I can't seem to find any information on the best settings, best frame rates and best resolution for shooting on Canon Vixia HV40.
I'd like to keep it simple, the projects I shoot are not for TV or distribution, but obviously I'd like to achieve the best quality image I can. I shoot hand held, often in low light.
Not too many choices. In the menu HDV is 60 i which is 60 fields per second interlaced. This is the default. It will play fine on a TV. Cams with small lenses will not be great in low light. So learn to use the EXP control in P mode. You can also try HDV PF30 which is progressive but in an interlaced wrapper. That has its pros and cons over interlaced. Do a search for progressive vs interlaced. However keep in mind its not 60 fps progressive. Or better try the same scene in both and complete what ever post you normally would with your footage and compare the two. HDV PF24 is a lower frame rate 24 frames per second. It is the "film" look because traditional film cams used 24 frames per second. Handheld with a small cam 24 would most likely not be a good idea since at 24 you introduce motion blur and if you add the shake of hand held it most likely will be messy, Again the best thing to do is try it. There is no best. But if you don't feel like experimenting just leave it on the default. Great image for a small cam at this price point. You want to up your game then use good lighting and get yourself a tripod.
You can also go HDMI out directly to a video recorder which will capture in the codec of the recorder. A cool feature for a small cam. But so far the recorders are way more than your cam cost. Not only will it record in a higher less compressed codec but this will be file based and in an editing codec. HDV is not the best for editing.
MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.
Craig, Thank you so much for your quick reply. You really clarified a few points for me.
Unfortunately, I cannot use a tripod or lights for what I film. I have to be a fly on the wall, completely unobtrusive. Often time the lighting is dim, but I am able to get fairly good images, even though they are grainier. I do use the EXP control, as well as the low light setting. I'll try the HDV PF30 and see how it compares to simply HDV.