HV20/30 or the new MXP 24 Mbps AVCHD cameras series (as HF11, HG20/HG21 etc) ? 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 11th, 2008, 11:56 PM   #1
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HV20/30 or the new MXP 24 Mbps AVCHD cameras series (as HF11, HG20/HG21 etc) ?

What's the best picture? What's the best film-like option?

Is it true that the new AVCHD cameras have no cine mode? Have no true 24p or 25p?

Merci
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Old December 12th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #2
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My bet is still on tape. AVCHD is fairly more rough than HDV when it comes to color grading.

All have 24p, but it's been telecined to 60i, so it's not true until you inverse telecine it. 25p however is true 25p only if you set the file to be progressive, same with 30p.

There is no definitive winner when it comes to a film option, both have the same "film-like look" features.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 07:27 PM   #3
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I must go with tape too. In the past year or so, I have shot about 250 tapes on various cameras. As it turns out, I recently went back to pull some shots from about 15 or 20 of them for an additional project. If I'd shot tapeless, I'm not sure I would have felt comfortable using disk drives to archive the footage. Sure, they are inexpensive. But I'm not convinced that a disk would last as long-term storage. Tape is more reliable storage over the years of archiving you might want to do.

The problem with hard drives is that you cannot just unplug them when you are done using them and put them in a closet somewhere. They don't like to be ignored. The much prefer to be used. If I had to use disks for archiving, I'd make sure that I attached them to a computer no less than once a year and do a full surface scan of every accessible sector on the disk using CHKDSK. This would re-map any sectors going "soft" before they dissolve altogether and take precious data with them.

That's all too much work and worry for me. I'll stay with tape and my HV10, HV30 and XH-A1.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #4
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Very good points. If I get a tapeless camera I would make sure to never shoot more than 4 gigs per card so I could copy the files to the computer and then to DVD for storage. You can buy high quality DVDs for more secure long term storage. With AVCHD you have to copy the full folder with all the goodies in it that make things work (just like P2), so if you have a full 8 gig card, you can't split that out onto 2 DVDs. At least that's my understanding of it.

I'm going through the same thoughts about getting an HF10 or HF100 or an HV30. By the way, all the legitimate reviews I've read about the HF10/100 and the 24mbs HF11 are saying there's very little difference in the end result except that under low light the faster rate can look a bit better. I think if it's your primary camera used for pro stuff, you would want the HF11. For a "B" type camera, the other two seem good enough.

I like the HF10/100 for its compactness. It feels a bit more solid to me than the HV30, and it is a little smaller, would fit in a coat pocket easier for just carrying around. But damn, it would be difficult for me to trade that for the ease, convenience and reliability of HDV and tape. I'm still kicking tires.

Back to the hard drive point you made--I've seen two different high quality firewire drives die from simply sitting on the shelf. And I've seen a total of three others die during normal use. A hard drive is not a good storage device, in my opinion. I have dug up Betacam SP tapes that are 15 years old and had no problems, and I've also recaptured from DVCAM tapes that were 6 or 7 years old, with no problems. Recently I recaptured from the first batch of XH A1 tapes I shot at the end of 2006 right after I got the camera. No probs.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 11:52 AM   #5
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I shot a film on HVX200 last may, save files to a terabyte drive, using a Cineform conversion. I was only backingup the directors copy... 8 months later, I am still holding that back up stuff. In meantime, I have captured tapes in and out, and then rendered edits, and then removed the captured raw footage. While the idea of non-tape file transfers is very appealing, I think you really have to have a storage and back up plan in force, to make it as safe as tape.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Very good points. If I get a tapeless camera I would make sure to never shoot more than 4 gigs per card so I could copy the files to the computer and then to DVD for storage. You can buy high quality DVDs for more secure long term storage. With AVCHD you have to copy the full folder with all the goodies in it that make things work (just like P2), so if you have a full 8 gig card, you can't split that out onto 2 DVDs. At least that's my understanding of it.


I like the HF10/100 for its compactness. It feels a bit more solid to me than the HV30, and it is a little smaller, would fit in a coat pocket easier for just carrying around. But damn, it would be difficult for me to trade that for the ease, convenience and reliability of HDV and tape. I'm still kicking tires.

Back to the hard drive point you made--I've seen two different high quality firewire drives die from simply sitting on the shelf. And I've seen a total of three others die during normal use. A hard drive is not a good storage device, in my opinion. I have dug up Betacam SP tapes that are 15 years old and had no problems, and I've also recaptured from DVCAM tapes that were 6 or 7 years old, with no problems. Recently I recaptured from the first batch of XH A1 tapes I shot at the end of 2006 right after I got the camera. No probs.
First, other than the file size issue (typically files larger then 2G are split in cam, and stitched together when downloaded), once the files are downloaded into the computer and stitched together, the auxilliary files aren't needed - the only reason to preserve the file structure is to return it to the camera for playback, or I suppose if you wanted to store on SS media - even there, the downloaded files can typically be saved on cheap USB jump drives... (picked up 8G jump drives for $15 @ during Christmas sales...). I'd say for the average project, buy a stack of USB drives for storage? DVD's are cheap archival storage too, especially when you can toss all the "junk" footage.

The little cameras are more solid build quality, and I suspect far more durable without the tape mech, which seems to be a big failure point for cameras. Hard drives may fail, yes, but you should have a backup plan in place - plus having a couple extra drives in your computer spinning up, then going to "sleep" mode when not in use shouldn't be a big drain. BIG drives are cheap.

My first reaction to tapeless was negative as well, so I understand the reservations... Now the only reason for me to have a tape cam is to dump old tapes... bought a cheap HC5 for that...

You need to plan a bit for archival/backup, but there's freedom from dropouts, no worries about mech noise, and fairly cheap removable media (I'm still a bit nervous about HDD in the cam, but so far no problems... I can switch to an 8G card in an emergency, and I dump footage from the HDD ASAP just for good measure).

Having had the same reservations, all I can suggest is that if you've got a fairly fast computer for editing (AVCHD does take horsepower), get one of the pocket rockets and try it - you'll quickly find it becomes the cam you grab and take everywhere. THAT is the most unexpected aspect - you don't find yourself thinking "wish I had my camera"... you just reach in your pocket... and when you can have a pretty complete kit in a smallish camera bag, you can actually go "prepared" if need be, yet not be lugging a lot of gear.


Just to give an idea of a pretty versatile grab and go mini kit - remembering this all fits in a small camera bag and weighs about nothing... this is Sony, but you could do the same with Canon too...

CX12, 8G MS Duo, (second for backup if you need 2 hours) FH70 battery for 2+ hours of shooting, HG0737C Wide angle lens, HW1 bluetooth wireless mic, fold up headphones for monitoring the wireless, fold up flash bracket and Sima 20W LED light.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 06:00 PM   #7
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I had to compare between the HF100 and the HV30 and went for the latter.
I agree there is a feeling of "cheap" construction with the HV30 but to my eyes , the picture was a lot sharper than with the HF100.
Besides I own a XHA1 and the HV30 as proven to be a good complement. When shooting outside , the 2 cams mix very well.
Despite the apparent fragility of the HV30 , after 6 months I had no problems at all.
I think I will stick to HDV and its simple and efficent workflow for the next 2 years.
SD cards are becoming very inexpensive , so the archive problem should be resolved soon, when card are as cheap as tape.
And I think there will be major new products offering coming int he next 18 months, scarlet , Canon , Sony and maybe Nikon . So wait and see , as far as I am concern.
The HV30 is now selling for less than $600. Just amazing.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 06:31 PM   #8
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I've pretty much beat the heck out of my HV20, and its still ticking. I have shot it upside down, on booms, inadvertantly dropping it, and I have hung 35mm adapters of the front end threads. Its actually quite rugged.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 01:27 PM   #9
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If it's purely about the picture quality I think AVCHD at max datarate has caught up, if not surpassed, HDV.

My biggest problem with Canon's latest AVCHD consumer cams is lack of focus dial. You adjust manual focus with the joystick instead of the dial as in HV20, and that is subtle yet big compromise on already minimal manual control of these consumer cameras.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 05:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
I've pretty much beat the heck out of my HV20, and its still ticking. I have shot it upside down, on booms, inadvertantly dropping it, and I have hung 35mm adapters of the front end threads. Its actually quite rugged.
LOL...and here I thought I beat mine up pretty bad.

It's funny but when this cam first came out everyone was worried about its durability because of its cheap feel in your hands. Here we are a year and a half later....and still making pretty pictures.
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