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Video Cameras

Photos: Hands-on with the Canon HV20

The Canon HV20 is an HD camcorder that records to MiniDV tape and packs a wealth of features, including a Cine mode to emulate the look and feel of film

The Canon HV20 arrived at Crave recently. It's an HD camcorder with a wealth of features that had us writing our names on the back of our chairs as if we were Ed Wood.

Under the bonnet is a 1/2.7-inch CMOS sensor that records high-definition video at 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution. The Digic DV II processor processes progressive video -- there's a mouthful -- into 1080i footage. Or, for the cinephiles among you, there's a dedicated CINE image mode that goes some way towards replicating the look and feel of film. We'll see how well it does in our forthcoming review.

The HV20 packs eight of the usual scene modes, such as portrait and sports modes, plus a spotlight option for little Timmy's scene-stealing cameo as Third Wise Man.

The HV20 also packs a f/1.8 lens capable of 10x optical zoom, backed up by optical image stabilisation.

There's an LED video light and flash at the front. If you need to shed even more light on things, the HV20 also boasts an accessory hotshoe.

The HV20 is available now for around £550. Click through the links for more pictures. -Richard Trenholm

The HV20 records to MiniDV tape, in a handy top-loading slot. 2.07-megapixel photos can be taken while a video is being recorded, and stored on miniSD card.

There's an HDMI connection for jacking straight into your HD television, and a FireWire connection. A microphone input is also located with the headphones and USB sockets.

On the left side at the back are discrete buttons for backlight compensation and another for the built-in video light.

Functions are controlled with a dinky little joystick, and footage displayed on the 69mm (2.7-inch) wide LCD screen or through the viewfinder.