Automatic ND filter on HV20/30/40? 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 August 26th, 2010, 09:01 AM   #1
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Automatic ND filter on HV20/30/40?

Hi

I have a question if there is an automatic ND filter kicking in on the HV-models. On my XH-A1 there is a manual switch with a two step ND-filter. If I look into the lens while activating the filter, I can see the glass in front of the iris. On my HV20 I can't see any filter in front of the iris while I let more light into the lens. I can see that the iris closes but no glass making the iris darker as I would expect. Even if it's a graduated ND filter it would be visible.

The reason I ask is that I have problems with exposure. The camcorder seems to either overexpose or close the iris too much so I get diffraction problems. I believe that if there was an ND filter the iris could be more open. Now I allways have a ND4 filter screwed on the camcorder to be able to keep the iris from closing too much but even with the filer on I have problems controling the exposure in bright light which leads to diffraction and softer picture.

Can anyone confirm if it's possible to see the ND filer kicking in on the HV-models?


Regards,

/Bo
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Old August 26th, 2010, 03:00 PM   #2
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There's no ND built into ANY consumer grade camera. if there were, you would see the switch like on the bigger ones. The only other way to control exposure other than iris is with the shutter. It works, and you can make sure the iris stays open. Honestly, I would kick the camera into aperture priority, set it and forget it.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 02:22 PM   #3
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There are plenty of consumer grade cameras with ND filters...the FX1, FX1000, the VX2100, the list goes on...but that is beside the point.

One quickie solution that is not perfect, but might help you without yet knowing how to operate the camera in manual mode, is to go manual and try the cine mode. It gives a completely different look, one you may not like, but you might try it if you get in a jam. I used it yesterday for the first time for an all day shoot, and it worked really well.

I have yet to run the camera in manual in av mode, etc., but as was suggested that is the ideal solution. On the other hand, I had NO blown out highlights yesterday, it was fantastic. The cine mode is a bit soft, but I'll take it....I actually kind of like it.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 01:49 AM   #4
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Hi

Thank you all for the info. I often use Cinemode myself sometimes but no matter how I do, the camcorder more or less allways overexposes in highlights. There are two ways I do to to get rid of my problems:

- Put on my ND filter to prevent diffraction by keeping the iris more open.
- Adjust the exposure to prevent blow outs. I'm allways using zebras to get exposure right.

I also have an XH-A1 which I use mostly in manual mode so I know how to use cameras to get good exposure. I guess that the HV20 is made for consumers that doesn't care so much about manual modes and over exposed areas in small part of the picture so I guess I just have to use my work arounds to get used to it.

Regards,

/Bo
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Old October 19th, 2010, 09:53 PM   #5
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Canon HV30 Exposure Calibration

This looks like good reading, says the HV30 has built in ND filters, just no control over them.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 06:05 AM   #6
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I've been using he hv30 a lot over the last few weeks, and I've got the exposure problem solved, I am getting perfect images now.

I run in shutter priority and set it to 60 and leave it there. Then using the joystick I can set the exposure. I always lower it. Grain is gone now. My images now rival those I capture with my larger cameras. I actually prefer using my HV30 in many situations.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 07:43 PM   #7
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The slight overexposure has been a problem for the chip from the HV20 all the way through the HV40.

Several years ago when I got my HV20, I read that dropping the exposure to -2 using the joystick works well. That's the setting that I use in almost all situations and it works well.

Sure, I wish it would have great exposure without this. (Why didn't you fix this, Canon?) But, as Jeff said, the quality from the Canon HV series is outstanding. It takes the "point-and-shoot" factor out, but I assume most of us are quite happy to spend a few seconds to make a simple fix to get great quality.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 10:04 PM   #8
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I agree Phil. -2 is about where I end up setting the exposure also.
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