Canon HG20 High Definition HDD Camcorder - Silver (12 x Optical Zoom, Multiangle Vivid LCD)
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- Up to 22 hrs of HD movies stored to 60Gb Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
- Dual Memory: record to HDD or removable memory card
- 1920x1080 Full HD recording at superior quality (24Mbps)
- Canon HD Camera System: 3.3MP Full HD CMOS, Canon HD Video Lens (12x optical zoom) and DIGIC DV II
- Instant AF for precise focusing at speed
- Steady shots with Super Range OIS
- Freedom to create - 25p Cinema Mode and 11 Program AE modes
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|Display Size||2.7 inches||3 inches||3 inches||2.7 inches||3 inches||2.7 inches|
|Video Capture Resolution||1080p_full_hd||1080p_full_hd||Full HD 1920x1080/60p||1080p_full_hd||—||1080p_full_hd|
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Canon HG21 HD camcorder. Features 22 hrs of HD dual recording 1920 x 1080 full HD super range OIS creative options microphone flexible system and software with Blu-ray disc support.
Shoot to HDD or easy-to-share removable memory card (60Gb HDD + SDHC card slot).
Canon Full HD CMOS Sensor
The HG20 features a newly developed Full HD CMOS Image Sensor, designed and manufactured by Canon. Utilising decades of experience in the manufacture of CMOS chips, this sensor captures movies at Full HD resolution and features on-chip noise reduction technology. This low noise technology feature means that even in dimly-lit scenes, the signals from each pixel are as pure as possible, with minimal "noise" or other aberrations.
25p Cinema Mode
25p Cinema Mode enables all aspiring movie makers achieve a professional "film-look" a feature previously available only on pro-level camcorders. This mode is actually two different features, which can be used independently or together, depending on the users preference.
1. The frame rate changes to 25p for cinematic motion effects.
RGB Primary Colour Filter
Whether youre shooting video or photos, you will appreciate the HG20'S stunning, high-definition image production. For rich, accurate colour, the HG20 uses an RGB Primary Colour Filter.
Genuine Canon 12x HD Video Lens
The HG20 comes equipped with a 12x HD video lens. An aspherical lens is used to help achieve low aberration and high resolution. The lens also features super spectra coating technology which lowers flare and ghosting. A gradation ND system is used for better exposure in bright shooting situations. This lens design creates true HD image quality.
DIGIC DV II Image Processor
DIGIC DV II is the next generation of Canon's exclusive DIGIC DV signal processing technology designed specifically for HD. Since video and still images have different colour requirements, DIGIC DV II HD digital signal processing ensures optimal image quality for both HD video and still images. Thanks to DIGIC DV II image processing, the HG20 produces video with improved colour reproduction, especially in skin tones, and dark and light scenes. It also uses a hybrid noise reduction system that employs two types of noise reduction for images that are crystal clear.
Super Range Optical Image Stabilizer
The HG20 features Canons Super Range Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS). Utilizing a hybrid detection method (combining vector and gyro detection method) it corrects camera shake almost instantly for steady shots. And unlike other optical stabilization systems, Canons Super Range OIS covers a wide range of movements while preserving image quality. It is even effective while taking photos.
Instant AF (Auto Focus)
Instant AF is Canons new and advanced autofocus system required for High Definition. Using a Hybrid Control system, the Instant AF makes it easy to focus on previously difficult subjects. It dramatically decreases the time it takes to achieve proper focus and increases accuracy, especially in low-light and high-brightness situations.
Mini Advanced Accessory Shoe
With an Advanced Accessory shoe, a range of peripherals can be easily attached to the camcorder.
A microphone input connection allows you capture the very best audio using an external microphone perfect if you cant get the camcorder close to the action. A headphone terminal and manual audio control let you monitor and precisely set the volume of the sounds that are recorded.
Pixela ImageMixer 3 SE Software
The HG20 is supplied with video editing software from Pixela. This software allows you to organise, play back and edit your digital video clips, then convert them to alternative file formats. It even includes DVD burning features another easy way to share your footage.
Built-In Electronic Lens Cover
Maximum Resolution Acheived with 24Mbps Recording
Low light performance
Scene Dividing Function
Smooth Zoom Control
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The HG20 is small and feels a bit plastic just like most of Canon's recent crop but that's not a bad thing. It is light, easy to hold and carry. It would fit okay in a coat pocket and not drag.
The LCD pulls out easily and has a positive feel to it - not flimsy. The LCD has a 5-way joystick which is your navigation tool for menus; there are some touch sensitive pads on the bottom of the LCD too. The body has various buttons for display on/off, zoom, snapshots, mode etc. All of these operate fine and are easily accessed.
The battery supplied is a a BP-807 which takes about 2.5 hours for a full charge. The approximate number of minutes of use left is shown on the LCD and is affected by whether you use the HD or SDHC card etc - there's a list of values supplied in the manual. BTW SDHC cards use less power. There are much much cheaper generic batteries available. As ever, be careful if you opt for these. Likey they won't show their remaining power time. You can also buy a cheap charger.
You can use the HG20 whilst it is charging the battery but it stops charging whilst you do.
Turning on the HG20, which is quick, for the first time you need to set the date, etc. This is easily done. There are immediate settings available via the FUNC pad and there are less often used settings under the Menu at the bottom of the initial screen. The menus available change according to the Mode dial setting. They are all pretty simple to use and grasp. The menus etc operate quickly. Indeed, I would say that this is easy to operate. Indeed too it has an Easy button which cuses the HG20 to make all the choices for you!
In use it is fine. The zoom is quiet as is the hard drive. The IS works very well - easily beats my HR10. The LCD gives a sharp clear image in most conditions. There are various shooting modes from 24Mbps (1920x1080) to (1440x1080) 5Mbps. Basically, the output quality is excellent in good light and in low light - beats my HR10 by quite a bit. Sound quality is fine - it is clear and detailed.
So having played about with various settings and gotten some footage, you want to view it...
Well this might not be too easy. If you simply attach the HG20 via a USB cable, WinXP oddly can't see the HD. So, I reckoned I needed to install the software to get the relevant drivers.
I had problems getting the ImageMixer software to install. You need the serial number of the camera (in the battery compartment) and a Net connection and even then it might not install. It took me ages under WinXP to get this fully installed. It kept rejecting the serial number. I briefly turned off my firewall; I heard some had been told by Canon to uninstall any other DVD writing software, etc. After many tries, it did install. Then the HG20 was not seen by WinXP. I changed USB cables and that did the trick.
That should not be such an long, off-putting experience. YMMV. However, with the software installed, the transfer from HG20 HD to PC HD is easy and very quick. Just plug in the HG20, the HD reading software opens showing files on the HD, choose the ones you want and the directory you want and off it goes... You can even edit and burn to DVD from the software. I don't want the supplied software since I use Premiere Pro etc.
In Premiere Pro CS4 there are issues with AVCHD software - it is slow to edit. PPCS4 seems fine with 24Mbps etc but slow. There's an update due soon which hopefully will speed things up. The HG20 output looks excellent.
There are many addons available too. The HG20 can accept headphones and a mic. It has a proprietary shoe too - not the cheapest way to go but it IS an option many don't have.
Overall this is quick, easy to use and gives excellent video even in low light. Seems Canon's DIGIC III offerings (HG20 has DIGIC II) with longer zooms have a price to pay in image quality... Latest is not always best. Great buy for the beginner and amateur - some pros use it too...