The Great HD Shoot-Out - Canon HV20, Sony HDR-HC7, Panasonic HDC-SD1, JVC GZ-HD7 by David Kender and John Neely HDV Shoot OutThis month marked the arrival of perhaps the most anticipated HD camcorder of the year on US store shelves as JVC’s HD Everio finally hit the market. The GZ-HD7 joins HD camcorders from Sony, Canon, and Panasonic atop the consumer market and presents a unique opportunity. For the first time, a true diversity of consumer HD camcorders from four major manufacturers is available in the US. This means more choice than ever, and as our testing shows, there are some great choices available. HDV models like the Canon HV20 and Sony HDR-HC7 produce stunning video and cram a host of advanced features previously limited to prosumer cams into their (relatively) miniature frames. The long-anticipated arrival of the Everio also means an end to the months of hype that have followed since the emerging rumors in September 2006, and the opportunity for buyers to make their choice among the category’s flagship offerings. We at have been part of that hype, because on paper, the HD7 looks like a category killer – if not the progenitor of an entirely new category. It shoots what JVC calls “Full HD† at 1920 x 1080 to a 60GB HDD, and utilizes a brand new flavor of MPEG-2 compression at up to 30Mbps. And therein lies the source of the buzz . MPEG-2, of course, is used in HDV compression, and currently represents the gold standard for affordable HD video. read more...

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