This is a bit technical but does sort out the differences between DV and HD and how it applies to your videomaking. Excerpted from the VASST HDV training series for camcorders, you can purchase the full-length product Here This is quite a comprehensive series and normally you'd be paying for this information so it's great to have it on a YouTube clip.
Why the CanonHV20? This is one of the newest consumer High Definition Video camcorders on the market - it was released a couple of months ago. I've bought one. Here's why -
- I has a Superb lens.
- It's easy to use.
- It is an HDV 16:9 aspect camera using 1920 × 1080i image size. 1,080 horizontal lines - twice the number of standard-definition TV with four times the pixels. Giving a stunning widescreen high definition image.
- It records on regular minidv tapes - which are still better than DVD or cards.
- It plays back on a High Definition television and looks amazing.
- It has Cine Mode to give your vids a "film look" (it softens the contrasts). You can further enhance it with the 25 Frames Per Second (fps) progressive frame rate. The only HDV consumer-level camera to do this.
- Bells and whistles - it has everything you need - optical stabilizer, sound levels, microphone & headphone jacks, built-in light etc
- The Price, man - how can you go past around $1000 for all this?
Don't just take my word for it. David Pogue of The New York Times had this to say about the CanonHV20 -
Best Camcorder: Canon HV20. This camcorder ($1,040) can record either standard video or high-definition video onto standard MiniDV tapes.
The image quality is absolutely, forehead-slappingly spectacular when you play it on a high-def TV set. (Note that the hard drive-based high-def camcorders I reviewed in today’s paper can’t play at all on standard TVs; the Canon can.)
The HV20 has all the goodies of its predecessor, the HV10, like a dedicated autofocus sensor, built-in lens cap and an excellent optical stabilizer. (My review of the HV10 is available free at nytimes.com.) But the HV20 fixes the biggest disappointments of its predecessor: it adds microphone and headphone jacks, a top-loading tape compartment (so you don’t have to take it off the tripod), an HDMI jack (a single cable that carries both audio and video to your HDTV set), and a “24P” mode that offers incredible low-light sensitivity.
Canon have a very nice Interactive Site which explains things clearly and simply.
Excuse me while I get up to speed. I've just bought a CanonHV20 - the new High Definition Video Camera that allows you to shoot in a 16:9 Widescreen aspect with a Cinema Mode at 25p - 25 frames per second like shooting on film. The best part is you get all this for around about a thousand bucks. So far I've only shot test footage. See the front page. But it looks stunning. Uploading and compressing is a pain in the neck though. I'm on iMovie but I have Final Cut Express and I'm about to use that. On a iMac G5 with added RAM. Why is High Definition Video better?
Here's some test footage using the Cine Mode HDV on automatic. Yeah it's wobbly and rough and ready. When I have more time I'll give you a work of art. Oh yeah...it loses a lot with the Flash conversion on YouTube. Looks pretty good as first generation - from the camera into iMovie. I have Final Cut Pro but I'm not up to speed on it. I find iMovie a piece of cake. It's very quick and easy to use. Doesn't have all the bells and whistles of FinalCutPro but at least you don't need a PHD to use it.
Look at the difference in Compression Codecs. The clip on the left is Sorensen Squeeze. And while it compressed the 2:17 movie down to less than a Meg from 5 Gigabytes its lost a lot of detail and brightness. The one on the right is H264 and although its a much bigger file - 48.5 Mg it's also a lot better. Especially when it's going to be degraded by the YouTube Flash fiasco. If you play the YouTube video and stop it just as the motor-scooter is about to go under the tree - at 2:02 - you'll see what I mean. Bloody awful.
Want to win a High Definition Video Camera? Check this out -