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Going Canon HD was the BEST for me!
Sep 14, 2009
Review by aquaticthinker
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Recommend this product?
Using the Canon Vixia HG20 has been real quantum leap from the Sony 8mm Handycam I own for 8 years. I have years of fuzzy, poor quality video to convert to digital or DVD so my family can watch past special events. After using the last 8mm tape in April 2009, and vowing never to buy another, we borrowed our friends DV camera and the resolution wasn’t much better. The Cannon Vixia HG20 has 60 Gigs of memory. It took almost 20 hours in 3 months of taping for us to fill it. I am a homeschooling father of two elementary aged children, and use it daily for school projects and family outings. The images are crisp and sharp when played thru the HDMI port. I capture video using the composite connection with a computer, and the images are just fine. With HDMI connections having data transfer rates of up to 10 Gigs per second, I plan to upgrade to a PC with HDMI ports soon.
Canon lives up to its still camera reputation when compared to my friend’s Sony HDR-SR11 HD Handycam. Not only can this camera shoot video well but it can snap photos while shooting video at the same time. It stores the shots on a separate xD memory card. This is a very welcome feature that a comparable Sony doesn’t have. This feature had my friend planning to return his Sony. The still camera function has a built in flash that works even during high speed continuous shots.
The only downsides is
1. That the flash is very powerful and blinds the people. I still haven’t figured out how to turn it down or adjust the power setting.
2. There are no night vision options and the video gets grainy in low light conditions. I am use to those feature in my Sony, but I can live with that.
3. The weak remote control. I used it 3 times and the battery is dead. Maybe it was bad to begin with.
The camera has many manual settings for F-stops and shutter speed for the old fashion photographer in me that like to play. There is a mini advanced shoe connector that can be used to attach and power an external directional microphone I plan to invest in soon, because the microphone picks up area noises and voices. The microphone volume can be raised and lowered quickly but wind cancelation leaves much to be desired.
I like the automatic lens cover, and the battery check button. The battery that accompanied this camera last for a maximum of 92 min. There are well priced extended battery options of three hours or more that I am ordering at this time. I really like the size and over all design which fits well in my big hands, or my daughter’s small hands, as well as, the optical image stabilizer for when those hands get tired. My old Sony is twice the size and weight. Because there is no tape, there are no worries of:
1. The unit closing improperly, and hanging up.
2. Taking it in to be cleaned.
3. Changing tapes and missing the action.
It has a separate microphone port and A/V-headset port. There is also a component out connection. It is a dream to work with this Canon after being a Sony Handycam user since 1991 and seven cameras later.
If you are tech savvy and willing to take the time to store and edit your precious memories digitally, this is the camera for you. If you are on the go and need something small that travels well and takes great shots, this is the camera for you with the 24p cinema mode.
Amount Paid (US$): 636
Recommended for: Home and Families - Keep Memories of Family Vacations
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