I have been shooting a lot of video with my EOS 7D lately and now have a pretty good understanding of the limitations of the Camera. 12 minute clip length, automatic gain control, having to record audio separately in most cases and sync in post and lack of image stabilization are things I have lived with. There’s a lot to like about the camera but there’s a lot of compromises to make. For some applications a smaller, more traditional camera would be better suited for filming. I have great Sennheiser on camera and off camera mics, an LED light that works pretty well and they all have one thing in common: a standard cold shoe connection.
Canon currently does not make a “consumer” flash based camcorder that has a standard cold shoe. I really like the Canon Vixia HF S21. 64gig internal flash memory, auto focus, nearly full featured manual controls and a host of HD recording formats and frame rates. It has one feature that is keeping me from buying one: the Mini Advanced Accessory Shoe. The problem with this is that none of my mics, lights or other accessories will work without an adapter. Why they decided to make a non-standard shoe mount, I will never know. I do know that I am not alone in my frustration with the design. The choice for many people shooting HD on a budget right now is clearly the Canon Vixia HV40. There are entire forums devoted to the series which started with the HV20. However, the HDV format, at least at the consumer level, is getting pretty dated. I can only imagine that the HDV format will soon fade away as H264 takes over.
So Canon here is what I want:
- A camcorder similar in size and control as the Vixia HFS21
- A STANDARD COLD SHOE CONNECTION ON THE DAMN THING!!!!!!!!!!
- A sub $1000 price tag
- Mic input and headphone output
- A good wide angle to medium telephoto zoom range
- A decent lens hood that allows the autofocus sensor to “see” through it
- That’s it (pretty simple, eh)