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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 May 23rd, 2008, 03:34 PM   #16
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Weddings are probably the worst possible application of any camera in the HV series. These cameras are not good performers in low light - they are single chip HDV, and everyone knows that even 3-chip HDV is not a great lowlight performer...don't they?

The Litepanels mini is a good solution to the problem. It is modest and non-invasive.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 04:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz View Post
Weddings are probably the worst possible application of any camera in the HV series. These cameras are not good performers in low light - they are single chip HDV, and everyone knows that even 3-chip HDV is not a great lowlight performer...don't they?

The Litepanels mini is a good solution to the problem. It is modest and non-invasive.
A little off the subject but WOW! I like the looks of those. A pair would set me back over $2500 though. Can you see me with $1000 light panel on top of my HV20/30. That would turn some heads.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 05:57 PM   #18
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A little off the subject but WOW! I like the looks of those. A pair would set me back over $2500 though. Can you see me with $1000 light panel on top of my HV20/30. That would turn some heads.
Wasn't he referring to the LP Micro?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ro_LED_on.html
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 11:10 PM   #19
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yes, yes she was...the micro, not mini. my bad...

the cool thing about the micro is that it is also very useful off the camera as well as onboard.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 10:13 PM   #20
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If the grain/noise is your biggest gripe then you need to use the "SD card trick" to grab the HV20/30s exposure by the balls and prevent the video "gain" from causing that unpleasant grainy effect. Then add some light to your subject/scene if you can. The difference in the HV20/30's image is like night and day when the "gain" is prevented in low light situations. If you are not familiar with it, here is the link. The article is by Barry Green and it only mentions the Canon HV20 but it will work with the HV30 as well. It works like a charm :)

http://dvxuser.com/jason/hv20/
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Old June 18th, 2008, 03:57 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Tom Vandas View Post
In Fellipe's defense, I'm surprised more people don't have his same reaction.

The ratio of positive:negative reviews of the HV20/HV30 is astonishingly one-sided, one would think this camera can stand up to 3-chip cams, even in low light. Actually, I've even seen articles about why this camera is good in low light: darker grain structure, 1/25 shutter speed in progressive mode, etc.
I, too, was greatly disappointed in my HV20 when I first got it home. I had also depended heavily on the glowing reviews I had read and the seemingly dismissive comments about its low-light capabilities. But I started reading websites like this and quickly learned how to maximize the settings and get better performance out of it to where I am more than happy with my purchase. The reality is that good video requires good light, no matter what camera you use. It is important to know how to operate it and what its limitations are to get quality output.

And Tom, there is no "fully manual" setting on the HVs. I wish there was.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #22
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Using HV30 for weddings

For in-church shooting I find it does a good clean job shooting HD30p. You pick up a stop of sensitivity because it defaults to 1/30 second shutter speed in the dim environment. For shooting at indoor receptions where they nearly always turn the lights down to a sexy semi-dark, I've never seen a camera that could be used without lighting.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #23
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Easiest solution!!!!

OOPS!!! I should have Mentioned the Cine Mode. This Mode uses minimal (if any at all) signal gain. Instant gratification for the grain/noise issues. To prove this...Hook your HV20/30 up to a large HDTV via HDMI and frame a shot that shows grain & noise (it will be so obvious on this large screen). Then Press the camcorders func. button and toggle to Cine Mode and watch it clean right up.

-Cine Mode-

Exposure automation includes Program (P), Time Value (Tv), Aperture Value (Av), Cine and Subject modes. The latter includes things like Portrait, Sports, Beach and Fireworks, each of which change several internal boundaries for particular subject categories.


The Cine mode is the one prosumers and professionals will likely wish to use the most. It locks camera sensitivity at a low dB gain and sets the shutter speed to 1/60 sec (in 60-field HD) or 1/48 sec (in 24p mode). Gamma is lifted, rolling off the specular highlights more gradually while raising shadow detail somewhat.

In P, Tv, Av and Subject exposure modes, gain floats with image brightness quite widely, turning dimly lit subjects into Noise City. Cine mode lowers image amplification, lowering noise and cleaning up the image considerably, but darkening the result in low light. If you want to shoot night sidewalks under street lamps, use one of the other settings, but if you want dark interiors to read as dark interiors, start with Cine mode.

The above was copied and pasted from this source.
http://www.digitalsecrets.net/secrets/HV20.html
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Old June 26th, 2008, 06:21 PM   #24
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i have been very happy with the "spot light" mode on the hv30 which is equivalent to zero gain.
take a look at this comparison test between the Canon A1 and the hv30 in "spot light" mode.
the darks hold up very well.
http://www.vimeo.com/898785?pg=embed&sec=898785
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Old June 27th, 2008, 02:09 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Fellipe de Paula View Post
After reading alot of reviews, user opinions and videos, I bought one hv30 for use as a second or maybe a third camera into an wedding with merlin.
It arrived yesterday and I was very excited about it. But when I did the first indoor shot, I became very disappointed. The image quality is awful when shooting indoor, It's very grainy, it's a very consumer camera, far, far away from a prosumer one.
I'd like to read some honest opinions when I was searching.

I cant even think of bring this into an wedding, since I already expect a very low quality.

sad :(
I'm curious. why would you have bought a "consumer" camera, expecting it to operate like a prosumer camera. Did anyone hoodwink you into your believing the hv30 would be like a prosummer.

I personally think that professionals planning on doing multi camera shoots would realize that it would be best to have all camcorders the same so that when integrating the footage from one camera to another there wouldn't be a noticable change.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 04:30 PM   #26
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I personally think that professionals planning on doing multi camera shoots would realize that it would be best to have all camcorders the same so that when integrating the footage from one camera to another there wouldn't be a noticable change.
Sometimes, yes, if you have the budget and all the cameras are to be on the floor and do a similar job. But there are many exceptions: if you are flying or craning a camera you will probably go for a lighter one. If you have a locked down camera you can save a bit of money by using a less sophisticated model perhaps with a fixed lens. If you need a more mobile cam it might well be a different model again.

Most of us can't afford a bunch of fully spec'ed cameras. Even big institutions have budgetary constraints, and often go for a range of equipment suitable for expected tasks rather than several the same.

Anyway, from what I've seen, pros don't find it that hard to match cameras using professional monitors and scopes.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 04:31 PM   #27
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I'm curious why you would use spotlight mode for zero gain when you are shooting outside. I would be surprised if the camera needed to have the aperture fully open in outside conditions and therefore gain wouldn't be an issue.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 11:37 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Jim Brent View Post
i have been very happy with the "spot light" mode on the hv30 which is equivalent to zero gain.
take a look at this comparison test between the Canon A1 and the hv30 in "spot light" mode.
the darks hold up very well.
http://www.vimeo.com/898785?pg=embed&sec=898785
Thanks for the post Jim. I'll give that mode a try as well.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 05:06 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Mark Howells View Post
I'm curious why you would use spotlight mode for zero gain when you are shooting outside. I would be surprised if the camera needed to have the aperture fully open in outside conditions and therefore gain wouldn't be an issue.
I would say for sunny mid-day shoots stay away from spotlight mode. Early morning, dusk or perhaps an overcast day, give the spotlight mode a try. I think you will like the results.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 04:47 PM   #30
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Its all relative....but HV30 did well

I just finished a 2 camera shoot with a HV30 and the much more costly Sony V1 in a poorly lit school stage (believe me it was very poorly lit!) Personally I was really surprised at how well the HV30 held up against the Sony V1 - and the footage intercut OK - an expert could tell the difference between the two - but a typical audience? No. If I had the budget I would have got another V1 (its just a better camera for handling), but for this sort of work the HV30 is great value for money. I paid the same price 3 years ago for a miniDV and the video footage is significantly better.

To be frank, it wasnt the video quality I was worried about, it was my and my assistants camera technique or lack of - at the end of the day the people who have watched the footage have commented on what I was doing with the camera moves NOT the quality of the footage (it went onto DVD).

When I show Blue-Ray Hollywood blockbusters to kids and adults on my fabulous cinema system - absolutely NOBODY cares that its tremendous quality footage except for me and my geeky gadget-buddy - they either like the story or they dont - There's a lesson there.
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