Canon vixia hv40 high definition camcorderDocument Transcript
My Associates StoreShopping CartProduct DetailsCanon VIXIA HV40 High DefinitionCamcorderFrom CanonListPrice:$999.00Price:$749.00 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shippingon orders over $25. DetailsAvailability: Usually ships in 24 hoursFulfilled by Amazon and Sold by Kellards15 new or used available from $393.46Average customer review:(62 customer reviews)Product DescriptionWhen you take what you shoot seriously, you need aserious camcorder that lives up to yourdemands. TheCanon VIXIA HV40 HD camcorder does the job withastonishing high definitiondetail and color reproduction.The VIXIA HV40 delivers the unparalleled combination ofaGenuine Canon 10x HD Video Lens, a Canon Full HD CMOSImage Sensor and DIGIC DV IIImage Processor for stunningimage quality. Once you experience and see the images youcapture,you wont trust your shots to any other camcorder.Add to that the SuperRange Optical ImageStabilizer thatkeeps your video and photos steady and Instant AF, givingyou fast, accurate focusso you dont miss that importantmoment, and youve got a camcorder thats hard to match.TheCanon VIXIA HV40 also offers a 2.7-inch multi-anglevivid widescreen LCD with true color,and the ability to shootin Native 24p Mode. The Canon VIXIA HV40 HD camcorderopens up aworld of shooting possibilities, so check it out,youll love what you see. Canon USA 1-yearlimited warrantyincluded.
Product Details Amazon Sales Rank: #2160 in Camera & Photo Color: Black Brand: Canon Model: 3686B001AA Released on: 2010-10-04 Dimensions: 5.40" h x 3.50" w x 3.20" l, 1.20 pounds Display size: 2.7Features HDV format delivers high-definition video to miniDV tape Genuine Canon 10x HD video lens; SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer DIGIC DV II image processor; 24p Cinema Mode, 30p Progressive Mode 2.7-inch Multi-Angle Vivid Widescreen LCD HDMI terminal for easy, one-cable connectivity to your HDTVEditorial ReviewsFrom the ManufacturerThe Canon VIXIA HV40 is one of the latest additions to our large family of HD camcorders. Forthose seeking the ultimate in HD video quality, we bring a host of Canon Exclusive features youwont find anywhere else - from our own 2.96-megapixel Full HD CMOS image sensor andadvanced DIGIC DV II image processor, delivering breathtaking detail and the best in colorreproduction, to SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization and Instant Auto Focus to give you theultimate control demanded by High Definition. With the Genuine Canon 10x HD video zoomlens and a host of other advanced features the VIXIA HV40 is sure to be your choice in HighDefinition camcorders. If you wish to continue to use your existing Standard Definitionequipment, the VIXIA HV40 has both SD and HD recording modes. The VIXIA HV40 is easy touse and delivers the high level of performance youve come to expect from Canon. Our vastexperience with photographic and broadcast television cameras brings you the optical excellence,advanced image processing, superb performance, and the latest in technological advancementsyou expect. The VIXIA HV40 is the premium quality High Definition video tape camcorder forsophisticated and discerning videographers.Canon VIXIA HV40 HighlightsThe Image Quality of HD VideoThe VIXIA HV40 is the HD camcorder to go along with everything else in your HD world. Itcaptures true 1080 High Definition resolution video in 16:9 format, using MiniDV cassette tapes.
The VIXIA HV40s true 16:9 widescreen HD image is made for your HD widescreen TV. HighDefinition and widescreen are the future. Be sure you invest in that future with Canons VIXIAHV40.At the same time, the VIXIA HV40 gives you the flexibility to record in SD (standard definition)mode, too. That means you can enjoy the ultimate in HD video and photo quality, and still shootSD video for viewing on your non-HD equipment.Genuine Canon 10x HD Video LensSince 1934, Canon has been producing exceptional photographic lenses that are synonymouswith unsurpassed optical performance. Because of Genuine Canon Optics, every Canonbroadcast lens, 35mm film camera, digital camera and camcorder assures brilliant optical quality- and the VIXIA HV40 is no exception.The VIXIA HV40 comes with an outstanding High Definition video lens - a 10x HD GenuineCanon Optical zoom. Its the lens you need to record long shots of your child on the soccer field,wide shots of beautiful landscapes, and everything in-between. And because it comes with threepre-set zoom speeds, you always get smooth, steady, professional-looking zoom shots.Super spectra coating technology results in images with minimal flare and ghosting. Plus, thelens aspheric design reduces aberration and increases resolution, ensuring crisp, sharp video andenhancing the HD image quality. As well, a new gradation ND system gives you betterexposures in bright shooting situations.Canon Exclusive: Canon 2.96-megapixel Full HD CMOS Image SensorThe VIXIA HV40 features a Canon designed and manufactured CMOS image sensor. TheCMOS image sensors in Canons EOS Series Digital SLR cameras result in outstanding digitalphotographs. In the VIXIA HV40, the CMOS sensor reproduces high-resolution images at 1920x 1080 resolution with Full HD information in video images.
Compared to a CCD, the VIXIA HV40s CMOSs high color resolution and advanced colorreproduction gives brilliant results. It also features Canons proprietary noise reductiontechnologies for crisp, sharp images. Low noise technology also means that even in dimly litscenes, the signal from each pixel is as pure as possible, with minimal noise or other aberrations.Its the ideal sensor for HD.The VIXIA HV40 uses an RGB Primary Color Filter with Bayer Placement Pattern thatseparates light into red, green and blue color components. This results in vibrant images withdeep, rich, accurate color and natural-looking tones similar to what youd obtain from 3CCDcamcorders. In addition, it is the Bayer pattern that delivers sharp, high definition images withoutcreating false colors. As an added benefit, the CMOS sensor provides outstanding image capturein low light conditions.Canon Exclusive: DIGIC DV II Image ProcessorDIGIC DV II is the second generation of Canons exclusive DIGIC DV signal processingtechnology. Designed specifically for HD, DIGIC DV II ensures optimal image quality. It alsoensures optimal image quality for still images, even though video and still images have differentcolor requirements. DIGIC DV II is just another one of Canons advanced technologies that makethe VIXIA HV40 an exceptional performer.Thanks to DIGIC DV II image processing, the VIXIA HV40 produces video with improvedcolor reproduction - especially in skin tones, and dark and light scenes. It also uses a hybridnoise reduction system that employs two types of noise reduction - for high definition imagesthat are crystal clear.Plus, DIGIC DV II enables improved continuous shooting of digital photographs with the VIXIAHV40. You can shoot five (3.1 Megapixel) still images per second, and enjoy faster processingof your images to your memory card (1.4x normal card; 2.5x Hi Speed card). It also helps lowerpower consumption for longer battery life.Canon Exclusive: SuperRange Optical Image StabilizationCanons innovative SuperRange OIS combines gyro and image sensors to give imagestabilization through a wider range of camera motions. Some image stabilization systems correctone type of camera motion or vibration better than another. But Canons SuperRange OIScorrects for a wide range of camcorder motion: the fast vibration youd experience whilerecording from a moving car; the medium-speed motion of hand-held recording; and the slowermotion of body sway. No matter what youre recording and how youre recording it, the VIXIAHV40s stabilization design corrects camcorder shake instantly. SuperRange OIS also deliverssteady images when shooting at long focal lengths.
SuperRange OIS in actionIn addition, SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization keeps your shot steady without a loss inimage quality - something that cant be said for electronic image stabilization. And imagestabilization isnt just for video; you can even use it for taking sharper, clearer digitalphotographs with your VIXIA HV40. Thanks to Canons expertise, its easy to eliminate one ofthe telltale signs of amateur video and photography.Canon Exclusive: Instant AF (Auto Focus)Since it is critical to achieve very sharp focus when shooting in High Definition, the VIXIAHV40 camcorder features Canons revolutionary Instant AF focusing system. It offers a dramaticimprovement in auto focus speed and accuracy (compared to traditional autofocus systems).The Instant AF feature uses an external sensor, in combination with Canons autofocus system, tohelp significantly decrease the time it takes to find focus, even in low light conditions. Thissystem achieves focus instantaneously, reducing focus "hunting." The benefits of Instant AF areespecially seen in high brightness and night shooting situations. With Instant AF, its possible toget fast, accurate focusing, even when following a moving subject.Native 24p ModeThis is a feature previously found only on Canons professional camcorders. Native 24p Modeallows 24 frames per second, instead of the standard 60i, to be captured and recorded. It is a mustfor serious filmmaking work, as 24 frames per second is the frame rate of film.24p Cinema ModeAs an alternative, 24p Cinema Mode enables all aspiring moviemakers to have another way toachieve a professional "film-look." You can change the camcorders frame capture rate to 24p(recorded at 60i), which provides the appearance of the same frame rate as movie film. Inaddition, you can use the VIXIA HV40s CINE setting, which changes the color and tonalcharacteristics, evoking the look and feel of a movie shown in a theater. For added flexibility,these settings can be used together or independently.
Normal mode vs. Cinema mode30p Progessive ModeUntil quite recently, youd have to look to professional video cameras in order to have thissophisticated tool at your command. In addition to the standard interlaced video frame rate of60i, you may choose to set the VIXIA HV40 to record 30p Progressive Frame Rate. This isparticularly useful for footage you plan to upload to the Internet for sharing. In addition, thissetting gives enhanced quality to still images captured after recording. 30p Progressive Mode isalso excellent for capturing quick action shots and sporting events.60i vs. 30pBuilt-in 3.1-megapixel Digital CameraCanons advanced image processing technology means your HD camcorder is also a highperformance digital camera capable of capturing stunning 3.1-megapixel photos to a miniSDcard. Its like having an HD camcorder and digital still camera - all rolled into one. Whats more,the VIXIA HV40s many advanced photo features make it a camera that rivals other state-of-the-art digital cameras. With Canon technology, its not just video and photos - its the best of both.2.96-megapixel Full HD CMOS The same Canon Exclusive 2.96-megapixel Full HD CMOSimage sensor that ensures sharp, vivid HD video also gives you brilliant digital photographs.Like the CMOS image sensors in Canons EOS Series digital SLR cameras, the VIXIA HV40simage sensor results in outstanding digital photographs. It gives an impressive resolution of 1920x 1440 for sharp, crisp still images.Canon DIGIC DV II Image Processor The DIGIC DV II Image Processor, a Canon Exclusive,enables improved continuous shooting of digital photographs with the VIXIA HV40. You canshoot five (3.1 Megapixel) still images per second, and enjoy faster processing of your images to
your memory card (1.4x normal card; 2.5x Hi Speed card).Focus Features Auto Intelligent Auto Focus ensures sharp images and gives creative flexibility.Even when your subject isnt in the center of the frame, the VIXIA HV40s AiAF willautomatically select from 9 metering frames on the screen to help bring images into sharp focus.Since it is critical to achieve very sharp focus when shooting in High Definition, the VIXIAHV40 camcorder features Canons revolutionary and exclusive Instant AF focusing system. Itoffers a dramatic improvement in auto focus speed and accuracy (compared to traditional autofocus systems). The Instant AF feature uses an external sensor, in combination with Canons autofocus system, to help significantly decrease the time it takes to find focus, even in low lightconditions. This system achieves focus instantaneously, reducing focus "hunting." The benefitsof Instant AF are especially seen in high brightness, and night shooting situations. Its evenpossible to achieve fast, accurate focusing, even when following a moving subject. And becausea properly focused subject is more critical than ever with HD, the VIXIA HV40 also featuresFocus Assist. This helps in capturing your subject in razor sharp focus (when you start recording,this assistance is automatically cancelled).Auto Exposure Modes Like any good digital still camera, the VIXIA HV40 lets you choosefrom a range of exposure modes. Auto mode automatically sets the exposure, letting youconcentrate on your subject. AV (aperture priority) mode lets you control depth of field byletting you choose the aperture. TV (shutter priority) mode lets you select the shutter speed forsharp action shots. In P (program) mode, the camcorder adjusts camera settings automatically.Program AE Mode Your life happens everywhere, so the VIXIA HV40 gives you settings thatautomatically result in the best exposure settings for different conditions and different subjects.Portrait mode ensures shallow depth of field for a pleasing background to your shots of friendsand family. Sports mode stops the action with faster shutter speeds. Night mode is designed togive you great shots after the sun goes down. Snow and Beach modes compensate for brightsurroundings and give you the proper exposure on your subject. Sunset mode results in vibrant,well-exposed colors for one of the toughest subjects to capture. Use Spotlight mode when yourchild is on stage and in the spotlight - literally - and you want to make sure the exposure is rightfor them. And, Fireworks mode records brilliant images of another tough subject - the holidayfireworks display.Simultaneous Photo Recording With the VIXIA HV40, you can record HD video and capture a2 Megapixel photo to a memory card - simultaneously. Simply press the photo button whilerecording and youve got an e-mail ready digital photo to share with friends and family.Histogram Display For the advanced digital photographer, the VIXIA HV40 comes with aHistogram Display - a feature found in Canons line of digital SLR cameras. The display allowsyou to see the brightness information of your still images, so you can adjust your exposures asyou shoot.Level and Grid Markers With the Level Marker feature, its easy to keep your camera level for
more professional-looking photographs. Line up any horizontal lines in your shot - such as thehorizon - to the marker and you can be sure your camcorder is level.The VIXIA HV40s Grid Marker feature lets you compose your shot accurately, according to thegrid in your viewfinder. You can even choose from two different colors for the grid. This ensuresthat you see the grid, no matter what the background color of your shot.Still Capture from Tape The versatile VIXIA HV40 even lets you capture a still image from analready recorded movie. While playing the movie in your camcorder, simply press the photobutton to capture a 1920 x 1080 still frame on a miniSD™ card. Its another way the VIXIAHV40 lets you enjoy and share your precious memories.Built-in Flash Your VIXIA HV40s built-in flash lets you capture superb photos indoors and inlow light conditions.Custom KeyHave the same kind of creative input as the pros do! You can assign commonly used functions toone button on the camcorder for quick and easy access. Functions available to choose frominclude Exposure Lock (On/Off), Auto/Manual Focus, and Auto/Manual Microphone LevelControl.Canon Exclusive: 2.7-inch Multi-Angle Vivid Widescreen LCDThe 2.7-inch Multi-Angle Vivid Widescreen LCD on the VIXIA HV40 lets you see more ofwhat your camcorder is recording. Using a hard coat AR surface and improved colorreproduction, the scene in the viewfinder is more accurate to what youre capturing in thecamcorder. An added benefit of this Canon Exclusive is the wider range of viewing anglepossible with this LCD screen. With less glare and deeper contrasts, groups of people can gatheraround it and see the image displayed more clearly than ever before.
Advanced Accessory Shoe TerminalAnother pro-level feature of the VIXIA HV40 is the Advanced Accessory Shoe Terminal on thecamcorder. Attach available extras such as a Canon VFL-1 video light or a Canon DM-50Directional Stereo Microphone without additional wires or batteries. Its a sure way to help raisethe production values of all your videos.HDMI TerminalWith the VIXIA HV40, sharing your High Definition video on your HD television is easier thanever. Only a single cable connects your camcorder to your TV for the highest quality playback(video and audio). You, your friends and family will truly experience home theater excellence,straight from your VIXIA HV40 - with no noticeable loss in image quality.Brilliant VideoCanon Exclusive - 2.96 Megapixel Full HD CMOS Canons own CMOS sensor reproduceshigh-resolution images at 1920 x 1080 resolution with full HD information in video images.Compared to a CCD, the VIXIA HV40s CMOSs high color resolution and advanced colorreproduction gives brilliant results. It is also unique in featuring Canons proprietary noisereduction technologies for crisp, sharp images. Low noise technology also means that even indimly lit scenes, the signal from each pixel is as pure as possible, with minimal noise or otheraberrations. Its the ideal sensor for HD.In addition, the VIXIA HV40 uses an RGB Primary Color Filter that separates light into red,green and blue color components. This results in vibrant images with deep, rich, accurate colorand natural-looking tones similar to what youd obtain from 3CCD camcorders.Canon Exclusive - Canon DIGIC DV II Image Processor Thanks to the DIGIC DV II imageprocessor, a Canon Exclusive, the VIXIA HV40 produces video with improved colorreproduction - especially in skin tones, and dark and light scenes. It also uses a hybrid noisereduction system that uses two types of noise reduction, for high definition images that are
crystal clear.Variable Zoom Speed Control Another sure sign of amateur video is the unsteady zoom shot.But with the VIXIA HV40s zoom control, you simply select one of three pre-set zoom speedsfor smooth, steady, professional-looking zooms.Level and Grid Markers With the Level Marker feature, its easy to keep your camera level formore professional-looking video. Line up any horizontal lines in your shot - such as the horizon -to the marker and you can be sure your camcorder is level.The VIXIA HV40s Grid Marker feature lets you compose your shot accurately, according to thegrid in your viewfinder. You can even choose from two different colors for the grid. This ensuresthat you see the grid, no matter what the background color of your shot.Low Light Performance Some of the most magical shots are taken at the end of the day or longafter the sun has set. You wont miss any of them, thanks to the VIXIA HV40s bright MiniVideo Light. The light lets you shoot subjects in color in low light up to 4.9 feet away. So,whether its a shot of a sleeping baby, or a group of friends on a candle-lit terrace at night, theVIXIA HV40 captures all the moments you want to record.Edit and Share Your VideoYou can edit and share your video with the VIXIA HV40. Once youre connected to yourcomputer, DV streaming and ultra-fast transfer of movies is a breeze. And because the VIXIAHV40 uses the IEEE 1394 protocol, theres no loss of picture or audio quality in the process.Youll want to share your brilliant HD memories with friends and family, and the VIXIA HV40makes it fast and easy.Share Your PhotosYour VIXIA HV40 comes with a variety of features that make it simple to share your stillphotos.Print/Share Print/Share turns your VIXIA HV40 into a photo lab in the palm of your hand.Simply connect your camcorder directly to select Canon printers or any PictBridge-compatibleprinter with the supplied USB cable. Then, with a simple touch of the Print/Share button, printdirectly from your VIXIA HV40 without going through a computer.Print/Share also makes it easy to transfer your still images to your computer. Simply connectyour VIXIA HV40 and your computer, press the Print/Share button and your photos aredownloaded to your computer.
miniSD Memory Card Compatible The VIXIA HV40 makes it easy to store digital photos onan optional miniSD Memory Card. Popularly used in todays newest cell phones and half the sizeof a standard SD card, the miniSD Card offers the benefit of high-capacity storage in a verysmall size.Additional Features Analog-Digital Converter The Built-in Electronic Lens Cover means you never have to go looking for your lenscover again. Turn your camcorder on and the lens cover automatically opens. Turn it off,and the cover closes. Playback of 60i/30p/24p Video. USB 2.0 Full Speed Terminal for fast transfer of photos. Analog-Digital Converter lets you share the precious video memories you have stored onanalog videotapes. Simply feed the analog signal from your TV, VCR or analogcamcorder to your VIXIA HV40 to convert the signal to digital for recording on DV tape.Or use your VIXIA HV40 as a signal converter by connecting it between an analogdevice and another digital device. Wireless Remote Control lets you operate your VIXIA HV40 from a distance, so youwont be left out of the picture. 1 Year Parts And Labor Limited Warranty provides protection long after othermanufacturers warranties expire.Whats in the Box VIXIA HV40 Camcorder
Battery Pack BP-2L13 Compact Power Adapter CA-570 Wireless Controller WL-D87 Component Cable CTC-100/S Stereo Video Cable STV-250N USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU Digital Video Solution DiskCustomer ReviewsMost helpful customer reviews259 of 266 people found the following review helpful.The Latest Revision of an Excellent CamcorderBy Lon J. SeidmanOver ten years ago I bought Sonys legendary TRV-900. It was a consumer camera so good andso ahead of its time that it remained on the market for four years - an eternity in the consumerelectronics industry.Canon has a similar product in their HV series HDV camcorders. They released such anoutstanding camera two years ago with the HV20 that the two new models since (the HV30 andnow the HV40) are really just small refinements of a mature and well designed product.**NEW FEATURES**So lets get one thing out of the way up front: There really isnt much of a difference between thiscamera and last years HV30 (which was a small upgrade on the superb HV20). As an HV20owner, I felt right at home when this arrived and I powered it up. Video quality is about thesame, they look pretty much the same, and overall performance is the same too.What is different is the addition of true 24P recording which offers a more film-like frame rateover the standard 30 frames per second. It should be noted that prior versions of this camera (aswell as Canons AVCHD models) also shoot 24P but that mode requires additional software toget to "true" 24P video when editing. Youll want to check to ensure that your editing softwaresupports true 24P footage as its not a configuration that is on many consumer cameras.**AVCHD OR HDV?***If youre reading this its likely that youre in the market for a new camcorder. Its also likely thatyoure confused over the multitude of different formats currently available: hard disk, flashmemory, tape, etc. etc.Despite the many recording mediums, the current crop of consumer cameras can be delineatedinto two camps: AVCHD (the hard disk and flash based cameras) and HDV (tape based).HDV cameras have two advantages over their AVCHD counterparts. The first, while not as
compelling a reason as a year ago, is compatibility. HDV was the first consumer HD format andis almost universally supported by just about every video editing software package released overthe last three to four years. In addition the HV40 can also shoot in the older standard definitionDV format, a format so old that even software and hardware from ten years ago can work withthe footage.Another factor to consider is the firewire port. Want to record directly to your PC or Mac? Orperhaps do a live broadcast to UStream or Stickam? HDV cameras like the HV40 streamcompressed video in realtime over Firewire, something the AVCHD cameras dont do.Still, Canons AVCHD cameras are now recording at a higher bitrate and with a more advancedvideo compression algorithm that makes for better image quality. Canons flash based cameras,like the outstanding VIXIA HFS100, are mostly solid state and lack the complex (and delicate)machinery of a tape-based camcorder like the HV40.**CONCLUSION**Canons HV20 was a very mature product right at launch and that maturity continues in thisiteration. Still, theres nothing so compelling in the HV40 that makes it a necessary upgrade forHV30 or HV20 owners. For first time buyers, if youre able to pick up an older model at a lowerprice you wont be making much of a sacrifice in terms of features. Its a great camera, just notany greater than the prior versions!For most consumers HDV cameras are old technology. In fact I wouldnt be surprised if theHV40 is the last tape-based camcorder Canon releases to market. AVCHD has matured to thepoint that I am now recommending that to friends over HDV based cameras. AVCHDs lack ofmoving parts combined with the very low cost of flash memory makes it tough to recommendthe bulkier mechanical alternatives like the HV40.If, however, youre using an older computer or need to stream video live the HV40 is one of thebest (if not the best) HDV consumer cameras on the market.68 of 69 people found the following review helpful.Amazing Video, Easy to Use, Some Components a Bit DatedBy Scott ShermanAt the time of this writing, [...], one of the most trusted technology review sites on the web, liststhe HV40s immediate predecessor, the HV30, on three its five Top Camcorders lists: BestCamcorders (Overall), Best Home Movie Camcorders and Best HD Camcorders . The only twocategories in which they dont list the HV30 as one of their best models are the "Best ProCamcorders" list (all of which are significantly more expensive than the HV30) and the "BestBudget Camcorders" list (all of which are significantly cheaper).Thats a tremendous show of support for the HV30. As I write this, CNET hasnt yet publishedtheir full review of the HV40, but as it incrementally improves on some of the HV30s features, Ihave no reason to think CNET will think any less of the HV40s performance.As an amateur videographer, without CNETs ability to shoot with as many other models as they
enjoy, I trust and value their judgement. How does the HV40 stack up against the competition? Icouldnt say.As an enthusiast, however, I can share my experience and tell you that have LOVED and beenamazed by the video Ive gotten from this little beauty. But while the results have far surpassedmy expectations, there are some limitations with the unit that made the process of shooting andtransferring the footage less satisfying than the final product. Following are the pros and cons asIve seen them.Pros:Video Quality: This is far and away where the HV40 shines. Ive used other consumercamcorders, and the HV40s outshines them all. Even in low light, the videos are beautiful.Colors are rich, movement is smooth and the level of detail is almost frightening. On my 24"computer screen and 52" plasma television, the images are knock-your-socks-off gorgeous. Icant imagine consumer-level video getting much better. On a few shots the camera struggledwith focus, but that was rare and I cant believe any camera gets it right 100% of the time. Evenon those occasions, within a few seconds the focus locked on accurately.Design: The HV40 looks and feels great in your hand. I love the piano black finish. Very classy.The camera isnt too heavy to carry around for a day, nor is it so light that it feels cheap orflimsy. Id say Canon got this just right.Ergonomics: I found it pretty intuitive to use the HV40s controls right off the bat: The shootingand zoom controls are where Id expect them to be. Likewise, the On-Off-Play switch and othercontrols were easy to find and use.Ease of Use: Theres a lot to explore on this camera: Numerous shooting options, frame rates andscene modes. Some of it looks very cool and interesting, but my embarrassing confession is that Ihavent used a one. I put the camera on Auto and leave it there. I just havent had the time yet toplay. Happily, even on Auto, the result are always close to perfect. Id like someday to learn theadvanced options and get more artistic with my videography; Im just not there yet. But its nicehaving a camcorder I can grow into.Built-In Video Light: Ive never had one of these on a camcorder before, and Im loving it.Comes in handy not just indoors, but for filling in harsh shadows outdoors. Sweet.Cons:Optical Stabilization: I hate criticizing Canons Image Stabilization because I cant say if othercamcorders do it better. Ive had a lot of experience with Canons still cameras and theyre knownfor excellent stabilization. Which is why Ive been so surprised how ineffective the IS is on theHV40. A lot of my video - especially from mid-zoom and higher - is too shaky to use. Of course,part of the problem is user error - like others, I often shoot using the wide-screen LCD, which isthe worst way to steady your camera. Much better is to look through the eyepiece, which forcesyour to brace the camera against your face, rather than shakily holding it at chest level. Speaking
of which...LCD and Viewfinder: Im surprised how unimpressive the HV40s LCD and viewfinder are. Ihave the Canon HV20, which is two-generation old technology, and I dont think theyveupgraded either of these important components since then. At 2.7 inches, the wide screen LCDfeels cramped. For comparison, an iPod Touch or iPhones screen is a roomy 3.5 inches.Moreover, the resolution on the HV40s LCD is a trifling 211,000-pixels; again, not upgradedfrom a model over two years old. That means your LCD doesnt show a lot of the detail yourecapturing with the camera. Even worse is the eye-level viewfinder, which is so coarse and grainyas to be barely acceptable. Since thats the viewfinder you should be using when you shoot, itreally needs to be improved. The only good news is that after viewing your video through theeyepiece or using the LCD, youll be astounded at how much better it appears when youeventually display it on a computer or TV.Tape-Based Technology: There have been many debates on hard-drive vs. taped-basedcamcorders. To my understanding, tape-based video continues to hold an edge when it comes toquality and compatibility with computer-editing programs. I dont care: Im ready to leavevideotapes behind. Using the miniDV tapes feels very 1980s to me. Theyre slow to rewind andfast forward, you cant jump to a specific scene and when transferring them to a computer, ithappens in real time - i.e., 30 minutes of shooting takes 30 minutes to download to your PC. Iprefer MP3 players to cassette tapes, my DVR to a VCR, and DVDs to videotapes. This miniDVshooter is the last thing I have to use tapes with, and Im ready for whats next.Conclusions: The Canons HV40s pros are far more important than its cons, with the first one,video quality, really being the primary concern. With the HV40s outstanding output, itsimpossible not to love what comes out of this camera. The camera also feels great and is easy touse. Still, Im deducting a star for the cons, which, while not of primary importance, remaindisappointments. Most notably, its past time to upgrade the LCD and viewfinder and to make theswitch to hard drive based storage (not everyone agrees on that last point, though; miniDV doeshave its adherents).As a point of interest to Mac users - I transferred and edited the video from the HV40 to my two-year-old iMac with no problems. Ive upgraded to the iLife 09 package, and iMovie 09 had noproblems importing or displaying the video. Although iMovie recommends you import yourvideo at a reduced size (which saves hard disc space and is less processor intensive to work with)I imported everything at full resolution and had no problems, crashes or slowdowns whileworking with it. Not only that, but, (without going off on too much of a tangent) it was a greatpleasure using iMovie 09 with the HV40s video - moving footage around and making edits waspainless and, using one of Apples template, my movies look like professionally edited mini-masterpieces, which is less a tribute to my limited-skills as it is testimony of their slickness andusability of that program. Bottom line: If youre on a modern Mac, the HV40 works with itflawlessly.Scott Sherman, author, Lambda Literary Award Winning Best Mens Mystery, 2009, First YouFall: A Kevin Connor Mystery
95 of 100 people found the following review helpful.The HV40 Continues Canons Dominance of the Consumer HDV MarketBy Harley HeadThe Canon HV40 is basically a slightly improved Canon HV30 (which itself was a slightlyimproved HV20), with a few extra features. The HV line has been very popular the past fewyears and has a devoted following of fans and enthusiasts. There are even web sites devoted tothe HV line. So if you wish to research the HV line in-depth, the resources are definitely there.Moving on to the HV40 in specific, the biggest new feature is 24P recording which offersfootage more comparable to real film. To be honest, I doubt this feature will matter or make adifference to the average consumer, but for film students, enthusiasts, and professionalvideographers, it offers more creative control and that true "cinema" effect. There are plenty ofsample videos posted on the web demonstrating the effect of 24P (and the HV40 itself). TheHV40 maintains the Canon HV line reputation of being the cream of the crop among consumerHDV cameras. However, with AVCHD significantly closing the gap, both in image quality andcompatibility, with HDV this past year, the HDV format is disappearing rapidly from theconsumer market. The excellent image quality of the latest ACVHD cameras now surpassesHDV. Coupled with the speed and convenience of tape less recording, this makes AVCHD analmost irresistible choice if you are currently shopping for a video camera. Although I agreeAVCHD is the more future-proof choice, there are several compelling arguments to consider theHV40. First, and most importantly, is its backward compatibility with HDV or SD mini-DV. Ifyou have a library of mini-DV tapes, you can play them and capture to PC with this camera.Your existing video editing software (if any) is also more likely to be compatible with the HDVformat, even if its a few years old. Also, as I mentioned earlier, although ACVHD has madegreat progress, its still not the most system friendly format. This can be a major hurdle if youhave an underpowered or older PC. On a single core or budget CPU system, AVCHD may likelygive you significant headaches. In fact, if your system is really old or underpowered enough, youmay have to add a system or video card upgrade into the budget if you wish to use AVCHD filesbeyond basic capture. If youre simply looking for a high-definition video camera that you canuse with your existing software and system, yet still capture amazing footage, the HV40 is agood choice, especially if you already use mini-DV. Another consideration is storage. HDV isself-contained. You can capture, edit, burn a DVD, and delete the footage from your system topreserve disk space, yet still have a backup of your footage on a cassette. With AVCHD, youhave to allocate permanent storage space on a hard drive or burn your captured files to opticaldisk as backup, the latter being very inefficient with current 4.7GB DVDs. Of course, thedownside with HDV is that you have to purchase tapes, but they are pretty cheap these days,especially for multi-packs. You can use regular mini-DV tapes. There is no requirement or needto purchase more expensive HDV specific tapes. This is strictly a personal choice. Frankly, Ivetried both and see no difference between the two. And although AVCHD does not require tapes,you do have to buy SDHC cards for card-only models and/or an additional hard drive (internal orexternal) to efficiently back up your footage, especially with hard drive or solid state drivemodels. So the costs even out in the long run. Although the Canon HV line may no longer beking of the consumer video hill, the HV40 can easily hold its own in video quality against all butthe very best consumer AVCHD cameras. Even then, the difference is slight at best. I havecaptured footage from both formats under similar shooting conditions on both PC and Mac. TheHV40 performed admirably against AVCHD. In a lot of instances, the HDV footage was evennoticeably better than AVCHD. Not all AVCHD cameras are created equal. You may or may not
get a decent AVCHD camera, depending on your research. In some cases, you may actually takea step backwards in quality. All the sophisticated electronics in the world cant correct bad optics,sensors, and poor auto-focus performance. The HV40 slams the ball out of the ballpark on allthree features, thanks to Canon optics & sensor, and swift reliable auto-focus. This brings me tomy final point of comparison, watching and sharing video. After the footage is shot, if all youwish to do is connect the camera directly to your high-def television and play the footage throughthe camera, AVCHD might (and I cant emphasize the word "might" enough) be the hands-downwinner. However, most people want to burn their memories to DVD. In this case, unless youhave a drive capable of burning high-definition blu-ray disks and a compatible stand-alone blu-ray player to play them on, your footage will be encoded into a standard definition DVDanyhow. Footage from the HV40 will perform this type encoding quicker and more efficiently.Honestly, until high-definition blu-ray burners become more affordable, much of the highdefinition performance for either format is wasted unless you encode video files in high-definition for viewing on computer or, as I said earlier, plan to simply playback footage throughthe camera. The form factor and dimensions of the HV40 are identical to the HV30. Onecomplaint that I, and many others, had with the HV30 was the awkward feeling in your hand. Forsome reason the HV40 did not feel quite as awkward. They appear identical, so I think I just gotaccustomed to the feel of the HV30. The only visible difference (besides the new name), is thechange in name of the button on the lens barrel, from "BLC" to "Custom". The newly namedbutton offers additional exposure and focus assist options in addition to the back lightcompensation of the former "BLC" button. Otherwise, the HV40 is virtually identical to theHV30.Performance is great, as expected. Video is very clear, with crisp colors and razor sharpness.Performance definitely on par with its predecessors, the HV20 and HV30.I have not personallytried the 24P mode, however, as I mentioned earlier, there are several examples of this featurereadily available on the web. Bright light recordings were sharp, vivid, and clear. Low lightcapability was pretty good with minimal noise unless the light was really dim. Ive achieved okayfootage by candle light, although it definitely starts to show limitations under such extreme dimlight conditions. Auto focusing was fast and spot-on, especially the instant AF which quicklyswitches focusing from one object to another as you switch perspectives or angles. There is achoice to use manual focus which sometimes comes in handy with difficult focusing situationssuch as zooming in on objects at a certain distance or objects without enough contrast for theauto focus. Once again, there is plenty of test footage of the HV line readily available on theweb. Sound was good, especially for a tape camera. There was no noticeable noise from the tapetransfer mechanism unless you were recording in near silent conditions. Even then, it wasminimal. The HV40 also has 3.1MP still picture capabilities with a few customizable featuressuch as different metering and exposure options. Still pictures are adequate quality andcomparable to low-end digicams. You will need to purchase a mini-SD card to capture pictures.Battery life was average.The bundled software is a joke. It is literally useless for video. They bundle the same still-photoapplication (Zoombrowser EX for PC/Imagebrowser 6.2 for Mac) that is included with theirdigital still cameras but nothing for capturing or editing video. Fortunately, the HV40 iscompatible with most editing software from the past few years. As for built-in video software,only the Vista Home Premium and Ultimate versions of Windows Movie Maker will capture and
edit HDV. However, one caveat is that it is converted into a proprietary Microsoft format aftercapture. If you want a cross-platform friendly file, use a third-party app. On the Mac side, usersshould have no problems with any version of iMovie. (Thanks yet again Apple, for keepingthings simple. And this is from a PC-biased guy!) Export options include firewire and USB 2. Iprefer and use firewire on both Mac and PC. There are also component and HDMI outputs forconnecting to a high definition TV. Thankfully, the HDMI connector is standard size, so you canuse an existing HDMI cable if you have one, rather than buying the specialized one mostcameras require. As usual, component cables are included but no HDMI cable. They also includea remote.All in all, the HV40 improves on a time tested and proven model. Going back to the HV20, theHV line has consistently offered top quality, features, and performance. The HV40 is the latest inthat outstanding line and offers a very compelling option for some not to jump on the AVCHDbandwagon just yet.See all 62 customer reviews...My Associates Store | Shopping Cart Browse by CategoryPatio Furniture SetsCamera & Photo Similar ItemsDigital Concepts 0.45X Professio...$20.54Canon VIXIA HV40 Camcorder Batte...$12.95Pro Aluminum Hard Case For The C...$24.99 Accessories