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Canon HV30 to... ? SLR or another video cam?

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Leo Ratner
Canon HV30 to... ? SLR or another video cam?
on Dec 29, 2010 at 11:01:07 pm

Let me start by saying you guys are extremely helpful. I've never written a post and usually read a lot about fcp but now it's the time when I'm really confused...

I've been using the HV30 for the past few years and I absolutely loved working with it. I shot many great films, projects and shows with that little camcorder, which turned out to be a great investment ($700 at the time).

I'm now looking to purchase a more professional camera around $1500-$2000 that will give me:

1) Great HD quality footage - Are you still using tape? I noticed tape gives a much crisper image, while shooting with card "stained" the image, even in advanced cameras.

2) Easy to operate
- I want to be able to control the camera easily, rack focus etc.

3) Lenses - I would like to try using different lenses with my new camera.

4) Sound Control - I want to be able to adjust the sound, and connect my NTG-2 Rode mic to the camera.

The biggest questions are: Should I get an SLR? Should I invest in something that is not SLR? Should I just buy a 35mm adapter for my HV30?


I shot a short film for Columbia University with the 7D and found the following problems:

1) Shooting time- the sensor gets hot after 12 minutes and shot down. If I shoot a show or an interview I can't let it happen...

2) No audio control - We had a soundman on set, but when he was away, I couldn't even monitor sound with the shotgun mic i connected to the camera.

3) Small nonadjustable monitor- we used an external monitor that was annoying to work with, especially in small spaces like restrooms where either or the director could see the image. This also connects to handheld - if I want to run around with the camera and improvise I can't get full control and move freely.

All in all - the SLR quality was simply fantastic, so it got me really confused...

If not SLR- what do you guys think about tape vs. cards?
I was disappointed over and over looking at $3,000 cams that compress the files and damage the quality.
What Canon model around the price range would be best?

Is there a Canon Camera that gives that great film quality around $2000? Whats the big fuss around the SLR vs. Other camcorders?
Should I maybe invest in a 35mm adapter for my HV30 or should I just put it under the bed and get a new one?

I read much about all this and spent an hour at B&H trying to figure out but I can't make a decision.

Thanks for reading my post and looking forward to hear from you,

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Bob Dix
Re: Canon HV30 to... ? SLR or another video cam?
on Dec 30, 2010 at 10:10:04 pm

Hi Leo,
For the money you cannot go past the HV30, I have run a HV20 for the past 5 years as a videocamcorder and VTR in conjunction with a Canon 5D Mark II with a RODE Stereo X/Y Condensor VideoMic which is the best of 1440 x 1080P and 1920 x 1080 P Pal but, check this out at a price

The HV30 runs at 25 Mbps Professional and the Canon 5D mark II at 38 Mbps, the newer non tape professionals run at 50Mbps, but, frankly is is hard to tell the difference. If I was not archiving to tape I would get a XF105 and go to Blu-ray which I do at times using the H.264mov from the Canon 5D Mark II?

My experience may not help your decision, but, the future looks bright.

The advantages of zoom motorised lens on Videocamcorders is a plus, but, the 35mm Lens range and huge sensor of the Canon 5D Mark II is hard to argue with for superb stills and 35mm movie making.

You may have to cut and paste the links ?

The XF 105 is worth looking at ?

I would not add anything to the HV30, it is as good as it gets and so easy to edit in Premiere Pro.

Freelance Imaging & Video

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