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John Sherman

Breathe new life into an HV30?

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I know what you're probably thinking: "Hey, did someone resurrect a thread from 2008?" That is not the case.


I bought an HV30 way back when it came out, and haven't upgraded since then. It just didn't make sense to drop another 800 bucks on a camera I'd use a couple times a year. However, a friend and I have been working on a concept for a film recently, and the limitations of DV are really starting to show in our tests. The project is going to require fairly heavy color correction and some chroma key work, both of which the HV30 is pretty bad at. We considered renting, but our schedule makes it infeasible.


So here's the question: I've seen discussions about how the HDMI-out port on the HV30 will deliver video prior to HDV compression. Can anyone confirm whether the difference, particularly with regard to color information, is worthwhile? Secondly, would 400-500 dollars be better spent on a portable recorder like the Blackmagic Hyperdeck and an SSD to supplement our HV30, or on a current consumer grade camera?

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Well, a recording of the HDMI in a codec like ProRes would most certainly be very, very much better than the HDV. As to whether it's a better bet than spending the same money on a new camera, that's hard to say. You can get a lot for a little these days. But you could probably take a recorder on and use it on future cameras, too, so it's a bit of a longer-term investment than a camera. You'll need to supply it with 12V power, as the batteries on a Hyperdeck don't last forever.


But yes, it ought to work. HDMI can sometimes be tricky, so you might try patching the camera up to an HDMI display (such as a TV) to ensure it's producing something sensible. I don't know if the HV30 produces a clean HDMI feed, without control overlays, either. But assuming that's all OK, what you're proposing is sensible.


Oh, and, edit: Someone's done it. Seems to work fine.



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I'm pretty sure the HV20 was. It may still have been the cheapest way to 1080p24. Well, 1080-ish. On a good day. With a following wind.

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I'll say that maybe it'd make sense to buy a camera, like a BM pocket, which is pretty cheap, and all the things you'll need and then shoot with it an sell the package on ebay. You won't make all your money back, of course, but you'll make some of it-- and theoretically you'd be just about even between buying a hyper-deck and the SSDs, -v- buying pocket an re-selling it later on. Those cameras are pretty flexible, and there's a lot of gak out there for it so you can kind of build the package based on what the film needs-- with the plus of being once you strip it all down to a lens and the internal batteries, you can sneak it into some really unique locations.

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