HV10, HDR-HC3, HDR-UX1...oh my aching head! 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 24th, 2006, 08:18 PM   #1
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HV10, HDR-HC3, HDR-UX1...oh my aching head!

My wife is taking an extended tour of the Far East and I'm trying to decide on the best (affordable) HD camcorder for her. She would use the camera for both video and still photography (so she needs to carry only one camera). Due to poor health I am no longer able to travel so you might say that whatever camera she takes with her will be my eyes and ears for the trip.

It appears that, in my price range I have 3 alternatives: Sony's HDR-HC3 and HDR-UX1, and Canon's HV10. I'm posting in this forum since her choice, based strictly on look and feel, is the HV10. I on the other hand like the Sony cameras since they have provisions for an external wired mic and a hot shoe for a very nice Bluetooth wireless mic, lights, etc. Once she is back in the U.S., her camera will become the family camera and I'd like as much flexibility as possible as far as options go. What really bothers me about the HV10 is the lack of an external mic. I seldom use an on-camera mic for any shooting I do. I should add that I'll be editing the footage on a Mac with FCP HD.

Anyway, all you HV10 lovers out there, let me know your thinking on this.
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Old December 24th, 2006, 11:07 PM   #2
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I don't know the other models, but I like my HV10. I bought it as a camera for viewing and capturing footage from my XLH1, but have been doing some shooting with it, and the picture is excellent. The lack of mic is a bummer, and if it were my only camera, I wouldn't be satisfied. But it depends how elaborate you get with your audio.
I heard that someone did a mod to somehow be able to use an external mic, but don't remember where.
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Old December 25th, 2006, 07:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Budworth
My wife is taking an extended tour of the Far East and I'm trying to decide on the best (affordable) HD camcorder for her. She would use the camera for both video and still photography (so she needs to carry only one camera). Due to poor health I am no longer able to travel so you might say that whatever camera she takes with her will be my eyes and ears for the trip..
Ron i'm sorry you cant enjoy the trip with your with but here is what i will do for you. give me untill the end of today XMAS day and I will put online a demo reel i you will the same shot with the HDR-HC3 and the HV-10 i will post a 720P file for you to download. i just need sometime to get outside find somthing and shoot. i will also do it in full auto since it might be easy for your wife at times not to white balance and mess with settings.

I will put up the video later

~Mike
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Old December 25th, 2006, 07:46 AM   #4
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The HC3 doesn't have a mic input... it can use the Sony proprietary shoe mics but that's it. Of the 3 cameras you listed, only the UX1 can connect to regular external mics. Maybe you could still find a HC1? Its a little bigger than the HC3 but similar video quality and it has a real mic input.
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Old December 25th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #5
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It may be just me, but when I buy one of these cameras, picture quality is #1 on my list....bar none. In terms of pure picture quality neither Sony can touch the HV10. I've had all three cameras and the HV10 is simply superior to the Sonys in so many way. Sharpness, color, almost total lack of video noise in decent to good lighting, utterly incredible autofocus, all contribute to the most professional looking footage I've seen in any of these small HDV cams.

I just recently bought the Sony FX7 and it's utterly amazing how close in picture quality the HV10 is to the much bigger & heavier Sony. For my money the HV10 is at the top of the small HDV cams heap and unbelievably close to ANY HDV cam around. No contest, the HV10 wins.
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Old December 25th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #6
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as promised, here is the footage of HC1/3 and the HV-10

Http://www.MF726.com/vidclips/Footage.mov
Makesure you download since it's 720P and very large

~Mike
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Old December 26th, 2006, 01:13 AM   #7
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Mike -
My wife and I just finished watching your excellent demo clip. We really appreciate taking the time to do that for us. My wife doesn't know model numbers, so she didn't know which clip was the Sony and which was the Canon. I just asked her which picture she thought was the best... she chose the HV-10. I must say, I have to agree with her. The HV-10 image had better color saturation and a sharper image. You were right in assuming she is a point-and-shoot gal. She never takes her cameras out of 'auto' mode. (I hate to admit it, but many times she has captured something that I missed because I was fiddling with the controls.)

If you should ever have a little free time and looking for a project, how about making a video showing how the HV-10 is set up for a shoot. I'm talking about everything from charging the battery to inserting the tape and battery to actually shooting a video. These are all things my wife has asked me and since I've never held the camera, I can only guess from the pictures I've seen. I searched the web for a demo tape like this and came up dry. I'm guessing others might find this information useful as well.

Unfortunately your tape might end up costing me a small fortune. My wife enjoyed your tape a bit too much. She pointed at the screen and said: "that's what I want". I thought she was talking about the camera when in fact she was talking about your sun room!
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Old December 26th, 2006, 02:30 AM   #8
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Ron/Mike,
Let me know if I can help. I have 6 other HDV camera, but I keep turning back to the HV10. The quality of this camera exceeds many, many cameras....


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Old December 26th, 2006, 08:05 AM   #9
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I saw on another thread that HV-10 / FCP users are having trouble with "timecode breaks" during playback and capture. Some frankly stated that the HV-10 makes a lousy playback deck. In the SD world I never used the camera as the playback deck (I used a Sony DHR-1000 for this purpose). I did this to get as much life out of the camera's video head as possible. With the HV-10 I'll have no choice but to use the camera itself. Comments?
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Old December 26th, 2006, 08:29 AM   #10
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One important thing that should be mentioned in these comparisons and doesn't show up in Mike's great shots, is the size and resolution of your HDTV.

I've got a friend in Toronto who's got a 64" HDTV that's been modified to produce a 100" image. It's also a full 1920X1080 resolution. He had an HC1 on loan from a friend and he told me he was a bit disappointed in the image on the large screen. He felt there simply wasn't enough resolution in the HC1 to throw it up on a 100" screen. I'd been watching on a 50" plasma with a resolution of 1368X768, so I didn't see what he was talking about (at that time I owned an HC1).

This same friend then bought the HV10 on my advice and he couldn't believe the difference in quality. He said the HV10 DOES have the resolution he thought the HC1 should have had. He now felt his images from the HV10 looked like true HD on his 100" screen. Now I could certainly see the difference even on my 50" plasma between the HV10 & HC1, but the difference on a full 1920X1080 large screen display is apparently even greater!
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Old December 26th, 2006, 08:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Budworth
I saw on another thread that HV-10 / FCP users are having trouble with "timecode breaks" during playback and capture. Some frankly stated that the HV-10 makes a lousy playback deck. In the SD world I never used the camera as the playback deck (I used a Sony DHR-1000 for this purpose). I did this to get as much life out of the camera's video head as possible. With the HV-10 I'll have no choice but to use the camera itself. Comments?
I've read the same comments, but it seems that most who are having problems are using FCP. Others are using FCP and are not having problems. As an example, I use Canopus' Edius Pro and have no such problems. Others have commented they're using different editing programs (other than FCP) and are also having no issues.

So it seems it has little to do with the HV10 (if anything), and more to due to with the editing program.
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Old December 26th, 2006, 09:46 AM   #12
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Ron,

I might have some time later to put something together but I am not entirely sure. I believe the great thing about this community is the fact that we are all willing to give advance and help others and it's a very mature group here.

Have you seen my review video on the HV-10 with some extra footage

Found here http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=82426

take a look at that and see for yourself some unboxing shots to at least see what comes in the box and my first run and gun footage with the camera. i put that post up for users like you and your wife.

~Mike

EDIT** and ron here is also a recap video i put together with my HC1 from a vacation i went on http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=82429

Edit EDIT** ok and again while i am at it might as well also show you the lowlight footage and trust me the lowlight footage of the hv-10 will not get any lower then this... i did it in a pitch black room check it out http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=82477
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Old December 26th, 2006, 10:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Ferreira
as promised, here is the footage of HC1/3 and the HV-10

Http://www.MF726.com/vidclips/Footage.mov
Makesure you download since it's 720P and very large

~Mike
Thanks for the comparison clip. To my amateur eyes, they look similar. I see differences, but nothing to make me say there is an easy winner. Maybe if I watched it on a big screen tv.
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Old December 26th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #14
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Mike - Thanks for the additional footage references. The low light clip really hit home. My wife goes to a class reunion each year and has become the official videographer. I, on the other hand, do all of the post-production work, then ship customized DVD's to each attendee (gratis of course). Unfortunately, these reunions usually take place in dimly lit restaurants. Trying to pull out individual headshots in post is a major pain due to the high video noise levels at these low light levels. Having an on-camera video light will be a blessing.

Speaking of DVD's how are you all saving and distributing your end product? Buying a Blu-Ray drive and media is out of the question right now. Besides, what are the chances any of her classmates would have a matching drive. I remember reading some place that you can write HD video to a conventional DVD and that most modern players can handle it. I have a Buffalo LinkTheater that I use to display computer recorded ATSC broadcasts (~8MB/s) streamed over the LAN and it looks great on my old 63" HD RP monitor (component video). I think I'll take your demo footage, run it through FCP and see what I can do about using a conventional DVD. If I can get an image as good as the 8MB/s image I'm getting now from off-air ATSC broadcasts I'll be a happy camper.
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Old December 26th, 2006, 12:43 PM   #15
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Mike -
I just remembered that your video clip is in Quicktime. Is it possible to generate a data file of exactly what comes out of your camera prior to conversion? I'm guessing not, but I thought I'd ask.
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