Canon: you screwed up

And so Canon announced officially their new line today. I don’t have much gripe on their AVCHD line because while not as good as the HV20 in several levels, I didn’t expect much either. But their new “Vixia HV30”, is a FUCKING JOKE. It is basically the same as the HV20, but in a black coat. Ok, ok, there are a few more differences, but they are not huge:

The HV30 allows for 30p recording.
The HV30 has a VIVID LCD screen.
The HV30 has a new kind of zoom button.
The HV30 has version 28 connection kit (HV20 has version 24).
The HV30 allows for longer record times with the new battery.

But it it still uses 1440×1080. And they don’t seem to offer true 24p either, it’s still PF24 on tape, and its 30p feature is wrapped inside a 60i stream too, it’s not real 30p. So much for great new features.

So basically, the “HV30” is nothing but “HV20.1”. It’s a joke. Canon cashed in like crazy with the HV20, one of the most successful camcorders ever, and instead of offering a camcorder that truly improves on the HV20, they laugh at us with these no-real-improvement product. It’s like they were afraid to add any of new real feature to not spoil their success. Or, they just got greedy and instead of releasing a new firmware version they created a new model.

As for their new AVCHD line of flash-based camcorders, I must say that I won’t touch them. They are dumbed down compared to the HV20/HV30 in many ways, including a smaller lens/filter thread, and their 1/3.2″ CMOS instead of 1/2.7 of the HV-series means almost no background blur!!! And we still don’t know for sure if these camcorders support real 24p without pulldown or not either. The only advantage they seem to have is that one of their modes allows full 1920×1080 recording (not sure until we see a review).

Honestly, in terms of “progress” over their previous line up, Panasonic’s new high-end consumer 24p/progressive camcorder seems much more “progressed” compared to their previous models, than any of these Canon cameras. Canon really disappointed me today. It’s like they don’t want the HV20 owners to upgrade. How idiotic is that?

I think I will wait for the RED MINI pocket camera and be done with that shit.


nzo wrote on January 7th, 2008 at 2:43 PM PST:

You’d be amazed at how many will buy this new cam on appearance only, because it’s BLACK. I also understand that HV20 accessories/lenses are not interchangeable with HV30.

The greed that drives Canon infuses the whole industry. Tweak a little here, there, and voila! you have a new cash cow.

Stuff it Canon!

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Eugenia wrote on January 7th, 2008 at 2:45 PM PST:

The accessories are compatible between the HV20 and HV30. They both have a 43mm filter thread. Their AVCHD cameras aren’t compatible.

Joseph wrote on January 7th, 2008 at 4:55 PM PST:

I would love an HV20 in black, if you upgrade some features, that would be rad too. HV20 was an insane camera for the money, it pretty much wrecked shop on anything in it’s price range.

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Eugenia wrote on January 7th, 2008 at 5:01 PM PST:

Yes, but Canon could do the same again too, by wrecking the HV20 itself with a brand new camera that builds on the HV20’s shortcomings for a similar price. And yet, instead of innovating, they sat down and ate all the money they made off the HV20 in candy. They did NOTHING to build on the success of the HV20.

I saw that you called me a “troll” over at Engadget. That wasn’t nice, it seems that you don’t like your beloved Canon get criticized. I bet I own more Canon hardware than you and your apartment block combined do. So, yes, I get to criticize when Canon screws up.

Bruno (alias koala) wrote on January 8th, 2008 at 6:57 AM PST:

The only positive point of this new HV30 (not cited on your blog) is the bigger zoom lever (the one of the HV20 is very small).

Except that, it’s a shame that Canon has not corrected some basic weak points of the HV20 (that are now in standard into the HV30 too…) like:
– a ‘noisy’ body because poorly designed (the tape motor noise and some plastic scraches are transmitted to the inboard microphone): it should not be a big investment to derivate the existing HG10 design into a HDV version…
– Sony and Panasonic already propose a good quality Zoom-in microphone on their HD camcorder : not a big investment to add this feature,
– a better resolution for the LCD screen: the new one is maybe “multi angle & vivid” (I guess that are more marketing buzz words than real differences…) but is still poor in resolution and dosen’t permit to make a real manual focus. In comparaison, the new 2008 Sony HDV camcorder HDR-HC9 offers now a 3.2″ LCD with 921Kpixels instead of only 211Kpixels –maybe still not enough but more than 4 time better than the HV20/HV30–,
– a better viewfinder in term of resolution and mobility: a fixed viewfinder with only 123Kpixel is simply a joke for a modern HD camcorder (the 2007 JVC GZ-HD7 was already more lucky with its 240Kpixels).

I know that all the things added, the camcorder cannot be sold for the same price, but why not Canon proposes one entry level HDV model (HV30) and one another more pro-sumer level (HV40?) with a difference of $200 or $300? They apply the same kind of logic with the 2 AVCHD models, as do the other manufacturers with their own HD models.

arkoko wrote on January 8th, 2008 at 10:31 PM PST:

However, we are still not sure if it writes on tape 1920×1080 or if it still uses 1440×1080 (chances are, it’s still 1440).
It’s still 1440 because of HDV standard.

Jim wrote on January 10th, 2008 at 8:42 PM PST:

Well I am disappointed, the fact is if Canon had actually improved the HV20 I would shell out another $1000 in a heartbeat. I think the HV30 will be a big disappointment, I liked how Eugenia said it is built on its shortcomings, I think Canon missed a great opportunity to secure the $1000 camcorder market and now I wonder why the other camcorder manufactures don’t step into and build an improved camcorder

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Eugenia wrote on January 10th, 2008 at 9:13 PM PST:

Panasonic already has. Its new camera does 24p, full HD and has a focus ring. Canon lost a big opportunity to be the one this year too.

Charles Darke wrote on January 13th, 2008 at 11:38 AM PST:

It will happen eventually. They’re probably trying to milk us for all we have but sooner or later the 300D of the video world will arrive.

Leno wrote on January 15th, 2008 at 9:24 AM PST:

“I think I will wait for the RED MINI pocket camera and be done with that shit.”

Hmm… You’re joking, or do you have any info on that? 🙂

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