Canon HV30 vs. HF100

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by firstapple, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. firstapple macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2007
    Hi all,

    I am looking at getting a High Def Camcorder and I was looking at the Canon HV30 and the Canon HF100. I would be buying from Amazon as they currently have a 12 month 0% Interest if I use my Amazon credit card.

    The HV30 is on sale for $687 and the HF100 is $600. Could someone help me out on the differences between these two models (besides the obvious fact that one is MiniDV and the other is Flash based)? I am looking for three main things: Quality, ease of transfer, and battery life. I also see that the HF100 doesn't have a viewfinder, so I would imagine a lot of battery life would be wasted by having the LCD open whenever recording. Does one have a better feature set over the other?

    I would say my budget in the camcorder category is $700. If you could suggest a different model/type please do so as well. I have been searching the forums and searching online and these were the two I thought were best for this price range.
  2. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    I also couldn't decide. I'm a long time 8mm/miniDV user. So I bought both and tested them out for a couple weeks. Shooting side by side (literally) and playing back the video through A/B switching, there was virtually NO difference in video quality -- panning, motion, color, noise, etc. None -- at least not through a HD projector on a 96" screen. I was surprised how close both acted (Sony's HDV is much different from their tapeless). The biggest issue I had with the HV30 was how cheap it felt. The biggest issue with the HF100 was not understanding AVCHD. In the end I kept the HF100.

    Why? My first reason was condensation errors. In the past I've had problems with miniDVs not recording due to moisture (usually due to dirty heads). My first trip with a HD camera was a month earlier with a new Sony HDV -- and sure enough, one morning it wouldn't record due to moisture. I also had dropouts (solved by using HDV tapes) which made me cautious of HDV (note: I did a TON of research and using HDV tapes, always the SAME brand, and always a new tape seem to be the fix).

    The 2nd reason I kept the HF100 was after getting use to "files" rather than linear tape, the format is very cool. Being able to delete a clip that just didn't work well on the fly and go right to a scene is really nice. Not to mention the camera is so much smaller.

    AVCHD files are easy to work with -- you just import them into iMovie like you would with miniDV. Do read up on HD vs SD editing though. HD is a bit of a bear to work with. I ended up getting a PS3 which is less limiting than a AppleTV and you can play AVCHD files natively without editing.

    Either way you can't go wrong.
  3. firstapple thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2007
    I ended up getting a HV20 for a really good deal instead. Read up on it and seems like the HV30 wasn't much of an upgrade from the HV20. I couldn't justify paying $150 more for the HV30.

    The HV20 should suit my needs for I got it for, basically home videos of my new cat, my niece and nephew, and a little nature here and there.

    I am not a professional in any way, and never will be.
  4. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    You'll be very happy. I was extremely impressed with the HV30. The video has a richness about it, similar to my Canon digital camera. It also is great in low light. My only dislike was the "feel" of the camera, but it also is far less than a $ony. Also, I found no problems with dropouts on my HV30 using standard miniDV tapes. The Sony on the other hand only liked the HDV tapes.
  5. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    Hey where did you get your good deal on the HV20? I own two camcorders - A Sony HC1 and a Canon XH-A1. My HC1 was a great camera but was recently damaged in a fire so I have to replace it since my XH-A1 is too big for personal recordings. You said the HV30 was $150 more so if the price you mentioned before was $687 from Amazon, the HV20 was $520? That's not a bad price. What I really want is a camera like the HV20/HV30 that does minidv tape AND tapeless so I can grab stuff off right away when I'm done recording, but have a tape to archive as well.

    Plus, with my Sony HC1, I used to use Sony tapes and with my Canon XH-A1 I've been using Panasonic tapes and you're not supposed to mix brands otherwise the heads go bad. So now that my HC1 is gone, I got a bunch of Sony tapes that I still have content on that I would like to work with and would prefer to not use my Panasonic-tape-using XH-A1 to get the content off.

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