Canon VIXIA HV30 MiniDV High Definition Camcorder with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
List Price: $899.00

Our Price: $899.00

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Product Description

The dramatic Canon VIXIA HV30 incorporates advanced features to bring knowledgeable and demanding videographers the ultimate in HD video and digital photo quality. The VIXIA HV30 is packed with Canon exclusive features you won't find anywhere else. Canon's full HD CMOS sensor and advanced DIGIC DV II image processor deliver breathtaking detail and the best in color reproduction. SuperRange optical image stabilization and instant auto focus gives you the shot control high definition demands. With the genuine Canon 10x HD video zoom lens and a host of other advanced features the VIXIA HV30 is sure to be your choice in high definition camcorders. And, with its HD and standard definition recording modes, you can make the move to HD without making your SD equipment obsolete.The VIXIA HV30 is easy to use and delivers the high level of performance you've come to expect from Canon. It's the next step in premium quality high definition camcorders for which sophisticated and discerning videographers have been waiting.

  • Capture high-defintion video to MiniDV
  • 10x optical zoom; SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer
  • 24p Cinema Mode; 30p Progressive Mode
  • 2.7-inch widescreen Multi-Angle Vivid LCD
  • Simultaneous photo capture

Customer Reviews:

  • Fresh out the box
    I just opened the box up.I must say that everything looked fine.I love doing business with Amazon so far.They are fast and professional.But anywho, everything seems to be in tact. I tried to play with the camera a little bit but the battery was on a very short life.Good to know that the tripod holes are universal, so mine fits just fine. Overall, I just cant wait to start filming!!!!!!!!! Its looks excellent.Thanks to both Canon and Amazon!!!!!!...more info
  • Hi Def Great, Controls need work
    I used this camera for two weeks on vacation. The Hi Def Video is amazing. However, the controls on the rear of the camera are cramped and for me I would of preferred the start/stop to be switched from the Function/Menu control. Otherwise, if you like to have creative control and can live with the fact that DV tape is on it's last leg this camera is a great value for the money....more info
  • Good HD DV Camera
    I bought this camera for filming my 1 year old boy. It is a great camera and it does a good job and is very easy to use. I don't like the amount of gain added to the video when shooting in low light. Although I love the 10x optical zoom (big fan of zoom) it causes a lot of problems when you need wide angle footage or you are in tight spaces. You need to be around 7-10' away to be able to get people standing on the film. A wide angle lens helps this a lot.

    A few tips for people looking at this camera:

    1) Buy larger spare battery
    2) Do not switch tape brands, I use Sony but if you buy a brand of tapes, stick with them, or you can damage the camera
    3) Buy the WD-H43 wide angle lens (expensive, but worth it!)
    4) You do not need to use HD tape, standard DV tape works fine. Although quality differs greatly between tapes.

    I know a lot of people do not like tape or want to get away from tape, when I originally looked for a camera, this was my goal but after reading a lot on HD camera, I found a lot of comments about the format used by many HD and DVD camera AVHD or something has a lot of compatibility problems and issues. I originally wanted a HD camera, but backing up 30G of data every shoot on at least 2 external sources is nearly impossible. Tapes work great as an easy archive....more info
    A bit of my background. I am a professional film maker with several Emmys's for my work. I purchased this camera as a home video unit for my wife, and myself as well. Now, for the detaisl:This is a wonderful compact camera, with great HD video. A few Drawbacks:
    1:Flimsy access to cable plug-ins via a rubber lift accesses which can tear off after many uses.
    2:You need two different cables (included) to transfer your pictures and videos to your computer, Video transfers need special software in order to transfer to computer. The software that comes with the camera will NOT work.
    3:Overly complicated manual. ON-Off /selector button- badly designed, not easy to use.
    4:Sound is less than desirable (Built in Microphone.) You can purchase your own microphone, or Canons, however, microphone "Shoe "(Attachment) will only work with Canon's mike....more info
  • This Guy needs to make up his mind....
    Hey man, are you upset about the price match or the fact the camera isnt the best quality. Why would you want them to price match if you dont want the camera? Why dont you just return it? Or why dont you just stop whinning?...more info
  • Frustratingly Defective product
    My wife bought the HV30 for my birthday. I eagerly unpacked it, charged the battery, reviewed the instructions, setup the camera and fired away at my little pug scratching herself on the bed. I played it back in hi def on my TV, great picture and then the camera totally locked up with the red light on in all positions including off! I couldn't eject the tape, lens cover was stuck open, zippo.

    Left it overnight, battery was drained, plugged it in and it magically worked again! Charged up the battery again and took a likely Academy Award winning video of a Dunkin Donuts coffee cup on my kitchen counter. The camera again locked up so it is now on it's way back to the Amazon with the tape of my pug and the Academy Award winning Dunkin Donuts cup still stuck in the camera. Requested full credit, don't want another one.

    Bye Bye!...more info
  • Gorgeous images for an unbeatable price.
    I have been incredibly happy with this camera. Even with its base settings it gives a gorgeous, clear picture, with great color. On top of that it has plenty of custom settings to tweak your image. I've had it for weeks and I still haven't figured out how to get the most out of it.

    It has component, and HDMI outputs, alongside the standard AV, and firewire jacks. It also has a mic input, and a viewfinder (which a lot of models are dropping nowadays). The LCD does it job, but when you're outside the viewfinder is invaluable.

    I've been using this thing a lot and I'm constantly impressed by the way it captures an image. And it's got a price point that's hard to say no to. I know this isn't a very technical review but all I can say for a fact is that this thing is more then any home user will ever need, and great for a entry level videomaker....more info
  • Good Images and Features but Bad Ergonomics
    The image quality is quite good and there are lots of good features like the ability to use both SD and HD tapes. However, the ergonomics of this camera are TERRIBLE. It's almost impossible to hold it comfortably in the hand and be able to hit both the REC button and the zoom button at the same time. This isn't an issue for me because I use it off a tripod, but it's going to be a problem for most people....more info
  • A Fine Cannon Camera
    I have had a Cannon HV30 for about a month now. The quality is extremely good. There may be bias in this statement because I am moving from standard def video from a Cannon S3 IS camera. The colors are brilliant and the low light performance is amazing compared to any other video that I have ever seen from a camcorder of this price/feature set. Personally, I wish that the manual features were easier to use. Overall, buy this camcorder if you want ease of use and amazing quality....more info
  • Good Camera at a good price
    I bought this camera to replace an old Sony I had. So far the camera has delivered on all it's marks. Editing with Final Cut Pro is simple and capture is as expected. I have recommeded this camera to a friend who is in the market for a new one. I went with this model because it uses DV tapes which are cheap and makes backup easy....more info
  • Tape get's stuck
    I used the camera for about a week. I ran into a mechanical problem - it gave me an error when I inserted a tape and asked for the tape to be removed. However, the tape mechanism was stuck and I could not open the tape compartment.

    I contacted Canon and they asked me to send it for repair as they were able to troubleshoot over the phone. They repaired the camera and returned it. In a couple of uses, I ran into the same problem. Tape was stuck inside the camera. I have returned the camera to

    Bottlomline: Excellent customer service from both Amazon & Cannon. I hope the problem was a one-off issue. The recodings were great.

    ...more info
  • Canon HV 30 Better than others say it is
    I bought my HV30 a month or so ago on Amazon. When the price dropped instantly by $140, Amazon said they had stopped honoring the 30-day price drop program Sept 30th. Hmmm. I guess I could have returned it, but couldn't be bothered.

    Audio: I was so paranoid about the audio after reading reviews that I bought the Rhode video mic before I ever got the camera. I assumed I should need it with such consistent poo-pooing in these reviews. The audio is perfectly fine. I tried the external mic, and while it is fine also, I will never need it. The general wisdom is that the tape mechanism is loud, and can be heard on the recording. Not so from my tests, even in a quiet room. I will say though when I first turned it on, I did note that the tape mechanism seemed unusually loud. I never thought about it with my Sony, but the Canon built-in mic is great, better than my old Sony, and I have never thought about the noise since. Makes me wonder if I somehow stumbled onto an upgraded permutation of the HV30.

    Picture quality: The startling perfection of the picture is something. I know people complain that tape is really only 1440 lines of resolution, but I cannot imagine being able to tell the difference. I watch my HD on a 65" TV and the canon picture looks pretty much like Discovery HD to me.

    A couple of things I wondered about that I have never heard explained:
    1) If the camera uses the same tape as a standard definition camera, does that mean that the tape will last for less time in high-definition? - The answer is the tape is the same 1 hr in standard or hi-def. You don't need the "hi-def" tapes - the regular ones work great.
    2) Since I don't have a hi-def burner, will the downgraded video from HD look any better burned to DVD than the standard definition video? Answer: Oh Yes! What a pleasant surprise. The DVD looks so good, I really can hardly believe it. I do have the "upconvert" dvd player - I highly recommend one - the function works remarkably well and they're cheap.

    Another pleasant surprise: I wasn't sure my old Sony tapes would play well in my new camcorder, since I have read that slight camera differences might interfere with correct playback, but they play back perfectly, so now I can still capture tapes from many years ago, even though my Sony has given up the ghost after twelve years of loyal and voluminous service.

    The Bad: The ergonomics are not great. I have a hard time holding the camera while needing to push the record and stop, which makes my recording a little bouncy. Also, I hate having my hand wrapped around the flimsy feeling tape housing. I worry about creating wear and tear. And lastly, I will concur with the crowd that the very low light video is remarkably crapola, but there is a built in light that is sufficient to cure that.

    Conclusion: There is something about having an HD picture beyond mere resolution. The resulting video is much more compelling, creating a feeling you are really seeing what a scene was like. I can't imagine ever going back to standard definition....more info
  • Rolling Shutter, Tapes
    I bought this camera about 6 months ago based on reviews and have regretted getting it ever since.

    This camera, along with all CMOS-style camcorders, suffers from the rolling shutter effect when not mounted stationary. It looks like the movie is made out of jello and gets worse as you zoom in. If you're planning on doing tripod only shots, then this is the camera for you. Otherwise if you want to record hiking, skiing, or any other action where the camera is moving DO NOT get this camera.

    Also, Tapes are a thing of the past... go with a SD-supporting AVCHD camcorder and forget this one. So much easier to deal with and less bulky.

    I still do not understand how this got such raving reviews....more info
  • Great camera
    This is my first HD camcorder. I spent months researching and debating the merits of minDV versus AVC-HD. I decided to go with tape due to the ease of editing, easy storage, low price of the tapes, and compatibility with iMovie '09. I have not been disappointed. After a few weeks of experimenting it is easy to master all of the controls. Many have commented on the flimsy feeling of the housing for the cassette. While it's true that the outer shell of the tape deck moves a little it will hardly be noticed after a few days of use. The outer shell really just serves a protective function and is not directly attached to the tape unit itself. Also, when you have your hand around it through the strap you can grap the main part of the camera with your fingertips essentially holding the tape deck tight. It's not a problem at all (although I don't know why they couldn't just make it feel a little sturdier).

    A couple of points. I bought the DM-50 mic. I'm a wannabe "prosumer" and maybe that's why I can't tell the difference but I don't think the mic has really enhanced my videos much, not for $150 anyway.

    A lot of people have complained about the clicking of the function and menu buttons. This can be a problem. The function button makes a loud click when your press it in the center to open the menu. It is possible to be gentle with the side to side and up/down clicks. This is one case where the DM-50 accessory mic has helped. I find that if I'm careful, I can change settings while recording (mic level, exposure) without the mic picking up the noise. The buzz of the tape itself is essentially completely eliminated. Overall, very very quiet. I mention this because this was a key concern I had. I have a Sony DVD camcorder and the noise from the DVD spinning and recording is unbearable. I didn't want to spend money on an HD recorder and experience the same thing.

    It's hard to hit the menu button with my thumb while holding the camcorder. That's not too much of a problem because you can't use the menu function while recording anyway. The view finder does not adjust as mentioned in other reviews. I never use the view finder anyway so it's not a problem for me. The life of the included battery is not long so buy another one. Also, unlike a Canon rebel camera, it does not come with an external charger for the battery. Those can be quite expensive, even on Amazon. If you are a beginner like me an want to transfer video immediately you have to buy a firewire cable. I didn't have one and was so eager to upload video I had to go to best buy and drop over $30 on a 6 pin firewire cable. Save yourself some frustration and money and buy one off Amazon for half the price at the same time you buy your camera. The widest angle setting is not that wide. I'm going to buy the canon wide-angle lens soon. I think this is probably the case for any camcorder.

    So, for someone who just entered the HDV market I am extremely pleased with this purchase. It is easy to use with my mac and iMovie. I think it feels sturdy. It is pretty daggon quiet. And the picture is just unbelievable. The media is perfect for me. I got what I wanted....more info
  • Difficult to use
    The camcorder doesn't come with a shoulder strap. The viewfinder doesn't slide out, which makes it very difficult to use. The shape of the camcorder doesn't facilitate one hand use. This is my fourth camcorder, and this Canon is the least handy to use. The video quality is very good....more info
  • The best camcorder
    This is by far the best camcorder, is so easy to capture the video for editing, the 3megapixels camera is not bad , it takes nice pictures in day light.i completly recomend...more info
  • I made the switch to the Canon HV 30 and I'm glad!
    Can't really add much new to the already glowing reviews for this camera except to say that I've been making movies with minidv cameras for quite awhile and just switched to the Canon HV 30. At first glance the operation seems similar to my older cameras (which were Sonys and I liked them) but when I downloaded the footage to my computer and watched it on our 47 inch hd tv..... Wow.
    Grandchildren look really great in high definition!...more info
  • Amazing Little Camera!!
    This camera has performed above and beyond my expectations. As an amateur filmmaker I have been comtemplating purchasing a Panasonic AG-HVX200A which can cost upwards of $5000. I instead decided to save my money and buy the Canon HV30 at almost one-tenth of the price. I will start off saying that the image is amazing. The camera allows you to shoot both HD and SD (not sure why anyone would should Standard Def anymore), and it also gives you the option to shoot in 24P or 30P format. I recently shot a short in 24P and added the camera's "Cinema" mode, and the result was astonishing. Keep in mind, this is a a handycam, not a prosumer 3-chip camera. I also bought an external microphone, which I highly recommend. The camera has a built in sound meter that helps you monitor the sound for a more professional recording. I was also very pleased with the camera's manual functions. You can manually control most of the camera's basic functions including focus, exposure and white balance. Battery life is marginal, so I recommend purchasing some longer life batteries. Whether you just want to shoot your family vacations or begin your career as a filmmaker, the Canon HV30 has the versatility to handle it all, and at a very reasonable price to boot....more info
  • Great home movies
    Got this to tape the kids... wish my parents had done some video-taping! The image is amazing on HDTV (with Sony HD MiniDV's). Light-weight and lots of video options. Takes decent photos. (But if you bought this camera, you probably own a better picture-taking device already, like me.) Had to replace the first one I bought, though. Didn't even have it 24 hours and I noticed the shutter (which was a good feature for me) wouldn't close all the way after I played with the image settings. Fluke?
    Overall, I really like it, just gotta juggle the camcorder, big digital camera, and a couple youngsters all at once!...more info
  • I love it!
    I love it! I have no complaints whatsoever; it's great for my uses (homemade music videos).

    Take some time to read the manual and keep it handy while you use the camera the first couple times. That will help you capture great footage!...more info
  • little gem
    While file-based acquisition will be the way to go in the future, for now, this little baby gives me just what I'm looking for - a fantastic HDV acquisition with tape-based backup. The color fidelity is fantastic, the image stabilization works very well. If you do your own editing, the bandwidth of the HDV video is well within the capabilities of most PC's and Macs. Get yourself a decent editing system and you will be surprised at what you can get out of this camera.

    Some have complained about the joystick location. Is it perfect? No. But it is very functional and you should have no problem living with it. Like any camera, you have to learn its functions and capabilities and then make adjustments to those configurations. The accessory shoe is a nice touch, allowing anyone to add a higher quality shotgun mic to the unit for better sound. While the manual focus could be a little quicker (I would love it if the camera had the ability to pull focus more quickly) the automatic mode works very well. It finds focus incredibly fast.

    I am very impressed with the macro focusing capabilities of this camera. With proper stabilization and a little imagination you can create your own Discovery insects show! (if you are so inclined) Seriously, you can get GREAT closeups of flowers, insects, you name it.

    I'm just beginning to play with the cinema mode to see how closely it emulates a film-look. For the price and the features I am well pleased with this camera. ...more info
  • Works great, feels weird
    I love this camera. The quality of the video is outstanding, it has gobs of options, and best of all, it's Mini-DV, so I can get creative after the camera goes off and produce an outstanding custom film. Canon recommends using special HD Mini-DV tapes, but regular DV tapes work just fine. I do tend to stay away from the bargain basement variety however. The camera has a ton of features. Some of the more useful features (like the focusing light and flash) are not found on the lower-end cameras. It also has a hot shoe for greater flexibility if you're a semi-pro. I won't pretend, I'm an amateur, shooting everyday family footage, however, recording the early years of my children is more important to me than any multi-million dollar commercial or movie is to the biggest Hollywood directors. I want the best results for an amateur, and this camera delivers. I use this cam with Apple Final Cut Express and it works wonderfully. The menus are easy to navigate and logocally arranged... all of which brings me to my one missing star (I wanted SOOOO bad to give it 5 stars. I certainly didn't want to take a full star off. (Amazon, you need a half star system or something). Anyway, the ergonomics do STINK. As one reviewer wrote, it just feels weird in your hand. Everything is spaced as unintuitively as possible. They must have had someone with really tiny hands testing in Canon R&D because regardless of how many times I adjust the strap on this thing, I feel like clumsy and awkward when using it. My previous camera, a PAnasonic, would slide onto and feel like an extension of my hand. Maybe I just have to get used to this one, but I have to hold it in an awkward manner resting on my thumb instead of with my thumb free to control the recording. The camera on-off button took a little adjusting to as well. After several episodes of inadvertantly switching back and forth between camera and play (while attmpting to it turn off), I finally got the knack of how to turn it just right, so it powers off. As another reviewer mentioned, they also stuck the menu joystick where the record button is usually located (on other camcorders). I accidentally pushed the joystick a few times, attempting to start recording. The actual record button is actually offset to the bottom left of the joystick. The awkward way the camera fits my hand also makes it difficult to comfortably access the zoom controls. All of these minor gripes are more of a small inconvenience than a deal breaker, however, because they are there, I (begrudgingly) had to take one star off. Other than that, with the new H40 coming out in a couple months with a MSRP of $1,000, HV30's can be had for little more than $500 now. Grab one! Bad ergonomics aside, this is one heck of a camera. If you want your next graduation, wedding, vacation, or other footage to look absolutely stunning, you can't go wrong here, becasue the footage IS stunning. I thought about buying the HV40, but I decided to grab the HV30 for nearly half the price of the upcoming HV40. I get the same quality and get to keep a nice chunk of change in my pocket....more info
  • Best Video Quality I've Ever Seen in a <$2000 Camcorder
    I've been buying camcorders since they've existed and every time I've brought a new camcorder home I've had the same experience, that is, the picture I saw on my TV never matched my expectations, it never even came close. I always hoped to see the quality of video I saw on the TV and news shows I watched and was always disappointed when the camcorder video quality always fell well short of that expectation. Until now! The Canon HV30's 1080i HD video quality on my 46" LCD screen is stunning, better than I could have ever hoped. The first time I saw some video I took of beautiful Snoqualmie Falls I kept saying "wow" over and over. The video quality was far above any non-HD broadcast video and, to my eye, on par (or close to) with the video I see on many HD broadcast channels. OK, this camera is obviously not of the same caliber of those used for network HD televison, but dang, it comes as close as any "prosumer" camcorder I've ever seem.

    I also must say the the image stabilization is the best I've ever seen as well. Rock solid video even at long distance, 10x zoom. Pans can be made easily to look Steadicam solid. Very impressive.

    I can't really think of anything negative to say about the HV30. I guess if I had to pick something it would be battery life of under an hour. The can be addressed with an optional long life battery. But that is really being nitpicky, this camera is fantastic.

    You can read all about the bells and whistles elsewhere, but if VIDEO QUALITY is THE most important thing to you then this camcorder should be your only choice.

    ...more info
  • hv30
    I had choppy playback the first time I used it. Then, it started eating tapes. I sent it back, and they said that they would fix it or send a reconditioned camcorder back. It has been over a week, and we shall see. I am disappointed that they just didn't send a new camcorder, seeing that this was only used once....more info
  • Excellent Camera for Filmmakers on a Budget
    Absolutely everything that I wanted it to be. I am a graduating film student and this was the perfect camera to start off with. Not as big and "professional" looking as things like a GL-2 or DVX100B, but the image is better than both, I assure you.

    If you are going with this camera (and I highly recommend it), make sure to get a wide-angle lens adapter and an external mic. Those two things make this camera absolutely perfect for everything from home movies and weddings to senior thesis films and music videos. ...more info
  • Professional HD quality without the professional price tag
    This year's version of last year's camcorder of the year (HV20) with a black paint job and the addition of 30p mode. Great camera.

    -Amazing quality HD video
    -Uses more common video format than the AVCHD of it's hard drive and flash memory siblings with less compression artifacting and more compatibility with current video editing software (AVCHD editing is very CPU intensive and resource hungry. IMPORTANT: Premiere Pro CS3 and earlier DO NOT support this format without buying an expensive codec. However, CS4 does support it)
    -Suprisingly small size for a camera this good
    -Manual focus dial
    -Manual shutter and aperture priority settings
    -Great low-light performance
    -Three shooting modes (24p, 30p, 60i)
    -Both a viewfinder and an LCD screen
    -Accessory shoe
    -Lots of ports (mic, headphones, AV, mini HDMI/firewire, USB, I may be forgetting a couple)
    -Good image stabilization

    -Manual focus dial could be bigger
    -Side strap isn't the softest
    -Viewfinder doesn't telescope or tilt
    -Cannot adjust both shutter speed and aperture manually, only one or the other (e.g. you can manually set shutter speed but then the camera automatically adjusts aperture, or vice versa)
    -Front LED light is either too bright up close, or not bright enough from far away, would prefer IR night vision as an option
    -Menus take a little getting used to, not the most convenient layout

    There are more pros and cons here, but these are the ones that are important to me. Overall this camera is GREAT. I absolutely love the amazing quality of the pictures; the high resolution and the wonderfully saturated colors. Great camera, especially for the price!

    Note: I also recommend getting a Raynox 6600Pro lens for this. I have the 52mm version with a 43mm-52mm adapter. Many many uses for it and it works wonders with this camera. Also, if you want to see what this camera can do, just search HV30 in vimeo or youtube and you will find many videos showing off the quality this camera is capable of. Enjoy!...more info
  • I was screwed by Canon
    They sold me a defective product. A HV30 camcorder. The shoe does not work. Come on people, how hard is it to check and see if the shoe works before sending it out of the factory? And the desk top recharger worked for a few days and then died. I of course contacted customer service and they told me to bit it. Sure, send it in and someday you might get it back. But I bought it to use now, on the campaign trail, I told them. And they said, that's your problem.

    Time to start looking elsewhere, people.

    Stewart Nusbaumer...more info
  • Very Impressive
    I have had my Canon HV30 for a little over two months and I'm loving it so far. It is a great consumer camera and the the product has the capability of producing a very professional picture. At first, I wasn't too impressed with the picture in low light situations. It was very noisy and seemed laggy when pointing towards a light. I was partially to blame for this. After some research over at the hv20 forums, I discovered how to adjust the gain on the camera to 0. Given the right lighting, this produce a perfect low light picture with no noise or lag whatsoever.

    I paired my HV30 with a raynox 6600 wide angle lens and was very satisfied with the result. The raynox added a little weight to the camera but what do you expect? Once I adjusted to the weight, I was still able to keep the camera pretty steady, even without a steadicam.

    One thing that stood out to me before I purchased this camera was, unlike most newer model camcorders, this one uses Mini-DV. This was a must for me because I did not want to deal with the hassle of hard drive space, and the tapes are great for archiving purposes.

    I would recommend this camcorder to anyone looking for a well built, great quality camcorder. The all black casing provides a sleek, professional look that almost anyone would like. I was very impressed with the picture quality of this thing. It was flawless to me and I'm sure it will be to the average consumer too. ...more info
  • A couple things you need to know!!!!!!!!
    First of all this is an excellent camcorder the picture quality is excellent and I have had absolutely no problems with the sound... I'm still going to get a mic anyway for more quality video sound, but as far as motor noise this must have been fixed and I also don't see anything wrong with the tape compartment. There are a couple things you need to consider however when buying this Camcorder... you will need these things with it...
    1.) 4 pin to 4 pin IEEE firewire cable (Don't be fooled the cheaper .89 cent cables work just as well as the high quality $25.00 cable!!!) Make sure it's the 4 pin... I accidently bought a 6 pin to 4 pin.

    2.) You have to have a fire wire port for your computer if you don't you can buy one, that is if you have a desk top... if you don't have one and you have a laptop you probably are not going to be able to download video to your computer!

    3.) You will need tapes, the high def work great, but the standard are just as good!

    4.) The battery last and hour, so you may want another for a back up (For me this wasn't a big deal because I shoot in the studio where I can just plug it in.)

    5.) A tripod is always a good thing to have if you're shooting professionally. Shaky shots are not a good thing.

    I'm working on a video review, till then I hope these tips help you!
    Over all I have to say I am very pleased with this camera. The quality of video is excellent, it's light weight and easy to tug around, the sound is just fine for normal videos, it picks up someone talking from 25ft away, and I love the remote that it comes with, makes it easy to shoot yourself.

    Check out some of the videos made with the HV30 at vimeo dot com [..] just type in HV30 in the search field if you want a video reference to see what they can do. I also stand behind Cannon, they've been around for years... All in All 5 stars!

    ...more info
  • The best consumer camcorder
    I think this is the best you can do without going into the prosumer +$2000 level. Here is what sets it apart from the average cheap camcorder:

    1. The ability to shoot progressive frames. This is invaluable for those filming for the internet. Plus, progressive frames compress better; one of the reasons store bought movies look better than average joe's.
    2. The ability to white balance. Especially with blue/green screening, this is very helpful. Good luck finding it on the average consumer camcorder.
    3. Native 1920x1080 sensor times 3. This camera is not FakeD - it's real HD. When it scales, it scales DOWN, not up. It has three sensors for each primary color of light, and the sensors are larger than the Panasonic DVX100's (which is around $2,300). Granted the DVX100 is an SD camera, but it sure helps.
    4. External mic jack. This feature is seldom found on consumer cameras.

    Drawbacks: Viewfinder doesn't move and doesn't have impressive detail. Low light video with a CCD would probably come out better than with this camera's CMOS sensor, so keep in mind you'll want to light well for great video (as usual). The running of the tape mechanism will mess with your audio, so either use the external mic jack or record audio separately. The included battery isn't so hot. Order the better one when you buy this camera.

    It does not have all the ease of control that a prosumer camera would, but notice I'm comparing it to cameras of that caliber to show its shortcomings. My five star rating is based on other cameras in the HV30's price range; and of them I think it is the best. Also keep in mind that with prosumer cameras, an accessory like a tripod is going to cost you a lot more than it will with this little camera. And with its current sale price, if you don't have the budget for a high end camera but want a picture that is just as good or better, this is the one for you! Seriously, even if I had one of those high-priced cameras, I'd still get an extra HV30 because this price is so good and it wouldn't be bad to have it around as a spare....more info
  • Exceptional Picture and Value
    Watch Video Here: This is a great camcorder and while these internet video formats still look really good, playing direct from your camcorder to your TV is amazing. I have a 1080p 42 inch Vizio and the video maintains its hi-resolution and quality at that size.

    The Bad: The handgrip is a little awkward as other reviewers suggest. When zoomed in between the cameras small size and awkward grip, a steady picture is difficult and their is a lot of shake. Also filiming for an extended length of time can be cumbersome for same reasons. With practice and once you are used to it is better. A good tripod also alleviates this problem.
    Also, it can take some time to fast forward and rewind through the miniDV tapes, especially with lots of footage.

    The Good:

    This camcorders positive aspects far outway the bad. It comes with a remote that can be used for playback or while you are recording. This greatly alleviates problems (moving the camera while filming) with zooming and still shots.
    Furthermore, there are three zoom speeds which also make zooming with this camcorder much smoother and better looking.
    It takes great still shots and uses a minSD card which it doesn't come with, but are cheap to find.
    It has two different frame rates and multiple useful film modes.
    The viewfinder is a good size with great color and sharp picture. Plus when you tilt it upside down for instance when filming yourself, the picture flips so you can see what you look like right side up.
    Thanks to the 43mm lens, there are plenty of accessories like filters and wide angle lens attachments, plus if you buy a 43mm to 58mm adapter you can use filters from your other cameras.

    Overall I would buy again and the camcorder is built well with plenty of functions that will take awesome family footage and has great professional uses.

    Other Amazon products used in this video: Vegas Pro 8, Sounds of Kauai, H2 Zoom, Kingston MiniSD, Sony Premium miniDV, ...more info
  • Seriously GREAT video
    I previously owned a Canon ZR930. I bought it for web and other marketing video. It is a great budget, entry level camera, but the resolution is not stellar and the lower light performance is not great, either. I had to return 2 of them before getting a ZR930 that worked--one had a blown mic port and another had a blown Firewire port. Third time was the charm and the ZR930 is a great entry level camera that can be had for less than $300--and it includes a mic port, which is a must.

    I upgraded to this camera (Canon VIXIA HV30) after alot of research and I am glad I went with the one I did. I decided on tape because of the flexibility and proven technology and ease of transferring to computer. Hard drive or flash cameras have a pretty fixed recording time. MiniDV tapes can be swapped out for longer recording. I use Sony Vegas Studio Platinum 9 to edit video and together, this is a pretty unbeatable combination. Imports video directly into my computer, and the quality is breathtaking. Th build wuality on this camera is SUBSTANTIALLY better than the lower end cameras like the aforementioned ZR930. No problems at all with this camera--it has worked perfectly right out of the box and looks and feel more solid in your hands. You are really holding a serious machine.

    REALLY great picture quality. My rough estimate is better than broadcast tv and pretty close to cable HD channels and DVD quality. Very good audio with the built in mic. Includes a microphone input to add an external mic. MUCH better lower light performance than my ZR930. Normal room lighting is good enough to get decent video. Better lighting results is crisp video with great color.

    Lots of picture setting that I have not even begun to investigate yet. A camera that is great to turn on and shoot, with alot of options to play with down the road!

    Very happy with this camera. I find it to be light and comfortable to use. Small enough so that it fits right in a large jacket pocket.

    Nothing bad to say....more info
  • Great Camera
    I have only used it for a half hour now, but it's a very nice camera. The low light recordings are not the best, but i have nothing else bad to say about it. Works great watching my recording directly on my 58" plasma with the HDMI cable. I would look at getting a spare battery or separate charger to....more info
  • Great camcorder, suboptimal ergonomics
    The picture quality of this camcorder is superb even in low light environment. The grip and ergonomics are suboptimal and the buttons are not well located. However, the great picture quality of this camcorder deserves a 5-star rating....more info
  • real "sharp"
    first i just wanted to acknowledge how great Amazon is (happy customer for past 8yrs). Ordered this camcorder with FREE super saver shipping on Friday and got it delivered on Monday!
    Now about hv30, i have been shooting digital with different camcorders for past 7 years and yes, this is the best quality consumer HD camcorder you can get for $$$. There are nicer and better looking camcorders (sexy, flashy gadgets with HDD) but if you want best HD and SD quality of your video look no further. That's it.
    The reviews below have all the details of why this camcorder rocks - so there's no need for me to repeat it all.
    One advise - get one before they are gone!
    ...more info
  • Canon HDV HV30 camcorder
    Camera seems to work fine although it is slow coming on and focusing. I do not find it real easy to select options while recording and the microphone is located in a strange place. I'm about to make my first edited movie using iMovie so we'll see how the HD quality is upon completion. Basically, I am satisfied with this camera....more info
  • Very disappointed
    I purchased this HV 30 camcorder back in November and have been extremely disappointed with it for several reasons. Even though there is a jack for an external microphone, the camera doesn't recognize or record from it. I tried three different mics from different manufacturers and none worked. I finally had to buy the shotgun mic to get any decent sound from it. Next, the camcorder will not connect and transfer video footage to a PC; I have tried five different PC's ( 2 XP's , 2 Vistas, and one Mac). Zero! The computers recognize the camera but hang up when trying to import video. Next, Canon does not include any video capture or editing software; they do for their excellent still cameras but not for camcorders. Isn't that odd? Even worse their website doesn't help solve either problem. Frustrating!

    I had NO trouble importing video from a Sony, but this Canon is beyond me. I love Canon still cameras, but this HV 30 is not up to par. If I had it to do all over again, I would buy a different camcorder....more info
  • Great camera - be careful which retailer you buy from
    When you purchase a camcorder, you are paying for the item as well as the transaction. Its important to choose the right retailer. You wouldnt want to buy from a shady crook on the street - becasue you never know what youre getting in teh box. you wouldnt buy from a crooked store becasue they could bait and switch - or get all crafty with teh transaction and essentially rob you.

    SOme times the cheapest price is not the cheapest price - crooks use a cheap price to lure victims in for the kill.

    Unfortuntely I just had VERY VERY VERY negative experience with 6AV camera. At very least they do not have the most minimal or basic customer service youd expect from reputable retailers. From my experience I'd have to say they are sharks and maybe much worse. So dont save $50 to get the wrong merchandise and some one trying to steal $100 from you to "correct" the situation.

    THis is a great camera btw. the instant focus is insane! love the image quality. ...more info
  • Great quality, but fights with big hands...
    This is a great little (very) video camera that has a cult following that makes it very easy to get all kinds of tips and tricks for giving it even greater capabilities.

    The image quality is amazing, and 10 years ago I would have never expected to get such quality from a camera in this price range. I have friends using these for shooting tv commercials and travelogue shows with great results.

    The cons: it is tiny and all the little buttons are tiny. The zoom lever, and manual focus adjuster are tiny and it feels like the whole thing must be very fragile. The covers for the hotshoe and cables are tethered and cannot be removed with out cutting the tethering... and they are annoying.

    Other than that I love it......more info
  • Don't buy from Amazon
    I bought this item from Amazon for $686 on Oct. 30, It was delivered to me on Nov. 7th. After I rcvd the product, Amazon had already dropped the price. I was too buys to call and ask them about the price guaratntee. Apparantly there price guarantee is only for 7 days (the time it takes to receive the producct). I am very upset that the product has dropped in price by $90 in 24 days. I would not buy this product. At this rate, amazon will be giving these away for free pretty soon. It is a lousy camera. Very bad low light pictures, too noisy and the menu system on the camera requires a PHD in engineering. ...more info