Returning HV20 after 1 hour 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 March 22nd, 2007, 11:26 AM   #1
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Returning HV20 after 1 hour

The FedEx guy showed up at 9am this morning and delievered several boxes to me. One of the boxes was the HV20. I ripped open the box like a cheetah ripping open an impala fo lunch. :)

I inserted a tape and plugged the HV20 to my LCD TV.(a Sony 46XBR3) I had the HV20 sitting on the kitchen table and aimed it at a bowl of fruit and some other random stuff. The picture was absolutely amazing. It clearly was a LOT better than the Sony HC7 that I returned last week. My other camcorder is the Canon XH A1, so I was really amazed to see how good the picture was from this little HV20.

I picked it up and started to shoot the squirrels in my backyard. It's a very sunny day outside. When I zoomed into to squirrels, they are constantly in-focus, and then out-of-focus. It's different than the Sony HC7's auto-focus hunting I experienced. Witht the HC7, the auto-focus hunts for a bit, but eventually lock on the object. With the HV20, it just keep hunting forever... in and out, in and out... I turned back and tried inside my house. The problem is even worse when I aim it at the far end of the room and try to zoom in. I placed it on a tripod and it didn't help. The lens was clean(duh!) and the only solution I could come up with was setting it to manual focus. This is unacceaptable, as the only reason I got the HV20 was so I can bring it to Disneyworld next month with my grandchildren. (my XH A1 is obviously way too big for this purpose)

I took my old spare camcorder(nearly 7-year-old Sony) and it had better auto-focus... <sigh>

After an hour of this, I gave up. I have just packed up the HV20 and will drop it off at FedEx during lunch today... :(

Guess I'll have to wait a couple more week and see how the JVC GZ-HD7 works out.... :( Hope it makes it here in time for my trip.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 12:13 PM   #2
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Instant AF

According to the manual on Canon website, instant autofocus can be turned off. Did you try that? When instant AF is off, it's supposed to work like regular autofocus, that is, much slower...
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 02:40 PM   #3
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It almost sounds like a defective camera. There is no way Canon would think that was acceptable the way she describes it.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 02:55 PM   #4
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I don't know...
This thread describes the same thing, and they had to disable autofocus.:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=89539
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 03:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dan Peterson View Post
I don't know...
This thread describes the same thing, and they had to disable autofocus.:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=89539
Quote:
(2) When zooming in autofocus mode, the camera gets out of focus
and then becomes sharp again continously.

Thanks!

I just read that thread and the problem is almost exactly what I experienced with my returned HV20. The problem only is worst when I'm zooming into(or out of) objects. If I don't zoom, the autofocus is just fine in either mode. :(

I took the HV20 to the local BestBuy and returned it during lunch. They
didn't even charge me the usual 15% because the geeky high school kid
in charge of the camcorder dept saw the same problem. The HV20 isn't
available at BestBuy stores yet, so they gave me a refund back to my
credit card.

Perhaps I should call BestBuy and tell them not to bother sending out
another HV20 for me to test? <sigh> this means I'll have to spend
at least 20 minutes calling BestBuy's India call center... <sigh>

Edit: I just noticed that the other thread's poster is from Germany...
I bought mine from BestBuy.com in the US. Yet both have the
same problem....
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 03:15 PM   #6
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hmm this is quite worrying
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 03:22 PM   #7
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Sounds like a component flaw or a manufacturing problem, not a conscious decision on Canon's part.

I know they cripple the high end consumer machines to keep pros buying the expensive stuff, but messing up the autofocus like this is a little extreme.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 04:01 PM   #8
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Post If Af Works Or Doest Work On Your Unit

There are always some defective units or units that need recalibration and those usually make it to the forums because they are looking for answers for the problem. What we need to know is if this is the norm for all the cameras or just a defect for some. Can some people post if they dont have a problem with instant AF so we know what the situation is?
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 05:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nick Laskowski View Post
There are always some defective units or units that need recalibration and those usually make it to the forums because they are looking for answers for the problem. What we need to know is if this is the norm for all the cameras or just a defect for some. Can some people post if they dont have a problem with instant AF so we know what the situation is?
I got mine yesterday in Miami, Fl. the instant AF works as good as the HV-10 that I have, in fact it works as good even with the wide angle WD-H43 which in it self is a big hunk of glass in front of the lens. The only thing it interferes is with the mini light like the wide adapter for the HV-10. May be you were too hasty in your conclusions and should have gone thru the set-up procedure and the different menus. The manual focus with the wheel works like a charm too.

Luis
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 05:43 PM   #10
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When I was in a mall one time trying out the top auto focus mode of the HV10 it seemed much better than my HC1 although the standard autofocus mode of the HV10 seemed about the same as the HC1. Usually the auto focus from Sony camcorders isn’t good at all and I had bad experiences using the Sony PD150, the Z1u and the HC1 when using auto focus. Lest just say it’s a very good thing that I’m an expert of using a focusing ring. It looks as if the auto focusing of newer Sony camcorders is much better.

Now would that make the HC7 a much better buy than the HV20? Who knows, but it’s really about what interest you more. If you plan on buying one of those deep color TV sets than you might as well choose the HC7. As for the HV20, it’s no secret that I can’t stand 24p but at least it’s very useful when shooting indoors because by using that mode and a shutter speed of 24, the low light capability should be incredible compared to using the 60i mode of either camcorder.

I have owned the Panasonic DV953 and used the 100a and I have never noticed the focusing being bad at all so if auto focusing is what conserns you the most then you should consider either the Panasonic SD1 or the DX1 if you’re on a budget or the much, much better AG-HSC1U. That particular camcorder may cost you 2 grand but it does come with a 40 gig hard drive storage unit and a professional warranty of 12 parts and labor.

The JVC HD7 is currently my favorite out of all of them because no matter how good or bad the auto focus is on this camcorder, it has one feature that the others lack and that’s obviously a focusing ring around the lens. It may seem extremely difficult at first and believe me when I started using it at the age of 16 for a high school TV station; I hated it and was always arguing with the director that since the camera had an auto focusing feature, I shouldn’t bother using the manual focusing ring. Few months later when I turned 17 I actually became very good at it.

There is always the NAB next month if you still don’t like any of the camcorders.





Like others are saying, Canon probably has some defective units so maybe its best to try another one just incase.

Last edited by Paulo Teixeira; March 23rd, 2007 at 05:36 PM.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 05:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post
The JVC HD7 is currently my favorite out of all of them because no matter how good or bad the auto focus is on this camcorder, it has one feature that the others lack and that’s obviously a focusing ring around the lens.
Is the JVC HD7's manual focus ring a mechanical or electronic focus ring? :)

Thanks!
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 06:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Leila Alkadi View Post
Is the JVC HD7's manual focus ring a mechanical or electronic focus ring? :)

Thanks!
That’s a very good question and sorry I don’t have the answer.



By the way, here is something I forgot to post earlier about the Panasonic AG-HSC1U:
http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp...Model=AG-HSC1U
“Fast, accurate Auto Focus with no hunting!”

I tested this camcorder at a pro video show and the auto focusing is very good.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 06:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post

I tested this camcorder at a pro video show and the auto focusing is very good.
Sounds to me like she jumped the gun considering what I'm reading on multiple forums. Either that or she ran into a defective camera.


Funny to bail on a camera that quickly without at least trying a replacement?
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 07:03 PM   #14
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The JVC HD7's manual focus ring is an electronic servo-assisted actuator, just like the focus ring on any other small consumer camcorder.

What I don't get about this thread is that there was never any indication as to whether the "problem" was encountered using Instant AF or Normal AF, or what any of the other camera settings were...
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 08:09 PM   #15
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What's even stranger about this thread is that the HV10 has the best autofocus of any camcorder I've ever used....bar none. So it's hard to believe that Canon sat down when designing the HV20 and said "let's see, how can we made this autofocus decidedly worse than the HV10?".

I guess I'll know tomorrow for sure when mine arrives.

I just had a thought. It's quite easy to accidently cover the instant autofocus window on the front of the camera. If you do, I'd bet you could get some weird things happening with the autofocus.
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