Canon VIXIA HG21 AVCHD 120 GB HDD Camcorder, Good Camera!

I love the camera and the video quality. But check the video format and see if it’s compatible with your software and your other videos. Adobe premiere, for example was not fit to edit this camera’s videos (look for updated review below). I am using vegas editing software (you can buy it online). Ah, the camera is a bit bulky. You have to carry it around your neck. **** very important update:adobe premiere cs4 already supports the video format for this camera. No lenghy and quality deteriorating conversions before you edit. But you have to download a specific patch to the software – free on the internet. Double check for pcs, but it should work. For apple users:imovie is only parcially compatible. It recognizes the format, but does not edit nativelly. Which means that you have to import everything into imovie before editing. And this importing looses a lot of quality .

This is best hd camcorder on the market. The clarity is similar to watching a blue-ray movie. It takes hours of video without any worries. The best part is the quick and easy transferring of video clips to my computer. I used to spend the whole day uploading dv tapes. Now, through the usb is 10 times faster. The editing software is very easy to use.

I bought this camcorder (120 gb) about three weeks ago and love it. I’ve shot several night time football games and some indoor volleyball games. I think the battery life is ‘ok’. On a full charge it shows about 1 1/2 hours (give or take). I purchased a spare just to make sure. I’m also going to purchase the canon dw-100 to burn the discs so i don’t have to store everything on my laptop (just in case something happens to the computer). If you have a hi-def tv, i would highly recommend this camera.

Key specs for Canon VIXIA HG21 AVCHD 120 GB HDD Camcorder with 12x Optical Zoom:

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  • 24Mbps offers the highest bit rate in AVCHD for High Definition video – enabling improved color reproduction and tonality
  • Record up to 45 hours of High Definition video to a 120 GB hard disk drive
  • Genuine Canon 12x High Definition video lens
  • Includes a Canon 3.3 Megapixel Full HD CMOS sensor (1920 x 1080) and DIGIC DV II image processor
  • Features Canon’s SuperRange optical image stabilizer

Comments from buyers

“Great daylight video, grainy in low light – updated 1/10/2009
, My favorite camcorder!
, Wonderful Camera under $1500!!!

I bought this again, when the screen died on my other camera – after 6 years (so not bad). I decided to find a new version or new camera that would work well with macs (this doesn’t), but there was nothing i could find with all the memory on a hard drive. The problems are that when the wide angle is on, edges can be seen. This requires cropping some photos. Since it doesn’t work automatically with a mac i had to purchase toast titanium. That converts all of the videos. It’s an extra step i wish i didn’t have, but worth it for the quality.

The video is beautiful, especially in low light, which was a concern since i read many reviews of other video cameras that indicated the low light performance was not very good. It’s super easy to use, and very lightweight. The only reason i did not give this camcorder a 5 star is because one of the pixels on the lcd screen was broken when we took it out of the box, and amazon won’t exchange it for only one broken pixel. For the price, and considering that i bought it new, i would expect it to be absolutely perfect when it came out of the box.

I searched for a long time before finally settling on this camera. It is small and light and compact, yet does everything i need and more. It’s not hard to learn to operate and is quite user friendly. I heard lots of pros and cons about the hard drive for recording and storing video, but i really love it. Nothing could be easier for transferring video to the computer for saving or editing. It takes only a minute to two to transfer a whole file. It used to take hours to transfer video from a tape. And i have not encountered any problems with the hard drive. Makes it so easy to find and review the video.

I got minds in 20010 camcorder works find the place where the video plug go in is real crappiestop working in three weekscan i replace it.

I am blown away by this camcorder. I did alomost 3-4 months of review on price/performance and narrowed down to this one and hfs11/hf200. Images and vids are crisp, yes blurring is there while shooting in dark and high speed but how many times are you going to do that. Battery life is pathetic so plan to have a spare one. Overall, this is my fisrt camcorder and i am loving it :).

I purchased this camera for personal and work use. Although people complain about low light problems, i found settings that use aperature priority and take fine night video. It has fantastic automatic features and just takes some setting up and getting used to to make it produce incredible hd output. I did a lot of research before buying this model. It is truly the closest thing i could find to a profesional camcorder in a small and reasonably priced camera. The option to use hard drive or sd card for recording or taking still pictures is very fast and easy to switch modes. The still picture mode takes exceptional pictures and the included flash was something i had missed in my research and was a great surprisenote: the mini hd connector is recessed and will require a tapered mini connector. I was able to shave off the corner of the mini adaptor i purchased until i could get a properly sized cable.

Great looking video (even at medium quality settings). Holds many many hours of pictures, easy to transfer to the computer. Bonus: the view finder moves in and out, to adjust to a short or long battery, (old versions didn’t, and battery got in the way of the view finder; glad they improved this). On the minus side: the optional large battery is overpriced. The avchd video compression requires a high powered computer (i need to buy a new quad cpu at 2. 66ghz for my video editing software, with bluray disk burner). So if you are used to the old standard recorders, you may find that the camera is the cheapest part of the upgrade to higher resolution movies. I used the free 10 day shipping, but it arrived in only 2 days; very nice of amazon to ship it quickly at no extra cost.

I’m extremely happy with the purchase of my canon vixia hg21 120 gb camcorder. Very good clarity, sound and lots of features. For some serious shooting, would recommend an extra pair for battery. The camcorder looks perfect with smooth and curvy edges. 100% genuine product and the best part is the price. Shipping was instant and received within mentioned time frame. Would highly recommend this seller.

The vixia hg21 is an excellent camera. The image quality surpasses others that i have seen. Using shutter priority (tv) i was able to capture waterfalls on hd video and on still image with the misty quality that ansel adams had captured with his large format cameras. The extended life batteries and the additional lens kits from canon are a bit pricey. But found it is best to go with the recommended canon accessories rather than 3rd party. Using hdmi out port or the component out port to a 1080p flat screen monitor provided surprisingly beautiful hd video to the screen with crystal clear imaging. The camera is very light and takes a bit getting used to after having used professional cameras.

Stunning colors, highest quality and the image stabilzation works perfectly, even in the car. I absolutely love this camcorder. It is so small, it fits in my pocket. I can take it anywhere i go. The photographs are extremely sharp and 8x10s look fantastic with a single pixel showing. I can designate if i want to put it on the hard drive or the memory card. For right now, buy a dvi cable and plug it into your lcd monitor. I can’t speak enough about this camcorder. You don’t need a big bulky professional video camera anymore. When canon made it, they were thinking about the consumer.

I was using a minidv camcorder and decided to up grade. I’m not a big canon fan, mostly because of price but i sure do love this camcorder. There is a lot of great features on the hg21 and yes it does have a viewfinder (the hg20 does not). Its very simple to use and you have a lot of storage with the 120gb hard. I love shooting in the 24p cinema mode. I definitely would recommend it. If you don’t need a huge hard drive or viewfinder than go with the hg20 its exactly the same and you will save some $$$.

Ordered this and the sony sr12 and kept the hg21. Outdoor shots are great and the 24p and 30p options for low indoor lighting work. Indoor light during the day can be shot with ‘easy mode’ and look great. Easy mode is your friend until you know how to film. The software is not great but it works. The build quality compared to the sony is less but still good. The video quality and manual controls more than make up for it.

After several weeks of research on the best hd camcorder for under $1000. I hadn’t had a camcorder in about 7 years and the last one i had was a lot bigger. I wanted something small and easy to hold with a hard drive. I was originally going to buy the 60gb model, but for a few hundred more i thought it was worth getting the 120gb model. I can shoot video of my daughter who plays soccer for barry university in miami, without any difficulties. I went all out and bought the extra battery, the light and the camera bag. I didn’t realize how small it was until it was shipped to me. The picture is awesome on my 65′ lcd sharp aquos tv and the sound is fantastic.

I’m well pleased with my camera, the only problem is i don’t have enough time to really use it. But i’m looking forward to the many photo/video shots to come.

Easy to take both movies and pictures with it. Have yet to learn how copy items off, but the book is very instructional and easy to follow. The pictures are clean, the audio very good, and the replay on a tv is great quality. Would strongly recommend to all.

First of all, this is my first camcorder. We do have the ability to use our small canon digital camera in this mode but this is a far cry from that. I was excited to get one of the first even though i figured i would be taking a slight gamble as i am not exactly that informed on the subject and wonder about the wisdom of getting a product that is not yet proven. Our grandchild had a birthday the very day this thing came in so i was determined to figure things out in order to capture the event. I figured that we paid a premium price to have the high hd quality so of course i shot in the highest mode. I only had time to charge the battery and skim through the book but i am happy to report that the quality of the videos was simply outstanding. In my opinion, the easy part is taking the pictures. Set it to the quality and mode and fire away. Then, the question is, what to do afterwards.

I shot a full film with this camera. The only problem was when it came to low light. Other than that, camera was really good. please note that youtube lowers the quallity of the video plus i had on not so good wide angle lenses. One thing i cant figure out is how do i turn on my camera light. The camera description says it has a built in light, and i see it, but i cant figure out how to turn it on. ]

Good price for a used camcorder, it works well. Remember you can download the user guide from the maufacture.

This camera is just plain awesome. The minute you have it in your hand, you can feel the workmanship in how sturdy of a unit it feels. Easy to use even for the novice, with settings and features that will you in awe. Worth every penny and memory it will capture. Peace love & honest self expression.

I’ve dropped this thing twice now. Once on concrete, once on a hard surface from about 3 or 4 feet. I hope i don’t find out how many times you have to drop it before it breaks. This is my second hd camcorder and this one definitely has the best image quality. My older sony hdv (almost 4 years old) has more features but this one has the better image quality. Probably because it’s alot newer. I’m going to have to upgrade my computer soon to edit the avchd video.

Records in segment, does a good job over all.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Canon VIXIA HG21 AVCHD 120 GB HDD Camcorder with 12x Optical Zoom
4.2 of 5 stars, based on 48 reviews