Summary: While colors weren’t as saturated as those produced by other cameras, they were more realistic, and the camera’s silky yet sharp-looking video had fewer of the compression artifacts we saw with AVCHD. In bright light, its images were the most crisp and vivid of the bunch. In low light, there were a few artifacts, and other cameras were superior in this area. If only it had the convenience of flash-drive storage and better ergonomics, this would be the camcorder to beat.
Pros: buttah-smooth video, crisp and vivid in bright light.
Cons: Cheap-feeling plastic, stuck with miniDV tapes.
Excerpt: When it comes to HD cameras, call us hopeless romantics. We’d love to find a shooter capable of taking beautiful footage but without the bulk of a professional cam. Canon’s new HV20 got close, but eventually it just broke our hearts. Here’s why: We took the cam to Bay to Breakers (a 7.46-mile foot race across San Francisco that often features more binge drinking and nudity than actual running). Our movie from the event?
Pros: Super clear, super clean, super colorful 1080i video quality. Tapes eject quickly and cleanly. 10x zoom and rapid auto focus. Compact size and light weight (1.3 pounds!) make transporting the cam second nature. Top mounted mic cancels out ambient noise like a pro.
Cons: Holy design flaw! The electronic lens cover sputtered and failed to open right out of the box; we had to prop it open with our fingers. Poor menu configuration – especially with playback functions. Image stabilization has its limits: 10x zoom requires a tripod if you don’t want it to look like you are experiencing an earthquake.
Excerpt: The Canon HV20 is the company’s second HDV model, following on the heels of the HV10 . Note: the HR10 , the company’s first AVCHD camcorder using mini DVDs, will be introduced in August for $1,199 USD.
Pros: Excellent HDV video, OIS, nice form factor
Cons: Bulky tape-based format; editing software is not included
Summary: An attractive high-definition camcorder for family video shooters who also want to produce snapshot photos.Canon is targeting video shooters who own High Definition TV sets with its new HV20 camcorder, which will also appeal to many digital photographers. This compact camcorder shares many of the features of the DC51 model we reviewed in Issue 32 and even has the same sized sensor.