Camera Review: Canon HV20

A few weeks ago we purchased a Canon HV20 camcorder. As a camera, it lacks certain basic features, but its power and price tag make it a very tempting purchase for the independent filmmaker and video producer alike. For our projects, the HV20 will primarily be used as a DV and HDV tape deck for capturing footage acquired on other cameras, but its small size makes it convenient to carry around, and it can be handy to have a secondary camera on most shoots.

As you can see, it’s quite tiny. This means it can fit into almost any bag, but also that it’s virtually impossible to hold still. It weighs just over a pound and is less than six inches long, so it has no inertia to speak of. The integral optical stabilization may remove the majority of the shakes, but there’s still plenty of jitter left over, especially banking rotation.

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