Need a second HD cam - another HV20 or an HC7? at DVinfo.net

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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 30th, 2007, 04:47 AM   #1
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Need a second HD cam - another HV20 or an HC7?

I have an HV20 which I use only for personal use, mainly when travelling. I am doing a 39 day trip from Australia to Alaska and the Canadian Rockies in May and plan to buy a second camcorder before then. I have had camcorders fail on me on 2 previous trips, last year on a touring vacation through New Zealand and 11 years ago in the Canadian Rockies. I'll be happier going away knowing I have a second camcorder and would originally have taken my old Panasonic GS-400 as the second camcorder but now I've seen the quality of HD I know I need another HD camcorder. Also, my wife will be able to use it at times on the trip if we do different day trips - eg I like to do helicopter flights and she doesn't like them so she can use the other camcorder when she's doing something different. As a percentage of the cost of the trip I think a second camcorder is a worthwhile investment.

I have been planning to buy another HV20 but am now considering buying an HC7 instead. I am interested in hearing thoughts from anyone who has both the HV20 and HC7. Have you found some things that the HC7 does better than the HV20? Is the output from both cameras similar enough that you could combine footage from both cameras in one project and not have it noticeable when shots from the different cameras are mixed? Do you think it would be better to have two cameras of the same model or two different ones?

I know the advantage of having two HV20s is that I only need one set of accessories - batteries, chargers, wide angle lens, microphone etc. but the build quality of the HC7 does look good. Having LANC may also be a handy option. I am about to purchase a Raynox HD6600Pro/52 wide angle converter lens and can get 52-43 and 52-37 step rings with it so could use that on both camcorders.

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 12:31 PM   #2
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I say get another HV20... Carrying two different cameras with a bunch of different accessories sounds like a giant headache, and the last thing you need on a big trip is another headache. I can't tell you how excited I was when I learned that the HV20's battery can be charged in the charger that came with my Rebel XT. Now I only have to bring one charger when I travel with both. Or I can bring two, and be sure that I won't be screwed if I forget one of them at the hotel. Plus, I can buy a bunch of XT batteries and use them on either camera.

The battery/charger issue alone would sway me to the HV20 over the HC7. Add in the fact that the HV20 has the better picture quality, and there's not much of a question IMO. :)
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Old December 31st, 2007, 01:07 AM   #3
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Owned both, sold the HV20 - got tired of hearing chassis/mech noise. As you and others have noted the build quality of the HV20 is no where near that of the HC7. That said, Image quality is "different", I personally thought the HC7 was the better of the two <ducking the inevitable rain of rotten vegetables>.

The HV20 has a different noise signature with deeper cleaner blacks, which makes it "look" a bit better without a lot of posting. To the untrained eye, you could probably mix the two without too much trouble, but if you want "exact" match, buy another HV20. 99% of viewers probably wouldn't pick out the difference...

I'll also throw in on the hassle of two sets of accessories, and give the point to the second HV20 there too - if you've already got charger/batteries/memory card/lenses... I used the 6600 myself on the HV20 and have used it with the 37mm step ring on my Sonys - I have the 43mm so it was direct on the HV20.

In the end, I'd go with the matched pair regardless of whether it was HV20's or HC7's, but again, I prefer my HC7's <wink>, and have a bucketload of Sony accessories and use the LANC, so that helped my decision as well.

If it were me, I'd definitely want a backup to the HV20 either way, the camera never inspired that much confidence because of how it was built... I know lots of guys are having great luck with it, so maybe I was paranoid - but the odd noises that always seemed to be on tape from the camera didn't help.

Oh, and I think the OIS in the HC7 is better, if that's a factor...
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Old December 31st, 2007, 03:21 AM   #4
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Easy choice, in my view. HV20 from what I can see can be bought on the street for about $750.00. About $1200 for the HC7.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 02:23 PM   #5
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No 24p makes the HC7 very unattractive to me at any price
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Old December 31st, 2007, 06:31 PM   #6
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That's a no brainer! HV20 is now $689.95 at B&H with free shipping and a $25 B&H gift card. I say jump on it!

Mike
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Old December 31st, 2007, 06:34 PM   #7
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IT HAS A GIFT CARD?!?!? I'll go order one now :)

Where to get the gift card? I don't see it. btw, it's $677 just now I see it. It's like seafood price.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 06:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
IT HAS A GIFT CARD?!?!? I'll go order one now :)
Yup! Saw the price yesterday and just went to verify it before I posted the above!

Mike
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Old January 1st, 2008, 08:29 PM   #9
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Another HV20 would be my pick too. They're down to $1410 here in Australia now.. Check www.shopbot.com.au for the best price.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 10:56 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts. Thanks also Glenn for the link to www.shopbot.com.au . I hadn't seen that site before - it will be very useful.

Considering I have a lot of accessories and I am happy with the image quality of the HV20 it does make more sense to buy another HV20.

I leave for the trip on May 5 so I think I'll wait until early April to buy it in case prices drop further or a new model is released. I would want it about a month before so I have time to fully test it out and be sure there are no problems.

Ken
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 07:33 AM   #11
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With a second HV20, you (and your wife) have only one camcorder to learn to use effectively, not two.
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