canon hv30 zoom

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by djsound, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. djsound macrumors 6502a

    djsound

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    #1
    I was looking at this Camera since its the only one in my price range really. Its my first camera =) I was just wondering how far it can zoom. I bought a digital 'photo' camera a couple years back and was pretty disappointed because it doesnt zoom far at all.... I want to be able to do video far far away...like Nature stuff...would i need an additional lense for the hv30? Or is it a bad camera in the first place for this kind of stuff? thanks
     
  2. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #2
    Digital Zoom Love

    I believe the HV30 has a 12x optical zoom. 10x or 12x is pretty much standard fare around that price point. On the plus side, you can set the zoom speed to different presets, though on reflection that's probably a redundant feature: zooming in a shot normally destroys it.

    Avoid digital zoom: digital zoom sucks: unless you like low-res video: in which case, use your digital zoom (it's a mind-warping 200x on the HV30, isn't it?) at full extension at all times :D.

    Of course, the other option is JGC (Just Get Closer).

    This last comment probably doesn't help you much, but you never know. Like Keith Moon said, if you want louder drums, play them harder. Or spend lots of money on bigger drums. He didn't say that, I'm just extending the analogy.

    All the very best,
    Andrew.

    EDIT

    Forgot to mention that 12x means if the camera is 120 metres from the subject, it will appear to be 10 metres from it. Secondly, the perspective of the shot will change with the apparent distance between foreground and background noticeably compressed. The greater the zoom, the greater the change in perspective (apparent distance to subject, apparent relative distance between foreground and background). This is not a quality issue, it's a compositional one. Bo.
     
  3. djsound thread starter macrumors 6502a

    djsound

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    #3
    so if you throw one of those 'telephoto lenses' on them it still will be pretty crappy quality?
     
  4. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #4
    Not all zoom is created equal

    Firstly, the picture quality from the HV20 and HV30 is excellent for the money. Now on to the other issues.

    There is no quality issue as such if you stick to optical zoom. Digital zoom just means that only a portion of the full-res image is recorded, with an effect on quality comparable to cropping a digital photograph and then blowing up the cropped portion to full size or beyond: what was hi-res to start with becomes lo-res pretty darn quickly. Contrary to what the writers of programmes like NCIS believe, you can't add new pixels to make up the difference in sharpess, you just end up with chunkier pixels, with a resultant decline in sharpness. Because you can achieve the same effect in the edit, there really is no justification for ever using digital zoom - unless you simply can't make out what your subject is doing without it. When your camera arrives, the second thing you should do is disable the digital zoom function in the menu. The first thing is charge the battery. Obviously.

    Add-on telephoto adapters are a separate issue, though they're part of the overall equation if you're looking for a boost to the built-in zoom. Unless the quality of the optics in the adapter is appalling, telephoto adapters (or wideangle ones for that matter) are always going to result in sharper pictures than digital zoom. But, even aside from the fact that telephoto adapters are expensive, they usually result in a minor reduction in quality, because the camera was designed with the built-in optics in mind. The adapter is a compromise, and any compromise has a flow-on effect on picture quality, though it may not be especially noticeable. Sometimes it's just a matter of increasing a lens's tendency to flare in bright light.

    If you decide to use an adapter, try to stick to the manufacturer's recommended one. But the usual rule applies: if you want a camera which can handle high-end applications like extreme telephoto, you either need to fork out wads of cash and buy a camera that takes changeable lenses, or compromise (in all of the senses of the word discussed above) and try an adapter.

    But avoid digital zoom. Waste of time in my opinion. Like buying a new car and punching a hole in the exhaust to make it sound like it has more grunt.

    The final point is that a 10x or 12x zoom is heaps. When I first got into photography, I could barely afford a 35-70mm zoom. That's a 2x zoom. But things have now "progressed" to the ludicrous point at which a zoom differential five times greater than that still isn't enough to market a consumer camcorder, apparently, and manufacturers have gone to the ridiculous length of providing 200x digital zooms! This would be laughable if it wasn't so pointless.

    Most camcorders skimp at the wideangle end of the lens, not the telephoto end.
     
  5. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #5
    Of course Keith moon wasn't a filmmaker, so I don't know why you're using an analogy from him rather than say Spielberg or Lucas.

    A zoom(optical not digital) is a necessity sometimes. If you can be farther from the shot and use a strong optical zoom, you can do a rack focus a lot easier---you learn this in a basic video production class.

    However, don't overuse zooms either; only use it when necessary.
     
  6. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #6
    I don't know why you're using an analogy from him rather than say Spielberg or Lucas.

    Over to you then. What would the analogy from Spielberg or Lucas be?
     
  7. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #7
    I hate to say it, but with the HV20/30's 10x optical zoom and tiny focus wheel, don't expect much in pulling focus from great DOF to shallow DOF; That's what 35mm adapters and SLR lenses coupled with this great camera are for.
     

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