The Canon HV30 is the successor to the award winning HV20 camcorder, building upon the same core as the HV20 adding some extra features in response to fans and critics. On the surface the cameras look very similar with the HV30 coming in black instead of silver and retaining the same barrel shaped form factor to accommodate the 10x optical zoom lens. Alongside the same lens the HV30 uses the same progressive capture 1/2.7" CMOS sensor that records video in the HDV format (1440x1080 resolution) onto miniDV tapes. The major improvements come from fixing some annoying design decisions of the HV20 and the addition of a 30p recording mode for Internet content.
- 10x optical zoom lens
- 3.1MP CMOS sensor
- up to 1080i video recording
- miniDV tapes for storage
- 2.7" LCD monitor, 211K pixels
- Internal lens cover mechanism
- Battery life: 1 hour
- Data ports: USB2.0, Firewire
- Video ports: Component, S-Video, HDMI
The instant auto focus mechanism uses a separate AF sensor to determine distance to the subject, with the image processor handling the finer adjustments. In good lighting conditions and using the standard 60i recording mode the AF takes about 2 seconds to work. The number decreases when the lighting is lower and can be dramatically increased if the AF sensor is covered, and the 24p/30p shooting modes are used.
The 24p shooting mode is a carry-over from the HV20 and attempts to simulate the more blurred motion of natural film movies. Canon also includes the cine shooting mode that changes gamma and color settings to achieve a more muted film-like look. New for 2008 is the introduction of the 30p mode. This mode captures a progressive image at 30 frames per second. The benefit of 30p is that it converts better to Internet formats that are usually viewed at 15 frames per second. Alongside the natural blurring that occurs at the 24p/30p modes, these slower capture rates have the added benefit of better low light performance.