any new digicam and some cellphones can do a passing job at recording VGA or better quality video thus making the purchase of a second dedicated device hard to justify for the average consumer. That's what makes Canon's new iVIS HV20 so interesting; it shoots 1920 x 1080 resolution natively in HDV format to miniDV tapes and includes a 24p cinema mode to boot, a first in this class of camcorders. Best of all, it does this for about $1,000 -- not bad considering the price of other pro-sumer HD cams. Japan's Impress Watch are first to get their hands on a unit for review and although we had to read it using machine translation, it's easy to see that they are, er, impressed. Issues with low light shooting that plagued the HV10 seem to have been resolved on the HV20. While the CMOS sensor remains the same size, they've added the noise reduction technology found in their EOS camera lineup to bring low-light sensitivity down from 5lux to 3lux. In fact, the HV20 "eradicates" the HV10's weaknesses "entirely." Impress will be hitting a review of Sony's comparable HDR-HC7 -- a similarly spec'd HDV camcorder that also supports the xvYCC standard found in HDMI 1.3 for wider color range and space -- to see how they stack up side-by-side. No worries, you can wait, the HV20 won't hit US stores until April. Be sure to click the "read" link below for plenty of sample pics and video.
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