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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 10th, 2006, 07:03 AM   #1
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A mic/reality check...

I was as happy as anyone to learn of Canon's latest offering in the form of the HV10, especially its size and weight, considering that I do backpacking videos where grams count. But when I discovered that there was no external mic jack and that, what-on-earth?, the mic that it does offer was facing towards the camera operator, the party was over for me before it started. For any serious camera operator (and maybe that's where I'm missing it here), how could this camera figure into one's arsenal? Do you figure on replacing audio later by using a 2nd camera or some sort of double system sound? Or doing a hack job on the mic that's there? I ask this because I used a Sony HC3 on my last backpacking trip and as you know, audio's a problem there as well. But at least Sony has the traditional on-camera front end mic placement and they also offer a proprietary bluetooth unit that allows for pretty decent remote mic placement. How can this Canon be useful for much other than HD footage for "America's Funniest Home Videos?"
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Old August 10th, 2006, 09:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynne Whelden
For any serious camera operator (and maybe that's where I'm missing it here)
I think so. I hate to file this in the category of unrealistic expectations, but this is strictly a *consumer* camcorder. In my opinion, a serious camera operator will use it either for Frame mode playback of XL / XH acquired video, or as a crash cam or similar specialized application. Either way, mic placement isn't an issue.

As you found out with the HC3, on-board mics are problematic for any compact camcorder. With so little real estate on the body, it doesn't matter where you place the mic. If you put it on the front below the lens, then your fingers will block it just by holding the thing. So you're better off with a mic on top. On something this small, there ain't any difference in pickup between top front and top rear. But at least your fingers aren't blocking it.

The single worst place you can put any microphone, is on the camera body itself. But it has to have a mic, so there's one on the camera. My suggestion is, if you're going to use this thing for serious audio recording then yes it'll have to be double-system sound, as an on-board mic anywhere on the camera body is inadequate no matter where you put it.

The shame of the situation isn't the mic placement but the lack of a stereo-mini mic input jack.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 09:33 AM   #3
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Speaking of mic placement, what does the HV10 have in common with every recent vertical Optura that came before it? See attached images. I didn't have a similar shot of the Optura 300, but it's the same thing.
Attached Thumbnails
A mic/reality check...-michv10.jpg   A mic/reality check...-micop600.jpg  

A mic/reality check...-micop500.jpg   A mic/reality check...-micop400.jpg  

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Old August 10th, 2006, 02:26 PM   #4
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" How can this Canon be useful for much other than HD footage for "America's Funniest Home Videos?" " -

A mic jack would be great, but I plan on using this cam for technical rock climbing videos, where I wouldn't be able to use an external mic anyway. For more professional use I imagine this cam would only be useful as a POV cam without the mic jack.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 07:46 PM   #5
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I'm kind of surprised that there is no shoe mic. I was planning on getting this a vacation cam/deck/bts cam. I'll still get it but not bts might be iffy unless I wrangle someone else do audio along side the bts guy I'll get for my productions.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 02:32 AM   #6
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Maybe open up the case and connect your own external mike jack? Not a good idea?
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Old August 24th, 2006, 09:48 PM   #7
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I find it odd that it doesn't have a mic input. Especially when you consider that a lot of Canon consumer offerings have mic inputs.

This is essentially an HDV Optura. Am I wrong? A good percentage of the higher end optura models had mic inputs.

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Old August 24th, 2006, 11:37 PM   #8
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All the small consumer cameras I've been aware of (we have a Sony PC105) have mic and headphone jacks. What they didn't have, and the higher-end consumer Panasonic and Canons do, is the ability to turn off AGC on the audio. A real nightmare on the Sony.

I'm in the club missing the mic and headphone. I'll add, that 24F would have been nice. Very nice.

With those features I would have bought it in a second as a second camera. To use when the full gear is too much (which, as it turns out, is most of the time).
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Old August 25th, 2006, 08:55 PM   #9
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Given that mic placement hasn't really changed over the years with this style, has someone already perfected a modification that allows for both retention of the on-board mic as well as an ext. mic jack that then bypasses the mic?
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Old August 25th, 2006, 09:54 PM   #10
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No mic

I had the same problem when I bought my JVC DV3000 a couple of years ago,great camera but I didn't realise they had deleated the mic jack when they upgraded the camera.They listed the option of a shotgun but that worked off the hot shoe in conjunction with the zoom,absolutly useless.The only way around the problem is to record sound seperatly and sink up in your editing suite,a time consuming opperation but about the only fix without shelling out for another camera.I tried tapping into the inbuilt mic but that proved too tricky.I also do a lot of backpacking and to carry something like my XL2 around is totally impractical.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 06:13 PM   #11
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Well, if the audio isn't going to be that good for real pro use, then could this camera be the ideal behind-the-scenes camera? Sure, for a guy like me with a GL1, I could get audio for this camera via an XLR adapter or even a cheap mic input boom, but is that really necessary for behind-the-scenes stuff? I know that the default microphones like on the GL-series, VX-series, and DVX-series work fine but I wouldn't know how one integrated right into the eyepiece like that would do for comparison. Does this placement hurt audio all around or will it pick up normal things like any other consumer camera would?
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Old August 29th, 2006, 06:47 PM   #12
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As small as this thing is, where the mic is physically located isn't going to make any difference. No matter where you put it, most likely it'll still pick up some tape transport and zoom motor noise. If it was positioned on the front below the lens, it would be blocked by your fingers as you grip the camera. The location on top was the correct decision. Its position toward the rear won't affect its pickup pattern; the difference between a top front and top rear placement is less than two inches.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #13
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A question of standards

Oddly enough, some filmmakers don't seem to be bothered by camera noise. Me, I can't stand it. So unless you're prepared to filter it out in post, or unless you're generally taping events where the sound is so loud it drowns out any motor noise, how else can you deal with it?
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Old August 29th, 2006, 08:36 PM   #14
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The solution in this particular case is to choose a different camera... one that will allow you to plug in an external mic. Remember this is first and foremost a consumer camcorder.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 05:33 PM   #15
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I think recording sound with a handheld recorder would be easier and cheaper than buying another camcorder. Try the olympus ds-2 http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...p?product=1153 which allows mic input.
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