How much longer for the HV-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 December 30th, 2010, 04:15 PM   #1
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How much longer for the HV-40?

Anyone care to predict whether it will still be in production at the end of 2011?

After much studying of tea leaves recently and with an eye on the UK VAT increase in January, I have taken the plunge and ordered one at a better than usual price from a well known UK supplier (though I must admit some of the online prices from dubious camera shops were briefly tempting). I had decided to get one before they were discontinued as I really don't think the price is going to drop much, if at all. I couldn't find any bargains for the HV-30 after it was replaced by the HV-40 a year and a half ago.

Perhaps my timing will prove unwise, who knows? Anyway, I needed a small tape based camera of my own some time soon.

EDIT: Full marks to CVP Creative Video - broadcast & professional solutions for safe delivery in rather less than 24 hours!

Last edited by Colin McDonald; December 31st, 2010 at 06:18 AM. Reason: Added a bit
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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:46 PM   #2
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Now there's a surprise - no new tape based models again. New 2011 Canon VIXIA Camcorders at DVInfo.net

Do I hear the sound of a clock ticking getting louder?
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Old January 5th, 2011, 08:07 PM   #3
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Yes, HDV and tape are things of the past for Canon...
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Old January 10th, 2011, 03:34 AM   #4
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Sad AVCHD is an editing nightmare in comparison even on my quad core, the hvs have better color as well.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 02:08 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, the demise of tape has led many, and many who should know better, that their tape is obsolete or, worse, tape can't deliver images equal to that of flash memory-based cams. This has had some deleterious effect on thinking within and outside the industry. Those with little experience assume tape has problems that flash memory cures. Worse is the bad-mouthing I've heard in the market whereby videographers have poo-poo'd those who used tape-based cameras as old-school and not keeping up. This has led to confuse buyers of video services to confuse the medium as a sole or even an important aspect in the final quality.

The biggest reason the camera makers started switching to flash-based cameras is that it is cheaper to design for memory card reader/writers than it is to design for tape drives. Some may say that flash memory has the potential to read higher bit rates than that which is capable of tape. Manufacturers had tested miniDV as theoretically reading and recording at bit rates of greater than 50 mega bits per second, mbps. (Currently, the standard performance rating of miniDV is 24 mbps.) A rate that could keep up with the Sony EX cams. Makers could have continued to upgrade miniDV performance but chose not to. But the cost, not the medium performance, was the determining factor to start on the flash memory direction.

But users of flash based cameras only traded "issues" when they switched to flash memory cameras. Firstly, the current crop of popular AVCHD cams still record at a maximum bit rate of 24 mbps so there is no gain in bandwidth. Many users, having "upgraded," are discovering that their computer is having challenges with the codec and more than a few have been forced to upgrade their PCs. The biggest hassle is discovering that where they thought they'd be seeing gains in workflow speed over the real-time ingestion period with tape, common NLE's are spending three to four times trans-coding the AVCHD into an editable format. Finally, all users who have made the switch are missing the old method of archiving raw footage on tape: Label it. Throw it in a box. While I've heard that some users to the same with flash memory cards, it's not as quick and, for now, not as cheap.

None of this is to dis AVCHD. I have an AVCHD camera and its performance is very nice, images are exceptional, and given the workflow hit, I'm glad to have it. Still, My tape camera is my workhorse.

It seems the move away from tape-based cameras have been made for too many wrong reasons. I never see a time when tape will be resurrected but I'd have wished for more "good reasons" especially when I read and hear talk with fellow shooters.

Good luck with the HV40.

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Old January 17th, 2011, 05:27 PM   #6
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Tape has a long archive life, is cheap.

Flash memory is not cheap, is subject to a variety of accidental data loss issues not effecting tape and a much smaller form factor making it easier to lose. The medium itself, flash ram, still has a way to go as far as reliable speed performance by all brands on the market. Cutting edge camcorder with high data rates are fussy about the flash ram you feed them. In a year or so that issue should be long gone.

Editing speed is a matter of your NLE and system. Products like Edius on an i7-950 platform with lots of RAM do AVCHD quite nicely.

As long as DVD dominates as the delivery medium, HDV or AVHDC works about equally well as a capture format.

However, tape drives are fussy mechanism (probably the #1 issue with the Canon (and other brand) camcorders over time), and avoiding them lowers production cost, thus the manufacturer push from tape
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Old January 20th, 2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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Hdv -- avchd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martyn Hull View Post
... the hvs have better color as well.
Assuming HVS meant HDV i general, compared to AVCHD in general, that statement is incorrect. Both codecs use 4:2:0 chroma subsampling.

AVCHD is much more modern and efficient codec, preserving more of the original image information within the same bitrate, compared to HDV. General consensus has been that at the same pixel resolution and for the same perceived image quality, AVCHD requires about half the bitrate of HDV. In other words, the currrent HDV bitrate of 25Mbps results in inferior image quality compared to the current maximum bitrate of 24Mbps for AVCHD. Add to that the fact that HDV captures at 1440x1080 with anamorphic pixels, while AVCHD supports full 1920x1080 raster, and it is clear why everyone is championing AVCHD.

The real world is, obviously, not so clear-cut. Much more than the codec, image quality on these devices will depend on the quality of sensor, lens, and more importantly, image processing chip and its compression software.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 12:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Tape has a long archive life, is cheap.tape
I am beginning to learn exactly how long is that long life of tape. I switched to MiniDV in 2000. My first tapes are now over 10 years old. Recently, I put one of those tapes into a MiniDV camcorder, and I was shocked to learn that the camcorder is having problems reading it. I am seeing frequent drop-outs (every 30-90 seconds or so).

Archiving AVCHD on flash media is probably the most expensive option. I have had an AVCHD camcorder (a Vixia HF100) for about three years now. I have filled my 8GB card about 30 times so far. My process involves dual-media backup. When the card gets full, I put it in the SDHC card slot and copy the entire contents into a separate folder on my external backup drive. While the files are copying, I create an archival AVCHD DVD in Toast. The software copies all original MTS files and creates a directory structure so that the disc is playable on a Blu-ray player. This way, I can actually watch original, unedited footage if I wish, but I can also import/transcode into iMovie or FCE, to edit. If either medium fails, the other is there.

My future plan is to do away with backup on DVD-R discs, as their life span is also limited (and at present unknown), and instead back-up on two hard disks. As soon as one of them fails, replace it with a new one and restore from the other. The likelihood of both hard discs failing at the same time is virtually zero, and today, 1TB hard drives (80 hours of 24Mbps AVCHD) are well below $100.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 08:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
I am beginning to learn exactly how long is that long life of tape. I switched to MiniDV in 2000. My first tapes are now over 10 years old. Recently, I put one of those tapes into a MiniDV camcorder, and I was shocked to learn that the camcorder is having problems reading it. I am seeing frequent drop-outs (every 30-90 seconds or so).
With respect, that's hardly a basis for such a sweeping statement. Have you tried to play it in another camera or clean the heads?

I've had more than one almost new card fail on me but I don't extrapolate that the whole card based acquisition thing is unreliable.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 11:56 AM   #10
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A trend

I didn't mean it to be a sweeping statement, but an indicator of a trend. Tape is magnetic media and as we all know, over time, due to unavoidable effects of magnetic fields around us, the magnetic recording fades.

My original recording from ten years ago was made on a Panasonic consumer camcorder. When it was made, there were no issues with reading it. Twelve years later, there are, and there is no doubt that the big part in it is the deterioration of the magnetic recording on the tape.

I don't have access to a better camcorder, but have no doubt that a professional-grade device would likely give better results.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 01:21 AM   #11
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I switched from XHA1 with tape to T2i with SD cards. Things I don't miss is the time it takes to "capture" the footage to computer with tape. Now I just copy and paste.

However, Tape is cheaper and each tape last an hour. It's always risky after a full day work to find out a corrupt file. Luckily, it doesn't happen so far. =)
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Old January 25th, 2011, 08:49 AM   #12
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Tape <--> Flash Memory

Today, tape is likely still cheaper than comparable flash media. A single MiniDV tape for HDV is at least $5 each. Meanwhile, a 16GB SDHC card (Class 4 or faster) cost at least five times more ($25, although it will capture a bit more video at 24Mbps than a $5 HDV tape).

The difference is, tape is used for archiving, while SDHC is for many reasons impractical as an archiving medium. The current mindset is such that when we are done with the tape, we just put it away in storage. Meanwhile, when a memory card is full, we offload it, via our computer, to some other mode of storage (optical media, external hard disks, or both). This is never done with HDV (not for archival purposes). From that angle, tape is much more expensive archival medium, compared to blank DVD-R or hard disk storage (about $180 per 1TB for DVD-R, or $80 for hard disk, vs. $450 for tape).

This all may be moot anyway, since we are seeing a clear trend, especially in the consumer space. There were no new HDV camcorders this year for consumers, and last year, there weren't any either (as far as I can remember).
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Old January 25th, 2011, 10:09 PM   #13
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Actually, there is no difference between DV tape and HDV tape. I use Panasonic PQ tapes which is about $2 per tape.

HDV record at 25mbps with MPEG 2 compression so it still fits 1hr of video per tape. Each tape still hold 13GB of data. I get about 40 min recording in 16GB SD card as it uses a higher data rate.

Blank DVDis dirt cheap. However it wont hold much data. 25 GB. bluesy costs about $5 these days.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:31 PM   #14
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HV series of canons is what i meant i use an HV 30 and avchd my last 2 card cams were 550D canon and at present GH2 panasonic, the HV30s colour is as good as those and better than my previous hd cams hdv and avchd imo.
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Old January 29th, 2011, 01:16 PM   #15
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This thread is pretty timely... my current HV40 is in the shop (accidental damage) and I'm considering a 2nd camera to compliment the one I already have. I love this camera so far since most of my footage is low light/nightclub/concert shooting. I primarily shoot 24 or 30p cine mode and use a Rode Stereo Vid Mic. The problem was I screwed in a mono pod too tight in the tripod circuit and busted through the bottom of the camera, damaging the ciruit board.

As much as I love the Canon.. the Panny TM-700 keeps drawing me closer. The only thing that keeps me from diving into AVCHD is my puny iMac (Dual core 2.56 GHz, max 4GB ram, and iMovie 9) editing rig. I have no desire to change things up and the Canon works FLAWLESSLY. Transporting tape to computer is lengthy but I have zero problems. The Mac happily accepts Canon's hard ware and I've never lost frames.

So I'm considering a 2nd refurb'd from Canon direct. In the end my investment in two cameras would only be $1150 compared to $1200 for a single Panny HDC-TM300. I just wonder if Canon will continue to make these cameras through 2011. Maybe I should buy a third to get me through the next few years?
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