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Canon HV20
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Canon Vixia HV20 Camcorder - Silver

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Canon Vixia HV20 NTSC MiniDV HD Camcorder
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Santa Clara, CA, USA
Canon Vixia HV20 NTSC MiniDV HD Camcorder
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Product description
Product Identifiers
UPC0013803083200, 0890552606146, 4960999450292, 652473000621, 8714574505053, 8714574993584

Key Features
Recording SystemNTSC
Optical Zoom10x
Digital Zoom200x
Storage TypeRemovable (Card/Disc/Tape)
Media FormatMini DV (HDV)
Resolution3.0 MP
Screen Size2.7"
Weight19.2 Oz.

Optical Sensor
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.7"
Optical Sensor Qty1

Lens System
Lens TypeZoom lens
Focal Length Range6.1mm - 61mm
Focus AdjustmentAutomatic, Manual
Lens Filter Size43 mm
Lens System FeaturesBuilt-in lens shield
Auto Focus typeTTL contrast detection

Max Shutter Speed1/2000 sec
Min Illumination0.2 lux
Min Shutter Speed1/2 sec
Exposure ModesAperture-Priority, Automatic, Program, Shutter-Priority

Camera Flash
Flash TypeBuilt-in flash

Memory / Storage
Recording SpeedSP
Supported Flash MemoryminiSD Card

Viewfinder TypeLCD
Viewfinder Diagonal Size0.27"

Depth5.39 in.
Height3.23 in.
Width3.5 in.

Display TypeLCD
Display RotationRotating
Screen DetailsLCD display - TFT active matrix - 2.7" - color
Display Size2.7"

Microphone TypeMicrophone - built-in
Microphone Operation ModeStereo

Connector Types1 x DC power input, 1 x HDMI, 1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire/i.LINK), 1 x USB, 1 x component video output, 1 x composite video/audio (input/output), 1 x headphones, 1 x microphone
HDMI OutputYes
Expansion Slot1 x miniSD

Battery Form FactorManufacturer specific
Battery ManufacturerCanon BP-2L13

Effective Still Resolution2.8 MP
Effective Video Resolution2.1 MP

File Format
Still Image FormatJPEG

Other Features
Additional Features24p Cinema Mode, Auto Power Save, Brightness Control, Color Viewfinder, Contrast Control, Direct Print, Histogram Display, PictBridge Support, RGB Primary Color Filter, Sharpness Control, Still Shot Capability, Takes Photos While Movie Recording, accessories hot shoe, analog to digital conversion with pass through, display brightness control
High Definition Video Support1080i
Widescreen Video CaptureYes

Color Silver
Night ModeYes
Shooting ModesDigital Photo Mode

eBay Product ID: EPID100014280

Reviews & Research

Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 9 user reviews


of customers recommend this product

Rating distributions

Feature ratings

  • Picture and sound quality
  • Ease of use
  • Battery life
  • Value for money

Feature ratings

  • Picture and sound quality
  • Ease of use
  • Battery life
  • Value for money
Created: 01/24/13

One step below pro equipment... with Pro quality that compares equally.

Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

This is a really Great piece of less than Pro equipment. The image quality in HD is very impressive and the availability of aftermarket accessories geared towards this specific model makes it a "film makers" right hand tool. I use this for Product Demonstrations, music videos, and short films, and with a DOF adapter will be using it for greater productions that demand this type of HD Widescreen technology. Even now having it for months... I am discovering new settings such as Cinema mode for film look, Output in True HDV not just digital video. I am not disappointed. I do recommend purchasing some extended life batteries so you can shoot longer.

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Feature ratings

  • Picture and sound quality
  • Ease of use
  • Battery life
  • Value for money
Created: 12/03/12

My favorite type of video camera so far

Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

I bought my first Canon HV20 because a user said that he could mix tapes from it with his best professional work and not see any real difference. It is reasonably light and compact, and I have liked the fact that it uses tape because that prevents losing any whole files due to corruption of data. That camera failed after three years, for an unknown reason, but I repaired it and also bought an HV30, to stay in the same type of tapes and functioning. Both models work almost identically, so there is no issue in switching back and forth. I sometimes use the HV20 in a scuba housing, and it is important to me that it has a rear viewfinder, since there is no room in that tube to open the side screen. The image quality is like being there, so much better than with older video and film, and the batteries last through one or sometimes two hour-long tapes, depending on the shooting situation. I sometimes call it "a camera that doesn't need light," because it has really good low light capability, compared to other cameras in my experience, although it does acquire noticeable image "noise" in low light. It is getting harder to find computers that download firewire, but so far that option is available to me, so I am satisfied.

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Feature ratings

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  • Ease of use
  • Battery life
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Created: 04/26/13

EXCELLENT Firewire Streaming Capable Camera!

Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

So 100's of reviews of this thing exist. Why pitch in 2 more cents if they're not of any value, right?

You're looking at this camera, and it's great. It's the second generation of a 4 generation consumer-level legendary line-up. It's an HDV (High Definition Video) MiniDV camera. Please don't scoff at this as a relic of 6 years ago. Here's why.

I am the AV director for my church, and as of recent we have desired to STREAM VIDEO out of the church to the masses. Oh, but do that with quality. The quality of "High Def" please, whatever that means. SO start looking around at a camera with passable firewire throughput 1080 video, and on a church budget of less than $200. Bingo: the HV20.

I'll leave the rave qualities to the reading that can be found in other reviews. The REAL bottom line is that this camera is CURRENT: 1080p 24fps with a few decent controls for those interested in manual settings (me), acceptable 10x optical zoom (but can be mated with other fixed converter lenses like we have in the Vivitar Series 1 line, employing a 58mm x.43 and x2.2 lens (we have two cameras).

Life is compromise. HD video ISN'T HD once you compress it into the streamed video world. Does that mean is doesn't look good, or doesn't work well? NO! It means that any fault this camera has is totally enveloped into the fudge-factor of streaming quality bandwidth. I.E. Joe Q. Public just won't know for the worse.

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Created: 03/03/13

Awesome, if you need a bit more than just a compact camcoder.

Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Oh, I just love it!

At first I dreamed about this camcoder. Because I knew it has semi-professional features and quality. That's, probably, still the only one in that position. Then I bought it. And I liked it. If there's enough of light, the picture quality is awwwessssome! Then I bought another one... Well, now I have FOUR of them (and a DSLR). I'm filming live concerts with multiple cameras, and it's important to have several same camcoders. Also, I can combine two pairs with a self-made rig for 3d-stereo shooting.

Another cool thing: it can shoot at 25p/30p (depending on your region). It still records as interlaced on the tape, but the two fields are of the same time period, so it's progressive (if you're into filming and know exactly what exposure you need, you understand this).

Now disadvantages: you cannot normally control iso (boost), you cannot adjust exposure and aperture at the same time. The normal cassettes are limited to 60 minutes (there are 80-minutes available on ebay, so I can recommend you to buy some). The NTSC-version claims it can shoot with 24p, but that's not true - these are not real 24 frames per second, they're created with pulldown from 60i. Neither HV20 nor HV30 can do a proper 24p. Only HV40 can. Please keep in mind!

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Created: 03/07/12

It might not be the latest model, but it still a good buy

Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

I picked this up mostly because of the the price. These cameras are a cult favorite and for good reason. Canon incorporated many features found in high end cameras (mic level control and monitoring, manual picture control) into the HV20. Even today, Canon still sells this camera's replacement, the HV40, due to demand.

Yes, this camera uses tapes, but unlike AVC-HD flash-based camcorders, it uses MPEG-2 video that most computers can easily edit. It also fully supports legacy DV recording and playback if you don't need/require HD video for a project. The only real benefit AVC-HD cameras have over the HV20 is true 1920x1080 video resolution (HDV is natively 1440x1080) and the ability to shoot 60p video. The latter only supported by a handful of cameras (not Canon's ironically enough), and requires a very powerful computer to edit. Most people won't even notice the difference, particularly if your final product is going to be posted on an online video sharing site like YouTube.

The only issue I noticed with this camera is that the built in mic picks up a lot of camera noise (tape transport, zoom lens) and handling noise. This can easily be solved by connecting an external microphone, which the HV20 has a port for. This camcorder also lacks a LAN-C jack, so if you happen to have a wired tripod remote, it will NOT work.

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