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I've had this camcorder for just over 2 years now, and wow what a great camera it is!
Of course the biggest thing going for this camera is it's HD recording capability, but not just HD! It also boasts 25p (progressive mode), which creates a more filmic look. Personally I only shoot with 25p mode on, as it just creates a much nicer image.
Just a note about the "HD" spec... it's not technically full-HD, as it records at a resolution of 1440x1080, which means when you get it into your editor it will be (automatically usually) stretched to the full 1920x1080 resolution, and thus technically you'll lose some quality from this scaling, but generally it's not a major issue as the sensor size and lens probably can't capture at an amazing enough level for this to be noticeable. That being said the colour replication is really great, as is the case with HD, and the "cinema" mode is really handy for quickly achieving a film-like effect in-camera (though you may want to just add this kind of thing in post-production!).
Only major downside for me is the noise of the tape mechanism (though this is prevalent in most camcorders). If you want to use the sound from this camera, you definitely need to use an external mic. Another problem though more minor is the manual focus is a bit difficult to adjust as it's controlled by a tiny little spring-loaded wheel, located just in front of the LCD monitor, so it's not only often awkward to reach, it's so small it's no use if you want to do anything fancy with your focusing. Saying that, there are (non-official) focus ring attachments you can buy from ebay, which I'd recommend if you intend experimenting with changing focus during shooting!
The battery life isn't amazing with the standard battery pack - I'd definitely recommend purchasing a higher capacity one if you intend doing a lot of location shooting, or will be going for a long time without being able to charge! Top tip: if you want to save power, use the LCD screen very minimally. The viewfinder is quite adequate, though ergonomically, it's not the best designed! The rubber pad around the edges feel very hard on the eyes, and I can imagine it wouldn't be comfortable to use for extended periods of time.
Lastly, one really cool feature it has it an AV-to-DV mode, which allows you to connect any analogue input via composite cable (yellow video lead) and you can then record that onto a DV tape, or even capture directly via firewire to your computer. Very useful if you want to archive old VHS tapes, or footage from an old non-DV camcorder.
The name Canon has always meant photographic and broadcast television cameras with optical excellence, advanced image processing, superb performance, and the latest in technological advancements. Canon's High Definition video camcorders are no exception.
The stylish Canon HV20 gives you the ultimate in HD video and digital photo quality with advanced features for the knowledgeable and demanding videographer. Its 10x optical zoom lens, 2.96 Megapixel CMOS image sensor and Canon's advanced DIGIC DV II image processor ensures meticulous detail and superior color reproduction. 24p Cinema Mode brings "film-look" options to the HV20 owner - as never before in this class. And, with its HD and Standard Definition recording modes, you can make the move to HD without making your SD equipment obsolete.
The HV20 is easy to use and delivers the high level of performance you've come to expect from Canon. It's the premium quality High Definition camcorder that sophisticated and discerning videographers have been waiting for.
|Product Description:||Canon HV20 - camcorder - Mini DV (HDV)|
|Product Type:||Camcorder - 1080i - widescreen|
|Media Type:||Mini DV (HDV)|
|Memory Card Slot:||miniSD card|
|Sensor Resolution:||2.96 Mpix|
|Effective Sensor Resolution:||Video: 2.07 Mpix - Photo: 2.76 Mpix|
|Lens System:||10 x zoom lens - 6.1 - 61 mm - f/1.8-3.0|
|Focus Adjustment:||Automatic, manual|
|Min Focus Distance:||1 cm|
|Digital Zoom:||200 x|
|Camera Flash:||Built-in flash|
|Viewfinder:||LCD monitor - 0.27" - colour - 16:9|
|Display:||LCD display - 2.7"|
|Supported Battery:||1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( included )|
|AV Interfaces:||Composite video/audio, D4|
|Microsoft Certification:||Certified for Windows Vista|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||8.9 cm x 13.7 cm x 8.2 cm|