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on 6 March 2013
"Bear in mind this camera (HV30) has not been produced since 2009" was what Canon UK service said when I complained about their poor performance. And now I know why!
The camera was fine for both sound and image quality, up to the point after only 24 months when the control board gave up the ghost. I had to buy a quick replacement: well, surprise surprise, it only lasted 24 months before the sound and the main board gave out. Cannot recommend £600-worth of camera that only filmed 2 weddings and 2 holidays before failing totally. Actually not strictly true: I can use one if I do not open the screen element, and so I can use it locked-off at an event using only the tiny viewfinder.
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on 9 December 2014
I am an amateur filmmaker learning about production who decided to buy this on a recommendation. It's great! Don't fall for the trap of buying DSLRs not designed for video. Buy a camcorder like this if you really want to learn about filmmaking and then rent out a Red Epic when you're ready to get more serious.
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on 3 December 2014
In perfect order.
Thank you
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on 18 December 2008
As a confirmed Canon fan, I still did all the research and decided on the HV30. Reluctantly, I have to say, I am very disappointed.The picture quality is very good, and the features and connectivity are excellent, however the sound quality is completely spoilt by the recorded tape and other electronic noise. It was so bad on the first one I received, I requested a replacement, which Amazon did very promptly, but the second has the same problem but is marginally better.The build quality is comparable to other makes, but not a patch on my Canon MVX 3i.

Pros: Video and stills quality very good, connectivity excellent,DV editing easy peasy, and compact size.
Cons: Bad sound quality due to tape noise, poor build quality, awkward to use due to placement of controls.
Recommend go for the HF100 if you don't mind the editing nightmare.

I can't believe Canon produced this product.
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on 16 October 2008
Excellent camera, the quality of the footage is really good!
I filmed a wedding a few weeks ago in Standard Definition and the quality is outstanding - considerably better than my 18 month old hard drive JVC camcorder and doesn't have the sound and picture sync problem!
I have filmed a few things in HD and have outputted the footage to my Mac in iMovie 6/iMovie HD. The picture quality is excellent in both Standard Definition and High Definition, especially HD, it's like real life!
3 minutes of HD footage was about 3GB in hard drive space so it does suck up space so don't upload too much too quick unless you have a sizeable hard drive.
As for the camera, it's really good but there is some noticeable tape noise. If you're at the bowling alley or a party or evening reception at a wedding you will not notice it but anywhere quiet like the wedding ceremony itself you will hear it. I purchased the Rode Video mic at the same time as buying this camcorder and it's amazing what a difference it has made. I have a previous Canon camcorder MV6iMC I think they call it (it has since broken), which I bought in 2004 and it had tape noise, maybe it's a Canon DV problem but the quality of the footage is amazing on this camcorder, definately worth the money.
My sister is right and I hate it when she is but she always tells me you get what you pay for!
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on 30 May 2008
This camera really is great. I felt like ...Why spend a fortune on a high speed computer and memory to have the headache of AVCHD format when this tape version produces such good quality and is easy to archive. Its good to see Canon have not just followed other brands like sheep and really hope they continue with this range for a few more years.

There are a few small known issues the tape door and a slight motor noise but I can live with this.
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on 16 August 2008
Having spent many months looking around for a new camcorder I required great picture quality, full HD, more semi pro but without the cost. In the end I went for the Canon HV30. HD image quality is great even in low light conditions. You can shoot video, still (onto mini SD card) or both at same time. Shooting stills is adequate but you are not really buying a camcorder to shoot stills. There are a host of connections and software tweaks for more pro use. These features are let down by a manual that is hard to use and understand so you can get frustrated. I use my HV30 with edius and it works well although you will need to buy a firewire cable (£5). I'm not sure why the reviewer below complains about this? Remember, shooting in HD requires more information and a good PC is needed. I'd recommend a system running a 3GHz Dual Core with 2 GB memory. Anything below and you will run into problems editing. DV tape still gives you the best quality but is not so easy for some. I've heard the UK version of the HV30 has picture problems when shooting in SD although why buy a HD camcorder to shoot in SD? I've edited a lot of my SD tapes via the HV30 with no problem. Overall, maybe the best camcorder for image quality in this price range, a host of features, HDV tape not as easy to edit, poor manual. Amazon are doing this camcorder at an excellent price.
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on 21 May 2009
I have had this camera for a good few months now so I am in a position to write a review on it, first of all the picture, it is a beautiful fine and richly detailed realistic picture when viewed on a plasma/LCD HD TV,even in low light set to cinemode the picture quality is more than acceptable. Sound from the built in mic is OK, but you should really be using an external mic. As for stills this is a video camera if you want stills buy a Digital SLR. If you are editing the footage I find that Pinnacle Studio 12 does a very good job of handling HDV footage, but the best way to capture it is to use HDV split free software on the net, it has scene splitting capabilities so it is just a case of connecting your camera, start the software press record and all of the footage will be captured. I would recommend a decent PC for video editing I have a dual core 3.0 GHz with 4 GB ram and this is more than capable of handling HDV, I have been video editing for quite some time now and I always use Gigabyte motherboards with Intel chipsets, I read an article years ago on the subject and the Intel chipset was always recommended. The main purpose of a video camera is to record good sound and vision, that is exactly what this machine does. HDV on tape is by no means dead, AVCHD is very difficult to edit and you need a very high spec machine to handle it, this camera handles well, the LCD screen works well outside, there are a host of manual controls including zebra patterning, all in all a very good machine, it does however have a niggle or two but really these are minor compared to all the positives this camera has to offer. 10/10
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on 30 December 2009
I've used one of these for near on two years. We're shooting a movie on it and the widescreen and cine settings are outstanding. I shot my last film on a Bolex H16-RX5 at great expense and had to find an alternative to film. HDV was suggested to me and I purchased the Cannon HV-30. The image quality is the same as very high end 16mm film stock. I use Prem pro cs3 to alter the gamma to film light and tweek here and there. It has been possible to get results closer to 35mm motion picture film with this camera.The image is more than acceptable for digital transfer to film stock if your planning some sort of theatrical event for your low budget film.
HDV has solved all my film cost issues, and by using HDV tapes from Canon I can retake shots without cranking up the bill. The canon HV-30 Is the camera for a serious semi or pro film maker I can't recommend it enough. There is footage on youtube called THE BLOOD TRAILER this will show you what can be created with this camera and it's exposure settings and such. Although the MPEG 2 Lets down picture a little, but not much. Buy this camera if you want big results for a one off large fee for purchase.Best camera I've ever had in all my years as a film maker.
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on 30 January 2009
The image quality that can be achieved using this camcorder is absolutely amazing. Whether you are after a camcorder for family events and home use, or a budding amatuer filmmaker on a budget, this is definitely worth considering.

It has an array of options and settings, which includes a CINE (cinema) mode and the ability to shoot in 25fps (frames per second) these two settings combined help to imitate a "film look" to good effect.

The built-in microphone isn't great, but serves it's purpose if you have no other options. Ideally, it is worth purchasing a seperate microphone, even if you are a casual user. This will help to cut out some of the motor noise that is emitted from the camcorder, as well as improve audio quality. The Rode Videomic is a good choice as a budget option as it can be mounted onto the camcorder. For the budding filmmakers, a seperate boom on a pole is recommended.

There are also a few accessories available for this camcorder, including an official wide-angle lens released by Canon, as well as various filters and lens hoods that can attach to the front.

I would definitely recommend investing in a larger battery as the one provided only lasts approx. 40 minutes. I highly recommend buying only official Canon batteries.

The HV30 I purchased from Amazon also included the new firmware (software installed on the camcorder), which fixed the problems that previously occured when shooting in standard definition. If for any reason your camcorder does not have it, you can download it from the Canon website.

Finally, like all high definition mini DV camcorders, the HV30 can record high definition video onto a standard mini DV cassette, so it is not essential to purchase the more costly high definition cassettes unless you desire absolute perfection.

I highly recommend using Panasonic Mini DV's. Whatever brand you choose, it is generally considered wise to stick to the same brand of mini DV as mixing lubricants by two different manufacturers can create a deposit on tape heads.

I hope this review has helped a little, and good luck on choosing your camcorder. There are some excellent alternatives that use SD cards, etc., and all have their pros and cons. But if you're happy using the tape format, then this is the camcorder for you!
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