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Customer Reviews for VIXIA HF21

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VIXIA HF21

Average Customer Rating:
3 out of 5
3
 out of 
5
(4 Reviews) 4
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (4 reviews)
5 stars
1
4 stars
0
3 stars
1
2 stars
2
1 star
0
2 out of 4(50%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for VIXIA HF21
Review 1 for VIXIA HF21
Nickname: Riley
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Canon Customer: 1 to 5 years
Product replacement: Yes

Much better cameras out there for price

Overall Rating
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Features
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Performance
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Price/Value
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Quality
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Satisfaction
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Date:April 8, 2012
Pros: good image stabilization, small and lightweight, good zoom, good outdoor picture, can add external microphone, built in macro
Cons: bad indoor/low light preformance, poorly designed menu and comtrols, bad light transition (dark to light), doesnt seem to produce true hd videos
I was excited to receive this camera finally but i was initially unable to transfer videos because the software is only for PC. Indoors and low light setting this camera preforms awful. There is so much noise and ugly grain in the picture. However the day shots shot in full light are great. The camcorder does not have very many features and the menu is a pain to navigate. My battery stopped working within the first 2 months but i was able to snag another. Overall i am not impressed with this camera and i feel there are better ones out there like DSLR's.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Review 2 for VIXIA HF21
Nickname: N4AOF
Location: Kentucky
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Mostly used for: Family & Friends
Canon Customer: more than 20 years
Product replacement: No

Decent Camera Terrible Software & Documentation

Overall Rating
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Features
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Performance
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Price/Value
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Quality
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Satisfaction
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Date:May 19, 2011
Pros: Compact Design
Cons: Poor Low-Light Performance, Difficult Computer Connectivity, Short battery life, Limited Software Compatibility, terrible software, poor manuals, confusing menus, battery arrives totally dead.
I picked the Vixia HF R20 as the lowest priced model that appeared to meet my needs from those available at the retailer where I purchased it. I have owned this camcorder for about six hours - and I have not quite decided if it is going back to the store in the morning.
The camera itself seems ok despite several minor shortfalls (such as poor autoexposure handling of backlit scenes and a failure of the autoexposure to adequately prioritize based on face recognition). My main disappointments with this camcorder are the absolutely terrible software and the incompetently prepared documentation. The quick start guide adequately covered the steps that I had already taken before reading it. Then I tried reading the manual -- I am a Mensa member with a 16+ Reading Grade Level and I was thoroughly confused by the manual that jumps back and forth, refers you to a PDF file that you need to install on a computer for basic information and that never manages to cover any topic completely in any one section of the manual. I still have not found whatever menu setting is supposed to let me set the camcorder to record to the memory cards instead of to its fixed internal memory.
The included software comes on three CDs -- but no matter which order you load them in, it is impossible to load all three CDs on any computer because the video transfer software and video browser software CANNOT BOTH be loaded - although you would need both if you were going to copy files from the camcorder to your pc and save then in any file type that windows software can recognize (although the camera's MTS file format works ok in windows if you rename the filetype to MPG or MP4).
One of the provided CD's is marked as Canon's own software for this camcorder - that software loads OK, but when you are nearly finished it tries to open a browser window to go to the Canon website to register and then tells you the software needs an IMMEDIATE RESTART before it actually gets the browser loaded. Once you do get the Canon software installed and restarted, the Canon software cannot recognize any supported model camera while the camcorder is connected to the pc. The Canon software provided with this camcorder appears to be for Canon digital still cameras only!
The other two CD are marked as Pixela software. A phone call to Canon tech support got the information that you are only supposed to load the Video Transfer software disc, not the Video Browser disc (I had to call Canon for Pixela software support because Pixela's own support was closed already). Another call to Canon tech support got the advice that the camcorder has to be in playback mode to connect to the pc (this is NOT in the manuals - at least not in the part about connecting to the pc and not in the part about troubleshooting the pc not recognizing the camcorder).
14 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Review 3 for VIXIA HF21
Nickname: Sitnalta
Location: Denver, CO
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Product replacement: No

Great Camera

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Date:May 2, 2010
Pros: good battery life, Easy Computer Connectivity, Great sound/audio, Accurate, Vivid Colors, Compact Design, excellent image quality, Ergonomic/comfortable to hold, Easy TV Connectivity, easy to use
Cons: mpeg-4 format not licensed for monetary gain.
This has been a great little camera for a variety of uses. It shoot absolutely gorgeous footage. Which is amazing coming from a camera the size of a soda can. It also has a built-in gyroscope and software to stabilize your images without looking strange.
The camera also features a built-in LED light and flash for night-time shooting. As expected, low-light shots are pretty grainy, but that's the trade-off you get with CMOS chips. The HDMI port allows you to output to an HDTV in real time. Furthermore, it is FULL HD 1080p. Not the scaled down HD you see in other cameras.
One major con (and I just learned of this) is that you cannot make money off of your footage without paying royalties for use of the built-in MPEG-4 codec. Most people probably won't run afoul of this... but there it is.
32 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Review 4 for VIXIA HF21
Nickname: cantgetananswer
Location: PITTSBURGH, PA
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: Yes

BAD SOFTWARE GREAT CAMCORDER

Overall Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Date:February 11, 2010
Pros: Accurate, Vivid Colors, Compact Design, excellent image quality, durable, Ergonomic/comfortable to hold, Easy TV Connectivity, easy to use
Cons: Short battery life, Limited Software Compatibility, software is not the easiest, battery needs to charged before use, software tech support english hard to understand
I AM A LONG TIME AND EXCLUSIVE CANON PERSON, BUT THE SOFTWARE USED FOR THIS IS NOT THE EASIEST TO USE. ALSO IT IS TO CONVERT THE VIDEOS FOR AN iPOD/iPHONE BUT IT WILL NOT ALLOW THE FILES TO BE COPIED OR PLAYIED ON THE DEVICE.
ALSO ANOTHER CON IT CAN RECORD AT SO HIGH OF QUALITY THAT IT CANT BE MADE EVEN INTO A BLUERAY DISK TO SAVE AND PLAY.
BUT I WILL SAY THE CAMCORDER ITS SELF IS DESIGNED LIKE ALL CANONS WITH TOP QUALITY, EXCELLENT PICTURE AND EASY TO USE.
I JUST WISH IT WAS EASIER TO WORK WITH THE FILES. AFTER ALL THESE ARE SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MEMORIES OF MY LIFE.
27 of 37 people found this review helpful.
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