camcorders

Canon Vixia HF R11 Camcorder Review

The HF R11 is an entry-level camcorder from Canon that has an inflated price due to its 32GB of internal memory. It did well in our testing, but if you're looking for a bargain there are better choices out there.

November 01, 2010
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Color & Noise Performance

Color & Noise Performance Summary
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_Vanity120.jpg']}} • Decent color and noise scores. • Camcorder has a few color modes, but they aren't customizable.
{{article.attachments['cci-prev.jpg']}} Product Tour (Page 3 of 16) Motion & Sharpness Performance {{article.attachments['cci-next.jpg']}}

**Color***(8.82)*


Despite its categorization as an "entry-level" HD camcorder, the HF R11 did better in our color test than some of the higher-end Canons we've reviewed. The camcorder registered a color error of 3.97 and a saturation level of 85.04%, both of which are good scores that match up very well against the JVC GZ-HM340 and Panasonic HDC-SD60. (More on how we test color.)

Color Accuracy Performance
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_3000_lux_auto.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_3000_lux_auto_color_error.jpg']}}
Color Test Chart (above), Color Error Map (right)
The Canon HF R11 produced a color error of 3.97 and a saturation level of 85.04% in our bright light color testing. (The map on the right is a diagram of the color error. The length and direction of each line indicates how the camcorder processed each particular color.)

When we looked at the sample images taken by the HF R11, we noticed the colors didn't pop as much as we saw from other models (particularly the JVC GZ-HM340). Still, the camcorder's color accuracy was good, and you can see what particular color tones the R11 did best with by looking at the Color Error Map above. The camcorder has a variety of color modes, examples of which are shown below, but it does not include the custom color control option that is found on higher-end models from Canon (like the HF M31 and the HF S21).

Canon HF R11 Color Modes
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_train_auto.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_train_auto_crop.jpg']}}
Auto 100% Crop
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_train_vivid.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_train_vivid_crop.jpg']}}
Vivid 100% Crop
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_train_neutral.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_train_neutral_crop.jpg']}}
Neutral 100% Crop
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_train_lowsharp.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_train_lowsharp_crop.jpg']}}
Low Sharpening 100% Crop
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_train_softskin.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_train_softskin_crop.jpg']}}
Soft Skin Detail 100% Crop

As we said before, we found the JVC GZ-HM340 to have deeper, more vivid colors than the Canon HF R11 in this test, but the two models had similar numbers overall in this category. You can compare the actual colors in our sample test images below. Check out the close-up comparisons to see how much darker and stronger the colors captured by the JVC were.

Canon HF R11 Color Comparisons
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_3000_lux_auto.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['JVC_GZ-HM340_3000_lux_auto.jpg']}}
Canon HF R11 JVC GZ-HM340
{{article.attachments['Panasonic_HDC-SD60_3000_lux_auto.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_M31_3000_lux_auto.jpg']}}
Panasonic HDC-SD60 Canon HF M31
  Close-Up Color Comparisons
    {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_Vanity120.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['JVC_GZ-HM340_Vanity120.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Panasonic_HDC-SD60_Vanity120.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_M31_Vanity120.jpg']}}
  Ideal Canon HF R11

JVC

GZ-HM340

Panasonic

HDC-SD60

Canon

HF M31

Red {{article.attachments['Red_ideal.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_red.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['JVC_GZ-HM340_red.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Panasonic_HDC-SD60_red.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_M31_red.jpg']}}
  Ideal Canon HF R11

JVC

GZ-HM340

Panasonic

HDC-SD60

Canon

HF M31

Green {{article.attachments['Green_ideal.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_green.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['JVC_GZ-HM340_green.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Panasonic_HDC-SD60_green.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_M31_green.jpg']}}
  Ideal Canon HF R11

JVC

GZ-HM340

Panasonic

HDC-SD60

Canon

HF M31

Blue {{article.attachments['Blue_ideal.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_blue.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['JVC_GZ-HM340_blue.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Panasonic_HDC-SD60_blue.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_M31_blue.jpg']}}
  Ideal Canon HF R11

JVC

GZ-HM340

Panasonic

HDC-SD60

Canon

HF M31

Skin Tone 1 {{article.attachments['Skin1_ideal.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_skin1.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['JVC_GZ-HM340_skin1.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Panasonic_HDC-SD60_skin1.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_M31_skin1.jpg']}}
  Ideal Canon HF R11

JVC

GZ-HM340

Panasonic

HDC-SD60

Canon

HF M31

Skin Tone 2 {{article.attachments['Skin2_ideal.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_skin2.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['JVC_GZ-HM340_skin2.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Panasonic_HDC-SD60_skin2.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_M31_skin2.jpg']}}
Color Score Comparison {{article.attachments['JVC_GZ-HM340_Vanity120.jpg']}} [ Compare the Canon HF R11 to the JVC GZ-HM340 ](http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-Vixia-HF-R11-Camcorder-Review/JVC-GZ-HM340-Comparison.htm)
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_color_comp.gif']}}
{{article.attachments['Panasonic_HDC-SD60_Vanity120.jpg']}} [ Compare the Canon HF R11 to the Panasonic HDC-SD60 ](http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-Vixia-HF-R11-Camcorder-Review/Panasonic-HDC-SD60-Comparison.htm)
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_M31_Vanity120.jpg']}} [ Compare the Canon HF R11 to the Canon HF M31 ](http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-Vixia-HF-R11-Camcorder-Review/Canon-HF-M31-Comparison.htm)

**Noise***(9.12)*


The Canon HF R11 averaged 0.66% noise in this test, which is a good score and is significantly less noise than the Canon HF M31 measured in the same test. The JVC GZ-HM340 and the Panasonic HDC-SD60 averaged similar amounts of noise to the HF R11. (More on how we test noise.)

Noise Comparisons
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_3000_lux_auto_noise_crop.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['JVC_GZ-HM340_3000_lux_auto_noise_crop.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Panasonic_HDC-SD60_3000_lux_auto_noise_crop.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Canon_HF_M31_3000_lux_auto_noise_crop.jpg']}}
Canon HF R11 100% Crop JVC GZ-HM340 100% Crop Panasonic HDC-SD60 100% Crop Canon HF M31 100% Crop

For an entry-level HD camcorder, the HF R11 captured a very sharp image in bright light. You can see what we're talking about by looking at the crops above. Notice how crisp the numbers and lines are in the HF R11's image—it is nearly as sharp as Canon's mid-range offering, the HF M31. We go into further detail about each of these camcorder's sharpness capabilities in the next section of this review.

Noise Score Comparison {{article.attachments['JVC_GZ-HM340_Vanity120.jpg']}} [ Compare the Canon HF R11 to the JVC GZ-HM340 ](http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-Vixia-HF-R11-Camcorder-Review/JVC-GZ-HM340-Comparison.htm)
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_R11_noise_comp.gif']}}
{{article.attachments['Panasonic_HDC-SD60_Vanity120.jpg']}} [ Compare the Canon HF R11 to the Panasonic HDC-SD60 ](http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-Vixia-HF-R11-Camcorder-Review/Panasonic-HDC-SD60-Comparison.htm)
{{article.attachments['Canon_HF_M31_Vanity120.jpg']}} [ Compare the Canon HF R11 to the Canon HF M31 ](http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-Vixia-HF-R11-Camcorder-Review/Canon-HF-M31-Comparison.htm)
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Color & Noise Performance
  4. Motion & Sharpness Performance
  5. Low Light Performance
  6. Compression & Media
  7. Manual Controls
  8. Still Features
  9. Handling & Use
  10. Playback & Connectivity
  11. Audio & Other Features
  12. Panasonic HDC-SD60 Comparison
  13. JVC GZ-HM340 Comparison
  14. Canon HF M31 Comparison
  15. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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