Canon HV20

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    • #44992


      I will very likley be purchasing a Canon HV20 in the next two weeks, and was curious if anyone had anything bad to say about it. From everything I’ve read, heard, and talked about it, the camera seems really great. Are there any complaints however, from anyone who has used this camera?

      The only bummer I can say about this camera is that it looks too small and consumerish – almost like a toy!


      Spencer Stewart

    • #187668

      I got mine about 2 months ago , and i like it , the video is great , I mounted it to the top of a helmet and went for a ride on the dirtbikes with my son , a little editing , some music and put it on youtube ! you can see the video under sports , and punch in dirt biken road trip and watch us have some fun! I got my hv 20 for 837.00 bucks (new) off of ebay saved about 400 bucks ,

    • #187669


      I purchased mine about a week ago after months of careful consideration. When I 1st started shopping, I was clueless. I used Videomaker magazine as well as numerous online forums to help me in my decision making. and both had nice areas for reviews for camcorders.

      I limited down to three choices: The Cannon HV-20, The Sony HDR-SR7 & the JVC Everio GZHD7.

      They all had features that I liked and each company stated that theirs was better then other for reason X-Y-Z but at the end, I found more positive reviews for the Cannon HV-20. The only bad thing about it is that it’s a little grainy indoors even with lots of light inside but the plus side of that is that it’s better indoors then most other HD camcorders in this price range.

      I bought it at Circuit City for around $1,100.00. If you go to and select in-store pick up, they’ll give you 10% off saving you $100.00. You can get it cheaper at but just make sure you’re buying it directly from Amazon and not a unknown company. will tell you where it’s being shipped from, whether it’s from them or comapny so-in-so.

      I also was considering the hard drive but in the end, like the mini-DV for the Cannon. They make HD mini DV tapes and it looks great when you upload your video or play it back on a t.v. Plus, you can save files of tapes. If you go on vacation, where are you going to upload 3 hours of video to? It’ll take up too much space on your computer unless you plan to lug around a computer plus an external hard-drive.

      Hope this helps.


    • #187670

      This may sound like the mother-of-all naive questions but please bear with me. Back in the dark ages of analogue camcorders it was not advisable to buy an NTSC cam for use in the U.K. even though you could save money doing this. Now that we have High Def. digital pro-sumer camcorders, has the situation changed ? I have not seen any mention of NTSC/Pal in reference to these and the H.D. camcorders are considerably more expensive still in the U.K. than in the U.S. so if they are now interchangeable it would be well worth getting a friend to buy one for m, say, in New York.

      Could I have your comments, please (and take it easy on me !) Thanks.

    • #187671

      You possibly could have started a new thread on this topic. But I’ll dive in anyway:

      Nothing’s changed. NTSC and PAL are still as uncompatible as ever.And the camcoders today don’t offer both (though they should).

      You can fiddle a lot with editing software to transfer between the two, but it’s just not worth it. Better to buy a PAL camcorder for Europe. The good news: you can buy PAL units in the US cheaper than you would get them in Europe (look at B&H in NYC for ex.). The bad: if you have them mailed to you directly you may be hit up for taxes. Best tohave a friend bring one in for you that you had sent to his/her address. The other option in the UK is to look on eBay for new camcorders sold out of Germany. They’re usually a lot cheaper than in Britain, and being part of the EU you don’t pay import duties on them.

      On the other hand if you are really, really set on having both PAL and NTSC, to my knowledge there is only one camera that does that out of the box: the prosumer Sony HVR-Z1. Which is a great unit but a lot bigger than any holiday videomaker would want. You can get the similar Canon A1 upgraded to PAL, but it’ll cost $500 (!).

    • #187672

      It’s real cheap feeling with lots of plastic. Don’t dare drop it. Go handle one before buying. If you want studio-like pans, tilts, and zooms, you’re SOL because there’s no LANC. You’re stuck pretty much with amateur shots. You can’t get any warranty if not bought from a dealer. This includes eBay. The price has dropped to $600 so that’s good…except you may be better off getting the HV30 so we’re back to go again at $1200+

      This threads been dug up from 5 months ago….newbies…gotta luv ’em

      Round and round and round we go! Where we stop…nobody knows!

    • #187673

      Thanks, Marcburl, for your very full and welcome advice on NTSC/PAL. I think the best course now is to locally (with guaranty) and second-best is to follow the “Germany option”. I have had a lot of troubles with camcorders and PC’s in the past (unbelievably 5 PC’s in six months, all exchanged without any fuss from the retailer) so the guarantee aspect is pretty important. Best rgard, Jimbogob.

    • #187674

      Warning -Reliability/warranty issues HV-20. After 20 mins of filming my new HV-20 failed and was returned to Cannon Australia. A Faulty circuit card was replaced under warranty and my HV-20 returned to full makers specifications. Unfortunately I was unable to download filming to my computer. My HV-20 was returned to Cannon under warranty. Cannon reluctantly fixed my HV-20 but claim operator error in connecting the firewire cable, which caused a spike (Cannon recommend turning off the computer prior to connecting the cable). Cannon have stated that they will not repair my camcorder again under a warranty claim with a similar fault. Fact: my HV-20 failed while stored, it was not connected to a computer. Fact: the second fault was different in nature to the first fault. The negative response from Cannon could be because I asked for a refund and pursued the matter with Consumer Protection. Has anybody had a similar experience with Cannon?

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