camcorders
  • Best of Year 2013

Canon Vixia HF G30 Camcorder Review

$1,699.99 buys one heckuva Vixia

$1,699.00
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9.8 score Tested by Experts
  • The Canon Vixia HF G30 is better than 98% of the camcorders we tested.
  • It is better than 96% of the camcorders we have tested under $2,000.
  • It is better than 94% of the prosumer camcorders we have tested.
  • This product is scored relative to other camcorders we've tested. Learn more.
# of camcorders Product Score This graph shows the Canon Vixia HF G30’s score compared to other camcorders we tested.
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By the Numbers

Since the G30 is based on the pro-grade XA25, we expected there to be many similarities between the two camcorders. Even though you sacrifice XLR inputs and that nifty top handle, you'll still getting great video performance from the G30, all for about $1000 less. You do pay a premium over the G20—just announced this past January at CES—but the G30 offers quite a bit more for your money. With double the zoom range, 1080/60p recording, and improved performance in many key areas, the G30 is a true flagship camcorder.

Sharpness Performance

We saw nearly identical results from the G30 as its expensive big sister when we tested for sharpness. In bright conditions, we measured 850 lw/ph horizontal and 800 lw/ph vertical when the camera is panned on those axes. It blew the doors off the scores we saw from the G20, largely thanks to its 28 Mbps 60p option.

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Low Light Performance

Again, continuing the great performance we've seen from other G-series camcorders, the G30 performed extremely well in dimly-lit situations. Its fast f/1.8-2.8 lens helps collect enough light to make a passable image. Of course, there are limits, but the G30 ranked among our highest performing camcorders when tested against our low light scenarios.

Canon_g30_LowLightExample.jpg
Between 60 lux (left) and 12 lux (right) you lose a significant amount of detail.

In our low light sensitivity test, the G30 required just 5 lux to produce an image that hit 50 IRE on our waveform monitor. Keep in mind that this was when we shot with the top recording mode of 1080/60p. You might be able to gain more sensitivity if you choose to shoot in the G30's optional 24p mode.

Comparable Products

Before you buy the Canon Vixia HF G30, take a look at these other camcorders.

Sample Videos







Battery Life

Canon finally included a long-lasting battery with this year's G. It's not like the G20 died quickly—it lasted 111 minutes. The G30 mopped the floor with the G20, including a bigger capacity battery standard for a runtime increase of almost 70%. We measured 159 minutes of continuous shooting from the G30.

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