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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 May 22nd, 2007, 01:04 PM   #1
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hV20 VS. HVR-A1U

I am torn between these two camcorders. Does anyone know which would be the better overall camcorder? I want to shoot 24p, also in 1080i or 16x9,but i want good sound too. thanks!
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 03:18 PM   #2
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If you want to shoot 24p, that would be the HV20, sound would probably be the A1U <wink>...

both shoot 1080i and 16x9, you can output to 24p in post - the Sony is a bit older cam, and for the around $500-600 difference in price you could add on quite a bit of sound gear for the HV20, like an external mic and maybe even an offboard digital recorder...

The Sony has better build quality and will look and feel more "pro", but sometimes small is good too (HV20).

Just a couple factors to consider, probably doesn't make the decision easier.

Other considerations... the manual focus ring vs. the focus wheel and if you will need a LANC connection.

DB>)
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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The A1U has very poor low light abilities IMHO, and the HDV compression is much worse.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 04:52 PM   #4
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The A1U has very poor low light abilities IMHO, and the HDV compression is much worse.
After reviewing some footage off the net, it looks like the picture you get from the HV20 might be better... Thats why i thought i would ask the pros.

See i have a gl2 now and want to make the move to HDV, the footage from the HV20 looks way better than my gl2. So my gl2 is up for sale, for anyone who might be intrested... I hope this is the right move for me.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 06:28 PM   #5
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Matt:

I have HV20. It is my entree to the 24p game, and it the bonus is that that it makes a fantastic picture, and with a little exploration of features and techniques, you can master a near full manual operation of the camera, with great affect.

I also have the FX1, the next step up above the A1u in the Sony line at the time they were both in production, and there are features that camera provides. However, I have no doubt that that you will find plenty of happiness with the HV20 for your HDV entry. I have added a 35mm adapter, use my already in the bag Beachtek adapter sound, as well as a few homemade gadgets to work with it, to get a pretty decent cinematic experience-- despite its low end price. Don't expect that the gawkers will get all excited about your nifty looking rig, unless you hang a lot of stuff on it. By itself, it will make a fantastic picture, but looks pretty consumer....
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 09:01 PM   #6
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Avoid the Sony... Picture quality is terrible, well compared to the HV20. Sony HDV camcorders such as it, the HC1, HC3, FX1 etc all have these atifacts that ruin the overall picture quality. Most visible when played at full 1080i resolution.

Thr Hv20 would be the pick of the bunch right now.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 10:43 PM   #7
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Avoid the Sony... Picture quality is terrible, well compared to the HV20. Sony HDV camcorders such as it, the HC1, HC3, FX1 etc all have these atifacts that ruin the overall picture quality. Most visible when played at full 1080i resolution.
Yeah, the Sony HDV cameras produce such a horrible looking picture that the Z1U has only been used in films such as Tomorrow is Today, 9:04 AM, and just in small parts of Flags of Our Fathers. The picture quality is so terrible I'm so surprised that the Discovery Channel and the BBC broadcast documentaries and TV shows that are captured with Sony HDV cameras.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:28 AM   #8
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I think a lot of people just like having a pro looking camera with a lot of control, regardless of the picture quality. Sony are a big company, and their DV cameras were popular, so maybe plays a part in it too. But after the HC1, I'll personally never buy another Sony camera again.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:45 AM   #9
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I think a lot of people just like having a pro looking camera with a lot of control
i was once one of those guys, thats why i bought the GL2, and i love that thing, best camcorder i have ever owned. But if i can get the same, if not better picture quality out of a hv20 then im totally going to make the switch regardless if the cam looks pro or not. I just want my video to look pro thats all! hahaha
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:52 AM   #10
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Matt, I used to have the XM2 (PAL version of the GL2) before I'd bought the HC1. Yes, very nice camera the XM2. As for picture quality, the HV20 is way ahead. There's no comparison really. Similar low light sensitivity also. I guess the only downside is that it's smaller with no viewfinder that can be tilted up.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 11:27 AM   #11
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what? The hc1 is great! Except for low light ofcourse.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 11:54 AM   #12
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I'll stick up for the HC1 (A1 baby brother) as well, and the control ring is much better than the little control wheel the little cameras have. I know some people had trouble with odd colors on the HC1, but I've never seen it. Other than that, the HC1 seems to be a pretty stout little camera.

There's lots of negativity against Sony product, but I've seen more than a few defective HV20's showing up - they're popping up on Ebay already "as-is" with serious problems - personally I'm glad I have a new one (my second, as the first had some issues - this one is fine, but I could swear the first was a bit better in low light...) with a 1 year warranty.

The build quality of the camera is uninspiring to say the least next to my Sony cameras. The HV20 still feels like a toy to me, but it's got serious capabilities under the hood, expecially in the low light department vs. Sony.

SO, the HV20 has it's place for me. If it felt a bit more solid and had a LANC, I'd definitely give it top marks. As it is it's a great value for the $$, no doubt about it!

Frankly one thing that I think gives the Canon such an immediate positive reaction is the LCD - it's way better than the one on the Sony HC7 - HC7 tapes look amazing on the HV20, where they are only so-so on the HC7 LCD...

PQ from ANY HDV cam is probably going to blow you away when compared to SD cameras... just be prepared for some minor "gotchas" in shooting technique, low light challenges, and the required editing horsepower, and enjoy, whatever cam you get!

DB>)
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