Question by C.: Is the canon hv40 capable of making an independent film?
I am a young, moneyless, filmmaker. I have several scripts ready to be made, but i dont have a good camera. Is the canon hv40 an ideal camera for short films and independent features? Keep in mind i will most definitely add an external mic. Thanks!
Answer by Little Dog
ANY camcorder could be used to represent good content. There are two main challenges (other than funding the talent and crew):
1) The equipment MUST be used within its capabilites. In the case of the HV40, the small lens and small single imaging chip will not provide “acceptable” low light results. Everyone knows this. So don’t expect the low light shots to magically work “because you need them to”. Rewrite. Make the scene in good light. Add light. Whatever. But in this particular instance, the camera cannot handle low light. Period. For example, a gasoline tanker truck is designed to carry and haul gasoline. It does that well. You would not use a gasoline tanker truck to carry 40 people around. It is not designed to do that. A bus was designed to do that. One more time: Use the equipment in the manner it was designed to be used. The HV40 was not designed for good low-light video capture.
2) If the content is really compelling, then equipment is secondary – but it is all about balance. The “balanced content” includes an interesting story line, music and other audio that fits the (compelling) story line well and camera capture that fits with the stoother items. For example, there are LOTS of examples of camera phones capturing compelling video that is poor quality. But the content is so compelling we all watch it and the other items (audio, video angles, video quality, etc) don’t need to contribute so much. When we watch a film, we have certain expectations – one of them is this “balance” between the various components that make up what we watch. Lots of fast zooming or panning, too loud audio (during a dramatic scene), too soft audio (during an action scene), confusing story line, not setting an establishing shot, lack of continuity (“Where did that lamp come from? It was not in the earlier scene…”) can lead the viewer to discomfort and confusion.
Heads up: That HV40 uses a 1/8″ (3.5mm) stereo audio-in jack. A decent external mic will be boom mounted – which means a rellatively long cable – which means it should be shielded cable – and generally means XLR mic cables. Use of an XLR adapter (juicedLink, BeachTek – among others) is strongly recommended. XLR-to-1/8″ TRS (impedance matched) cable tails should NOT be used.
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