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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 July 4th, 2007, 05:40 AM   #1
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HV20 questions

I just downloaded the manual for the HV20 but some things are sill not fully clear and I was wondering if some users and people more experienced with the camera could shed some light? It seems to be quite a great little camera and for that price you can really find a lot of things to use it for.
Here are the questions I have:

· How’s the manual focus? Is it usable? Can it be locked? Can auto focus be turned off?
· Is there manual white balance? I didn’t quite get if the option “SET (custom WB)” in the white balance menu really means manual WB.
· Is there manual shutter speed? It doesn’t seem so. If not, how are people doing to shoot 24p at 1/48?
· Does it record DV audio simultaneously along with HDV audio when you record HD 24p?
· Manual audio? How’s it? Works as it should?
· My monitor is a 720p one. Any ideas of what would happen if you connect the component to a 720p monitor?
· Which would be the most recommended setting to record with for the most natural and neutral effect for post color correction IMAGE EFFECT OFF, NEUTRAL or should you just go into custom?
· Is cinema mode recommended at all?
Another thing. Is there a Pal and a NTSC model? Because somebody told me there's just one model and they are switchable(?)

It seems like a great deal, but I’m wondering if it could be possibly used professionally? The sharpness is sure there but is the image control enough? So far all I have seen looked excessively over sutured for example. Gamma, Knee, Black stretch etc is of course nowhere to be seen. Expected from a consumer camera but can you get around that and use it professionally? It’s sure worth a look.
By the way, does anybody agree it's sharper than the XL-H1 and A1 cameras? It sure looks like for me.
Thanks for the help.

Last edited by Michael Maier; July 4th, 2007 at 06:27 AM.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 10:47 AM   #2
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Manual focus? Yes.

Is it usable? In my opinion no, not in a "pro" capacity. The little focus wheel is too small.

Can it be locked? Yes.

Can auto focus be turned off? Yes.

Is there manual white balance? Yes.

“SET (custom WB)” in the white balance menu really means manual WB? Yes it really means Manual WB.

Is there manual shutter speed? Yes.

It doesn’t seem so. Use the Tv (shutter priority) program mode. There's also an aperture priority mode. There's also a work-around to force full manual control of shutter and aperture while staying away from gain.

Does it record DV audio simultaneously along with HDV audio when you record HD 24p? Not sure what you mean by this -- yes it records audio no matter what the frame rate is -- but the audio is not "DV" audio. DV audio is PCM. HDV audio is Mpeg 1. So when shooting in HD 24p mode it is recording Mpeg 1 audio.

Manual audio? Yes.

Works as it should? Manual audio control adjusts both channels, ganged together. No separate L/R levels.

What would happen if you connect the component to a 720p monitor? Most 720p displays will properly convert a 1080i signal. Does yours? This question depends on the particulars of your HDTV, not the camcorder.

Which recommended setting to record for natural and neutral color... EFFECT OFF, NEUTRAL or should you just go into custom? In my opinion, best way is to set a color using Manual WB, a good HDTV and a proper DSC Labs color chart, tweak if needed using the custom color menu.

Is cinema mode recommended at all? Purely a matter of individual taste and personal preference. We already have an entire thread devoted to this question. It's huge and offers plenty of opinions. Research it at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=96017

Is there a Pal and a NTSC model? Yes there are separate models -- however there is no PAL or NTSC anymore, it's all ATSC now for High Definition -- but yes there is a 60i model for Japan & North America and a 50i model for Europe and Australia.

I’m wondering if it could be possibly used professionally? Yes with some serious limitations. There is no way to use a remote lens controller with this camcorder, although there is a complex way to rig the included wireless IR controller as a substitute. Otherwise there is no other method for achieving a clean change of focal length or focal plane. However for locked-down shots that don't change, it should not present a problem.

Hope this helps,
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Old July 4th, 2007, 12:45 PM   #3
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Michael:

I have used this camera extensively the last few months, developing it into a useable cinema tool, on a low budget. Adjustments are more limited and a bit more complicated in terms of working around the consumerish set up, but the camera makes into a fantastic compact "cinema camera" using 35mm adapters like the Letus or the Brevis.

The Cine mode appears to provide more latitude. You have to fight to keep it a 1/48 of second shutter speed, but the resulting image comes out flatter, and thereby more amenable to post color correction.

We shot a 48 Hour film festival movie using a rig I put together using Letus 35A, HV20, and it was shot all in the Cine mode. Also had a sound engineer on board to work the sound issues, and we had no problem at all pegging the camera with a 1k tone at 12db from a field mixer through my XLR adapter. Sound was recorded using my Sennheiser ME66 mic...



The YouTube version is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s3hDShqe18

This version is not color correct because of lack of time, and the You Tube conversion appeared to darken the film, but this gives you an idea.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #4
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Sorry for being off topic here, but any chances of posting a less compressed (non YouTube) version of your movie soon, Chris? Can't wait to see how the HV20 performs with the Letus35a in a more "professional" environment, as I plan to buy one from Quyen in the next few weeks.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 12:59 PM   #5
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It looks good so far Chris, but is the vignetting on purpose? I don't want to take away from the story elements and the directing, because they are really well done, but the vignetting is bothering me for some reason...
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Old July 4th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #6
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Dirctor is taking more time than he wanted to finalize the version he wants to post in both SD and HD versions for net release. I will see if can get some raw footage to post.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 01:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by David Delaney View Post
It looks good so far Chris, but is the vignetting on purpose? I don't want to take away from the story elements and the directing, because they are really well done, but the vignetting is bothering me for some reason...
David:

There is no doubt that the HV20 combo with the Letus35a has vignetting issues, I think do to inability to zoom further in. I believe that the Letus needs a bit more of an extension to allow the HV20 to zoom more, to get inside the vignetting that occurs with some lenses-- most notably, the wide angle lenses. In fact, I also have a Cinevate macro that I have occasionally added to the back of the Letus, to resolve that problem, but it creates other issues I preferred not to deal with.

As you will note, the outdoor scenes don't appear to have issues, and I believe the lower light shots tend to emphasize the vignetting.

I think Quyen has plans for a Letus specifically for this camera that will be released soon.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 01:21 PM   #8
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I can see that in outdoor scenes, it looked great. Did you not have enough lights for the shoot or was it because of the 48 hours, it did not provide enough setup time?
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Old July 4th, 2007, 02:22 PM   #9
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David:

See this thread for a full description of the shooting and my thoughts about the combo:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=96889
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Old July 4th, 2007, 05:50 PM   #10
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Hi Micheal,

Mike Horrigan made this film entirely with hv20

http://www.morecowbellpictures.com/d...w_rts_edit.mov


best,

Steve.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 05:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Manual focus? Yes.

Is it usable? In my opinion no, not in a "pro" capacity. The little focus wheel is too small.


Can auto focus be turned off? Yes.
Yeah, I can imagine that it would be nearly impossible to pull focus on it. But I was wondering if it could be locked to be used with a 35mm adapter. If the auto would be hunting all the time it would be impossible to use it properly with a 35mm adapter. Glad to know it can.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Is there manual shutter speed? Yes.
Only if you chose shutter priority right? You canít really control shutter an aperture manually at the same time, can you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
There's also a work-around to force full manual control of shutter and aperture while staying away from gain.
Whatís the work around?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Does it record DV audio simultaneously along with HDV audio when you record HD 24p? Not sure what you mean by this -- yes it records audio no matter what the frame rate is -- but the audio is not "DV" audio. DV audio is PCM. HDV audio is Mpeg 1. So when shooting in HD 24p mode it is recording Mpeg 1 audio.
There was a story that the HD100 recorder PCM along with Mpeg1 when recording HDV but the PCM was distorted. I was just wondering if this camera would do something along the lines and record an usable PCM since Mpeg1 is bad audio.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Which recommended setting to record for natural and neutral color... EFFECT OFF, NEUTRAL or should you just go into custom? In my opinion, best way is to set a color using Manual WB, a good HDTV and a proper DSC Labs color chart, tweak if needed using the custom color menu.
Yes, but how about the rest of the stuff? But anyways, judging from what I have been hearing from cine mode it seems to be the best setting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Is cinema mode recommended at all? Purely a matter of individual taste and personal preference. We already have an entire thread devoted to this question. It's huge and offers plenty of opinions. Research it at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=96017
Yes, it sounds good. But if there was a way to lock a 1/48 shutter down would be perfect.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Hope this helps,
Sure does Chris. Thanks for taking the time.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 05:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Michael:

I have used this camera extensively the last few months, developing it into a useable cinema tool, on a low budget. Adjustments are more limited and a bit more complicated in terms of working around the consumerish set up, but the camera makes into a fantastic compact "cinema camera" using 35mm adapters like the Letus or the Brevis.

The Cine mode appears to provide more latitude. You have to fight to keep it a 1/48 of second shutter speed, but the resulting image comes out flatter, and thereby more amenable to post color correction.

We shot a 48 Hour film festival movie using a rig I put together using Letus 35A, HV20, and it was shot all in the Cine mode. Also had a sound engineer on board to work the sound issues, and we had no problem at all pegging the camera with a 1k tone at 12db from a field mixer through my XLR adapter. Sound was recorded using my Sennheiser ME66 mic...



The YouTube version is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s3hDShqe18

This version is not color correct because of lack of time, and the You Tube conversion appeared to darken the film, but this gives you an idea.

Hey Chris, looks nice. Thanks for sharing.
Is there any trick to keep the shutter at 1/48, lock the aperture and keep gain at 0 when using Cine mode? If it gets you more dynamic range and neutral colors it seems to be the perfect setting for post color correction.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 05:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jones View Post
Hi Micheal,

Mike Horrigan made this film entirely with hv20

http://www.morecowbellpictures.com/d...w_rts_edit.mov


best,

Steve.
Thanks for the link. I see some problems with the footage when he handhelds or pans. Is it the so called rolling shutter thing? Besides that it looks nice.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 05:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Michael Maier View Post
Hey Chris, looks nice. Thanks for sharing.
Is there any trick to keep the shutter at 1/48, lock the aperture and keep gain at 0 when using Cine mode? If it gets you more dynamic range and neutral colors it seems to be the perfect setting for post color correction.
Michael:

What shooters are doing to lock out gain, and hopefully lock in 1/48 is point camera at a bright object like a white blank cell phone screen, or PSP2 screen, and press the Exposure button at the same time to activate the exposure adjustment feature. This gives a wide range of adjustments plus or minus in the exposure adjustment slide. Then they half way depress the photo button to assure they haven't gone outside the parameters they were trying to stay in. When I shot the film I did, I had a difficult time staying in 1/48. The darker scenes were in 1/24, and I consequently lost resolution.... Time permitting, I should have added more light, but the schedule was tight...
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Last edited by Chris Barcellos; July 5th, 2007 at 06:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old July 5th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Michael:

What shooters are doing to lock out gain, and hopefully lock in 1/48 is point camera at a bright object like a white blank cell phone screen, or PSP2 screen, and press the Exposure button at the same time to activate the exposure adjustment feature. This gives a wide range of adjustments plus or minus in the exposure adjustment slide. Then they half way depress the photo button to assure they haven't gone outside the parameters they were trying to stay in. When I shot the film I did, I had a difficult time staying in 1/48. The darker scenes were in 1/24, and I consequently lost resolution.... Time permitting, I should have added more light, but the schedule was tight...
You lost resolution? Because of the 1/24 shutter?
I saw some clips from Tokyo and Sydney at night and they looked very, very sharp. I would say they were full 1920x1080 to look that sharp. As it was all available light I'm thinking low light. Does this happens just in cine mode, this loss of resolution?
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