Canon Vixia HV30 – No drastic changes from its predecessor
Canon Vixia HV30 isn’t an all new camcorder. It is the same as HV20 with minor upgrade. The body is now sleeker looking and it has progressive 30p mode. There is BP-2L24H li-ion battery inside but other than that, this device is the same as its predecessor.
The new additions make the Canon Vixia HV30 a better prosumer camcorder with better design and useful features. The performance is good and the video quality too is excellent. This device is big – it weights one pound, 5.3 ounces but it fits big jacket pocket easily. There are two colour options – silver and black but I liked latter more. Tape housing is a bit flimsy but it gets covered when shooting. Other than that, the build quality is solid especially with tethered covers on Advanced Accessory Shoe, FireWire/HDMI ports, headphone/component out/mic jacks.
Screen of the Canon Vixia HV30 is 2.7 inches big and it has 211,000 pixels resolution which isn’t very high but still it is good for manual focus. Eye level view finder is big but it does not pull up or out. The manufacturer should have put in softer eye cup.
Catch-22 diopter control is laughable. It is quite close to view finder and hence you need to move the head away for getting finger on switch. Due to this, you won’t be able to set it with eye closed. There is both video light and flash to shoot stills. Just like other devices, I liked the electronic lens built in cover.
Canon Vixia HV30 gave us a natural and easy shooting experience. The most often used options like microphone level and exposure compensation are controlled by a joystick. The other shoot options like shutter, program, aperture, cine, white balance, scene modes, still image mode, and image effects can be recalled using function button. You can navigate it using joystick. You need to use thumb for all activities and hence it is very easy to use.
Canon Vixia HV30 comes with same three megapixels, 1/2.7 inches CMOS sensor which was used in HV20. It can capture 1080i or 1,440×1,080 pixels HD or SD wide screen videos. Canon says that this device can shoot 1,920×1,080 pixels videos but HDV doesn’t have 1920 pixels support. In SD shooting, the camcorder will down convert for fitting the MiniDV or 720×480 pixels format.
There is also the same 10x f/1.8 zoom lens having Cann Super Range Optical Image Stabilization which can tweak results according to image processor feedback. Stabilization works well provided you use eye level view finder instead of LCD as it lets you brace this camcorder in a better way. In our tests, the stabilization worked well even at its maximum.
Canon Vixia HV30 has good video quality. In the bright light conditions, the quality is on par with Sony HDR-HC7. You get good colour, exposure, and sharpness. The quality of videos in low light conditions isn’t spectacular but it is still good. Low light videos feel noisy but if you do not use Night Mode, then shutter speed will not drop at unusable levels and there will be good dynamic range for shooting in the fairly dim light conditions. The focus performance with low light was OK. It isn’t very slow in looking for and locking still subjects but when you are zoomed in, focus will gently pulse even after locking.
Canon Vixia HV20 camcorder is still widely available and it is also less expensive as compared to HV30. Both Canon camcorders are less expensive than Sony HDR-HC7. There is no touch screen on both Canon devices but touchscreen aren’t really necessary in camcorders either. We would readily recommend you the Canon Vixia HV30.