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Canon Vixia HV20 HV30 HV40 Review and Comparison

Updated on December 30, 2010
Canon Vixia HV40
Canon Vixia HV40

My new Canon Vixia HV40 HD Camcorder

I just got myself a Canon Vixia HV40. I have had my eye on the HV series for a while now even back from it's very first installment, the HV20. The price of the HV40 is at around $800 and it sure is worth it. The first thing that attracted me with this camera would be its f/1.8 lens, being that I have a background in photography and I knew that this kind of aperture would be advantageous in low-light conditions. It even has shutter speeds of 1/6 up to 1/2000. If you are into photography, you will instantly know the advantages of these features.

It is perfect for aspiring indie film-makers because it is very customizable. There are so many accessories from external microphones, lens extensions and filters, and other parts of homemade do-it-yourself rigs that will surely enhance one's film-making capabilities. 

Everyone you ask would immediately say that it truly is the best camcorder for its price range.

Features of the HV40

Here are some of the features of the Canon HV40 HD camcorder:

  • HD 24F - Meaning that it shoots in progressive 24 frames per second. This will give you the film-look that other cameras are not capable of.
  • Aperture priority - you can choose from f/1.8 and so on.
  • Shutter speed priority - 1/6 to 1/2000 shutter speeds
  • Cine Mode - Canon's enhancement that is perfect for film-makers. If combined with the 24F feature it will surely make your image quality superior.
  • 10x zoom / 200x Digital Zoom
  • 1/2.7-inch CMOS sensor
  • 24p and 30p (records at 60i)
  • Manual and Auto focus

Canon HV40 Test Shots

I captured these shots using Adobe Premiere. You should also check out the article I made about Adobe After Effects.

It is my first time capturing and rendering the 24F feature so I might have mixed up the settings a bit. But here you will see the image quality in the low-light of my room. I couldn't really go outside for the test shots because of the rain so I just stayed inside and decided to shoot my DSLR and mess around with my Canon HV40. This was all shot in native 24p (24F records in 24p).

It is actually also my first time to transfer to Vimeo because, in my opinion, the HD quality is so much better than YouTube. I actually also put my homemade music in the video of the test shots.

The Bottomline about the Canon Vixia HV40

If you want to take your indie film-making a little more serious then this camcorder is for you. It will surely enhance your films and homemade movies. There is also a lot of communities online of Canon HV20 HV30 HV40 owners that share different kinds of indie rigs, modifications, hacks, and a lot more of interesting stuff.

All in all, I am very happy with my Canon HV40 and seriously I consider it the best camcorder in its price range.


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