HV20: bless or curse for Canon?

Check the three pages of pictures here. You will see there the kind of rigs people have put together for their HV20. This is the first time in camera history where a consumer camera creates such a following of true fans. The HV20.com forum has over 4,000 members currently and my 24p pulldown removal tutorial was read over 15,000 times so far too. The HV20 is just a camera of course, but when it came out last March, it was by far the best camera in its class — for the price. Months later, and the HV20 still outsells any other HD camera out there, even if Canon released new cameras, like the HG10.

However, while the HV20 brought a good revenue to Canon, is it a good thing for their business? The truth is, the HV20 has eaten away sales of Canon’s higher-end cameras. Canon and others will have to ultimately bring down the prices of their semi-pro cameras by big notch, just to compete in more realistic terms. And this will mean smaller margins for these manufacturers and the commoditization of pro-video. So for the long run, the HV20 might not be as big a business bless as some think and might even be bad for the consumer, as commoditization of hardware usually also means “more bugs”. I don’t complain though, the HV20 will remain my main camera for the next 2-3 years.

Update: Oh, I forgot to mention that on Vimeo, well over 1/3 of all the HD videos uploaded there are all coming from an HV20 user. How cool is that? Here’s the HV20 channel on Vimeo btw, with some of the best videos listed there.

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