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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 April 24th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #1
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Now available in Australia too.

Got a call today from the store I'd ordered it from that it had arrived, so went straight there with my wife to pick it up.

First impressions.. It's a chunky little fella. The plastic housing doesn't bother me. Of course I'm not used to cameras of this size and shape so it's going to take me a while to figure out the best way to shoot with it. So far I've found the viewfinder to be the best option with camera held tightly using both hands. Handheld with the LCD open using just one hand seems way too shakey even with the OIS.

Compared to my old HC1... Well there is no comparison! This thing is way ahead, especially as far as picture quality goes. There's none of the artifacts I used to get with the Sony. They were so annoying, it drove me crazy trying out different ways of improving the image quality on that thing. Noise reduction didn't work, deinterlacing made no difference, blur made no difference either. The artifacts always appeared as little horizontal lines. I've noticed them in Z1, FX1, and HC3 footage aswell, so it must be a Sony thing. Thankfully the HV20 footage has no such problems. The difference is huge.

Since it was already dark by the time we got home and raining too, I've only taken a few indoor shots so far. The first being a macro around some of my music gear (some screen grabs here - http://flickr.com/photos/avene/sets/72157600120161273/ Click on the 'all sizes' button to view larger and original size versions). I'm really impressed with the low light performance of the HV20 in my studio here which is actually quite dark. There's just one 15W energy saver light buld and my 24" Dell screen. The 2 screen grabs are a good example of how great the low light performance is in this room. Footage taken on my old Sony HC1 in this room was extremely noisy with even more of those heavily distorted 'Sony' artifacts.

I prefer the user interface on the HV20 also. It's really quick and simple to navigate through. I just need to track down that thread here with the info on manual settings. I had the camera set to TV mode, but couldn't make any adjustments to the exposure level when I clicked on it. A lot to learn.

25P (PF25) performance is as good as you'd expect. I'll just leave it set to PF25 unless I decide to shoot something in slow motion. With 25P you just capture the footage normally and don't need to do anything to it.

Anyway, I'll post up some clips as soon as I get around to shooting something decent. Or check back to my Flickr page, as I'll be sure to post more screen grabs. I don't even think I'll bother buying a Mini SD card, as the frame grabs look great as they are.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #2
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Glenn, your thoughts almost precisely mirror mine. To me the biggest difference between the Sonys and the Canons, is the pristinity of the picture. As artifact-free as any person has a right to expect in a camera of this price or 5X the price.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 04:23 AM   #3
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Glenn,

Wow the first Aussie to get one! Congrats. i didnt expect them this early. I'll have to make a mad dash to try get teh cash together now. I thought we'd still at least be a month away knowing our usual luck.

Can't wait to be taking awesome HD footage (even in HDV tsk tsk) and retiring my MVX3i.

Thanks for your images. Some 25p and 50i comparitive footage would be great when it stops raining there :)

PS. What price did you grab yours at? Something tells me that even though its meant to be far cheaper then the HV10 - us Aussies will get raped and end up paying MORE for it then what the HV10 was when it first come out (i.e. 2000AUD). Highway robbery. :(
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Old April 25th, 2007, 05:49 AM   #4
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Ken, yes I remember reading your post about that. You're right, there shouldn't be any artifacts. Although I guess at the time, Sony were the only company with HDV cameras on the market. I actually had two HC1s. The first malfunctioned after just a week and had to go back. You'd switch it on and it would automatically switch off again and then back on continuously. Once I'd sent it back it was another 3 weeks before they got around to replacing it. I said to myself then, as soon as there's a decent Canon or Panasonic alternative I'd sell the HC1. Finally that time has come.

Daymon, I found it listed on www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au about 2 weeks ago for $1684. They told me there was just one arriving the next day, so I put my name down for that. But it arrived two days later and turned out to be a HV10. I gave up calling them about it after that thinking it probably would arrive in May, and then they finally called yesterday afternoon to let me know it was there. My friend's ordered a couple of HV20s from them also, but may have to wait another week. They're $1999 retail here and $1684 is the best price I could find. A few stores are selling them for $1699. It's funny, there are camera stores and places like Harvey Norman still selling the HV10 for $2099! So it pays to do your research.

I shot some footage around the house today which looked good, but would rather not post it as the exposure was still set to auto and kind of ruined it. I'll try a 50i/25P comparison some time for you. Still raining here.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 10:21 AM   #5
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G'day Glenn,

Interested to hear about the low light ability and access/usability of manual controls. I'm spoilt by the 1 lux Sony PD-170P but having just trucked home a Bravia X-series 1080P LCD...suddenly champing at the bit to get a HDMI equipped cam.

Q's: Where does the hotshoe fold out from?
With Sony experience, can you comment on the WB presets matching to the Sony i.e. I'd like to use the HD cam as SD 2nd unit to my 170P at weddings.

Canon claim 0.2Lux in Night mode, wondering whether its normal shooting mode equates to 2,3 lux like the Sony HDs?

Mark
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Old April 25th, 2007, 12:22 PM   #6
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Hi Mark,

As far as I know and from what I've read here, the camera can be used manually by setting it to shutter priority mode and then making adjustments to the exposure level. I had this working once, but couldn't find how to adjust the shutter speed, so I'll need to check the manual for that.

Low light is actually 3 lux. There's no IR mode, but there is the night setting you mentioned which I haven't tried yet. I think it may lower the shutter speed to achieve that 0.2 lux.

The hotshoe is under a removable tab on the top of the camera. Proprietory Canon I believe, so you may need some kind of adapter for any normal hot shoe accessories.

There are a few extra white balance settings. There's sun, shade, cloudy, indoor, flourescent & fluorescent h, and maybe another. I'm guessing the sun, cloudy and indoor settings would probably match or be very close to Sony's.

Rest assured anything shot with a HV20 would look great on your Bravia!
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Old April 25th, 2007, 09:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Glenn Thomas View Post
Hi Mark,
The hotshoe is under a removable tab on the top of the camera. Proprietory Canon I believe, so you may need some kind of adapter for any normal hot shoe accessories.
From CamcorderInfo:

"In addition, the HV20 has an accessory shoe that doesn’t require brand-specific compatibility – unless you want your accessories hot..."

From the above I assumed I could use cold-shoe access like a Sennheiser MKE-300 microphone or a Sony 10/20W light?
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Old April 26th, 2007, 01:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Thomas View Post
....
Daymon, I found it listed on...
Thanks for the Info Glenn. I've seen it at a decent online store for $1617. Going to try getting it at that. :)
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Old April 26th, 2007, 02:32 AM   #9
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Anyone hearing motor noise? See thread of that name.

There's one currently in Canberra for $1399.

http://shopping.ninemsn.com.au/resul...xPrice=1399.99
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Old April 26th, 2007, 03:32 AM   #10
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Mark, cool, I didn't realise that. I just grabbed an old flash, and yes, it fits. That's good to know.

Daymon, sounds like a good price. Maybe I should have waited a bit longer. Oh well, at least I'll get back the $153 GST I paid in a couple of months time essentially making it a $1531 purchase.

Allan, that's an NTSC version. It's been on eBay for a few weeks.

By the way, here's a 1080P 25p wmv clip I shot around the house yesterday (ignore the mess!), just so I could test out the HV20 with my old $14 steadycam which actually cost me $30 Australian. I didn't realise it at the time, but the shutter speed was set to 1/25, so it's a bit blurry. The file is 47mb. Grab it here - http://www.megaupload.com/?d=L2G1OPED
Oh, and the music in the clip is mine also.. just something rough I started a while back.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 07:52 PM   #11
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Cool thanks for the sample Glenn.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 01:09 AM   #12
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I won a 50% share in a $5000 cash pub draw on friday night. By 11am Saturday morning (needed a sleep in...... you can imagine why) I was online ordering the HV20.

I got the camera and a spare battery (14) for $1800.

I just got an email and it'll be here tomorrow or Thursday.

Very Excited!

Will post some footage when it arrives (anyone want to see the Darwin Sunset Mindil Beach Markets?)
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Old May 1st, 2007, 02:53 AM   #13
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Ho! Ho! congratulations Justin, yeah lay that market on us!
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Old May 1st, 2007, 04:17 AM   #14
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I've got one coming. Should be sent tomorrow (Wednesday). WooHoo. Should tie me over nicely till RED POCKET PRO. ;)
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Old May 1st, 2007, 07:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Justin Avery View Post
I won a 50% share in a $5000 cash pub draw

Will post some footage when it arrives (anyone want to see the Darwin Sunset Mindil Beach Markets?)
You lucky SOB!
Damn, I sometimes wonder if I should be living in a more visually dramatic locale to help justify my photog and videog - so 'yes please' to the sunset scenes.

Still, I spose with the HV I can (carefully) throw it in a bag and take off for day-ride to the Snowy Mtns region for some nice footage.
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