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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 17th, 2007, 10:55 AM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Livingston, TN
Posts: 50
Another HV20 owner...

Yes, I bought an HV20. I read tons about it, looked at lot's of footage from it. I Admired it from a distance, and finally bought one. I already have a Sony V1, Sony A1U, Pana DVC30, Pana Ag455, and other DV cameras.

I wanted a low cost handycam to use primarily as a deck, and an occasional B-roll/goof around camera. I had already purchased a Sony HC5 that I got at a good price, and then a local store put the HV20 on sale. The store graciously allowed me to exchange it for the HV20.

I bought it solely for the 24P option, and just to see for myself what the big deal about the HV20 is.

So first, here are the things I discovered first hand, (this is already old news to many of you).

- It will absolutely capture video tapes recorded on the Sony A1U, V1 and Panasonic DVC30.

- The 24p, is quite good for a consumer camera.

- The control over color is more robust than the other consumer cameras I have used.

- The ability to control white balance and exposure manually on the fly is a great feature and easy to master quickly.

- The Instant autofocus works very well. You can run in manual focus, press the instant auto focus and go back to manual on the fly. You could consider it a poor man's way to pull focus under the right conditions.

- Low light performance is mediocre, but fine. About what you should expect for the current generation of CMOS chips. Don't expect miracles, but you can get the shot.

Finally, a word to the many people that ask, "I'm just starting out, which camera should I get?"

If you are looking to get a start in video, and you do not have any particular application (such as wedding videography, music videos, etc.), this is the one to start out with. (That is not to say you couldn't use it for those things, but if you are pursuing a special field such as mentioned above, that may dictate a particular camera, otherwise... this one is the one to get). I wish I would have had it as my first camera.

For $799, there just aren't any other options out there with this much flexibility, and features (as far as I know).

This little thing has nearly every feature you need to be able to learn how to capture great imagery. You can even set it for arpeture, or shutter priority. There are just a lot of things you can do with this little machine.

After you master this one, you will keep it as you buy the next level of prosumer or professional camcorder. It is an awesome 2nd or third camera to have. The video that comes out of this thing is very satisfying and pleasing. You can make it do what you want it to do.

So again, if you are looking for your first one, this one get's my vote. You will learn a lot by using it, and will absolutely be able to make a better choice when it's time to upgrade.

If anyone is looking for a 2nd camera for capturing tapes, or general b-roll, this looks like a great choice for that as well. I sure am glad I got one.

Just my two cents, as there are so many aspiring videographers out there, and with so many choices it gets confusing. Hope this helps someone.


Joel Chappell
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Old December 17th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 6,838
Nice new user review. Confirms what most of us using the camera have been saying. It is a great 24p entry, and has superior images to boot. There are a few peculiarities to work around, since it is consumer oriented, but you can still do a lot with the camera.
Chris J. Barcellos
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