Canon introduces the HV40

By S Simmons. Filed in Blogs and links, from the net, HV20, Internet resources  |  
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Canon has just announced the HV40, successor to my little friend the HV20 and the HV30. It looks like a small evolution with “Custom Key” button on the lens barrel and a “native 24P mode” among its big new feature.

First the Custom Key (from the Canon website):

Have the same kind of creative input as the pros do! You can assign commonly used functions to one button on the camcorder for quick and easy access. Functions available to choose from include Exposure Lock (On/Off), Auto/Manual Focus, and Auto/Manual Microphone Level Control.

OK, that’s pretty handy. Having to use that little joystick to dig down into different menus sucks!

Second the  native 24p mode:

This is a feature previously found only on Canon’s professional camcorders. Native 24p Mode allows 24 frames per second, instead of the standard 60i, to be captured and recorded. It is a must for serious filmmaking work, as 24 frames per second is the frame rate of film. has this quote:

Canon’s decision not to simply carry over the HV30 from the previous year was explained as tendency to refresh the lines every year, “even if it’s just to offer something new to the consumer,” explained Mitchell Glick, assistant manager of Product Marketing, Consumer Division for Canon USA. The new native 24P mode was something “a lot of filmmakers request on a unit that’s a little bit less inexpensive.”

But wait a minute you say … my HV20 has recorded 24p from day one. Well not exactly. It and the HV30 record the 24p “cinema mode” which is actually 60 interlaced frames to tape. This requires an extra step of running the captured media through some type of reverse telecine (like a pass through Compressor) to remove the extra pulldown frames. Since this new native 24p mode is still recording to tape that has to mean flagged frames onto tape so your NLE capturing application can remove those frames on the fly upon capture. Extra step eliminated. Nice.

7 comments to “Canon introduces the HV40”

  1. Comment by Rob:

    I don’t see how this camera can record onto mini DV at 24p? Is this now magically possible? Because the NLE tends to always see it as 30fps. Did canon make some kind of new magic happen?

  2. Comment by Scott Simmons:

    While they don’t say specifically it has to be similar to a Panasonic DVX-100 or Varicam. 24 is recorded to tape with the extra frames “flagged.” With this flagging the NLE can recognize the extra frames and remove them on capture. Now the NLE has to support this with some type of capture preset but since Canon said this comes from their pro cams so it should work the same. Now of only they put in full manual control …..

  3. Comment by Rob:

    It sounds interesting. I’m a fcp user and I was going to go nuts and get an hvx with a 35mm adapter. but I don’t shoot that often, or when I do I use other peoples camera’s. So I’m kind of in the market for a versatile inexpensive cosumer HD camera. I’ll have to keep an eye on this one. Big fan of your site and work btw. Did you shoot the RED footage in your music videos?

  4. Comment by Michael:

    I own their high-end XL H1S, which records true 24 frames to tape (no pulldown added).

    The HV40 will do the same. It is not adding flags to the tape, it is actually laying 24 discreet frames to tape. This is why Canon 24P(F) isn’t playable in standard HDV decks.

  5. Comment by hyrcan:

    I know the 24p is one less step, but for someone on a budget, how do you folks feel about it? Is the one less extra step worth the extra $400+ dollars it’ll cost when it’s released? Or are there other features/issues that make it worth it more?

  6. Comment by Scott Simmons:

    If you’ve got Compressor then you are one batch process away from 24p. I my mind it’s not worth the price of a new cam when my HV20 works well.

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