Pls help to decide: HV20 vs. HC7 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.


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 18th, 2007, 01:56 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 84
Pls help to decide: HV20 vs. HC7

After 7 years, my trusted Sony PC100 is showing its age. Since I only do home movies, I was reasonably happy, except maybe for lack of manual controls and, most importantly, lack of low-light performance. After reading this forum for 2 days now, I just have a couple of questions:

1. Which one is better in low-light? I mean, with regular home lighting or dimmed lights in a restaurant, with no additional lights, on-camera or otherwise.
2. On HV20, when microphone level is adjusted manually, does that turn the AGC off? Also, does the level work for external mikes? Lastly, do you get sound level meters with either camera?
3. Does either Sony or Canon have a North America - wide warranty? Simply put, if I buy my camcorder in the US, will I have warranty coverage in Canada?
4. Could Vegas 6 alone be used to bring in & edit the footage from either camera?

If HC7 is only marginally better than HV20, I'd go with the Sony, to re-use my PC100 filters & remote control. Many thanks - Roman.
Roman Shafro is offline  
Old April 18th, 2007, 02:11 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 400
The store I bought my HV20 from has the HC7 right beside it. I made up my mind before I arrived, because I knew what I wanted (natural looking image, and true 24P).

Can you test and try both at a store local to you? Don't even need our input then. ;)

EDIT: I've used the Sony Z1U a lot. It is a prosumer camera (several thousand more than than the HC7 and HV20) - I prefer the Canon's image MUCH more than the Z1U. I bet I'd not like the HC7's image as much as the HV20, and I'm very familiar to the Sony HD image.
__________________
Mac + Canon HV20
Robert Ducon is offline  
Old April 18th, 2007, 02:29 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
Hi Roman -
1. Can't speak to the HV20 (yet), but the HC7 is not bad in low light - CCI called the HV20 better, CNet says the opposite, so it's probably pretty darn close -I get a usable image in a room lit only with a low watt flourescent bulb... not great, definitely some noise, but considering, it's pretty decent. If you add the 3W Sony (around $30 I think) HL1, you're probably good to go for anything, you'd at least be able to get something usable if not "wonderful". Then again there's always "nightshot" on the Sony <G>!

2&3 - I have no clue... probably check the manual and call mfr.

4. I'd recommend vegas 7 for HDV... 6 "worked", but was pretty sluggish, 7 seemed to smooth out the previews enough to be usable (without transcoding & the resulting huge files). I run Veg7 and infinicam, with 3-4 .m2t files previewing on a "decent" but not terribly fast machine (3800+ AMD X2, 2G, cheap ATI dual DVI video card), it's a little choppy at times, but usable - Veg 6 was marginal for the same setup.

And if you've got investment in accessories, that could be the clincher <wink>!

You actually probably won't go too far wrong with EITHER camera from what I've read and seen - I went with the HC7 for Sony compatible accessories, but will evaluate the Canon "hands on" one of these days with any luck! The LANC is another key point for a lot of guys (7 has it, 20 doesn't).

DB>)
Dave Blackhurst is offline  
Old April 18th, 2007, 02:33 PM   #4
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: ENGLAND
Posts: 11
Hi, you could do a lot worse than read the reviews of both these camcorders at www.camcorderinfo.com. Im a Sony fan, but am taking delivery of the HV20 tomorrow because of (in my opinion) the slightly better picture quality from the Canon in both bright and low light. I like Sony camcorders, dont get me wrong, and ive owned the HC1 and FX1 and i've tested the HV7, but i really think the HV20 is the better buy right now, its cheaper, its got progressive options, and like i say, in my opinion has the better picture quality (noticably less noise). For many the choice is a no-brainer.
Peter Hatton is offline  
Old April 18th, 2007, 02:39 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
One caveat - just looking at the cameras side by side isn't sufficient - the LCD on the HC7 doesn't do the actual video any justice at all, and I can only guess that the same goes for the HV20... you really can't judge these cameras by the <3" screen... Need at least firewire out to a good calibrated computer monitor, or a BIG widescreen HDTV.

You might take a look at that german blog site - he's just posted HC7 and the HV20 is coming. Poke around the forums you'll find his links - here's the link running it through Googles translator... which is hit and miss, but you get the idea... - he numbers his postings, so dig around the site.

http://translate.google.com/translat...language_tools

He found the HC7 to be as accurate color wise as the Canon A1 he'd spent quite a lot of time calibrating... he seemed impressed.

DB>)
Dave Blackhurst is offline  
Old April 18th, 2007, 03:28 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg Canada
Posts: 51
You're better off buying in Canada. I'm in Winnipeg and i got my HV20 mail order from Calumet photo in Chicago. They gave great service, but the return policy on most of these cams is 14 days, and the whole thing becomes a real hassle if it has to be returned for whatever reason. The other thing I learned is that UPS of course collects the GST,PST (plus a $80 broker fee) from you when they deliver.... YOU DON'T GET ANY OF THAT BACK IF YOU SHOULD RETURN THE CAM! The Gov keeps it claiming it was YOUR choice to return the cam. So right off the bat on a return, you will be out about $250 (pst in winnipeg is 7%)

As far as the HV20 is concerned, it takes a great picture, good low light, the sound is okay for onboard mics, maybe even a little richer than my HC3. I think the auto white balance on the HV20 is better than my sony hc3. What has me down about HV20 is the build quality is not as good as I would have expected.

As Dave, I would recommend Vegas7... it's a great program...well worth the upgrade.
George Anthonisen is offline  
Old April 18th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 84
Thank you all for responding!

I decided to weigh the importance of certain features, and I think the low-light capabilities would be the most important, more so than being able to keep my LANC & filters. That's why I'd like to know about first-hand experiences - yes, I read the review, but... I also cannot test it in store, just as Dave Blackhurst mentioned. The best I can do is take my laptop there & connect it by Firewire, but the laptop screen does not have accurate colors. Lastly, it's hard to find a store that's dimly lit.

I'm still wondering if the warranty is for the whole of North America. I wasn't planning to ship it here, I have a friend coming over from Detroit in a month or so.

I still want to know about the AGC. My PC100 is REALLY noisy with external mikes on a quiet set.

Lastly, I know I have to upgrade my Vegas, I just hoped to save a bit of $$ and to jump right to version 8 when it comes out. If it's all about speed, I can wait, as my 6400 Core 2 Duo is pretty fast for most tasks.

Thanks again! - Roman.
Roman Shafro is offline  
Old April 19th, 2007, 08:16 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Plainview, N.Y.
Posts: 1,944
Roman, I'm sure you will be very pleased with the color rendition of the HV20. Left in auto white balance, the color will be very natural in most typical lighting situations. For other, more demanding lighting environments, there are many ways to set the camera to give you accurate results. Manual white balance can be very effective.

However, keep in mind that no HD camera will be totally forgiving in poor light. HD requires more light than SD. If you go into a somewhat dark room with poor lighting, you may well be disappointed with the results. No HDV camera will produce a great picture under those conditions. So you either need to temper your expectations, or be prepared to provide additional lighting.
Ken Ross is offline  
Old April 19th, 2007, 08:32 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Roman, I'm sure you will be very pleased with the color rendition of the HV20. Left in auto white balance, the color will be very natural in most typical lighting situations. For other, more demanding lighting environments, there are many ways to set the camera to give you accurate results. Manual white balance can be very effective.

However, keep in mind that no HD camera will be totally forgiving in poor light. HD requires more light than SD. If you go into a somewhat dark room with poor lighting, you may well be disappointed with the results. No HDV camera will produce a great picture under those conditions. So you either need to temper your expectations, or be prepared to provide additional lighting.
Thanks, Ken! No free lunch, eh? Once in a while, I do drag out my 500W Home Depot light, even over the complaints from my friends & family. Pitty I can't take it everywhere I go...
Roman Shafro is offline  
Old April 19th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bremen, Germany
Posts: 176
Here now the native HDV Stream from HV20 and HC7:

http://www.fxsupport.de/21.html
__________________
Wolfgang Winne
www.ohrwurmaudio.de www.fxsupport.de
Wolfgang Winne is offline  
Old April 19th, 2007, 11:00 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang Winne View Post
Here now the native HDV Stream from HV20 and HC7:

http://www.fxsupport.de/21.html
Great, that's EXACTLY what I was looking for! I'll download as soon as I get home. Thanks again - Roman.
Roman Shafro is offline  
Old April 19th, 2007, 12:14 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: London, UK
Posts: 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang Winne View Post
Here now the native HDV Stream from HV20 and HC7:

http://www.fxsupport.de/21.html
Thanks very much Wolfgang - I too will feedback once they are downloaded
Fergus Anderson is offline  
Old April 19th, 2007, 12:20 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 440
From those samples, the HC7 looks really good but the HV20 has more image detail, not just sharpening though but actual detail. If you are watching the video from across the room on the sofa I can't imagine you'd notice the difference though. The sony has a more video-ish look IMHO.
__________________
Clips | Stills
Wes Vasher is offline  
Old April 19th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Plainview, N.Y.
Posts: 1,944
Wes, I'm 100% onboard with your observations. I downloaded most of the clips and displayed them on my 50" plasma. There is more REAL detail in the Canon and more in-camera sharpening on the Sony. I could see where an untrained eye might think the Sony is sharper in some clips, but when you examine real detail, it's the Canon that reveals more.

What's interesting about this comparison is that it exemplifies the two different approaches that these companies use. Sony usually goes for a more apparently sharp picture at the expense of noise and artifacts, whereas Canon goes for more real detail and a cleaner picture.

In general I thought the Canon color balance was more believable and natural. The one clip I thought odd, especially since I've taken a few clips almost exactly like this one, was at the gas station at night. When I've shot clips just like that, there was far less noise than what I saw in this clip. I saw noise in both cameras on this scene, but I thought there was more on the Canon then there should have been. It was also apparent that the Canon revealed more detail in this type of lighting too.

But make no mistake about it, the Sony, based on these clips, is a very nice cam.

Nice job Wolfgang. Wolfgang, I'm assuming you used fully automatic settings on both cams?
Ken Ross is offline  
Old April 19th, 2007, 01:12 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bremen, Germany
Posts: 176
>Wolfgang, I'm assuming you used fully automatic settings on both cams?<

The day shoots is in full automatic, the nightshoots is with shutter 1/25 on both cams.
__________________
Wolfgang Winne
www.ohrwurmaudio.de www.fxsupport.de
Wolfgang Winne is offline  
Closed Thread

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 03:48 AM.


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