Canon introduces the HV40

Canon has just announced the HV40, successor to my little friend the HV20 and the HV30. It looks like a small evolution with “Custom Key” button on the lens barrel and a “native 24P mode” among its big new feature.

First the Custom Key (from the Canon website):

Have the same kind of creative input as the pros do! You can assign commonly used functions to one button on the camcorder for quick and easy access. Functions available to choose from include Exposure Lock (On/Off), Auto/Manual Focus, and Auto/Manual Microphone Level Control.

OK, that’s pretty handy. Having to use that little joystick to dig down into different menus sucks!

Second the  native 24p mode:

This is a feature previously found only on Canon’s professional camcorders. Native 24p Mode allows 24 frames per second, instead of the standard 60i, to be captured and recorded. It is a must for serious filmmaking work, as 24 frames per second is the frame rate of film.

Camcorderinfo.com has this quote:

Canon’s decision not to simply carry over the HV30 from the previous year was explained as tendency to refresh the lines every year, “even if it’s just to offer something new to the consumer,” explained Mitchell Glick, assistant manager of Product Marketing, Consumer Division for Canon USA. The new native 24P mode was something “a lot of filmmakers request on a unit that’s a little bit less inexpensive.”

But wait a minute you say … my HV20 has recorded 24p from day one. Well not exactly. It and the HV30 record the 24p “cinema mode” which is actually 60 interlaced frames to tape. This requires an extra step of running the captured media through some type of reverse telecine (like a pass through Compressor) to remove the extra pulldown frames. Since this new native 24p mode is still recording to tape that has to mean flagged frames onto tape so your NLE capturing application can remove those frames on the fly upon capture. Extra step eliminated. Nice.