep in mind that comparison of a HDV camcorder to a DV camcorder is a bit like apples to oranges.

Modest cost camcorders often manage noise by image processing that reduces resolution and sharpness, and changes other image attributes.

You should define your shooting needs, prioritize them, than select a camcorder that best fits those needs.

Consider factors including:
Cost
poor light performance
good light performance
automation vs. manual controls
location of controls (ergonomics)
lens reach (zoom)
image stabilization
max image width
available accessories
size/weight

Even camcorders that have a reputation for good performance in poor light produce a low light image that is, well, lacking. It just looks somewhat better than many other camcorders as read off the tape. There is no substitute for adequate light.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 11:28 AM   #6
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I am using a friends right now and putting it through its paces.
I do notice that I have to lock the exposure to "0" when in 24p mode or else it automatically turns up the gain beyond belief. Also, I am noticing some white lines running up and down the LCD, not sure if this is a product of the exposure being too high or not.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 02:29 PM   #7
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Interestingly enough, I also notice that when I set the exposure using 24p and turn the camera off, it always turns back on with the highest exposure setting (really grainy and blown out). I am not sure why this is.

To get a decent picture/video in my basement, 2 X 60 watt lights on the ceiling (white tile), I need to drop the exposure setting to -11 or else the grain is too much.

Last edited by David Delaney; December 1st, 2007 at 03:33 PM.
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