As I alluded to in my previous post today, I’m definitely looking at getting into video sometime in the near future. Considering I ordered a camera shortly after writing that post, “near future” is actually more like “early next week”. I spent a solid twenty minutes or so trying to figure out what type of camera I wanted to purchase, and eventually narrowed it down to a few different ones.
In terms of features, I’ve always wanted a camera that could do 24P. Most consumer cameras shoot at 30 frames per second in an interlaced format, which is quite different than how film is shot. Most big budget films are shot in 24 frames per second, so I wanted a camera that could simulate that effect. Right away, that criteria shaved down the available cameras to just a few.
The second feature I wanted was optical image stabilization. Without it, it’s pretty hard to shoot a convincing hand-held scene that doesn’t look completely amateurish. And third, I was hoping to be able to hook an external microphone up to the camera in case I wanted to do ever shoot a small short film or something.
With those three requirements, I finally settled on the Canon Vixia HV30.
That Canon HV30 offers full high definition video at 1080p. In addition, it supports 24P and 30P cinematic modes that emulate how traditional film looks. The only thing I was worried about in the end was that this camera uses MiniDV tapes, whereas most new models use flash or hard drives. After talking to Jay, he recommended the tape version since a) tape is cheap and b) you automatically get a backup of everything when you shoot it. Also, the HV30 has had the top image quality for several years now in this line, which was pretty paramount to me making the decision.
I ordered the camera online, so hopefully it’ll be here early next week. I don’t really have any big plans with it yet, but I’ll slowly experiment over the next few months and see what it can do.