Canon VIXIA HG20
The reputation of Canon cameras and camcorders is one of high quality images along with many features and ease of use. The Canon HG20 camcorder has all of that and a little more. The compact design allows you to take the camcorder anywhere; however, you can’t carry it in your pocket. This isn’t necessarily a drawback though, because it has a higher resolution than many of the pocket sized camcorders. The quality images of the video and still photos are just what you expect from Canon: excellent. The vivid colors bring the images to life. It fits nicely in your hand so there is no awkwardness while recording and viewing on your television set is quick and easy.
One thing that doesn’t quite measure up is the battery life and the difficulty some experience in getting the video onto a computer. The Pixela ImageMixer 3SE video editing software is deemed by some to be inadequate while others have had no significant problems. You may want to talk with someone who has knowledge of this software to see if they have had problems before you invest in the camcorder.
Now having given an overview above, let’s tell you more about the positive things the Canon HG20 camcorder has. This camcorder records directly onto a 60GB hard disk drive. This means that you can expect to get more than twenty two hours of vivid video of your child’s recital or your favorite sports game. This hard disk feature is an exception with most Canon products on the market. Even the latest in Canon camcorders fails to have hard disk, even though it has the dual memory. Everyone finds it pretty easy to use and you can take still pictures that can be put on a SDHC card. There are lenses that can be purchased separately to give you even more recording options. Wide converter lenses and tele converter lenses let you record, as if you are in the middle of the action even when you aren’t. Lenses on Canon cameras tend to be top of the line. With the HG20 you will have 12x optical zoom and 200x digital. Compared to the latest model S11 from Canon this is almost as good as it gets. In fact most SLR cameras only go up to 12x optical zoom, so that is a great selling feature and the usability is top notch. Extra battery packs, 2.7 inch LCD hood and lighting equipment all provide more video enjoyment. These are just some quick details about the features. To learn more, keep reading.
“Great camera. The biggest flaw is not the 60 gb drive which is bigger than you will ever need, or the menu interface which is easy, intuitive and user friendly, the biggest flaw is the lack of the view finder on this camera. Big deal you say, its got a modern screen instead of a view finder, but that modern screen in really bright sunlight kinda washes out (like all those screens do) and might lead you to adjust the settings or force you to trust your autoexposure when you are taking those priceless outdoor shots. The AF is super in this camera, no distiguishable periods “out of focus” as you rapidly zoom in and out. Terrific simultaneous video record and still photo to the regular full size SD card, cool, works great. As a guy who typically struggles with technology, I hope all my “research” helps some one else and as the owner of the hg20 this camera delivers and is simple for anyone to use.” – J.R.Macdonald (OR,USA)
Additional Benefits of the Canon HG20
Other features of the Canon HG20 include the 12x HD video lens, the 3.3 megapixel HD CMOS image sensor and the Canon DIGIC DV II image processor. They have put an optical image stabilizer and instant autofocus on all of their camcorders for that extra advantage. 24 Mbps during recording and a cinema and progressive mode offer several recording options. Maximum recording times are something one must always consider when purchasing a camcorder. You want to know you get the very best time. With the 60GB hard disk drive you have up to 22 hours and 55 minutes for recording in LP. If you go up to the 24Mbps you will only have 5 hours and 30 minutes of recording time. Of course adding more memory will certainly help extend the recording time but be aware of the camera limitations before you purchase it. The battery that comes with the camcorder is their intelligent lithium ion battery. It offers a long life, but recording time will be a factor.
If you want to be part of the video there is a wireless remote that can be used. The Canon camcorders usually come with a one year parts and labor limited warranty, but you should check with the vendor that you purchase the camcorder from.
If you purchase the Canon VIXIA HG20 camcorder from Canon the suggested retail price is around $900.00. The most important factor for many purchasing a camcorder is the cost. This style camcorder will set you back, but not as much as newer models. For the amount of features you get, some better qualities than other cameras, you cannot help but want to spend your hard earned income. The drawbacks mentioned above really don’t hold a candle to the superior functions, specifications, and comfortable handling you find with the HG20. There are other options available with Canon, so if these features do not work for you, try another version.
• “Received my camcorder HG20 from Amazon today. It’s a great camcorder. I bought it from Amazon, as Amazon was offering most cheapest price for this Camcorder. Almost $350 less than retail price, which was amazing. Initially I decided to buy a standard HDD camcorder and got JVC Everio 330 for $330 from Walmart. But found the camcorder video quality was very poor and returned it. Then I saw this HD Camcorder from Canon with 60GB HDD in Amazon, which is just $220 extra, but with lots of good features. Main thing is it’s HD with 1/3″ CMOS image sensor, where other camcorder at same price comes with 1/6″ sensor. Also I love plenty of HDD space to store video. Recently I took some video and those are stunning and I am very happy this time with my purchase from Amazon. This HG20 camcorder has built-in flash for still photography but no built-in video light. The camcorder is superb and the purchasing and delivery experience at Amazon are great.” – A.Mandal (CT,USA)
• “I got my HG20 camcorder on Thanksgiving sale with free battery pack (BP 827). I’m really impressed with the performance so far. Video and audio quality is top notch, both outdoor and indoor (with normal lighting). I connected it with my Samsung 4061 HDTV, the video quality is simply exceptional. The focus is crystal, and zoom is great. The hard drive is really quiet, unlike my previous Panasonic camcorder SDR-H18. I haven’t tried SDHC recording yet. The photos taken with this camcorder are really good too. The menus are user friendy, you don’t need to dig thru’ the manual a lot. The battery life is average, but I wouldn’t worry much since I got BP-827 for free. The only downside is that you have to charge your battery with the camcorder since no separate battery charger is included in the package. The supplied software is for basic editing. It’s similar to the one supplied with Panasonic SDR-H18, but this s/w takes AVCHD format only. I compared Sony HDR-SR11 before buying, but HG20 beat SR11 with price, quality and performance and is worth every penny.” – S.P.Kumarasamy (USA)
• “My wife and I researched several camcorders. The reviews for the Canon VIXIA HG 20 had good reviews compared to others and it had the best price. We have had it for a month and we have used it frequently. We both agree that we made the best choice. The HG 20 feels good in the hand and is easy to operate. It takes very sharp videos and it stays sharply focused even when the subjects are changing from close to far, when zooming, etc. This was an important feature for us because we tested another camcorder that had a delay in focusing when zooming. The camera feature is very good. We can take still pictures while we video, or we can use it strictly as a camera. The snapshots are very sharp for a camcorder. We have a camera but it has become a little more convenient lately to just take pictures with the camcorder. What we really like about the snapshot feature is that it captures action shots without streaks. The camera feature has a built-in flash as well! I also like the auto lens cap. This camcorder hooks up to our television easily so we can view videos on the TV or easily transfer videos from the camcorder to DVDs. We have not encountered any negatives about this camcorder. For the money it is a great buy that I think we will enjoy for many years, even in this rapid technological age.” – J.Sylvia (USA)
• “I have owned this since November 2008 for my trips and weddings and it gives excellent HD video for budget conscious users. I got a great deal on Amazon which gave a free extended battery with the purchase. You definitely need the extra extended battery (~3 hours) since the original battery gives around an hour of use. I bought it because it can shoot in cinema quality 24p but I noticed that the video is more jerky/shaky and blurred when moving around if you don’t have a steady hand. Low light video is also kinda grainy but the best is when shooting outdoors – beautiful colors. You might also need to invest in a powerful computer to process AVCHD footage with lots of memory and hard disk space. I’m not sure why transferring the files via USB to my Windows Vista PC took ages but it was much faster on my Windows XP laptop. It also gives the opportunity to use SDHC cards which are pretty cheap nowadays if you feel the 60GB HD is not enough (I find it pretty adequate). In conclusion, I have no regrets buying this and the icing on the cake was when friends and family were commenting that the videos were like a Hollywood movie.” – E.Cheah (AZ,USA)
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