Can someone help out? I'm trying to get a great camera but can't dish out 8000$ for a camera. I've been looking around and the Canon HV20 is impressive. From what I've read the cons are that you can't adjust white balance while shooting, there's no focus ring. Any other cons? Can anyone explain what the difference is between 3CCD in a XL A1 and 1 CMOS in HV20? Thanks for the help.
As a recent purchaser of this camera I can answer a few of your questions but am still learning things about it myself. I find that it takes very good pictures with good color. I haven't put any of the footage through the ringer yet in regards to color correction, but the native response is excellent. I find it has enough features for my uses as both hobbiest and event videographer (it's used as part of a multi-cam setup), including audio meter, focus assist and mic input. As far as cons, the manual focus isn't too bad- there's a servo scroll wheel on the left side that acts as a ring-like aduster, and it gives the control of a manual ring but without any resistance (OK for setting up a shot but not good for run/gun). I don't find white balance to be an issue as I don't fly from location to location with it, and if I ever do I'll invoke the presets and tweak the colors in post - again, not my main camera. As for the chip, the CMOS design gives the camera better batery life and is very close to equivalent-sized CCD cameras, but has more trouble in dark environments, and comes off a little grainy if less than full indoor light or a cloudy day.
The one issue I'm still trying to work out is how to utilize the 24p footage. I assume that the HDV files recorded are in the native 1080i format, and that the footage has pulldown applied to it; I'll see if my assumption is correct when I get a chance to import some stuff into Final Cut. Other than that question, I'm extremely happy with the camera in the two weeks I've had it - I'll probably use a second along with something like the H1 in that muti-cam setup I spoke of if I go to HD prod. in the near future. However, if you're looking for low-light performance and don't care about 24p, I would probably consider one of the Sonys for that extra lux or two.
Hope this helps, and if anyone can fill me in on the 24p workflow, let me know...