If you're reading this forum for the first time, welcome and I hope you find it as useful as so many of us have.
But please, have a look though the previous threads to see if your question has already been asked before you post.
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1. What is the difference between HD and regular mini-DV tapes?
Price is the main difference. Just buy a reputable brand of MV tape and stick with that brand.
2. What is that rattling sound I hear when the camera is off and should I be worried about it?
The optical image stabilization mechanism rattles when the power is off. It's perfectly normal. Don't worry.
3. How do I get the footage from tape into the computer?
First, you'll need to connect the HV20 to the computer using FireWire cable (aka iLink or IEEE1394). However, no FireWire cable is supplied with the HV20, so you'll have to buy one yourself. Most editing software will allow you to import directly from the HV20. However, for various reasons, some people like to use HDVSplit (PC only) to transfer footage.
(Suggested Thread (PC))
4. How do I get the footage from computer back onto tape?
Use your editing software's Print to Tape function. This may not be available in all editing packages.
(Suggested Thread (PC))
5. Can I use USB2 or only Firewire?
USB is used to transfer from the miniSD card that can be inserted into the HV20. FireWire is used to transfer the video. See question 3. USB will not transfer the video.
6. What is the difference between the PAL and NTSC HV20 models?
The frame rate is different between the two models. In normal mode, the PAL version records 50 interlaced (50i) fields a seconds, the NTSC version records 60 (60i). In progressive mode the PAL version records 25 frames per second, the NTSC version 24 frames.
7. Can a PAL HV20 be made into an NTSC one (or vice-versa)?
No...and Yes! There is now (as of mid-2010) a firmware hack/mod
available for the HV30 that DOES ALLOW PAL/NTSC switching. It works both ways, and can be reversed at will.
Here's the site: Official Firmware Hacking Thread (new)
Currently the HV20 and HV40 are not supported, so for best results with those, use the model appropriate to your region.
In addition, adequate frame rate conversion can also be performed by some video editing software (Sony Vegas, Virtual Dub, etc).
8. What is a 35mm DOF adapter and why would you use one?
They make the background blurred, drawing your attention to the subject. Without such an adapter, almost everything in a scene is in focus. 35mm adapter give footage a more film-like feel.
9. What external microphone should I use?
Rode VideoMics are popular, cheap and very good. Senheiser MKE300 is also popular, though more expensive.Other are available, of course, including Canon's own DM50. Most external mics are mono.
10. What spare battery should I use / Will this battery work in the HV20?
Generic batteries are fine. BP-2L and NB-2L series batteries are fine. The larger the the number after the L (eg, NB-2L14) the higher the capacity of the battery. eBay is a fair place to purchase. For other suppliers, check yor favourite search engine.
11a. After my PF24 footage captured to the computer, it shows up as 29.97fps. Why is it not 24fps?
HV20 inserted interpolated pulldown frames 24fps video to form a 30fps video stream so that the video can be play back on NTSC system.
11b. How do I remove pulldown / What is pulldown?
This applies only to NTSC models. Pulldown is an archaic method of adjusting for the fact that film at 24fps in NTSC is stored at 29.97FPS. In the HV20 24p mode, footage is stored in a 60i 'wrapper'. This causes a degree of blur in the footage. Pullown removal converts the footage to true 24P and thus removes the blur. Due to the way the HV20 records 24p, pulldown removal can not be easily automated.
Admin: Pulldowns are additional frames inserted into the 24fps frames to form a 30fps video stream. So the video can be playback in NTSC system. These pulldown frames are generated by interpolating adjacent frames so they could be blury (to some people).
Eugenia put together steps in her blog to remove pulldown using Steve's HV20pulldown.exe program.
Eugenia's blog of Steve's hv20pulldown.exe automatic process.
If you don't want to deal with all these pulldown procedures, you can buy NeoHDV or AspectHDV from Cineform to remove pulldown during capture. Cineform offers HV20 users a nice discount on purchasing their products.
11c. After I removed pulldown in my 24p footage using a lossless codec, it plays back very choppy with any video program. The sound and audio skips when play back in full screen.
Lossless codecs (uncompressed, Lagarith, Huffyuv) uses unlimited data rate to preserve the image quality. The resulting file is huge in size. Most PC will have trouble playing back the footage full screen in realtime.
11d. Can I remove pulldown after I finish editing the video?
It's questionable and not recommended. Most of us think it's a bad idea.
12. Do I need to use cinemode / What is cinemode?
You don't need it. It is useful however as it removes in-camera sharpening and gamma correction, leaving you more flexibility during the editing stage.
13. Which is better to edit with, PC or Mac?
It's a matter of personal preference. There is a greater choice of editors for the PC, but choice doesn't mean better. Use the system you are comfortable with. (and can afford!)
14. Where can I download a copy of the HV20 Manual?
PAL Version in pdf format.
NTSC Version in pdf format.
15. How do I control shutter speed and aperture at the same time?
Shoot in shutter priority (Tv) mode and then set exposure manually. To check shutter/aperture settings, put a miniSD card in HV20 and depress the photo button halfway.
16. What video editing programs everybody uses? How about Windows Movie Maker? Can I use WMM?
Check out this thread for what's everybody's using to edit HDV video. Only Vista's version of WMM can handle HDV (and not Vista Basic's version either).
17a. Any suggested accessories for my new HV20?
17b. Wide Angle Lens; what is it, do I need it, and which one should I get?
18. Why is my footage 1440 x 1080? I thought I was shooting 1920 x 1080 as Canon claims that's the CMOS sensor's size?"
The pixel aspect ratio (PAR) of HDV footage is 1 to 1.333. Each pixel is stretched 33% wider to fill the 1920x1080 display aspect ratio. This is the HDV standard. Canon DID NOT invented it for HV20.
19. What's the difference between 60i, 24p and 30p?
20. How can I record my VHS footage to the HV cam? Or use the HV cam as a pass-through to record the VHS footage to computer?
21. Is there anything of value on the CD that comes with the HVX0?
Not really. There is a still photo browser and some other junk, but nothing necessary for operation of the HV. See here:
22. Do I need to remove pulldown shooting with 24F mode in HV40?
That applies to HV40 NTSC cameras. Pulldown is inserted only on PF24 mode, not native 24F mode.