I am planning a documentary project where we are considering giving HV20 cameras to subjects to tape their own experiences. We would want to intercut this with XL-H1 footage. I am wondering if anyone has had experience with the HV20? What is the quality of that footage and how does it intercut with XL-H1 footage? These would be pretty inexpensive and not too complicated to operate. Thanks, JIm
We normally shoot with XLH1 as our primary camera... but we do happen to also own an HV20.
We bought the HV20 mainly as a crashcam, for B-cam use, and for tight spaces where the XLH1 wouldn't fit (the H1 isn't that small, plus we put a big Anton-Bauer brick on the back and a lens converter and some fairly big lenses on the front... and the result is a bigger-than-Betacam camera so sometimes we need something small).
In actuality I also got the HV20 simply because it seemed neat... and I wanted a new little toy to play with. But I have actually been fairly amazed with it. For its almost throw-away pricetag it actually puts out a really amazing picture. I would say that its biggest flaw is that lack of a total manual mode... but fortunately it is possible to "trick" it into working as more or less a manual camera.
Its full "idiot" auto mode, however, does work surprisingly well... and that might be very helpful if you plan to put it in the hands ot novice shooters to record their own footage.
It is what it is... it's not a professional camera, it is of course a handycam for recording birthday party home movies... but it happens to be a handycam that can record some unbelievably good stuff. Considering how cheap it is and how easy to use, I think it would be a good choice for the application you describe.
And, back to your original question, it does intercut with XLH1 footage very very nicely.
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Thanks Todd. This is very helpful. I do not think we would want to use a manual mode in this setting as I suspect the camera will be a better cinematographer than our subjects (but I probably should not sell them short). We know that what they shoot will look more "home video" and that is OK. The biggest concern I have was the quality of what is shot, given the difference in the glass on the two cameras. Thanks for sharing your experience. I am going to pick one up and try it out first hand. Jim