The best HV20/30/40 videos

It’s been over 2.5 years since the release of the HV20. During that time it became the most game-changing camcorder to ever hit the market: it was the first consumer camera with 24p support, and with its improved lens/sensor, it inspired thousands of amateur filmmakers who were previously limited by the hardware to do what they always wanted to do. Some amazing videos were shot with the HV series, short films, and about 600 official music videos too — an amazing feat for any camera, let alone a consumer one.

However, in the quickly-moving technology of today, the HV series is now fading away: it’s bowing to AVCHD cams, and to the Canon 5D and 7D dSLRs. Once upon a time there were as many as 30-40 HV videos uploaded on Vimeo daily, now we are lucky if we get 5-6. Obviously, as with everything, its time is passing. It’s fully functional of course for those who want to still use it, and it still outperforms some non-Canon AVCHD camcorders! But most artists from the “old gang” on Vimeo have moved on, and I have done so too with my recent purchase of the 5D Mark II.

In light of this, and by trying to close this chapter, I decided to put together a best-of. These are my top-5 favorite HV videos for each category:

Short Movies
1. A Thousand Words *
2. White Red Panic
3. Manifest Destiny *
4. The Ring *
5. Semblance

Runner up: The Unfortunate

Music Videos
1. Malbec – Story Of a Broken Heart
2. The Album Leaf – There Is a Wind
3. Twinn – Don’t Cry *
4. Arman Bohn – Combat
5. Pitchblend – Celsius *

Runner up: D.A.A.N. – He Hallo

General Art
1. Rainy Day
2. Birth.Life.Death. * (NSFW)
3. Ape *
4. Mirror, Mirror
5. Seeing Red
6. Reflections of Home
7. Luna 2 *
8. Unspoken
9. GAY = SIN
10. Wii Boxing *

Special mention: The Condition:Human sci-fi web series.

* The asterisk denotes the usage of a 35mm adapter.

More of carefully selected best-of-the-best HV videos can be found on the HV group.

10 Comments »

Vic wrote on November 14th, 2009 at 9:36 AM PST:

What Eugenia? are you forsaking the HV series? Nooooo.., I’ve read your every entry, and own all three models. what am I suposed to do now? :((( well thanks for all the tips and links you’ve blogd about. you helpt me a lot over the years.Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Jim wrote on November 14th, 2009 at 1:44 PM PST:

I do alot of events and can avchd cameras go as long as an hour? I suspect your dslr can only do about 10 min at a time.
So anyway, I also wonder why you didn’t buy the Canon 7D?
Here again, thanks for all the hv20 info. I will miss your mastery of it


Daniel wrote on November 14th, 2009 at 2:51 PM PST:

HV20 user. Thanks so much for all the great info on your site. My question is like Vic’s – what comes next? I got the HV20 for a great deal – just over 70,000 yen ($730 or so I think). Will there be another affordable camera that will be a step up from the HV20?


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Eugenia wrote on November 14th, 2009 at 3:02 PM PST:

Thank you guys.

Regarding the 5D/7D, I mentioned why I bought the 5D on the article that I mentioned that I bought it. It’s a long story. 😉


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Eugenia wrote on November 14th, 2009 at 3:09 PM PST:

>what comes next?

For most of us who got the HV cameras (meaning: amateur consumers who would like to do more serious videos with cheap cams), you have three options:

1. The Canon 7D. Best bang for the buck compared to the 5D. However, the lenses will cost you an arm and a leg.
2. Whatever AVCHD cam is getting announced this January at CES. I bet you will see an increase in the sensor size, since the last flagship Canon AVCHD cam, the HF-S10/S100, sucked in low light.
3. Keep your HV camera. It still works. 🙂

Maybe I should write a blog post about this.


William Eggington wrote on November 14th, 2009 at 7:47 PM PST:

The sample footage on the 5D website looks AMAZING. Can’t wait to see what you come up with Eugenia.


Adam wrote on November 15th, 2009 at 10:27 PM PST:

Amazing list Eugenia! It’s great inspiration for the rest of us still trucking along with our HV20 camcorders. Here’s one I did with a friend using an HV20 and the Jag35pro.

Love your blog Eugenia!


Adam wrote on November 15th, 2009 at 10:28 PM PST:

Oops, and the link:


Jim wrote on November 17th, 2009 at 3:40 PM PST:

I know I mentioned it above, but how long can you shoot video with your new Canon? Can you shoot for an hour at a stretch like you can with tape in the HV20?


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Eugenia wrote on November 17th, 2009 at 3:45 PM PST:

No, it’s 12 minutes (and 24 minutes for AVCHD cams). I personally don’t need more than 5 minutes for the kind of projects I shoot anyway. If you are shooting events, like weddings, then you should stay with a tape camera.


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