Canon iVIS HV20 Camcorder Camcorders

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iVIS HV20 Camcorder

The name Canon has always meant photographic and broadcast television cameras with optical excellence, advanced image processing, superb performance, and the latest in technological advancements. Canon's new High Definition video camcorders are no exception.

User Reviews (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3  
brian   Expert [Jan 21, 2008]

canon HD camcorder isn't read by windows movie maker or Mac

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Ash Nallawalla   [Jun 20, 2007]
Strength:

Like most palm-sized cameras, it is light-weight and, thankfully, assisted with a super-range optical image stabiliser (OIS). The "super range" bit means it also compensates for the small tremors caused by breathing and swaying hands.

I look for the "Certified for Windows Vista" logo on anything that could be connected to my computers because some of my existing peripherals are not compatible with Vista.

Vista users can transfer, edit and publish high-definition video without the need for special software - Windows Movie Maker (WMM) works fine for the home user. My unit shipped with a pre-Vista version of Canon’s ZoomBrowser EX software, so I had to get the updater (version 5.8b at the time of writing). For my level of use, WMM will suffice.

You can shoot in high definition Cinema Mode with 24 fps progressive (24p) or just HDV 16:9 widescreen mode. You can also shoot in standard definition, 16:9 or 4:3 modes. If you are stuck with your last tape, you can use Long Play and get an extra 50% recording capacity.

You can take still photos at 3.1 MP, which is fine for small prints, or at 2 MP while shooting video. We are spoiled by the 7-plus megapixel cameras, so using the HV20 should be regarded as an emergency situation. A built-in flash helps in poor light. The accessory shoe suits external microphones or lighting to be mounted there and powered through the battery (or charger).

I like to use the viewfinder more than the LCD panel (which is incredibly sharp), so the dioptic adjustment was appreciated. The LCD also does the job of displaying various settings. I also like the fact that it uses DV tape and not a hard drive, which would need to be emptied once it filled up. That would entail carrying a laptop computer, or one of those storage devices made for that purpose when away from home.

Windows Movie Maker in Vista

I have Windows Vista Ultimate running on my desktop, which now has a FireWire (IEEE 1391) card to facilitate a video transfer. The OS no trouble detecting the card and the latter happily saw the Canon HV20 when it was plugged in with the FireWire cable.

Windows Movie Maker makes it easy to edit video from the Canon HV20. The supplied Canon Zoombrowser EX enables further modification to the video and many other features that apply to Canon's still cameras.

Weakness:

My main gripe is the absence of a FireWire cable and a Mini SD card. For some reason (possibly the firewall, but I didn’t see a message to that effect), the computer wouldn’t see the camera because the only Mini SD card I happened to have was from a phone and it was formatted differently. This came up as an error and I had visions of shipping the camera back to Canon. I bought a new card and everything was sweet after that. Had Canon managed to engineer the HV20 for a normal sized SD card, I’d be operational sooner.

Similarly, a FireWire card was in my son’s Windows XP PC, so moving it to my Vista desktop was a pain. I have more RCA A/V cables than devices so I didn’t need another one, but an extra FireWire cable would have been handy.

I have also been unable to get my own Windows XP PC to see the camera at all. I have to load the Windows Vista drive to transfer and edit my movies. As the camera is labelled as "Designed for Windows XP", I expect this to be a solvable issue.

My earlier cameras came with a separate charger, so you could charge a spare battery during some family occasion, such as a wedding. It was a pain to pack the charger, so it’s a mixed blessing that the HV20 acts as a charger and you connect it to the power pack. You just cannot charge a second battery without buying a separate charger.

The Canon HV20 high definition camcorder is compatible with Windows Vista, is lightweight and takes great-looking video at its default settings. I used it recently on a round-the-world trip in very hot (113F) conditions and both US/European voltages and it performed beautifully.

What You Get

* Battery (7.4 V, 1200 mAh/LiIon)
* Charger
* Cables (A/V, Component, USB)
* Wireless remote controller
* CD (Windows and Mac) with software and manual

What You Don’t Get

* Neck strap
* IEEE 1391 cable (FireWire)
* Mini SD card
* Separate charger
* Blank miniDV tape

Specifications

* 10x optical zoom, 400x digital zoom
* 2.96 Megapixel CMOS image sensor (1920×1080)
* DIGIC DVII image processor
* 24p (NTSC); 25p (PAL) Cinema Mode, * HD and Standard Definition recording modes
* miniDV tape storage medium
* 10801 HDV

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
manacsa   Intermediate [Jun 09, 2007]
Strength:

HDV, mic in, head phone jack, zebra stripes, top load tape, battery life, Av, Tv, 24p, accessory shoe, many WB options, mic levels, manual focus, HDMI, and more

Weakness:

no fully manual option, too many buttons to press to turn off stabilization when camera is on tripod, silver (looks like consumer camera), AC adapter wire appears very thin (may break someday), built in mic faces up......but nothing really major to complain about....it is a consumer camera.

This camera is the best consumer level camera with almost all the features needed for creativity. Don't buy this if you want simple family home videos. You can buy a $500 camera for that. If you want to edit your projects, use this camera to create good video to start off with.

There are pros out there using this as a second (b-roll) camera.

Customer Service

n/a

Similar Products Used: Sony DCR-HC32, Canon XH-A1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-3 of 3  

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