HV30 or HG20 which one to buy? 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 20th, 2008, 09:17 AM   #1
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HV30 or HG20 which one to buy?

They are both around the same price now. Let me tell you what my concerns are NOT and maybe you can help me

1) Tape or no tape (NO ISSUES) probably no tape better. I have entire network with serverss and a lot of storage and already backups of everything since 2001. 1TB drives are around $85, so no problems here
2) Editing is not an issues at all. I was ALWAYS going for HDV because of editing. but now I have Premiere Pro CS3 and Cineform Prospect HD. so my HDLink can transform all AVCHD into Cienform HDV true 1920x1080 and I can even remove pulldowns form 60i of 30p and 24p.

But what I care is 24p, 30p and 60i (both have it) and was wondering about 1440x1080 vs 1920x1080. I know that HDV standard does not allow to go above 1440 and that is why it is 1440x1080 1:1.3 pixels instead of 1:1. So is true 1920x1080 on HG20 better?

Which camera is truly sharper in video quality? If the first 2 point are no issues, would there be a point to go to HV30?

thanks
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Old December 20th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #2
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My Canon AVCHD camcorder is slightly sharper than my HV20 and looks better in all levels of lighting. The motion-related artifacts of the HDV camera, however, are slightly superior.

So neither is a "better" quality is all respects.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 09:41 AM   #3
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Sounds to me like you answered your own question. :-)
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Old December 20th, 2008, 09:51 AM   #4
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Yeah

but some people say because the sensor is bigger on HDV30 that picture is better even though it is 1440. SO I am still wondering truly if there is a difference in sharpness, low light etc...
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Old December 20th, 2008, 09:55 AM   #5
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I see, so with HG20 I would have to pay attention how to film, almost like shotting in 24p. Don't do huge movements etc...

BTW I was in BestBuy yesterday and for the firs time had a chance to have HG20 in my hands. What really impressed me was how smooth the picture was, even at the 10x zoom. That image stabilization was incredible (at least compared to my old camera JVC HD1U)

is it like that also on HV30?
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Old December 20th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #6
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One thing I like better with the HV30 is that it has a focus wheel down by the lens. The AVCHD cams use a joystick and it's a lot more awkward. The HV30 also has a viewfinder. Plus it has a bigger chip. Overall it's a slightly better picture and more user-friendly. If I were going with an AVCHD Canon I'd want the HF11, which does AVCHD at the faster data rate, but reviewers are saying there's not a whole lot of difference in perceptable quality except at low light conditions. The HV30 also does 24p, so you'd have tp pay attention on moves with it too, unless shooting in 60i mode. Basically all these single chip cameras crank out a very nice image for the price, so it's more a matter of user friendliness. I don't know that much about the HG models but I think they're the same as the HF but with a hard drive instead of cards. Personally I'd go with cards.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #7
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HG20 does 24Mbps like HF11 and it also does 30p and 24p. It can also record to SD card like HF11, the big thing is that it does not have a viewfinder for those sunny days.

the thing is I was logically thinking that since HV30 is 1440 the picture would be worst and I thought that AVCHD at 24Mb is better that MPEG-2 at 25Mb.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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HG21, it has a viewfinder.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #9
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There is a noticeable difference from the bigger sensor of the HV30. I had both, but still own the HV30.

Also, sharpness seemed the same. I found the overall picture quality from the HV30 a little better.

But I think making a decision here will come to workflow needs.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #10
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In a glance HG20 has better resolution, and at 24mbps the compression quality should be better than HDV. But like other canon AVCHD consumer cameras it lacks focus dial and you adjust manual focus with joystick, so manual control is a little more compromised on HG series. But for picture quality there is no reason not to go HG20 I think. (oh besides smaller sensor size maybe, but do 1/2.7 and 1/3.2 make that much difference?)
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Old December 20th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
One thing I like better with the HV30 is that it has a focus wheel down by the lens. The AVCHD cams use a joystick and it's a lot more awkward. The HV30 also has a viewfinder. Plus it has a bigger chip.
The joystick on the Canon AVCHD camcorders is indeed a bit awkward. I do not believe, however, that the chip size is any different between the HDV and AVCHD models, and recall reading that they have the same chip.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Euisung Lee View Post
But like other canon AVCHD consumer cameras it lacks focus dial and you adjust manual focus with joystick, so manual control is a little more compromised on HG series.
I have an HV30 and an HV10. I must say that focusing the HV30 is very much easier. I think the focus knob on the HV10 is different than on the HG20 so my experience might not thoroughly translate, but focusing the HV10 is the devil's work. Although nothing can take the place of a good focus ring, the focus roller on the HV30 is not a bad substitute.

You might want to factor in the kind of shooting you'll be doing in making this decision. If you'll have time to niggle the little joystick, then it might work for you. If you need to focus fast, then the HV30 would get the nod in this regard.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 04:22 AM   #13
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Anyone care to elaborate on the motion recorded differences between AVCHD and tape?
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Old December 21st, 2008, 04:58 AM   #14
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Rob,

Since the camcorder is faced with the burden of encoding in real time, and AVCHD requires a far greater processing workload compared to HDV, a useful way to compare the two is with panning and with very busy scenes. The worst stress test is rapid pans, where neither format does particularly well.

The AVCHD camera appears less fluid but not dramatically so. Best practice is to avoid rapid pans altogether unless they are being done to deliberately create a specific sweeping effect. Scenes which inherently contain lots of motion and complexity, such as the surging and churning waterfall of Niagara Falls, which I have used for numerous comparison shots since it is only 15 miles from here, look virtually identical. I believe some of Chris Hurd's samples on this website show water sprinkler footage which is also very useful for seeing how complex motion is handled.

Larry

Last edited by Larry Horwitz; December 21st, 2008 at 05:50 AM.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 08:37 PM   #15
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We'll be doing a fairly comprehensive comparison of the HG21 vs the HV30. Canon Canada was kind enough to fix us up with an HV21 which arrived Friday. Here are my initial thoughts, mostly related to how well this camera fares against the HV20/30 for adapter use.

1. The filter size on the HG20/21 is 37mm, where the HV20/30 is 43mm

2. The HG20/21 chip size is 1/3.2" so smaller than the HV20/30 at 1/2.7". Both have the same pixel count which means that the HG20/21 should be less sensitive. I haven't tested this but one review has, and the pics at 12 lux from the HG20/21 were definitely darker. These pictures came from here: HD/HDV/AVCHD/XDCAM/P2 camcorder tests and comparison of Sony PMW-EX1 (PMW-EX1E/ PMWEX1),Sony PMW-EX3 (PMWEX3) and Canon XH G1 Best values highlighted s choosing HV30 vs HG21 comparisons.

3. 24p Workflow for now on the HG21 is definitely more difficult than the HV20/30. The freeware tools for 3:2 pulldown don't work for the HG21 (yet) so if you plan on working in 24p, the HV20/30 is definitely easier. HG21 AVCHD files were not usable in Premiere CS3, so an update to CS4 is required...or you can purchase Cineform's codec. In our case (no Cineform), this means uncompressed output from AfterEffects CS4 to perform 3:2 pulldown, and then editing uncompressed HD files.

4. The HG21 does not have ND filters...the HV20/30 does have a graduated ND that slides into place as high exposure levels are reached. I have confirmed this is the case visually with the HV30, but not yet for the HG21.

5. For manual controls, I have never liked either cam. That said, the joystick position change on the HG21 makes sense to me. Manual focus control via the joystick is not so different from the HV20/HV30 roller...but the HV20/30 MF roller is faster to engage and adjust.

6. In terms of workflow, being able to record to either an SD card, or internal HD is great. You'll need a card rated at least 4 for speed if you want to record in the highest quality mode on the SD card. If you plan on shooting 60i all the time, then the HG20/21 image acquisition will be far faster than the HV20/30 tape capture.

7. The HG20/21 has no firewire! This is a real stinker if you plan on using Adobe Onlocation for live capture. The HV20/30 does have both firewire and USB.

8. Tape drive noise doesn't exist on the HG21, and the HV20 had unusable audio in my opinion due to tape drive noise. The HG21 is definitely quieter, and I'd assume this would translate to better audio.

9. There are no zebras on the HG20/21! The HV20/30 cams have them.

10. The HG20/21 use a mini HDMI jack, so you'll need to get a special cable to output to your standard HDMI devices. The HV20/30 uses a standard size HDMI.

So there you go. My overall sense of things is that the HG20/21 have lost some very nice HV20/30 features to gain a tapeless workflow. Certainly until computer hardware and NLEs catch up, editing will be a bit simpler using the HV20/30. Once we test the HG21 on the adapter we'll have a good sense if the HG20/21 full 1920x1080 pixel capture is a noticeable improvement over the 1440x1080 of the HV20/30.

Hope that helps :-)

Cheers,
Dennis Wood
www.cinevate.com
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