Switching from a DVX100A to a Canon HV30--is it worth it? at DVinfo.net

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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old February 10th, 2008, 06:19 PM   #1
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Switching from a DVX100A to a Canon HV30--is it worth it?

Hey, everyone. I need some advice. I currently own a Panasonic DVX100A, and lately I've been considering placing it on eBay and using the money I get to purchase a Canon HV30.

Since SD seems to be going the way of the dodo, I want to start shooting HD ASAP. Originally, I was going to just save up for a HVX200 but I came across the HV20. Now, normally I'd have written off a camera so small, thinking it "too consumer" and not enough "prosumer", but after browsing around this site and seeing actual footage from the camera, I started to change my mind. Footage looked not only sharp and colorful, the 24p feature is what really sold me.

Also, if I were to get at least $ 2,000 for my DVX100A (I've got a bunch of accessories to go along with it), that alone would pay for the HV30 plus I could afford a few extras (namely a Canon WD-H43 wide angle lens and an extra battery or two).

My primary use will be to shoot short films as well as to attempt to shoot an entire feature film. By the way, I am already aware of the (minor) differences between an HV20 and HV30--basically the HV30 adds a 30fps mode and sports a black exterior. While I doubt I'll be shooting in 30fps (24p is what I'm aiming for) it would be nice to have it anyway.

So, basically, I'm curious if you guys think it would be advantageous for me to switch from my current DVX100A camera (a prosumer, 3CCD SD camcorder) for the HV20/HV30 (a consumer single CCD HD camera)?


Now, to be clear, I'm already aware of the features I'll be losing in this switch:

1) No XLR input/outputs--while I liked having them on my DVX100A, I have no problem recording high-end audio from my Sennheiser boom mike into a separate audio recording device or running it directly into a nearby laptop.

2) Easy 3:2 pulldown. Getting my DVX100A footage into 24p mode is a super easy but I've already read up on the slight difficultly 3:2 workaround involving getting the HV20 footage to be proper 24p.


But despite losing those things, I think the upgrade from SD to HD will be worth it.


Now for my concerns:

1) No manual focus ring--Since I'm used to working with the DVX100A, which has a manual focus ring, I've come to except to be able to switch focus from an object in the foreground to another in the background on the fly. Is this at all possible with the HV20/HV30? Even if it can't be done on the fly, so to speak, please tell me there is a way disable the camera from trying to automatically focus on whatever is in front of the lens.

2) The whole 3:2 pull down problem--as I mentioned earlier, I have read up on this issue and the hurdles you have to jump through to get this corrected. From just glancing at the threads, it seems like getting the footage to work with Premiere Pro CS3 and After Effects CS3 (I'll be doing all post work on a PC) is a bit of a chore. Now, I wouldn't mind this at all if I can batch convert all files before editing into proper AVI or MOV files but if it is something I have to constantly be fixing and messing with, then this worries me. So, are my concerns un-founded?

Please let me know what you guys think.

Thanks,
-- Art
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Old February 10th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #2
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do you have a way to capture and edit hdv on your existing nle or will you have to upgrade also if you get the hv20/30 and want to shoot a short film or any length film you should seriously consider getting a 35mm adapter instead of the wide angle lens attachment letus has the mini35 which is perfect for the hv20 for around $1000 plus $700 for the camera and you will have enough to still get a few 35mm lenses for your adapter
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Old February 10th, 2008, 06:54 PM   #3
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i forgot to mention as you already record your audio to a separate recording device-- which i feel everyone should do if you are serious about the quality of your finished product-- then you are way ahead of the game as i do not know of a camcorder even with xlr's that is considered professional audio
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Old February 10th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #4
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do you have a way to capture and edit hdv on your existing nle or will you have to upgrade also if you get the hv20/30 and want to shoot a short film or any length film you should seriously consider getting a 35mm adapter instead of the wide angle lens attachment letus has the mini35 which is perfect for the hv20 for around $1000 plus $700 for the camera and you will have enough to still get a few 35mm lenses for your adapter
You mean other than firewire?

Yeah, I might get a 35mm adapter eventually... I've used the RedRock Micro before (I've only recently heard of the Letus) and liked the results but it did slow things down while shooting.

The plan is to shoot my first feature real quick and dirty, hopefully make some cash (nothing huge, just a few grand) and use the returns to invest into another feature that I shoot properly (you know, with a crew and an actual budget).

-- Art
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Old February 10th, 2008, 08:45 PM   #5
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i did not mean firewire i was referring to the type of hardware and software you will need to edit hdv material which system are you currently using for your editing dvx footage? also if your movie is going to be exclusively a run and gun undertaking then the 35mm adapter might just slow you down
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Old February 10th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #6
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i did not mean firewire i was referring to the type of hardware and software you will need to edit hdv material which system are you currently using for your editing dvx footage?
Ah. Yeah, I've got a pretty beefy machine, so I can handle HDV footage. I'm on a PC w/ 4 gigs of RAM and I'll be editing in Premiere Pro and doing effects in After Effects. From there, I'll output to DVD for distribution.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Viducich View Post
also if your movie is going to be exclusively a run and gun undertaking then the 35mm adapter might just slow you down
Yeah, exactly my concern. Sure, it makes the footage look nice and all, but often times speed is more important who shooting no budget.

Plus, to be honest, a lot of the 35mm stuff I've seen people do seems more visually suited for music videos, not feature films. Now, obviously movies are 35mm but they don't go crazy with the DOP like a lot music videos do. Besides, the average movie going audience member doesn't really care--if the movie is not any good, it's not any good.

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Old February 11th, 2008, 02:07 AM   #7
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If you are use to the manual controls of the DVX100a, the HV20 may be nearly maddening. Yes, it has lots to offer for a consumer cam. I took it to Europe last summer instead of my XH A1 and got some great footage. But then again, I was on vacation, too:-) The controls are limited.

The HV20 looks fabulous in good light. The first time I plugged the cam directly into an LCD TV via HDMI, it blew me away. But the dynamic range isn't huge, so be careful with shadows, especially if you're final distro is DVD.

A 35mm adaptor will be your best option if you are going from the DVX100a to the HV20.

If possible, try out an HV20 before you sell your DVX100a.

Good luck in your choice.
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