DV by Chuck Gloman HV20There has always been a divide between consumer equipment and professional gear, but Canon has produced a rather tempting prosumer camcorder that provides quality HD images at a surprisingly low price point. Weighing slightly more than a pound without battery, the HV20 is one small camcorder, though it includes a color viewfinder and a 2.7" widescreen flip-out LCD monitor. Its single CMOS sensor has more than 2 million active pixels (1920x1080) when shooting 1080i/60 HDV and more than 1.5 million active pixels when shooting DV. Turning on the camera is slightly awkward - you use a thumb-activated wheel in the rear. Push down on the green button and slide the switch to the left to open the external lens shutter (instead of a dangling lens cap that is quickly lost), and you are in camera mode. If the same switch is slid to the right, the camera is in tape mode. The zoom switch is a tiny toggle directly in front of the photo button. (The HV20 doubles as a digital still camera). Sized for third graders or those with dainty fingers, linebackers will need someone else to zoom for them. If you plan on sharing the HV20 between several users, such as students, I believe this switch could become inoperative quickly. read more...

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