My first camera was a POS Sanyo. It could barely focus, the quality was horrible, but it recorded and exported, and that was all I needed at the time. After about a year of using that, I upgraded to the Canon HV20, on my buddy Drew's recommendation. Many people consider it to be a starter camera, and some think it's obsolete, and that digital is the way to go (the HV20, 30 and 40 are all tape based). But I disagree. Many fantastic shorts have been made with the HV series, and it's proven to be expandable and used on a number of professional shoots.
I fell in love with it immediately. It's a great camera, with aperture/shutter priority, CINE mode, variable exposure, and expandability. Like I said before, it's tape based, which some people think is a point against it. I love the camera, and I love using it, but yesterday, it shot it's last frame.
After looking up the error that I continuously got, and trying every solution that I could find, short of sending it in to be repaired (for 2/3 the price of what I paid for it), I conceded defeat. Everything has an expiration date. Luckily, I was able to film one last short before it died.
So what's next? Since I've been using that HV20 for freelance gigs, I definitely needed a replacement. My OWLE Bubo + iPhone 4S does a decent enough job for those need-a-camera-right-now moments, but it won't do for the music videos and weddings I'm slated to shoot in the coming months.
So today , I went on eBay, and bought my new camera, the Canon HV40. It's two steps up from the HV20, and for the most part is the same, except for some improvements to the DIGIC II processor for HD, the ability to shoot in 24P. For most people the 24P shooting ability is the key factor in wanting an HV40. As I'm not yet experienced enough to know how to use it, that'll be my first tast. Since it was release in 2009, I didn't have to spend nearly as much as I had originally anticipated, as it came in at just under $400. I should be receiving it on Sept 19! Luckily, all of my accessories (lens hood, LCD hood, Follow focus wheel) will all work with it, as it's the same brand as the HV20, so it should work fine!
So, what do you think the first thing I should try with the HV40 should be? I'll most likely do a test just to see how it handles under normal filming circumstances. DOF, frame rate, etc.
Stay tuned for my results!
Update: We're back in business!