HV30 or HG20 which one to buy? - Page 2 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 21st, 2008, 09:33 PM   #16
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Dennis,

Thank you for a lot of very interesting comparisons. This is really interesting, and I had not realized that Canon switched sensors between the prior year AVCHD hard disk HG10, which was 1/2.7" and are now using a smaller 1/3.2" sensor on the new 2008 series HG20/21. My 2007-vintage HV20 and the 2007-vintage HG10 had the same 1/2.7" sensor size.

Also wanted to note that the USB port of the HV20/30 is for still picture use only. Video can only be transfered via Firewire.

Larry
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 12:22 PM   #17
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At it's price point you cannot do better than the HV-30. If you can find a better cam for the money, in any brand, I'd like to know what it is! And I'm serious, I'd like to know if there is anything better, as I'll be ordering one at some point in the near future!
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 12:50 PM   #18
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There are some people, myself included, who would disagree. Having owned 5 HDV camcorders, including the $3500 Sony FX-1, most recently the Canon HV-20, I would never prefer to use the HDV format or camcorder once I started using the HF100. I keep the HDV camera around here as a playback deck and virtually never use it or HDV any more.

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Old December 22nd, 2008, 03:52 PM   #19
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If you are saying the HF-100 is better because of it's format, than that is a matter of personal preference, and does not, for me make the camera "better".

Image quality-wise I've not seen anyone claim it to be better than the HV-30. At best they say it is "as good".

Since you own the HV-20 and I own neither camera, I cannot debate if you say the HF-100 is better.

I suppose it is possible the smaller sensor of the HF-100 is superior to the 1/2" sensor of the HV-30.

Based strictly on size of the sensor, and the fact I personally prefer tape at this point, I'd still go with the HV-30.

Thanks for your suggestion.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:16 PM   #20
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Jeff,

A choice like this is totally a personal matter, and I have no desire to try to dissuade you or to debate. I merely wanted to let you know that someone may have a different point of view, and that my experience has been quite different.

My son bought me the first AVCHD camcorder at a time when I was totally immersed in HDV, and not until I began to use it did I begin to appreciate how well it performed. I had owned 5 HDV camcorders since the 2003 release of the first 1440 by 1080 3-CCD Sony FX-1, and was really quite satisfied with the performance.

I understand the sensor size issue, but my own experience has been that the way the HF100 handles low light is visibly superior to the way the HV20 does. Never having owned an HV30, I can't extrapolate to this comparison for the HV30. I understand that it is counter-intuitive, given the sensor size difference, but the two Canon camcorders I now own and compare here show the difference mostly in (ironically) a lower noise floor on the HF100. The AVCHD 1920 by 1080 detail is visibly superior to the 1440 by 1080 as well.

Regarding the format difference, there are good reasons to NOT want AVCHD, the most obvious being the neccesity to have a much more capable and expensive computer. My free/ gifted HF100 ultimately forced me to replace a perfectly adequate 4 year old Pentium 4 3.0GHz machine which handled HDV very well with a much more expensive new computer, since AVCHD was unusable on my original machine.

I wish you well with whatever you should choose.

Larry
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:29 PM   #21
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From another forum:

"3. Medium to low light shots are dramatically better on the HF100. With the HV20, I tried to do all kinds of things to compensate any time it was evening in doors (even with a few hundred lux of light) or nearing twilight outdoors. The colors seemed overly reddish on the full auto settings, the image got noisy, etc. I used cineamode to try and offset both to some reasonable effect. By comparison, I have found I never need to take the HF100 out of the "Easy mode" and the quality is far better than what I got with all my fiddling on the HV20. (I should note I do all my filming in 60i - so bear that in mind). This is no small quality difference. It's huge.


HF100 vs HV30 - DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking


His experiences are much the same as mine........

Larry
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 08:15 PM   #22
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The HV20/30 is a 1/3" CMOS, NOT 1/2"... the size differences are minimal, and probably offset with other optical path differences.

I can concurr with the same observations in the Sony side of the realm - the CX7 was noticeably better than its tape based siblings in low light, and I felt less noisy in overall IQ, the SR11/12 and CX12 are significantly better cameras than their tape based predecessors/siblings in those respects.

One has to consider that AVCHD has been accepted pretty rapidly and at least in terms of lower end camera development, is the reality of the future. Not saying tape is dead, but I'd be surprised to see a lot of R&D going that direction from any of the majors...

Now if they'd just give us something slightly larger with some manual controls...
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 08:47 PM   #23
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I think the HV20 & HV30 have a 1/2.7" sensor, so it's a little larger than 1/3".
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 01:17 AM   #24
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Dave, the HV30 sensor is 1/2.7" in size according to it's specs.

Larry, as I said, before you launched into your lengthy reply, if you can recommend a better camera for the money I'd like to know what it is.

Your arguments are unnecessary. The HF-100 is different. You like it. Great. I'm happy for you.

This was not intended to be a debate about formats, though I understand your preference. That the HF100 is better than the HV-30 is VERY debateable. Thank you for searching and finding a user who backs up your feelings.

There are plenty of people who feel the HF100 is not as good as the HV30. I'm not going to go find them and quote them here. BTW, you are operating the HV-20 which is not quite as nice as the HV-30. The sensor is the same, but according to most reviewers the LCD is better on the 30 among other improvements. I have seen more than one user who loved the upgrade.

Can I safely assume you understand I know the important differences between the cams and am not interested in the HF-100?
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 02:22 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
At it's price point you cannot do better than the HV-30. If you can find a better cam for the money, in any brand, I'd like to know what it is! And I'm serious, I'd like to know if there is anything better, as I'll be ordering one at some point in the near future!
Jeff,

You very explicitly raised this question and I offered my opinion. Sorry if you disagree with both my reply as well as the "lengthy" manner in which I presented it. Don't ask the question if you dont't want to hear other people's answers.

Buy whatever you want. You have obviously already made up your mind.

Larry
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 06:13 AM   #26
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Larry, I've very sorry for the disagreeable nature of my reaction.

Sometimes when I should leave something alone I don't.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 09:33 AM   #27
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Well thanks for all the info, but based on all the issues I have decided to go with HG20
Here are the reasons:

1) Cheaper than HG21 and HF11(bigger HDD no need and still can do SDHC) viewfinder would be nice but for $200 I can live without it

2) HV-20 and 30 Looks like quailty is VERY similar and in some cases people say one way or the other so why not go with easier tapeless format

3) it is 1920 and not 1440. So even better for me in Cineform Prospect HD
my workflow: copy mts files to Local HDD and convert them with HDLink to true 1920x1080 AVI editable format, I even have good pulldown 3:2 in it

4) Biggest issues not to go with it would be editing AVCHD but my number 3 takes care of it

5) I saw HG20 at BestBuy and I liked the feel and the weight of it and was very impressed with stabilizer even at full 10x zoom

thanks guys

Larry

one question: You are saying that you feel new Canons HF100,10, 11 HG20,21 are better than SONY FX-1????
wow that is something. I worked with FX-1 for Weddings and there was not much noise in low light. I liked that.
But shootting a wedding with new canon's would look unprofessional :) unless you put brevies35 with all the lights and handles :)
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 07:32 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.S. Michael View Post
I think the HV20 & HV30 have a 1/2.7" sensor, so it's a little larger than 1/3".
1/2.7 is quite a bit different than 1/2... and pretty close to 1/3... thus my correction - I believe that most of the single CMOS sensors are something in the 1/2.x range, but are typically referred to as "1/3". I know the method of measuring sensor size can be confusing... but 1/2 is quite a bit different than 1/3, 1/2.7 not so much.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 08:20 PM   #29
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Jeff,

Not a problem Jeff, and good luck with whatever you should choose. Both are great camcorders.

Larry
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 08:31 PM   #30
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Mario,

The guy who bought my used FX-1, a professional videographer who already owned 2 of them as well as a Canon, made the same comment to me the day he came to pick up the FX-1 (along with an 8 core MacPro and some other stuff.) His words were something to the effect: " I have to use these bigger camcorders or my clients won't take me seriously. I hate carrying around all of this stuff and I have used the HV20 and know how great it looks, but I would not be taken seriously if I showed up only using small consumer camcorders."

As regards the HV20 versus FX-1, the low light performance on the HV20 was not as good as the FX-1, but still useful in most situations. Using additional gain on the FX-1 was also a good way to work in very low light. Unquestionably the detail was superior in the HV20 despite the HV20 having a single CMOS sensor versus the Sony 3 CCD design. In most lighting, particularly outdoors, the clarity and detail improvement of the HV20 was extremely obvious. It is worth noting that my FX-1 was purchased at the very first introduction in 2004, so a lot had improved in the several years before the HV20 was introduced. One other minor point is that Canon's color balance is, to my eyes, more neutral. I tend to prefer it also for this reason.

I never had both the FX-1 and the HF100 here at the same time so I could never directly compare them. I have, however, taken some standardized scenes here so I have a pretty fair idea. The HF100 improves on the HV20 in providing yet another improvement in detail, most likely the result of truly capturing and preserving 1920 rather than 1440 pixels horizontally. In the area of low light, the HF100 just looks better, but by a small margin, and 24p, with its less frequent CMOS refresh / strobe rate, may well be the reason. The HF100 is not so much a more sensitive imager as it is a more refined signal processor, and the low light images take on a less harsh appearance in my opinion. The effect is by no means dramatic. To its discredit, the motion artifacts of the HF100 are more visible, no doubt arising from the highly demanding compression task being performed in real time to make h.264-compliant video. In the final analysis, I have found myself using the HF100 most of the time, and the HV20 has been used so seldom that I should probably put it on craigslist and be done with it. There are other very redeeming features of the HV20/30 related to ergonomics, ease of editing, etc. But for pure image quality, (and Jeff's question specifically) I know which one I would (and already have) voted for.


Larry
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