Summary: I was an "early adopter" of this camcorder and thus paid full price. I have been using it for 9 months and am so happy with it that I'm considering buying a second one, mainly for use as a tape feeder deck, now that the prices have come down. It takes absolutely stunning High Definition pictures and very good stills. The DV mode is disappointing; the picture quality in DV is quite poor compared with my old Sony DCR TRV900.
Summary: I purchased this via Amazon with the Amazon Credit for 1 year interest free financing. So far, I've basically familiarized myself with the HV30's features and the video quality is AMAZING. It didn't take very long for me to figure out what most of the settings do but I am somewhat of a "techy". I can't imagine someone who is completely new to consumer electronics to get it as quickly but the instruction manual is very helpful.
Summary: first i just wanted to acknowledge how great Amazon is (happy customer for past 8yrs). Ordered this camcorder with FREE super saver shipping on Friday and got it delivered on Monday! Now about hv30, i have been shooting digital with different camcorders for past 7 years and yes, this is the best quality consumer HD camcorder you can get for $$$.
Summary: I like this camcorder! It's not bulky but fits on all hand sizes. The function button is a little bit hard to get while using the camera and the videocassette cover is as on all the reviews a little bit loose. It doesn't have the night shot function also as on other brands but it has a LED light that helps shoot at night to small distances. Despide this little flaws I like the HD camcorder.
Summary: I question the value of most reviewers who write something after a short experience with a product. I fall into that category myself but here goes. I've "played" with this camcorder for a month and did one serious shoot - a talking head interview miked with a lavalier mike. I used professional studio tungsten lighting. It looked very, very good for a camcorder at this price. Sounded great which had more to do with an external mike than the camcorder.
Summary: The camera arrived 3 days before my schedule trip to Haiti, so I had a chance to read the manual and lear about the different functions. The learning curve was painless because the camera is very user friendly and the performance (video and still photo) quality were beyond my expectation. i used the camera during my trip to record a music video @ Grosse Roche Beach (St- Marc, Haiti).
Summary: The camera has been great so far, quite a big difference from a standard definition camcorder. However, the tape deck is quite loud when recording. Loud enough that I seriously considered sending it back, but I can't seem to find a camcorder that gets as good of reviews, and I think it is a similar issue with a lot of mini dv cams. However, my 3CCD Panasonic (PV-GS120) cam is not as loud.
Summary: I've spent the weekend shooting and editing with my Canon HV30, and overall, I'm very pleased with it. The image quality and color reproduction (when you switch "vivid" on in the settings) is superb. It's small, lightweight and the controls make sense. In a couple of hours I was able to put the manual away and know what I was doing. Low light performance is pretty good, with just a bit of noise all the way at iso 1600 (outside at night).
Summary: After buying a Sony HD camcorder which uses AVHCD, which hd material cannot be recorded on to convention dvd, I decided to go back to Canon and DV tape. Yes, as good as Sony regarding the HD picture but slower to start up from cold (the Sony had a 80 gb hard disc). Going back to dv tape means I can also play my old dv tapes from my previous Canon. Very good still pics even if only 3mp.
Summary: I agree with what most other reviewers have said. This camcorder produces video of fantastic quality, especially when played through an HDTV. The lens is very impressive, producing good results whether at 10x zoom or in extreme close up. Unlike some other people, I've had very good results in low light too. The only criticism I have of the camera itself is that it has to be held at a rather awkward angle which produces a cramped wrist after prolonged use.