camcorders

Canon Vixia HF20 Camcorder Review

March 25, 2009
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Introduction

The new Canon HF20 comes from a highly-praised, award-winning pedigree. It is being marketed as a less expensive alternative to our 2008 camcorder of the year, the Canon HF11. For an MSRP of $899 ($300 less than the HF11), you get an HD camcorder that's stuffed with 32GB of internal flash memory and many of the features that made the HF11 such a popular choice for consumers. Be warned, however, Canon also did a fair amount of tinkering under the hood—and some of the results aren't pretty. Compared to its older sister, the HF20 is a significantly worse low light performer and it consistently measured high levels of noise in our testing.

For those looking for even more of a budget option, there's also the Canon HF200, which is identical to the HF20 except it records solely to SD/SDHC cards and doesn't contain any internal memory.

Update: The Vixia HF20 was ultimately selected as our 2009 runner-up for Mid-Range Camcorder of the Year. To see why we selected it and read about our other 2009 awards, check out the 2009 CamcorderInfo.com Select Awards.

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 & Resolution 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-SD20 Comparison
  13. Sanyo VPC-HD2000 Comparison
  14. Canon HF S100 Comparison
  15. Conclusion
  16. Photo Gallery
  17. Specs and Ratings
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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