Had an HV20 in my hands today... at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders > Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders

Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 10th, 2007, 07:37 PM   #1
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Had an HV20 in my hands today...

Today's Canon seminar at Birns and Sawyer featured the venerable XLH1 and A1 front and center, but a little honey of a newcomer quietly stole the show from off in the wings--one of the two rumored working HV20's in the U.S. Sadly, the breakout cable for component out was nowhere to be found so we didn't get to see the image on the 30" plasma that displayed the A1's excellent picture instead, but having an opportunity to handle the HV20 was worth the price of admission.

My first thought is that it is amazingly light. I think the horizontal form factor might lead one to think that it will have a tad more heft from its appearance, but it feels like a feather, and the right hand wraps comfortably around the body lending a nearly covert appearance to the meld of man and machine. It's light enough that the left hand is a bit confused what to do exactly--you can steady the camera by placing a few fingers on the LCD screen, but the camera is not big enough to require a lift from below. I think it would take a bit more experimentation to figure out the optimal hand position.

I'm not an immediate fan of the zoom rocker, unfortunately. It has been downsized to the same scale as the camera which makes it rather touchy to operate--the throw from one side to the other is minute. I'm sure with practice this would improve but it's not what I would call an intuitive interface. There is a set of zoom controls just under the screen which can be easily operated by the left hand, but this is a fixed speed zoom compared to the variable offered on the body.

Likewise, the teeny focus roller on the left side is not all that easy to use; a long rack (from close focus to background) would require so many go-rounds because of the short rotation of the control that it's all but impractical. However the autofocus is quite snappy and probably the way to work with this camera under most handheld circumstances.

Bear in mind that these are first impressions; it's entirely possible that I might have become adept at both of these mechanisms had I been able to spend more time playing with them.

I walked around a little bit and it seems like with about 15 minutes of practice, most shooters could get comfy enough with the feel to deliver good looking handheld footage. Between the optical stabilization and the light body, using an elbows-tucked in approach should deliver solid images without the fatigue typical of the larger handheld but non-shoulder mounted cameras like its big brothers, the HVX etc.

At a certain point I realized that I had forgotten that this camera delivers 1080 HD images, which was a bit stunning. If only we could have watched some of this played back (but of course the picture will be the same as the HV10), this may have hit home further.

I didn't have too much time to play around with the various shooting modes; those familiar with Canon's menus will adjust pretty quickly as the familiar icons pop up on the screen.

I think this camera will really kick ass in its class, and it's an astonishing feature set for the money. Looking forward to getting one!
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10th, 2007, 08:39 PM   #2
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
I think this qualifies as the first U.S. user report... well done, Charles!
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10th, 2007, 08:48 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 612
Did you try out the Cinema (24p) mode?
__________________
"Babs Do or Babs Do not, there is no try." - Zack Birlew
www.BabsDoProductions.com
Zack Birlew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10th, 2007, 10:37 PM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Yes indeed, but on the little LCD it's not all that easy to judge the motion signature, and certainly not the color matrix etc. It really is a shame we didn't have the proper cable to connect to a monitor.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2007, 12:09 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Burbank, CA 91502
Posts: 946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
Yes indeed, but on the little LCD it's not all that easy to judge the motion signature, and certainly not the color matrix etc. It really is a shame we didn't have the proper cable to connect to a monitor.
Fine...I hated myself all weekend because of this.
Jim Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2007, 12:13 PM   #6
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,308
Thanks for the report Charles!
Have you used the HD10? I'm wondering what the physical size difference is between them, is the HD20 more compact or about the same?
__________________
Need to rent camera gear in Vancouver BC?
Check me out at camerarentalsvancouver.com
Dylan Couper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2007, 01:00 PM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Martin
Fine...I hated myself all weekend because of this.
Oh Jim, don't be a hater!

The way I figured it, it made for more of a "tease"...more to look forward to when the camera comes out. I've seen a bit of HD10 footage so I have a sense of what to expect but it was definitely a curiousity what it would have looked like in comparison to the A1 image on both monitors all morning!
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #8
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper
Thanks for the report Charles!
Have you used the HD10? I'm wondering what the physical size difference is between them, is the HD20 more compact or about the same?
Different--I think it might feel less compact in some ways, in that the HV10 is more "pocketable" i.e. skinny. I've had a vertical style DV camera (Sony PC3) for years and I was never too fond of the hand position that it forced one into; the HV20 feels more natural.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2007, 09:47 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Posts: 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Martin
Fine...I hated myself all weekend because of this.
I didn't get the impression that this was your fault.
Jeff DeMaagd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2007, 11:25 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Burbank, CA 91502
Posts: 946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff DeMaagd
I didn't get the impression that this was your fault.
It was the thespian in me talking.........
Jim Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2007, 11:45 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,564
as a pro, do you feel this cam has potential to capture pro-LIKE footages? obviously it's NOT a pro-cam, but it can retain a good chunk of the resolutions of pro-cams =D.
__________________
bow wow wow
Yi Fong Yu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2007, 11:56 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 2,614
Thanks for the report Charles. I can't wait to get my hands on one of these!!! It will go with me everywhere!

Mike
__________________
Chapter one, line one. The BH.
Mike Teutsch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2007, 12:03 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Coalville America
Posts: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu
as a pro, do you feel this cam has potential to capture pro-LIKE footages? obviously it's NOT a pro-cam, but it can retain a good chunk of the resolutions of pro-cams =D.

The HV10 packs a mighty punch and does indeed capture images that rival professional camcorders. It isn't a "pro" cam, but retains most functionality and will resolve enough detail to complement any HDV camcorder.
Holly Rognan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #14
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
True enough.

I think the old lines are blurring with every product launch. It used to be that you could simply judge a camera's abilities by size alone; anything less than a full-size Betacam-type body (i.e. 2/3") was going to deliver "amateur" images. That mentality is long gone. Now it's the "mini-handheld" size like the HV10/20 that are kicking it up a notch. As I hear folks around the internet buzzing about capturing out via HDMI and putting 35mm lens adaptors on the HV20, it's hard to imagine what is coming next.

To me the major functional issue with a camera this size comes in working the optical side of things; as I described above, zooming and focusing is a whole different animal than a manual-type lens. But of course this camera isn't really aimed at the same group of users, so this is to be expected. You can easily tame the handheld form factor by using a shoulder mount or handheld stabilizer, but without a LANC port there's not much you can do to expand out the zoom and focus control.

I think it would be entirely possible to shoot a short film with the HV20 and given the right techniques (composition, camera movement, lighting, all the usual stuff) end up with results that would have no-one guessing that it sprang forth from a camera that size. I'm almost tempted to try it...what it comes down to is if one is really committed to making projects that count, perhaps the additional investment into an A1 can be justified over a period of time. As Jim was pointing out on Saturday, the current pricing that Canon has set up for these cameras is really a steal.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 2,614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
............. As Jim was pointing out on Saturday, the current pricing that Canon has set up for these cameras is really a steal.

Please please don't tell Canon that! :)

Mike
__________________
Chapter one, line one. The BH.
Mike Teutsch is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders > Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:34 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network