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Customer Reviews for VIXIA HG21

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VIXIA HG21

Average Customer Rating:
3.692 out of 5
3.7
 out of 
5
(13 Reviews) 13
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (13 reviews)
5 stars
4
4 stars
6
3 stars
0
2 stars
1
1 star
2
9 out of 13(69%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for VIXIA HG21
Review 1 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: amateur filmmaker
Location: the earth
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Canon Customer: 11 to 20 years
Product replacement: No

AVC/HD is not portable, bad investment.

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Performance
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Price/Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Quality
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Satisfaction
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Date:January 19, 2011
Pros: good optics, time/aperure priorities, viewfinder
Cons: no ieee 1394/firewire/ilink i/o, no usb3, no analog video input, very limited editing software included, just 1080 lacks 720/480 to save memory, just avc/hd lacks portable formats, no frame by frame (stop motion) mode, no slowmotion mode, can't upgrade hard disk like pcs need service, can't connect to pc as webcam in the usb
Pros:
Image is clear, has viewfinder needed when one use eyeglasses and in highly illuminated conditions that blur the screen. The manual control of exposure allows more flexibility than the automatic modes for portrait, sports, landscape, night, etc.
Cons:
The main limitation is that AVC/HD is the only supported format. The included editing software is very limited and there is no free software yet to handle AVC/HD nicely. Although there are very good free editors, they can not support this format due to patent issues. For that reason the lack of other formats is maybe the main drawback of this camera. The shots are good but cant be edited and viewed in any computer. Proprietary software is also limited although expensive.
It takes too much time to transfer files to PC, usb3 is faster, but not supported by HG21.
One can't program the camera to film frame by frame to accelerate scenes like dawn, plants growing, animations.
Slowmotion is sometimes needed, it can only be simulated at editing time.
Sometimes one does not need Full HD, saving memory and ease transfer to PC and fast editing is better, the camera lacks other resolutions like 720p/480p
One can not connect the camera to firewire to capture images or transfer files. Also it is not possible to capture images like webcam via usb.
120GB is not too much for AVC/HD, by now there are 500/640GB hard disks available at an affordable price, but the camera is not as easy to upgrade as PCs.
Canon can help to improve many of this cons by providing better software to edit, Providing a firmware upgrade with those features and uploading a service manual to show how to change the HDD.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Review 2 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: unhappy
Location: owensboro, ky
Used this product for: 6 to 12 months
Expertise Level: Casual User
Product replacement: Yes

useless

Overall Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Features
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Performance
1 out of 5
1 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:September 22, 2010
Pros: i have a hd camcorder
Cons: everything about it.
included software is horrible, once your video is on the computer, you cant do anything with it. you can watch it or burn it on a poor quailty dvd but thats it, it is not in a usable format for the web, itunes, youtube. therefore the camera is useless... i wish i could just get a refund, but i have had it for about 9 months and it does not even get used.. a total waste of money....
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Review 3 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: Sundyo
Location: West Richland, WA
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Product replacement: No

This is not a 1080p camcorder!

Overall Rating
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Features
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Performance
2 out of 5
2 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:July 29, 2010
Cons: add a con
Don't let the advertisements fool you, I bought this camera assuming Full HD 1920x1080 with 60i 30p and 24p meant 1920x1080p at 30 and 24fps and 1920 x 1080i at 60fps.
Guess what...
Wrong!!! I could not get the hdmi output to ever go progressive, it always stayed at 60i not matter what I tried.
One call to Canon tech confirmed my worst fears!!!
It is not a 1080p camcorder, never was!!!
The ads are very misleading, stay away from it if you want a full 1080p camcorder cuz it sure isn't.
Now I have to deal with the pain and possible re-stocking fee of this camera.
NOT COOL!!!
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Review 4 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: jonnyboy
Location: New York
Used this product for: 3 to 6 months
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Product replacement: No

great product good for traveling documentory use

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:March 14, 2010
Pros: Good Low-Light Performance, Easy Computer Connectivity, Great sound/audio, Accurate, Vivid Colors, Compact Design, excellent image quality, durable, Good Software Compatibility, Easy TV Connectivity, great features
Cons: Short battery life
this caamcorder is amazing it is good for traveling documentory and for jeneral uses the camcorder has a tone of memory space. but this is not mandatory but i wish that the viewfinder had the ability to move up and down and also wish that the camcorder had a handle like the canon GL2.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Review 5 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: Rose
Location: New York, NY
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Product replacement: Yes

Can't Open My Videos

Overall Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Features
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Performance
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Price/Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Quality
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Satisfaction
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Date:February 28, 2010
Cons: Difficult Computer Connectivity, can't open videos, videos save to obsure software, can't send videos in a usable format
I have no problem downloading and viewing photos, but my videos are a different matter. They save only to the PIXELA ImageMixer software format, so when I try to open them, I can't. How do I open my videos and send them in a usable format? If I can't see/send my videos, the camera is useless. I'm not happy with the camera at all.
15 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Review 6 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: Anonymous

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 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
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Satisfaction
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Date:January 6, 2010
Pros: Accurate, Vivid Colors, Compact Design, excellent image quality, easy to use
Cons: Difficult Computer Connectivity, Uncomfortable to hold
I'm new to the digital camcorder world, but am very impressed with my HG21. I have to say, though, that the bundled software is completely useless...
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Review 7 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: Picky user
Location: Sacramento, CA
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Product replacement: Yes

All the features I wanted in a camcorder

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Satisfaction
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Date:December 14, 2009
Pros: Accurate, Vivid Colors, Compact Design, excellent image quality, Easy TV Connectivity
Cons: Short battery life, no mini-hdmi cable included, included usb cable didn't work
Features and image quality are excellent. Large HD means no missing shots because you're out of tape or memory. It has a viewfinder, most current consumer flash/HD models don't. This was a key feature for me. This camcorder does work with my Windows 7 64 bit system. I initially had problems getting my system to recognize it, but the included USB cable was the problem. Switched to another cable and my computer immediately recognized it as a "USB hard drive". Windows Media Player & Media Center will play back AVCHD files, I've used both & they work fine. I'm also using Windows Movie Player to edit & convert AVCHD to WMV. I had no need to install any of the bundled software.
You will want to get a mini-HDMI cable & an extra battery right away. Stock battery good for about an hour of continuous filming. Sooner or later (probably sooner) you will also want to upgrade your computer to a fast multi-core processor with lots of memory & hard drive space; otherwise working with large AVCHD files will be painfully slow. Also recommend a large capacity backup device for your files!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Review 8 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: Jim
Location: Montgomery, AL
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Product replacement: No

Not sure if it's all that...

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Satisfaction
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Date:December 4, 2009
Pros: Easy Computer Connectivity, Great sound/audio, Accurate, Vivid Colors, Compact Design, excellent image quality, durable, Good Software Compatibility, Ergonomic/comfortable to hold, Easy TV Connectivity, easy to use
Cons: Poor Low-Light Performance, Short battery life
I've only had my HG21 for a couple of weeks and really like it. But when I've zoomed in and out, or paned left or right with a moving subject, the video is real "jumpy" when played back on my PC. But when reviewing the same clip on the camcorder screen, it's simply perfect. I also purchased the Canon DW100 DVD burner & player, but to my surprise, discovered the DVD's that are burned off the HG21 can't be played in a PC or a DVD player. They have to be played back thru the camcoder; which is something I really don't like. As of right now, I like the HG21, but if all the video I shoot is going to be "jumpy" when played thru my PC; I won't be liking it for long. It may not be the best program to use with the HG21, but I'm using Window Media Player on my PC.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Review 9 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: Eddie24
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: Yes

Great BUT....

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Date:October 16, 2009
I was one of the first consumers to get this camcorder when it came out. I waited and called, and waited some more. It finally came out and I paid top dollar for it. I am not disappointed at all. I am very happy with this camera. I love the quality of the videos. It has now been one year using it and I would definitely recommend it...BUT...
Two minor issues I've noticed. It definitely fairs poor with low light, borderline terrible. I played around with the settings and still couldn't get good results right around when the sun has set.
The second issue, which is bugging me, is that when zoomed in, the video gets jumpy. I don't know how to explain it other than, when zoomed in a reasonable amount, and if you are tracking some action (like my Daughter's soccer games), the images begin to jump left and right repeatedly. It is just a tiny amount, a few pixels at most, but I haven't been able to get rid of it. It is extremely annoying. I hope maybe my camera is defective otherwise if the majority of consumers experience what I do, it will eventually bring down its scores.
I hope this helps.
Eddie24
24 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Review 10 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: Angie
Location: Houston, TX
Used this product for: 3 to 6 months
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: Yes

Like No other! The best!

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:May 6, 2009
Pros: Compact Design, excellent image quality, Easy TV Connectivity, Easy Computer Connectivity, Accurate, Vivid Colors, Ergonomic/comfortable to hold, durable, easy to use, Good Software Compatibility, Good Low-Light Performance
I am very impressed with this camera. The Pros are 1. the outstanding colors you get and you can take video in the dark. It's easy to get used to. I only use Canon products so I knew it would be good.
If I had one issue, it would be battery life. Superb HD greens on your HDTV.
28 of 31 people found this review helpful.
Review 11 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: SB Joe
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Product replacement: Yes

Lots of bang for the buck

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:May 3, 2009
Pros: Compact Design, excellent image quality, Easy TV Connectivity, Easy Computer Connectivity, Accurate, Vivid Colors
Cons: Uncomfortable to hold, manual lacks important details
My only other experience with a camcorder was a full-size VHS I got in 1994. It took fair video but the HG21 in high def blows VHS away. Compared to my old camcorder there are a lot of new things to learn given the degree of manual control the HG21 has to offer but with patience and practice it's not that difficult to master. My primary goal is recording and editing in high definition. The editing is where the challenges lie but that's not a negative for the HG21 as much as for my computer's CPU, RAM, and video card. If you don't have a powerhouse computer and don't need to do much editing just connect the HG21 to a high def TV via HDMI for a stunning video experience. Then save up for a new computer.
The negatives are minor. I would appreciate a little more detail in the manual explaining frame rate (e.g PF24), recording program (e.g. CineMode), and recording mode (e.g. MXP) what exactly each does and how different comblnations might produce different results, if any. I also find having to use two hands sometimes while recording to work all the buttons but I think I just need to practice more. I found the wind screen has limits when recording in very gusty conditions. I got another battery and a wide-angle adapter and couldn't be more pleased with the result.
I'm looking forward to taking some great high def video on my trip later this year!
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Review 12 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: Bill
Location: Colorado
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Product replacement: No

HG 21

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Price/Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Quality
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Satisfaction
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Date:February 20, 2009
Pros: Compact Design, Accurate, Vivid Colors, Ergonomic/comfortable to hold, durable, easy to use
Cons: Difficult Computer Connectivity, Short battery life, Poor Low-Light Performance, software not compatible, manual is for still images non for videos
Camera takes good stills and takes good video. I am using a MAC OS 10.5, I have yet to get the software for the videos to function, It freezes and i have to force quit, I have had to turn off the computer to be able to disconnect the camera from the computer, even after following all the so called instructions from Canon. If software would function properly, the overall rating would be higher.
42 of 44 people found this review helpful.
Review 13 for VIXIA HG21
Nickname: xmus
Location: San Francisco, CA
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Product replacement: No

Low light performance and pro control

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
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:December 5, 2008
Pros: Compact Design, excellent image quality, Easy TV Connectivity, Easy Computer Connectivity, Accurate, Vivid Colors, Great sound/audio, Ergonomic/comfortable to hold, durable, easy to use, Good Software Compatibility, Good Low-Light Performance
Cons: Short battery life
This is seriously the best camcorder I have ever experienced in its class. The "Cinema Mode" low light performace is stellar, effectively cancelling noise via DSP. The blacks are pitch and the colors are vivid. This camera is very high contrast, but I like that. It has all the pro-sumer featuers you could want and then some. I was pleasantly surprised to see that you can set audio levels, a feature very seldom seen in this class of camera. The only thing I would change on this camera, would be the addition of a focus ring and slightly better start and stop times (but I seek 0-latency, which is a lot to ask for, I realize). Other +s are: 24p recording in all resolutions. Easy to use white balance controls. The image stabilization is excellent.
If this camera had a variable timelapse intervalometer, I would be in heaven, but yeah, I am asking for the world here for under 900 bucks.
All that said, if image quality and control are what you are after, look no further. Bravo!
95 of 96 people found this review helpful.
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