HV20 v. HDR HC7

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by smitha96, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. smitha96 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    #1
    I've been looking for a nice HD camera for the family for a while now, and I figure I should either get the HV20 or the HDR HC7. But first I have a couple of issues:

    1. What's so special about the HV20's 24P? Is it's primary purpose for recording in low-light?

    2. (More of a request) My wife thinks an HD camera is too expensive. I've tried everything I can to convince her that we need one, but she says we don't need one until we have kids! She's been a really tough cookie to crack on this issue (getting a camera, not having kids).

    My new strategy at the moment is to have MacRumors members email her explaining one or two benefits of HD that they have personally experienced.

    -- Therefore --
    If you are reading this and you can remember a personal benefit of going HD, please email her to lobby on my behalf:

    sierra@alexandsierra.com

    Help a brother out!
     
  2. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #2
    Both of those cameras are relatively cheap.. at about a grand each. Why, I wonder, wouldn't your wife let you buy one? Unless its a single income family and she's the only employed one.

    As far as convincing her, I don't think that life begins after the birth of a child. Buy it, record your day to day life and put that mac pro to use!
     
  3. YoungCreative macrumors member

    YoungCreative

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    #3
    Why HD?

    In a few years, HD will be the standard rather than the exception. Just ask her what she wants her memories to look like when she shows the kids/grandkids?

    My mother has film footage of my grandparents' wedding in 1935. I believe it is 16mm. Was that overkill for home movies back then? You bet! But it makes a priceless heirloom for our family today. Most people are lucky to have B&W still shots from their family in the 1930's and would die to have moving footage of that quality.

    I don't even own an HDTV yet, but I know I will soon. So I bought an HV20 just two months ago and am extremely in love with it. Even standard DV widescreen looks amazing and the audio quality through the onboard mic is crisp and clear. Now my kids will have crisp "HD Memories" when they get older.

    My philosophy has always been to buy the best, most up-to-date technology that you can afford and I have never regretted it. For example, I bought a TV in 1987 and paid extra for the S-VHS input thinking that I would get an S-VHS player some day. (Go ahead and laugh.) I never got the S-VHS player and actually thought that I had wasted some money, but then along came DVD and guess what I was able to plug into that seemingly wasted tech port?:D

    Now, if that 20 year-old JVC TV would die already, I would have the excuse to use with my wife to go get a 1080p TV! (Maybe, in this case, buying quality was a bad thing?)

    Hopefully something that I have babbled about here will help you in your quest for purchasing a great camera.
     
  4. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #4
    The build quality of the HV20 concerns me... otherwise I think I would have bought it already. It feels really cheap and plastic. The features are all there, except a durable, tough shell.

    :)
     
  5. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
    #5
    HC7 Includes LANC Port For Remote Zoom Control

    I bought the HC7 because I use a remote zoom controller all the time attached to my tripod and the HV20 is missing that capability (LANC Port). But if I didn't need a remote zoom controller I would buy the HV20 because of the 24P and Canon Optics are probably better. Plus it's cheaper - around $900. And there's nothing wrong with the Canon shell other than the way it looks.

    If fact I still plan to buy a Canon HV20 to use as an alternative when I don't need the zoom controller. They both have 37mm lenses so I can transfer my wide lens to it from the HC7.

    Tell your wife to think about how much better all your memories will be captured in what will be the only format your children will ever know. HD is a novelty now but by 2010 there will be no such thing as SD anywhere but in archives.
     
  6. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    We use the HV20 as a "backup" shot that we've never edited from into client videos.

    That said, when we don't use filters on our main cams, we can easily cut HV20 footage into our better cams.

    It's not so good in low light.

    In decent to good light, the camera is a little miracle.

    Would recommend it highly.
     
  7. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #7
    Just google "HV20 build quality" and you'll get a handful of reviews that have noted the same concerns I have about the camera. The word plasticky, tends to come up a lot in the reviews I've read.
     
  8. smitha96 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    #8
    I got the HV20! Thanks for all your help, advice, and for convincing my wife!
     
  9. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #9
    No - it is not about low-light. Its about getting "the film look". As you might know real film is shoot in 24p - 24 full frames per second and what many people want is a video that looks a little bit more like film.

    24p is only a very small step on that path - more important is depth of field - overall film stock look (often special grain), color space and much more. The depth of field can be achieved with video using special adapters - with only a little bit of googeling you can find them pretty fast - or if you want to get geeky have a look at Prolost (Redrock Micro post)

    Cheers
    LaForge
     
  10. kepardue macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #10
    Glad to hear that the HV20 has been doing people so well. I'm deciding between that and the HC7. I was leaning more towards the HC7 because it has a higher megapixel rating for its still camera, and I'll likely be using the camcorder as an on-the-go substitute for a still camera where warranted.

    The HV20 has been around for a bit now, does anyone see Canon releasing an HV30 or other camcorder in the next few months with a higher megapixel rating?

    As an amateur genealogist, I plan on taking the camcorder to do interviews with; I'm hopeful that the HV20 would perform well enough in standard room lighting. The old Sony DCR-HC65 I have performs pretty poorly in standard room lighting. In any case, to further justify every one else's comments: how amazing would it be to have pristine interviews (or day to day footage) of relatives and loved ones, knowing that it's captured at the highest quality available, and to know that you've future-proofed yourself as best possible with a reasonable cost, to have some of the best quality available.
     
  11. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #11
    With that argument you'd really be a fool not to buy one. I've lived in my current house for three years and haven't just more than 10 minutes of digital video in it... I know one day I'll look back at the first few years of my wife and I life together... and we'll wish we had video of it.

    And it's cheap! I talked with a buddy of mine who runs a major electronics store... he said he'd sell me an HV20 for $699 (their cost plus 5%) so... I really have no excuses at this point.
     
  12. kepardue macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #12
    Hmmmm, well in casual looking, there appear to be several vendors that are out of stock or low-supply. If I may ask again, is any one here more in tune with typical release cycles of Canon camcorders? Is there a likely replacement in the wings? As badly as I want this little guy, I'm nervous to invest in it with some tell tale signs such as those.
     
  13. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    The HV20 is pretty new, so I wouldn't expect any updates for a few months perhaps.

    The build quality is not high, but that's why the camera costs a grand. I am going to be getting one for making shorts, etc. and when you're on a budget, you would rather have more of the money going into the sensor than the case.

    Go to some of the DV websites and download some sample HV20 footage people have posted- it can deliver quite stunning results for the price. That should help convince a spouse (even though OP has already gotten one.)
     
  14. kepardue macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #14
    I just ordered an HV20, yay! One question though, I suspect that since a lot of my filming will be in questionable lighting conditions (i.e., an average-lit room under Compact Flourescents), I'll be shooting a lot of it in 24p for its better low-light performance. I've seen some reference to iMovie not being able to handle 24p and some reference to it being able to... will there be a disadvantage to importing and editing my 24p footage with iMovie? Or will I also need to make the investment in Final Cut Express?
     
  15. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #15
    I was looking at these two for weeks, I decided the HV20 wasn't for me, as I wouldn't be using 24p and the "plasticey" body would bother me.

    After researching more on the HC7, I learned It's grandfather, the HC1 had a control ring around the lens, which I like more than the HC7's little wheel. I don't care abou't it being a "bottom loader" and I can find a decent used one cheaper than even the HV20. The only thing that bothers me is it's electronic image stabiliation rather than optical as the HC7 has. So, if your looking at these you may also consider a decent used HC1.

    @kepardue: I believe iMovie can edit it, as the HV20 isn't true 24P, its still recorded as 60i for this purpose, but uses pulldown to achieve the 24p framerate. Don't quote me on this though.
     
  16. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #16
    AFAIK there's nothing "not true" about the HV20's 24p. AFAIK every camera that shoots to tape (except possibly HDCAM cameras) and does 24p uses some method of pull down so a 60i signal gets laid down to tape because everything in the NTSC world is based on an interlaced, 60hz signal.


    Lethal
     
  17. Peel macrumors 6502a

    Peel

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle
    #17
    It can edit it as it's telecined into 60i, but iMovie is not able to do a reverse telecine (which would take it to a 24p file). You'd need Cinema Tools for that. Also if you edit it as 60i, you will have problems later on if you ever want to do a reverse telecine in the future, as you will most certainly disrupt the cadance with each cut and transition that you make. But if you don't care about having a real 24p file (just the appearance of one) iMovie editing should be fine.

    Edit: @Lethal (I was writing this as you made your post) by appearance of a 24p file I mean that it will play on NTSC the same, but will be 25% larger than a 24p file.
     
  18. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    There's a freeware app called JES Deinterlacer to convert it to 24p-

    http://eugenia.blogsome.com/2007/07/13/canon-hv20-24f-pulldown/

    I don't know the particulars of working with iMovie, but apparently many FCP users use this program.

    If you search around you can find complete workflow (hv20.com), but it doesn't sound that hard. And is free.
     
  19. kepardue macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #19
    Whew, I'll have to go look up some terminology to make sure I know what you guys are talking about. My main concern is if in editing in iMovie that I'm somehow degrading the quality from the original more so than if I edited in true 24p mode in FCE.

    Of course I'll keep the original footage as a backup on MiniDV, but I'm probably going to be investing significant time in editing this. I just don't want the quality to be reduced.
     
  20. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #20
    I have read at the HV20 forum that iMovie and FCE cannot do 24p, so you may need to keep it at 60i or however it is imported into iMovie.

    The simplest thing to do is just make a sample movie with some dialogue or other sound that you can tell if the movie is in sync.

    Then import and do some editing, and see if the movie stays in sync across the edits.
     
  21. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #21
    The front of the camera can shoot in 24p, but when it gets to the back of the camera it's recorded as 60i onto tape. The footage is meant to be edited at 60i so don't worry about the image quality.


    Lethal
     

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