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Canon Fodder - the new HV20 HDV

canonhv20-thumb.pngWhy 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.

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