HV20 vs. HC5
Can anyone tell me why I should choose the HV20 over the HC5? Both look to be great buys currently (HV20 is $949 and HC5 is $870 at newegg). Want to upgrade from my Sony HC96, which I like, but itching to get into HD footage. Thanks!!!
Yes, please guys, help me out too. I registered to ask the exact same question, but I saw this thread.
I do realize that everyone in here is obviously in favour of the HV20, since most of you already own it, but some of us are leaning towards it while still on the fence.
Although I have read the reviews that say it's better than the Sonys, how much better is it than the Sony HC5? Is it a close call, or is the pic quality that much better? The Sony supports 5.1 channel audio, and the Canon doesn't. Add that to the fact that the Sony is more user-friendly and better to handle, and I'm debating going with the Sony instead.
If the Canon's picture quality is a lot better than the Sony though, I am willing to ignore the handling and 5.1 issues though. I know 5.1 from a small camera mic sucks, but still, it's something to think about.
From the HC5 Spec page:
I am guessing that for many people here this:
Progressive Shutter Mode
Is a deal killer.
This is a very good question as the HC5 is currently about £100 less than the HV20 and just about within the price range i was looking at spending when i started my HD quest. I haven't seen any footage from it yet but the specs seem pretty damn similar.
Anyone tested this camera?
Thanks for the reply.
Originally Posted by kbrafford
The progressive shutter mode only comes into use for 24P though right? So this feature is tied to the 24P capabilities of the Canon? Am I right in this assumption?
From what I have read, the 24P shooting capability will not only be a cool feature for those who want it, but also results in better PQ in low-light environments when used.
Other than that, has anyone here given the HV20 a head-to-head comparison with the HC-5?
I have read the online reviews and comparisons, but I was looking for more input from users.
Well, I'm on the verge of getting the HV20, but then I read that the HC7 has some facilities that I would find useful. I know you want to know about the HC5, but the HC7 is the current model...
The colour from the HV20 is more appealing to me, and the low light performance is superior, although the Sony does offer Night Mode shooting.
However, I understand that the Sony allows the independent control of both aperture and shutter, whereas on the HV20 you can only do one or the other.
These features make it hard for me to make a decision. But I'm still leaning towards the HV20. Mainly because it doesn't have a touch screen, which is the worst feature of any Sony camera!
As being a big Sony fan, I was having the same difficulty making a choice between two great cams. I got a HV20 just recently, and I couldn't be more happy.
One of the sites that made the decision was a German site with a side by side comparison between the HC7 and the HV20:
HV20 has Optical IS and HC5 is Electronic IS which is digital IS which is less superior than OIS.
HV20 doesn't have LANC.
HV20 performs better in low light. According to camcorderinfo.com, HV20 wons over Sony HC7, JVC and Panasonic HDV cam.
For the look, HV20 looks plastic and cheap. Sony's product is sexier
Can't use standard hot shoe accessories with Sony. Sony uses memory stick which is a more proprietary media than mini-SD that HV20 uses.
Great points Taky...
The HV20 LOOKS plastic, or is the shell actually plastic?
I really can't tell..
I was also deciding between HV20 and HC5. HC5 looks more solid than HV20. After all, I am not that shallow I went with HV20 and I'm very happy.
There are all the pros and cons. The most killer for me is the lack of LANC connector. But then I use a TOSlink cable to wire the remote control signal to the cam. So problem solved.
Then, it's more important to have a camcorder performs great in low light. The capability of 24p is also an attraction. Be able to use standard accessories on the hot shoe is great (I had 2 GL2.. so I can share the same lights and shotgun mic).
Man, you really can't tell?
You brought up some great points though and you're make me lean toward the HV20 even more.
Well, of course you will be getting biased response from a HV20 forum. I'm sure if you ask the same question in a Sony forum, people will say only good things about HC5 over HV20.
I used to be a big Sony fans... but then.. you see there were betamax, mini-disc, microMV, memory stick, proprietary AIS hot shoe... I found Canon a better company overall
Yeah well I don't really care about Beta, Mini-Disc etc... in this case. I just wanted to make the decision based on what's best out of the 2 models, since I have been quoted almost identical prices for both. Actually I can get the HV20 even cheaper (over $120 less) if I cross the border into the U.S. and buy it in Buffalo (I am in Toronto, but I'm going to be in Niagara Falls next weekend). The only thing stopping me from the short drive is that I'm worried about the manufacturer's warranty being void in Canada if I buy in the U.S. and bring it back here.
Circuit City has it on sale for US$980. I don't know if the sale will still be on next week though.
I do have a 55" Sony TV and I'm happy with it. I think Sony get a lot of unfair abuse online in certain cases (Many people HATE Sony for strange reasons, and their feelings are just as biased as someone who loves a corporations for strange reasons). I just wanted objectivity in comparing the 2 cams and I think I'm going to go with the Canon. I have my first baby due on June 14th and I need a video camera soon.
There's a review of the Sony HC5 in the latest UK edition of Practical Digital Video. Anyone interested should get the mag and have a look.
It gets good marks (8 overall) The review suggests that the camera is aimed at beginners but for the price should be more accessible to 'savvy' users.
To quote the two concluding para's at the end
'The menu system, although pretty and with plenty of wow factor, is a hindrance to altering anything beyond the most basic settings. The absence of any kind of multi use hardware control such as lense ring makes most manual settings a chore - both the shoe and lack of mic in don't exactly help proceedings.
Aiming this camcorder soley at occasional users may be a decent idea for the sub £600 market, but at this price range, being more friendly to the savvy user is a must. That being said, the camcorder can be left in auto mode without embarrassing on a big screen TV - just don't expect an easy ride when things go awry.'
The individual scores are;
Features (7) The HDMI cable is useful, but the manual modes are too restricted.
Images (8) A bit oversaturated and the top end of the zoom causes stabiliser problems.
Build (9) Excellent all round, feeling sturdy without ruining balance.
Value (9) Very good for a HD camcorder - should encourage newcomers.
The magazine hasn't reviewed the HV20 yet so there's no way to compare the two. That being said - CamcorderInfo did a shootout between the HV20 and the HC5's higher spec cousin (HC7) as well as a couple others and the HV20 won out. Link here;
I have to say, that SUPER FAST FPS on the HC5 sounds VERY neat!!!
"Smooth Slow Record
By increasing the record rate from 60 fields per second (fps) to 240 fps for 3 seconds allowing you to capture 3 seconds
of fast motion and play the video back in 12 seconds. This is great for analyzing a golf swing or a viewing a bird in flight."
That might be worth it right there....of course just for that feature, the HV20- still the MAIN cam!
That sounds really good, didn't know about that!
Just noticed in the previous issue of Practical Digital Video they do a group test of the following cams;
The Canon HV10 won that one!
Yeah, I only just saw that on that sonystyle link further up on this page. I wonder how they lay that down on tape though?
If it's at full HD resolution onto MiniDV it would be WELL WORTH $1000 just for that; if it's some scaled down SD or lower then not so much...
What's the difference between "field per second" and "frame per second"? I always think when people say fps that means frame per second.
Ah, yes, good point. That HC5 isn't progressive so it's 240 fields per second.
I use fps exclusively for FRAMES per second, so that was a bit misleading...
Mind you, I guess with some deinterlacing one still might get pretty good 10% speed footage at 24p?
Would be neat to see an experiment of the HC5 doing that. Anyone got one?
Speaking of Sonys.... I went into a store today to finally handle the HV20 to see just how awkward it felt (according to reviews), especially for someone like me with big hands, and lo and behold, a slaesamn offered me a Sony HC3 (which is an older model, but has some nice features like the scroll dial in the front) for only CAN$750 (works out to CAN$855 after taxes). This threw a wrench into my buying decisions now because although the HC3 is older and might not have a picture as nice as the HV20, CAN$750 is an incredible price for it.
The only catch is that the HC3 was missing a power adapter (which was part of the reason they reduced the clearance price further to make it so low), I would have to buy the Sony adapter, and I know I can find one for very cheap (maybe $20) online.
So now I'm asking for more advice from those of you here! Anyone have experience with the HC3's picture quality? Should I go for it at such a reduced price? The effective pixel count in 16x9 HDV mode on the HV20 is about 30% more than the HC3, so naturally I expect the Canon to have a superior picture, although I haven't seen the output from the 2 cameras compared side-byside, but does anyone here have anything else to add to my decision?
I have a 55" Sony HDTV, so I expect noise, artifacts and picture imperfections to be magnified no matter what camera I use.
Help guys, this HDTV camera shopping is driving me nuts!
EDIT: Another thing to add... The HC3 has EIS, and the HV20 has OIS. EIS results in a degradation of image quality when compared to OIS, right?
Last edited by zyad; 2007 May 28th at 23:04.
Originally Posted by zyad
I do own both the camcorders. In fact I upgraded from HC3 to be precise.
Though I did not do a A/B comparison. These are the following points you might note
1) Video from HV20 is much sharper than HC3. The difference is probably less at bright sunlight but quite a lot at low light.
2) At very low lights both the camcorders get noisy (HV20 may be lesser than HC3) but I seem to like that from HV20 better.
3) To me the EIS seems to perform quite well may be a bit better than OIS! Yes this might be surprizing but this is the case with my cams. I suspect that this extra stability might also be causing the softer look in HC3 videos.
4) The Manual controls in HC3 are much less user friendly than the HV20 canon joystick. I seem to adjust things on the fly in hv20 in two days of handling while with HC3 I had a tough time even after having it for a month.
5) Focussing is really instant with Canon while not with Sony.
5) The last is the 24P thing which is absent in SONY.
But anyway both of them are great camcorders. And the decision is yours. These were just my two cents!
And of course the disclaimer: I assume no responsiblity. All the above facts are based on my qualitative observations might differ from other people.
Originally Posted by hizbiz
Thanks for the reply man.
I know of most of the differences between the 2 models you mentioned. The thing that's really holding me up from making a decision is that the HV20 really did feel awkward in my hands, and the Sony is much cheaper for me at this point in time.
The hardest thing I find is when reading all the comparative reviews of all these different models is that I'm not sure how much the reviewers nitpick when making the comparisons. For example, granted every review says the HV20 has superior picture quality over all other consumer HD cameras, but how superior is it? Does it warrant the extra cost? Look at this for example:
It compares the HC3 to the HV10 (I haven't been able to find any good review for HV20 vs. HC3 since they are not the same generation.
Now within that review, this is a comparative side-by-side of picture quality:
HC3 on the left, HV10 in the middle, XL-H1 on the right.
In the reviewer's opinion, the HV10 has a better picture than the HC3, but looking at the same pics, I come to the opposite conclusion!
This is why I'm going nuts trying to decide what to get. In some reviews of the HC3, I read mention of jaggedness in curved borders of objects due to probably over-sharpening being done electronically by the camera, and instances of "halos" or ghosting, while in other reviews, those problems are never mentioned.
I don't know which reviews to take seriously any more.
For someone like me, not only the price, but also the comfort level of the cam in my hand (in this case the Sonys win), and the video quality are all important. Video quality is obviously the most important factor, but when comfort level and price come into the equation (in favour of the HC3), it's getting to be an even match.
The only reason I would go with the Canon at this point is the picture quality, I guess what I'm trying to ask (in a very long-winded manner), is this:
DOES THE DIFFERENCE IN PICTURE QUALITY BETWEEN THESE 2 CAMERAS JUSTIFY THE PRICE DIFFERENCE AND HANDLING COMFORT DIFFERENCE? OR ARE ALL THESE REVIEWS OF DIFFERENT PICTURE QUALITY SPLITTING HAIRS AND IN REALITY THE QUALITY ISN'T REALLY AS BIG AS THESE REVIEWS MAKE IT SEEM?
Does the 30% difference efffective pixel count between the 3 cameras make that much of a difference?
I have a big hand but I don't find aweward to handle HV20. Besides, it's a matter of time to get use to using something new. I particularly like the joystick control over Sony's touch screen. The screen gets really dirty.