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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 22nd, 2008, 11:44 AM   #1
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Bought a hv30 - Very Disappointed !

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 :(
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:49 AM   #2
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just out of curiosity what are the other two cameras you are shooting weddings with that make the hv30 seem to pale in comparison
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 01:31 PM   #3
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I'm disappointed that you're disappointed. Asside from grain which was certainly due to poor lighting and perhaps not knowing how to adjust the camcorder for the lighting situation, what dissappointed you with the 30. It is of course is a consumer camcorder and rated pretty high on the list of consumer HD camcorders.

I'm of course biased because it does what I expect it to do and more. Perhaps since your pretty disappointed someone here could work up a good bargain price for you and the person puchasing it from you.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 05:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mark Viducich View Post
just out of curiosity what are the other two cameras you are shooting weddings with that make the hv30 seem to pale in comparison
I shoot weddings with sony pd170.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 05:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Fellipe de Paula View Post
I shoot weddings with sony pd170.
You're going to be disappointed then with any consumer HD camera. More pixels on the same size piece of silicon means less light gathering ability. This physical law has caught many 'new to HD' cameramen by surprise... even at the upper end of the professional market. An HD camera is more hampered than its SD counterpart due to pixel density.

-gb-
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 05:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
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 :(
Take that camera outside during the day and give it another shot. As with any single chip camera, it needs light.

I've shot a professional production with an HV20, and I made sure to control the light properly = great results. And for weddings, I've only ever used 3-chip cameras in order to get a good image inside in low light.

For weddings, get an XH-A1 or Z1U or EX1 - all 3-chip (the EX1 has the largest sensors).
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 06:00 PM   #7
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So what's todays best light source for HDV? LED?
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 06:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Fellipe de Paula View Post
it's a very consumer camera, far, far away from a prosumer one. sad :(

The three digit price tag didn't give away the fact that it is a consumer camera?
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 07:28 PM   #9
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Lighting is everything with the HV-30. Everything.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 12:22 AM   #10
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We used to use canon HV 20s for unmanned cameras at weddings, but we've changed to Sony SR11s because of their better low light performance. They are a better colour match for our Z1s too.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 12:40 AM   #11
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It's not a low light performer. Some more research would have shown you that. For weddings, eh, not the best choice. For indie filmmaking, sure, you could work around it, by our terms it's not too bad. Wish things were better but, hey, for less than $1000 what would you expect?

Now, maybe with a Litepanel Micro light on top, you could do some business. Otherwise, you'll need to get a better low light performer.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 03:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
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 :(
Fellipe de Paula,

I am afraid why you are unhappy with HV30? Is it bad camera? I have Canon HV20; I have made one wedding party video with it see here is link: http://www.vimeo.com/771305

I guess HV20 is good camera, I am not sure about HV30, and yes I am proud owner of JVC GZHD7, if you wish you can see my uploaded videos from my profile on vimeo.

Kaushik
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 03:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jack Felis View Post
It's not a low light performer. Some more research would have shown you that.
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.

It's not until you get one in your hands that you really see what's what, and are brought back down to reality. But testing cameras is not always possible. I'm living in London at the moment, and even here there is only one place I know of that has an HV30 to try out.

Having said that, I agree with the advice given so far. I would add that people seem to get the best image from the HV30 in full manual mode, with a particular awareness of the point at which the gain kicks in. Also, the Cinema mode (or whatever it's called) seems to add some kind of diffusion to the mid range of the image, I've wondered if that helps reduce the perceived graininess of the image.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 02:42 PM   #14
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Solution...

I've used a third-party halogen light in the cold-shoe on top of the HV20 - made the camera top-heavy, but I was able to handle it fine - improved the shots indoor wonderfully. That is when people weren't squinting (half-joking about that) but it was worth it.

The light used it own large battery, so didn't affect the camera's battery life - good thing too since the light was so powerful.

Btw, even ENG - professional news cameras - use top-mounted lights to light the subjects their interviewing - only way to insure lighting is to light it yourself.

Thing is, might be too invasive for a wedding...
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 03:13 PM   #15
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Confusion....

I too have been reading Hv20/30 reviews as if they were perfect camcorders, plus also lots of similar overly-positive stuff on AVCHD.

Its very difficult to gain a perspective - one uk mag rated a 500 model higher over a 1500 model because although the image quality was clearly poorer on the cheaper model, the image quality on the higher priced model wasnt worth in their opinion the extra 1000. The problem is that for certain type of work, eg, commercial wedding videos, you cant use a camera with image quality any less than the 1500 model because thats the entry barrier.

Way too much confusion with so many new models and format variations....sometimes you just have to go with whats tried and tested and avoid leading edge, for example, none of the pro video companies i have seen in my area for weddings, corporate videos etc are using anything more advanced than PD170s or Sony Z1s.....
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