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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 January 18th, 2009, 01:02 AM   #1
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HV30 advice please

I am thinking of buying 2 - HV30 cameras to use for wedding videography.

What are your thoughts, am I on the wrong track?

Kerry
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Old January 18th, 2009, 02:05 AM   #2
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As even the biggest fans of the camera will tell you, those are great cameras, but in low light situations, as you encounter so often in wedding situations, your images will suffer. In a dark church you will be stuck.

If you are doing budget wedding videos at very low prices you can get by, but until you move up to a camera with better low-light performance, you can never move up to the average priced weddings.

Furthermore, the cams are tiny and do not look professional. You will look more like a relative filming than a paid professional.

You can rig it up with accesories, like an audio adapter, lights, etc., and a Merlin Steadicam, etc. which will give you a much more professional appearance, but the Merlin alone will cost you $800.

If the HV30 is all you can afford, go for it. For the price you cannot beat that camera, that is for sure.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #3
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...but in low light situations, as you encounter so often in wedding situations, your images will suffer.
Very true. The HV30 images do not degrade nicely in low light. They tend to fall apart so it's hard to save anything in post. Low light images from a camera like the XH A1 will degrade much more gracefully, plus it will capture successfully in lower light than the HV.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #4
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Jeff already mentioned this, but don't underestimate the drawback of the small "palmcorder" aspect of the HV series. It might be hard to be taken seriously if you show up on a paying gig, such as a wedding, with a pair of little handycams just like the one Uncle Charlie is already holding over on the bride's side of the aisle.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #5
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My friend was hired to tape a sporting event. He showed-up with a small camera on a tripod with the expectation to sell multiple DVDs of the event.

Much to his chagrin, he heard Parents sitting in the sports seat yelling out to him:

"HEY CAMERAMAN......This is what we are paying for?- Someone with a home camera!" Enough said.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 12:06 AM   #6
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thanks

Good points...thanks all

Kerry
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Old January 19th, 2009, 01:37 AM   #7
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I have a PAL HV20,; the HV30 is virtually identical.

There can be some confusion as to what low light means, so allow me to relate my experience. Inside a brightly painted bedroom, with a generous window, with a good amount of sunlight - that is low light. The amount of noise on the video was very noticeable.

Imagine what it would be like in a church!

(Video comparison made against a Sony FX1)
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Old January 19th, 2009, 01:54 AM   #8
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You're better off getting a camera that can handle low-light, even if that means sticking with SD resolutions. By all means, the HV20 and HV30 are good cameras, but weddings = low light.

If you're on a paid gig, I'd rent an XH-A1, honestly, until you can afford to own outright.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 07:10 AM   #9
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I have a HV 30 that I just Love...I also have a Canon GL2. For weddings i break out the GL2 with wireless receivers to look more professional, that being said i often have the HV30 hidden near the alter for a second camera. The images DO fall apart in low lighting situations like those in a church.

For some unknown reason the brides in my area are starting to do candlelight ceremonies. This raises havoc on most cameras images weather professional or prosumer!

SD vs HD? everything i do has final output in SD. When people ask me weather to buy a high def or SD camera, I always ask them what they are going to do with it? If they make videos for the web like i do....SD will Suffice.

I travel to Asia often for business. I used to take my GL2 with me, but in many cases when i started videotaping with it, I drew lots of attention to myself (besides the fact i was a big overweight american) but with the HV30... i appear to be a tourist. And the size of the HV30 simply can not be beat for airplane travel.

So with all this being said, perhaps take the money and buy 1 CAnon GL2 and start building your rig with extermal mics, lights, etc... Just my two cents worth!

Someday I will replace my GL2 with the HD version, but only cause i WANT to, not that I NEED to

Another lesson you can learn from me is if you do buy two cameras, get the same make and model. Even though i have two Canons I sometimes forget the menu settings between the GL2 and HV30 and have to break out the owners manuals to refresh my memory. Going between HD footage files and SD files gets to be a pain sometimes.

Good Luck...keep us posted...but you will not go wrong with an HV30

Dave
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Old February 8th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
As even the biggest fans of the camera will tell you, those are great cameras, but in low light situations, as you encounter so often in wedding situations, your images will suffer. In a dark church you will be stuck.

If you are doing budget wedding videos at very low prices you can get by, but until you move up to a camera with better low-light performance, you can never move up to the average priced weddings.

Furthermore, the cams are tiny and do not look professional. You will look more like a relative filming than a paid professional.

You can rig it up with accesories, like an audio adapter, lights, etc., and a Merlin Steadicam, etc. which will give you a much more professional appearance, but the Merlin alone will cost you $800.

If the HV30 is all you can afford, go for it. For the price you cannot beat that camera, that is for sure.

I agree with you for the most part. I have 2 Hv30, Canon GL2 and a Sony PD150. I normally setup the Canon GL and Sony for show with someone standing there pretending to be using them. Then after about 20 to 30 minutes, he walks away and starts filming with the hv30. In my experience you have 2 kinds of customers, one customer wants that "experience of being filmed by professionals" and the other want that "professional quality dvd"
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Old February 8th, 2009, 07:56 PM   #11
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The concerns about professionality from the members of this forum is very good advice. If you are planing on doing this prefessionally then you should look into some of the higher end cameras.

However, if you are set on the HV30/20, there is a link below to another forum page that the admin there has posted for this very subject.

Gear up for Wedding - Canon HV20, HV30 & HV40 User Forum

Hope this helps.
Terry.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 02:45 AM   #12
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Okay. I don't want to get into an arguement with a lot of people, but here goes. Sound is something you really have to consider. Your clients will cut you slack with grainy video, especially if you really know how to shoot. But they won't cut you any slack for poor sound. So don't skimp with sound equipment. And I would heed the advice of others and shell out for two Canon XH-A1s or other comperable models. But if you don't have the cash, and you are set on going with the HV30's, get black lens hoods and a shoe mounted shotgun mic. It makes these little cameras look a lot more impressive just by adding this two accessories.
Good luck.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 02:53 AM   #13
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I suggest he consider a shoe adapter, as he will not only need a shotgun, but a light as well, particularly for the reception.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 04:38 AM   #14
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Lots of good points raised, and I too would say that getting matching cams is a necessity - don't ever have a backup cam that you wouldn't be entirely happy to use should your Nr 1 cam fail for whatever reason.

I also agree that getting good sound is hard but it is imperative that you do get good sound. Grainy images are ok and if they 'romantically light' the wedding they can't expect much else, but they won't accept 'grainy' sound. So the HV cams will need XLR boxes as well as radio and shotguns.

tom.
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