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Old October 25th, 2006, 04:29 AM   #1
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HV10 vs HC3 vs UX1

Since a few months I’m carefully reading all the posts on the web about the latest High Definition camcorders because I’m trying to select one to buy and use during my mountain hikes. I discarded the Sony HDR-SR1 and the announced JVC Everio HDD because of the altitude limitation of hard disc drives (see http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=77961) to about 3000 meters (10.000 ft), a limit which I often exceed in the Alps (I used my miniDV camcorder even at about 4200 m – 13700 ft -, with no problems).

Here are my considerations about the models I’m considering:

CANON HV10
PROs:
• Excellent image quality in bright sunlight (very important to me)
• Very small dimensions (very important to me)
• Excellent optical image stabilizer (very important to me)
• Instant focus feature (supposedly very useful)
CONs:
• possibility of dropouts (tape recording system)
• poor image quality in low light (but some posts do not agree; anyway less important to me)
• poor audio (less important to me)
• lower battery autonomy

SONY HDR-HC3
PROs:
• Generally good image quality
• Good manual control (not very important to me)
CONs:
• electronic image stabilizer
• possibility of dropouts (tape recording system)
• dimensions not as small as HV10

SONY HDR-UX1
PROs:
• Fast transfer to PC
• No dropouts (but potentially there could be other problems with DVDs)
CONs:
• Tricky PC editing of AVCHD format (very critical to me)
• bigger dimensions (very critical to me)
• Noisy image
• electronic image stabilizer
• uncertain availability of miniDVD discs in the next years, when either Blu-ray or HD-DVD becomes popular
• supposed slow time from switch on to ready to record due to DVD disc (rather critical to me)
• frequent need to change disc, due to short duration


Future PANASONIC (only announced)
PROs:
• Very small dimensions (very important to me)
• Flash memory recording medium supposedly robust (no mechanical moving parts)
• supposed quick time from switch on to ready to record
• ……………… (specs yet unknown)
CONs:
• Tricky PC editing of AVCHD format (very critical to me)
• No viewfinder (very critical to me, LCD usually is no good in extremely bright sunlight)
• frequent need to change the memory card, due to short duration
• need to archive somehow the footage downloaded to the PC
• ……………… (specs yet unknown)


The balance seems to lean towards the Canon for my specific needs, but a review found on http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=hv10 seems to contradict some of my conclusions, partly based on http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=139 reviews:

So, I haven’t yet made a decision, but I posted this to share these considerations of mine and collect further opinions, if anyone has any comments.
Marco Durando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2006, 08:24 AM   #2
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Hey Marco,
Have you played with all 3 cams yet? I suggest you go to the store and feel which one is better suited for you. Based on your pros and cons I recommend you just get the Canon as that is what seems to fit your boat. If you need it now get it now. If you don't need it now, then wait for the next thing. I'm upgrading to HDV next month and really like the Canon XH-A1. It'll best suit my needs for the jobs I do filming. Hope this helps. Take Care

Monday
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Old October 28th, 2006, 01:48 PM   #3
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I've done some preliminary comparisons of the HV10 and HC3. I like the Canon better. Not for the design differences but just the picture quality. The HV10 produces a really nice 1080i HDV picture. I'm really impressed with the end result. Very good optics, color and operation. I don't like how it's laid out but I can overlook that when it comes to image quality.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 04:51 PM   #4
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A different view of the HV10

Marco Durando;

I agree with the positive assessments made of the Canon HV10, and have a different take on the "poor-audio" assessment of this camcorder. I recently filmed several outdoor events with the HV10 and was surprised at how realistic and balanced the audio turned out to be. With the MIC on the HV10 being atop the camcorder and presumably aimed vertically, there is no tape transport noise. Unlike most consumer camcorders with the Mic foward and front, the HV10 Mic is omni-directional. Benefit of omnidirectional MIC placement is that one can pan 360 degrees, without impairing desirable ambient sounds (left, right, front, rear) in the scene being filmed. Can't do that with a front-end Mic!

Arguably, the only "weakness" I've noticed with HV10 audio is: that a speaker's voice is attenuated, or lost, when the speaker faces, or walks away from the camcorder. Reality check: how often is it desirable to film a subject with his/her back to the camcorder?

As for low-light performance of the HV10 --- it's news to me that this camcorder performs poorly in an appropriately-illuminated, low-light situation. Except for scenes requiring "Night Vision", the HV10, I believe, can hold its own against similarly-priced HD camcorders.

Ergonomics: this is something one can get used to, and eventually come to like. I adapted to the HV10 profile easily, as the buttons, levers, and menu system are nearly identical to the same features on the Canon Optura S1. With my having purchased the limited edition Optura S1 some five, or six months before release of the HV10, I was fit to go, once I got my hands on the very user-friendly HV10.

Bottom line: any camcorder as small as the HV10 performs best when mounted on a tripod, or monopod. Both of my small camcorders (S1 and HV10) are permanently mounted on a monopod, and ready to go!

Conclusion: I love the Canon HV10 and consider it to be a near-perfect, HDV camcorder! The only thing preventing the HV10 from being a "perfect" camcorder is ... no HDMI connection.

VM/HDG
Hawood Giles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2006, 04:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawood Giles
Bottom line: any camcorder as small as the HV10 performs best when mounted on a tripod, or monopod. Both of my small camcorders (S1 and HV10) are permanently mounted on a monopod, and ready to go!
Totally agree with that. I would never use a tiny camcorder like these WITHOUT it being mounted (at least) to a monopod.

People who use them pure handheld are degrading the image they get due to shake issues for sure.
Stu Holmes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2006, 05:03 PM   #6
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I think your post was meant for Marco. He listed the pros and cons, apparently from some reviews he's read. I didn't list any technical back-up it's just my opinion that the Canon HV10 produces some amazing HDV. I'll post more as I test and compare.
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