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Join Date: Nov 2000
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For those of you looking for a really small HD camcorder, I urge you to look at the Canon HV10 if you were thinking only Sony.
The HV10 is the REAL DEAL! My buddy and I put it through its paces with the HC1. I was first shocked at the quality of m2t HV10 clips I downloaded from a site in Japan. These clips were shot using a Canon HV10. I put them in my Edius Pro editing program and then output them back to tape. From there I played it on my Sony HDV camcorder output to my 50" Fujitsu plasma. The end result was as if the guy in Japan had loaned me his HV10 tape. The colors were just gorgeous (better than the HC1 IMO), the picture was cleaner and sharper and we both agreed, it could even give the FX1 a run for its money.
The H10 produces a cleaner more polished picture than the HC1/HC3. My buddy felt it look exactly like a professional cam's picture: Smooth, detailed, polished with no discernable noise in any kind of decent lighting and just utterly transparent. I really believe the full-rez, 1920X1080 chip, are part of the solution! Additionally the chip is larger than either of the Sony cams. In fact, this is the first application of a full-rez chip in a consumer camcorder.
When we put the HC1 clips on back to back, you could definitely see a more 3D effect. It was just like looking through a window! I know I've felt that with both the HC1 and HC3 at times, but when you see the difference, it's like the next level up in picture quality. The picture is just so amazingly clean and quiet! It very much reminds me of the difference between the better Canon digital cameras and the Sonys. The Canons I've found produce a more polished picture with better exposure, less noise and better colors. It's the same difference between the Canon H10 and the HC1/HC3. It's almost impossible to believe this tiny thing is putting out this kind of video!
Low light has very little grain in the tests I've done thus far (it's raining in N.Y. today, so I got to shoot a bit in somewhat dark rooms). I can definitely see the HC1 has more low-light noise than the H10. Keep in mind I haven't begun to explore the manual controls yet. I haven't really done much in the way of A/Bs on the audio front, but initial audio sounds decent, but probably more typical of the Sony cams. Didn't hear much of a differernce between the HC1 and the HV10.
To me the only downside is the ergonomics. I'm not a big fan of upright designs by any company, but with a picture like this I'll learn to love it.
So this is a keeper. I can't tell you how impressed I am with this cam. I honestly think it gives the FX1 a run for its money (my buddy who had that cam too, agrees). He was amazed at the consistency from shot to shot, lighting change to lighting change. The autofocu BLOWS AWAY the Sony cams. It just doesn't miss, even in low-light! Canon has a winner on their hands....its been a long time since I've owned a Canon video camera (the last one was a Hi8 model).