REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonVIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder
 
4.6

(based on 216 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (140)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (70)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great picture quality (205)
  • Great features (159)
  • Comfortable to operate (139)
  • Simple controls (132)
  • Versatile (132)

Cons

  • Poor sound (41)
  • Flimsy construction (34)
  • Poor battery life (23)
  • Uncomfortable (22)
  • Complicated to operate (9)

Best Uses

  • Travel (136)
  • Movies/short films (119)
  • HD shooting (92)
  • Home movies (89)
  • Family (63)
    • How long have you owned it:
    • A month or less

       

      73% 

      (37 reviews)

      One-to-three months

       

      Three-to-six months

       

      More than six months

       
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (79), Semi-pro (37), Casual user (33), Semi-professional (23), Pro videographer (18)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Unbelievable

I bought this camera as a stopgap measure to upgrade economically to HDV in my event videography business. Forget stopgaps: I want a bunch more of these things!

First off,...Read complete review

I bought this camera as a stopgap measure to upgrade economically to HDV in my event videography business. Forget stopgaps: I want a bunch more of these things!

First off, calling this a "consumer" camera is probably a bit of a misnomer. Sure, it'll go full auto and get a novice up and running in an incredibly short time. The DVD that comes with it is actually pretty informative and gives some very useful tips, so first-timers can buy confidently. But the camera will also go manual enough to be used for production, too: focus, white balance, shutter, aperture, microphone levels, and exposure can all be manually manipulated. The tape loads from the top so you can leave it on the tripod for tape changes. I have an independant filmmaker friend who is salivating over the HV30; there are some limitations that the consumer design imposes but only for very advanced photography techniques like long focus pulls combined with a zoom pull. No matte boxes either, but there are plenty of threaded filters available. Bottom line: whatever you want it to do, there's a way to do it.

And the lens! I have never, ever found a consumer camcorder that doesn't have insane depth of field, especially at short focal lengths. Until now. It may be small, but that lens looks pro enough on tape. Whatever Bayer filtering and Digic processing they have done in the optical path works amazingly well too: it really does look a lot like a 3-chip camera.

Drawbacks include awkward placement of controls when shooting handheld, and having to fish through menus to get to various functions, which is what distinguishes this camera from a pro camcorder. And anybody who thinks this thing is flimsy should compare it to some of the more expensive ENG cameras out there; the HV30 is pretty solid for its size.

All in all, it's an awesome camera with features and performance that can't be touched at this price point from any other manufacturer. If you're looking for an economical way into HD, this is it.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Mostly Satisfied

I've been using this camera for about two months now. It leaves my old DV camera in the dust for quality. It does a nice job of readjusting exposure for high contrast situations like...Read complete review

I've been using this camera for about two months now. It leaves my old DV camera in the dust for quality. It does a nice job of readjusting exposure for high contrast situations like bright sky, dark foreground, white snow on dark mountains etc. The picture quality is great, but I'm no expert on the higher end cameras. I bought mine for [$], so its hard to complain. It feels pretty good in the hand, minus the placement of the record button, which requires a jump when handheld to get to, or using your other hand, necessary for steadiness since the camera is so small, an advantage in many other ways (it doesnt look professional). The microphone is nothing special, but you can turn down its input level, in manual controls that are a mystery to find, but at least they ARE there...you can use these to adjust the exposure as well.The battery life doesnt bother me too much compared to my previous camera. It seems to be about 45 minutes shooting without too much zooming. You MUST get the battery charger, unless you want to let the camera sit to charge the battery (this easily could have been included). Has a plug-in for audio, and I bought the DXA-2S mic in and shotgun mount (or lavaliers). With this, you are getting hi-end sound.My main complaint with this camera is the auto-focussing. I dont know if its just mine, or all of them, but it has really been a bear at times. It will adjust to something close, and then take 20-30 seconds to refocus at distance. It is unacceptably slow. There is manual focus, but you will need an adapter to make it useful...a macro filter will help as well, cuz this lens is no macro. Hard to object for the money, though. If you're on mac, forget about using Premiere CS4 for capture. Dont even get me started on that one. iMovie HD will do the job far better, (yes, a free program is better than something that sells itself as a pro program, at least for capture).Of course, it has the 24P format, useful for the film crowd, but I cant imagine shooting even an indie film with this.Documentary, yes, film, hard to imagine...I would not call this camera durable. It should be treated well and protected from water, sand etc very diligently...Also, its not very wide a lens, prob around a 40 equiv, so you're not getting starting wide angle (28mm) without the converter..which seems pricey to me...

Reviewed by 216 customers

Sort by

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Camera For Indy Film Projects

By Film man 1

from North Carolina

About Me Semi-pro Videographer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Great Picture Quality

Cons

    Best Uses

    • HD Shooting
    • Movies/Short Films

    Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

    This was my first camera I used for my Independent Film for the festivals in 2010 and we used it to the max, along with our beechteck adapter and Rode mic Ntg 2 and shop lights from [...] we went to work with little beast and got great results from it get your lighting proper and the camera will make great films in HD. The HV30 Vixa is a great camera to work with, the 24p cinema frame was a big help to me great for our budget. I recommend this camera to the novice Indy Filmmaker starting out. Wonderful!!! So wondeful our film was selected for a Major Film Fest. I am now in production for another film using this camera.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great camcorder if you really know it

    By Marcelo

    from Montevideo, Uruguay (South America)

    About Me Pro Videographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Great Features
    • Great Picture Quality
    • Professional features
    • Versatile

    Cons

    • Bad micro attach
    • Flimsy Construction

    Best Uses

    • Documentaries
    • HD Shooting
    • Movies/Short Films
    • Professional video

    Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

    This is a little piece of technology that you have to understand deeply to take adventage of its features. If you do, it's an excellent camcorder. In fact, it should be cataloged as semi-pro, and not just "customizer". I sure that I recorded short films using HDV that look like filmed with a pro camera.
    If you want it just to go to the beach, and putting it in automatical mode, you'd buy any U$150 JVC.
    Also, you have to get use to operate, then you forget the problem.
    The real bad point of Vixia is the flimsy construction.
    (sorry for my english)

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Love it! Great consumer camcorder

    By Blake the Video Student

    from James Madison University

    About Me Video Enthusiast

    Pros

    • Comfortable to Operate
    • Great Picture Quality
    • Simple Controls
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Documentaries
      • Editing
      • HD Shooting
      • Home Movies
      • Movies/Short Films

      Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

      I've had this camera for 10 months and i have used it for skateboarding videos, home movies, paid projects, school projects, and volunteer promotionals. It's a great size (very easy to bring all around because it's so small), very lightweight, and outputs incredible picture quality. I would definitely recommend this to someone who has an interest in video and wants to get into it more.

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      pretty good for a baby

      By nick the spouxios

      from limassol, cyprus

      About Me Video Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Comfortable to Operate
      • Simple Controls
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Editing
        • Kitesurfing
        • Travel
        • Wakeboarding

        Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

        very easy to use!
        when on auto it really adjusts to the light conditions great

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Great Camcorder - best we have had

        By cfgattis

        from Huntsville, Alabama

        About Me Video Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to use and light
        • Great Features
        • Great Picture Quality
        • Great Sound
        • Simple Controls
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Editing
          • HD Shooting
          • Home Movies
          • Travel

          Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

          We use the camcorder for vacation and travel videos that I later make into movies along with my wife's journal and our still photos. I use Adobe Premier Pro for the movies. We have just moved up to blu-ray and I wanted a good quality HD camcorder for our 40th anniversary trip to Nova Scotia last month.

          We have only used this camera for one trip, but already it is our favorite. It is small, easy to use--the perfect camcorder for travel. The video is rich and full, especially in HD. I prefer having tape for backup and storage purposes and have disliked the hard drive camcorders we have had. I am processing the video for a Blu-ray disk now and it is working well. This is an early review and I have not burned the disc yet, but I can't imagine not being as pleased then as I am now.

          The only downside I see about the camcorder is that the controls sometimes feel just a little awkward, but that may be that we are not used to the camera yet. The mic picts up a little noise, but not as much as other camcorders we have owned. A directional mic might be a good choice for an accessory.

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          agreat product

          By sachit

          from India

          About Me Video Enthusiast

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Great Picture Quality

          Cons

          • Flimsy Construction
          • Poor Sound

          Best Uses

          • Home Movies
          • Travel

          Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

          I have used the product for over a month now the video quality is the best in the market.The picture is really very sharp.Works very will in low light.I have given four stars and not five because of the poor sound it really needs an extra add on mic,lets see an extra add on mic will help.

          Share this review

           
          3.0

          Vixia HV30 DECENT

          By Trace1

          from Ogden, UT

          About Me Semi-pro Videographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Great Features
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Great Sound

          Cons

          • Poor Battery Life

          Best Uses

          • Editing
          • HD Shooting
          • Home Movies
          • Movies/Short Films
          • Travel

          Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

          Image quality is great. I like the many manual options but some are buried in menus and difficult to navigate to. White Balance seems to be inaccurate sometimes.

          I was not aware that the video out jack was shared with the headphone jack which means you have to go to the menu and select which method of output you want which is a pain.

          Joystick is a good idea but on my camera it feels loose.

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          Build could use a little work!

          By Rich

          from Springfield, MO

          About Me Pro Videographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Great Features
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Simple Controls
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • Flimsy Construction
          • Poor Sound

          Best Uses

          • Home Movies
          • Movies/Short Films

          Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

          We use this camera as an HD hand held for production.

          The picture is awesome and easy to match to our other HD gear in post.

          Layout is straight forward and operation is easy.

          The battery pack is a little awkward and if the unit is plugged in w/batt attached it drains the battery before using A/C power?????

          The type of plastic used for the housing makes the camera look and feel cheaply made.

          Share this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A filmmakers best friend.

          By JavaMan Entertainment

          from San Luis Obispo, CA

          About Me Video Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Comfortable to Operate
          • Durable
          • Great Features
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Simple Controls

          Cons

          • Poor Battery Life

          Best Uses

          • Documentaries
          • HD Shooting
          • Home Movies
          • Movies/Short Films
          • Travel

          Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

          B&H has been providing the best in professional video equipment. This recent product that I bought, Canon HV30, provided an absolute artistic imagery for my documentary and short films. I recommend it highly to all first time aspiring filmmakers. Easy to work with, no hassle, and provides the best hd quality, for me personally. If your budget is tight and looking for professionalism in your film image, go for this baby. I even use its powerful light as a flashlight to find my way around my house at night. What a great tool!

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Nicely Done!

          By DP

          from Murrieta, CA

          About Me Semi-pro Videographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Comfortable to Operate
          • Great Features
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Simple Controls

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • HD Shooting
            • Home Movies
            • Travel

            Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

            This little HD camera is great. easy to use and simple. Right out of the box it's ready to use.
            Not only does it have HD, it also has SD and 24p and 30p (film look) recording capabilities. And a nice price!

            Share this review

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Good enough for TV but masquerades well

            By Nalts the Viral Video Genius

            from PA

            About Me Semi-pro Videographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Simple Controls
            • Versatile

            Cons

            • Poor Sound

            Best Uses

            • HD Shooting

            Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

            My third purchase in this line of Canon HV20/HV30s. I've created more than 500 YouTube videos, and the camera is great. It handles rough treatment, creates videos that look close to TV quality, and its really easy to use. The only two things I'd improve on it: better audio (a $100 external mic solves this) and better low-light conditions. Otherwise you look like you're carrying a home video camera, but your quality looks close to a $5-$10,000 TV. Read dozens of reviews before buying and you won't likely find a better camera for the price than this one. [...]

            Share this review

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            A great little camera

            By howser

            from durham nc

            About Me Pro Videographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Comfortable to Operate
            • Great Features
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Simple Controls

            Cons

            • Flimsy Construction

            Best Uses

            • Documentaries
            • HD Shooting

            Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

            This camera is a great product.
            Pro:
            -Stunning HiDef images.
            -MiniDV based.
            -Has a shoe mount
            -Good menu options (doesn't take long to figure out where everything is or long to cycle to which settings are needed for different shoots)
            Con:
            The controls (especially the menu joystick)feels like it could break easily. Same with the tape deck.

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Worth every penny

            By JZ

            from Chicago, IL

            About Me Semi-pro Videographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Comfortable to Operate
            • Durable
            • Great Features
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Simple Controls
            • Versatile

            Cons

            • Poor Sound

            Best Uses

            • Documentaries
            • Editing
            • HD Shooting
            • Home Movies
            • Movies/Short Films
            • Travel

            Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

            Its pretty easy to use and the video quality is really good. Love that it shoots in 24 fps.

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            The Best Camcorder

            By FabianoCrz

            from fbamja3940

            About Me Pro Videographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Comfortable to Operate
            • Great Features
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Great Sound
            • Simple Controls
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Editing
              • HD Shooting
              • Movies/Short Films
              • Travel

              Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

              This product is excellent. I liked of the image in HD, little camera with hight power. Recomended for all folks. Sorry my bad english kkkkkkk

              Share this review

              (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Can't go wrong with a canon

              By Dan Video "o"

              from Niceville, FL

              About Me Video Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Comfortable to Operate
              • Great Picture Quality

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • HD Shooting
                • Movies/Short Films

                Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

                I used this product as primarily with the Equinox HD underwater housing for scuba diving and also in the pool. The zoom finder is a bit sensitive, there does seem to be some internal component that sound loose however it has taken beautiful video every time I have used it. I did have to buy an additional video 4pin to 6pin cable to make it compatible with my Mac and had to work to find out why the standard USB cable wasn't working.

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                This Camcorder is amazingly wonderful!!

                By juliebug

                from lancaster, pa

                About Me Casual User

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Comfortable to Operate
                • Durable
                • Great Features
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound
                • Simple Controls
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • Editing
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Home Movies
                  • Movies/Short Films
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

                  The images from the movies look so real you think you could touch them! I especially love the capacity to take still shots and GREAT videos on one device. The device is awesome!

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Great buy

                  By Benito

                  from San Antonio, TX

                  About Me Video Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Comfortable to Operate
                  • Great Features
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Simple Controls

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • HD Shooting
                    • Home Movies
                    • Movies/Short Films

                    Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

                    Use for vacations and short films. Video is beautiful. Also love the zebra function for controlling exposure. Low light could use a little help but full light video is striking!

                    Share this review

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    so far so good

                    By magnetostatic

                    from Santa Barbara, CA

                    About Me Casual User

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Comfortable to Operate
                    • Great Picture Quality

                    Cons

                    • Poor Sound

                    Best Uses

                    • HD Shooting
                    • Home Movies

                    Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

                    good camera, does all I ask it to do.
                    disadvantages: 1) The built it microphone is not zooming when I zoom in, so there's all sounds on the tape but the sound of the zoomed-in area (person talking...). So external microphone would fix this...
                    2) The focal length of the objective fully zoomed out is still long - the view is not wide enough for indoor recording. - looks like for indoor the external lens with wider view angle is a must. Also 10x is not 20x... no too much of zoom...
                    3) White balance is tricky - in auto mode gives fake colors indoor... need to adjust it manually...
                    But still it records in HD, gives nice dynamic range..

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Analog-to-digital converter

                    By Norm

                    from Colorado Springs, CO

                    About Me Casual User

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Comfortable to Operate
                    • Durable
                    • Great Features
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Great Sound
                    • Simple Controls
                    • Versatile

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Analog to digital convert
                      • Filming belly dancers
                      • HD Shooting
                      • Home Movies

                      Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

                      I'm very happy with this camera. It does everything I expected and I don't suspect I'll regret my decision to buy this particular one. The main reason I got this one was because it was the least expensive of all the HD cameras that also had the analog to digital converter. Now I can also use this to convert all those home movies using a system that I trust converts it into the best resolution possible. (So many analog to digital converters don't so a good job, not to meantion the extreme problems with Windwos drivers in making them work. No drivers needed for this converter!)

                      Share this review

                      (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Mostly Satisfied

                      By Antinet

                      from Seattle, WA

                      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Comfortable to Operate
                      • Great Features
                      • Great Picture Quality
                      • Versatile

                      Cons

                      • Flimsy Construction
                      • Uncomfortable

                      Best Uses

                      • HD Shooting
                      • Movies/Short Films
                      • Travel

                      Comments about Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder:

                      I've been using this camera for about two months now. It leaves my old DV camera in the dust for quality. It does a nice job of readjusting exposure for high contrast situations like bright sky, dark foreground, white snow on dark mountains etc. The picture quality is great, but I'm no expert on the higher end cameras. I bought mine for [$], so its hard to complain. It feels pretty good in the hand, minus the placement of the record button, which requires a jump when handheld to get to, or using your other hand, necessary for steadiness since the camera is so small, an advantage in many other ways (it doesnt look professional). The microphone is nothing special, but you can turn down its input level, in manual controls that are a mystery to find, but at least they ARE there...you can use these to adjust the exposure as well.The battery life doesnt bother me too much compared to my previous camera. It seems to be about 45 minutes shooting without too much zooming. You MUST get the battery charger, unless you want to let the camera sit to charge the battery (this easily could have been included). Has a plug-in for audio, and I bought the DXA-2S mic in and shotgun mount (or lavaliers). With this, you are getting hi-end sound.My main complaint with this camera is the auto-focussing. I dont know if its just mine, or all of them, but it has really been a bear at times. It will adjust to something close, and then take 20-30 seconds to refocus at distance. It is unacceptably slow. There is manual focus, but you will need an adapter to make it useful...a macro filter will help as well, cuz this lens is no macro. Hard to object for the money, though. If you're on mac, forget about using Premiere CS4 for capture. Dont even get me started on that one. iMovie HD will do the job far better, (yes, a free program is better than something that sells itself as a pro program, at least for capture).Of course, it has the 24P format, useful for the film crowd, but I cant imagine shooting even an indie film with this.Documentary, yes, film, hard to imagine...I would not call this camera durable. It should be treated well and protected from water, sand etc very diligently...Also, its not very wide a lens, prob around a 40 equiv, so you're not getting starting wide angle (28mm) without the converter..which seems pricey to me...

                      Share this review

                      Displaying reviews 1-20

                      Back to top

                      Previous | Next »