Damn, missed the 1st Ahem

Discussion in 'Hardware Lounge' started by AndrewM, May 11, 2007.

  1. AndrewM

    AndrewM New Member

    I present the grossly blown budget toy, the Canon HV20;


    We had decided that we didn't want a videographer for our wedding, we're spending enough money as it is, and all the married folks we talked to that had spent the money video taping their day have never actually bothered to watch it. Then we came up with the bright idea of why not buy that camcorder we've always talked about getting, use this as an excuse to buy it, we can have it rotate around the room and give a more personal feel to the video shot (and if it all sucks, no big deal). Sounds like a perfect idea to me. Off to make myself smarter on camcorders and quickly found out the $300 budget we set for ourselves wasn't going to work. There is some decent options in that price range, but they didn't do everything we wanted. By the time I'm looking at camcorders with all the options we wanted, the step up to a high def camera wasn't all that big from a cost standpoint.

    Of course now I need to upgrade my computer, buy a few more goodies for the camera bag, oh need a new camera bag....sigh

  2. Alfer

    Alfer New Member

    Nice choice...

    Of course someone had to say it so I'll go ahead....phew! Them is pricey little devils!!

  3. Michael

    Michael Junior Geek

    Very cool!

    I am itching for an HD camcorder, and the Canon's are on the top of my list.
  4. AndrewM

    AndrewM New Member

    It is and it isn't. You can pick them up for $800-900 if you shop around a little bit. But that's still a chunk of change for sure.

    But what I found is that for under $300 the camcorders lack a lot of options that I think are nice to have, even something as simple as a mic jack are missing the other big 'missing' item is a hot shoe for accesories. Also the low light performance is usually reported to be quite poor, and that 'low-light' can even mean indoors with normal lighting.

    So jump up to the $500-600 range to get the features and performance I wanted. After that my gadget-geekiness takes over, and paying the premium for 1080 goodness is a reasonable jump. Plus the HV20 is reported to have the best low-light performance in the consumer camcorder range, supposedly down to 3 lux (1 lux is a candle burning in an otherwise dark room). Plus I can burn HD video for HD-DVD or BD players even on a regular DVD5 or 9 (granted I won't get much time on that).

    It's probably a bad time to buy right now as a lot of 'new' stuff is here but isn't mature or is coming shortly. HDD machines are out there, but have a stiff price premium on them, but with a 60GB HDD you can record 4-5 hours of video on them, Panasonic has a cool little model out there that uses SD memory, 4GB card can hold something like 40 minutes of video. I would have loved to go this way as offloading the video will be lightning fast compared to the real-time DV transfer. Canon and Sony both have DVD models out that record HD right to 3" DVD's, 20 minutes per disc though (for a single layer disc), but they are using AVC instead of MPEG2, but that's still 'new' and the quality suffers compared to HDV, but that will change over time.
  5. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    I'm waiting for the memory card ones to come down. It's a matter of time before discs, tapes and HDD camcorders are completely obsolete.
  6. Very nice Andrew! Oh, and congrats on getting married too.

    I think you are gonna love the Canon.
  7. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Smart man.
  8. AndrewM

    AndrewM New Member

    I took a long look at the Panasonic unit out there which is solid state memory, records 40 minutes of highest quality onto 4GB of SD memory. The biggest thing that kept me away was the infancy of the AVC codec with camcorders, quality just isn't quite the same as HDV (basically MPEG2).

    The other reason, and the reason why I think solid state memory isn't going to take over for quite some time is simply cost. A $30-40 4GB only records 40 minutes of video. HDD camcorders have 20-60GB drives in them, so you get a lot of time, a miniDV tape records an hour but only costs a few dollars.

    Those prices will come down of course, and for most use a couple 4GB cards will be enough. But the first big thing I want to record will be 5 hours, so I'd have to pick up $400+ worth of memory cards instead of $30 worth of tape.
  9. I have an older Canon widescreen video camera that uses DV tape and it is so easy for me to just copy to HD, edit, soundtrack and burn DVDs, that I have no plans to upgrade to something I'll have to learn all over again. For the time being, it does what I need... however, that doesn't mean that I don't drool over the HV20.... someday.

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