From both an engineering point of view and from a consumer point of view, which camcorder should you ? And if you already have an HV30, should you upgrade to the new HV40? These are the questions most people are asking.
The short answer is that you couldn't go too far wrong with either one of these cameras, but you probably already knew that. What you want to know is that when you get down to the nitty-gritty, what's the real differences and what are the pros and cons of each?
Let's start with what's really new in the Canon HV40 specs.
The biggest new feature is that the HV40 can capture directly in 24p mode which means it can capture 24 progressive frames per second.
The HV40 keeps Canon's core imaging technologies and it adds a new selection of useful features for image quality. The HV40 uses HDV tapes. It has a 2.96 megapixel HD CMOS Image Sensor. It also has Canon's 10x HD video lens.
Other features include Instant AutoFocus (AF) which provides extremely fast and accurate auto focus and the Focus Assist aids manual focusing. SuperRange Optical IMage Stabilization and 24Mbps Recording are also included and this is the highest bit rat in AVCHD.
The DIGIC DV II processor has been optimized for HD. The advanced accessory shoe gives you wide range of dedicated accessories to be attached.
Ok, but what's the bottom line? Should I buy the HV30 or the new HV40 and if I already have the HV30 should I upgrade to the HV40.
If you have the HV30 stay with it
In most situations I would not recommend that you upgrade. The only real new feature you will get is that you will be able to record directly in 24p mode, and if you really needed to do this, I'm sure you have already learned how to jump through the hoops and accomplish the end results with your HV30 (of course, with at lot more effort).
If you are going to buy one camcorder or the other, go with the HV40 if your budget will allow it.
If your budget is tight, wait until after the March (or April or later) announced release date for the HV40 and you will be able to find some great deals on both new and used HV30 camcorders.
The HV30 is a great HD video camera that you can't go wrong with.
One last point: If you don't really need to buy a camcorder right now, wait and within a year there will be some new developments in camcorders (like the Red Scarlet) and competitors that will take camcorders to a whole new level. And as always, the prices will come down.