"This is the One!!!"5.0 starson by bubbaseal12
Pros: Amazing HD quality, 24p, great preprogramed scene settings, small, light, sturdy, great ergonomics
Cons: The manual focus is a bit small and in a bad spot and the viewfinder could use some work but who really cares when you have such a nice lcd screen!
Summary: You really have to hand it to Canon. They took the HV20, the 2007 camcorder of the year, and only one year later made it even better in the form of the HV30.
When looking for a new camcorder I did two things first. I turned away from all the other non mini-dv devices such as the hard drive models or the flash drive ones and decided to stay with the hd mini-dv tapes. The second thing I did was turn to the most reputable camera company on the market, Canon!
The reason I don't like the hard drive models or flash drive models is due to archiving. With the tapes, when you are finished filming and editing you can label it and store it forever. With a hard drive you have to spend some serious money to store all your footage, and even if money is not the question, look at the reliability of hard drives. Do you really want your priceless footage to be lost because of a computer or hard drive crash?
So here is the part you really want. What is this camera like... If I could describe it in one word it would be Awesome! My main camera is the Canon XL H1S, hands down the best prosumer camera available. This HV30 is one of the nicest, easy to use, high quality cameras that I have ever seen... and remember that you can find this for well under $1,000.00.
When I first took it out of the box I was very impressed by the way it looks. A combination of matte and glossy black looks very professional which is always a plus when you are filming. It is rather light, although it does not feel at all cheap. It is very well built. The LCD screen is crystal clear and its quality really makes up for the fact that the viewfinder is horrible to use! Equiped with a hide-away accessory shoe on top, it is ready for your professional lights or mics, out of the box. It also has a very nice automic lense cover which is perfect for those of us who lose lense covers.
When you power this beauty up you will appreciate it easy to navigate menu as much as its easy to use toggle joystick which is under your right thumb while holding it. I have only filmed a few hours of video with this so far, however it has provided me with some of the clearest, most professional film I have seen, especially for something in this size and price range.
The instant auto focus works laser fast, infact when you move the camera around you rarely see the camera trying to focus, it just already is. It has amazing low light capability and even has an LED lamp in the front for basic illumination.
This camera has a lot of pre programed settings, for example one for fireworks, beach, snow, etc.. but you also have a lot of options to control everything manually and even in auto mode you get amazing picture! The 24p is amazing, especially compared to similar cameras I have tried. Teamed up with Cine mode you will acheive very "movie" like films.
It can hold a 2g mini sd card for still pictures, which it takes with amazing clarity. The coolest feature has to be that you can take a still picture while filming a video, which is pretty unique.
All in all, this camera really lives up to the Canon name. I have used many cameras and I would have to say that this one is the most fun I have used and for a very reasonable price. I truly believe that this camera does the job of cameras 3 times its price and size.
I would say this camera is perfect for anyone from making home movies all the way to professional documentaries.