Canon VIXIA HF R500

High-definition camcorder with optical image stabilization

Item #: 280HFR500

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Grab it and Go

When you're packing for a family vacation, save a little space in your luggage for the Canon VIXIA HF R500. This compact camera weighs just over 10 ounces, so it can go anywhere you do at a moment's notice. Just make sure you have your optional SD card handy, and you'll be ready to record up to 12 hours of uncompressed high-definition video.

Canon VIXIA HF R500

The Canon VIXIA HF R500 makes it easy to capture family moments.

The R500 is easy to operate, so even a novice can take great-looking video on the fly. Built-in optical image stabilization helps keep the image steady, even when you're zoomed in on something far away. And zooming in won't be any problem, either. The R500 gives you 32X optical zoom, 57X Advanced Zoom and an astonishing 1140X digital zoom capability. Smart lighting features help you avoid images that are too dark or too light, and built-in Scene Modes help you tailor the audio and video to your environment, so you can preserve special moments wherever they might happen. When you're ready to share, use the high-speed USB port to connect to your computer, or replay directly to your TV through the mini-HDMI output.

Advanced Baby Mode

Babies grow up fast, and even with a camcorder near to hand, memorable moments can slip by unrecorded. Nobody wants to be fumbling for the right settings while baby is crawling, talking or smearing frosting on his face for the first time. Canon's Advanced Baby Mode takes the guesswork out of kid vids with an array of impressive features that you can use instantly without advanced technical knowledge.

  • Custom Baby Mode button on the shooting screen lets you grab it and go when a great moment happens.
  • Continuously records three seconds of video to buffer memory before you even press the record button, so you won't miss a thing.
  • The camera auto-selects the optimal settings for your shooting conditions.
  • Intelligent image stabilization smooths out any unwanted tremors.
  • Baby Mode videos are indexed and saved in a separate folder for easy retrieval.
  • Save separate files for as many as three children in the onboard baby album.
  • Touch Decoration tags photos with your baby's age, height, weight and other vital information so you never forget the details.

Why take a chance? The Canon VIXIA HF R500 is ready to help you capture all of the special moments.

Product Highlights:

  • 2.07 effective megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 32X optical zoom (digital zoom to 1140X)
  • 3" capacitive color LCD touch panel widescreen (approx. 230,000 dots)
  • records to optional SD memory card
  • built-in optical and electronic image stabilization
  • DIGIC DV 4 image processor helps provide excellent low-light performance
Specialized shooting modes:
  • Advanced Baby Mode helps you capture your baby's daily growth with ease
  • Cinema Mode lets you play filmmaker with settings for vivid colors, sepia tones, dramatic black and white, and more
  • additional shooting modes: Portrait, Sports, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Night, Low Light, Spotlight, Fireworks
Specifications:

Shoot videos for posterity — or posting online

From birthday parties to YouTube™ antics, camcorders let you capture moments you can share with friends and family, or the world at large. Most newer camcorders save your videos to built-in digital memory or a removable memory card. Some models come with a built-in hard disk drive that gives you much more storage. For maximum portability, check out our smaller cams that fit into a pocket or purse. For high-def videos that look awesome on your HDTV, go for a slightly larger model with a better lens and image sensor.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Flash memory camcorder (black)
  • BP-718 Lithium-Ion battery (3.6V 1790mAh 6.5Wh)
  • CA-110 AC Power adapter with attached 68" DC output cord (DC output: 5.3V/1.5A)
  • 5' HDMI cable (with full-size HDMI plug on one end and a mini-HDMI plug on the other end)
  • 2' USB cable (with Mini-B USB 2.0 connector on one end and Type-A USB connector on other end)
  • Getting Started booklet (Eng)
  • Started booklet (Span)
  • Started booklet (Fren)
  • Transfer Utility LE Startup Guide (En/Fr/Sp/+6 others)
  • Register Now card
  • Limited Warranty card

Product Research

Features
Battery Information
Inputs And Outputs
Software

Features

3.0" Widescreen LCD Touch Screen: The Canon VIXIA HF R500 features a 3.0" Capacitive Touch Panel LCD screen (230,000 pixels) to make it easy to compose and review your shots. The capacitive touch technology is similar to that on a smartphone, and lets you activate functions by a simple touch. The LCD screen can be rotated 270° allowing the subject to monitor the LCD screen during shooting. The LCD's touch screen contains zoom, playback and menu controls for added convenience.

Note: This camcorder does not feature a separate viewfinder.

Recording Media: The Canon HF R500 camcorder captures video and still-images onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards (sold separately) with a Speed Class rating of 4 and up. Class 6 or 10 SD cards are recommended for recording movies with a video quality of 60P or 35Mbps. There are no memory cards included with the camcorder.

Recording Formats: The camcorder records movies in AVCHD (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) video compression format with Dolby Digital 2-channel audio, ideal for playback with highest picture quality, or easy-to-share MP-4 with AAC 2-channel audio. You can choose 60 fields per second or 30 frames per second in AVCHD, and 30 or 20 frames per second for MP4 movies. Still photos are recorded with JPEG image compression. Recording options include:

  • AVCHD:
    • 60P: 1920 x 1080
    • MXP: 1920 x 1080
    • FXP: 1920 x 1080
    • LP: 1440 x 1080
  • MP-4:
    • 35 Mbps: 1920 x 1080
    • 24 Mbps: 1920 x 1080
    • 17 Mbps: 1920 x 1080
    • 4 Mbps: 1280 x 720
  • Still Photos:
    • 1920 x 1080
    • 1280 x 720 (MP 4 movies at 4 Mbps)
    • 1920 x 1080 (photos captured from video)

Image Sensor: The HF R500 features a 1/4.85" CMOS image sensor with approximately 3,280,000 gross pixels for excellent detail and clarity when recording video and exceptional digital still photography performance. The effective pixel count is approximately 2,070,000 for movies and still images.

DIGIC DV 4: The HF R500 is equipped with the DIGIC DV 4, Canon's new HD image processor. It captures more light than its predecessor DV III, for brighter, cleaner images. It also features increased processing power for better image stabilization, even when walking.

Genuine Canon Video Lens: The HF R500 comes with a Genuine Canon HD video lens with a 32x Optical zoom, 57x Advanced zoom, and 1140x total digital zoom.

Zoom Speed: The zoom speed can be set to variable or one of three fixed speeds. In the variable position, the zoom speed depends on how far you push the lever. The purpose of the three fixed zoom speeds is a smoother zoom transition, at your choice of speeds.

Intelligent IS: The Intelligent IS (image stabilization) system analyzes the shooting situation, then automatically switches to the best of the four image stabilization methods for the situation:

  • Dynamic IS: corrects minor movement and shaking caused by walking while shooting
  • Macro IS: excellent for close-ups
  • Powered IS: corrects camera shake when you're zoomed in for telephoto shots
  • Tripod Mode: turns off image stabilization when the camcorder is stationary

Video Snapshot: The camcorder's Video Snapshot mode lets you shoot a series of short video clips of 2, 4, or 8 seconds, then combines them with a pre-recorded music track or your own favorite music track, to create an entertaining movie.

Face Detection: The camcorder can automatically detect people's faces and use this information to adjust the focus and set the best exposure and color control settings for beautiful videos and photos. When there are a number of people in the picture, one person will be determined to be the main subject. You can also select the main subject manually by touching the subject on the touch screen.

Exposure Modes: The HF R500 features several auto exposure modes, plus a manual exposure adjustment for scenes that appear underexposed or overexposed. The available exposure modes include:

  • AUTO Mode: You can take videos and photos easily, by letting the camcorder automatically adjust settings based on the recording situation. Some functions are not available during AUTO mode.
  • Baby Mode: Baby Mode lets you record your baby's milestone moments with settings optimized for baby's skin. You can also add a stamp to the video to show how much time has passed since the baby was born.
  • Programmed AE: The camcorder automatically adjusts the aperture and shutter speed to obtain the optimal exposure for the subject, while you are able to adjust the other settings.
  • Special Scene Recording Modes: The Special Scene modes adjust the camera settings according to the scene. You can select Portrait, Sports, Night Scene, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Spotlight, Fireworks, or Low Light.
  • Cinema Mode: The camcorder will adjust the frame rate to give your recordings a cinematic look. You can also apply a variety of cinema-look filters to create movies with a unique appearance.

White Balance: The white balance system helps you accurately reproduce colors under different lighting conditions so that white objects will always look truly white in your recordings. You can choose from the following modes: Automatic, Daylight, Tungsten, and Custom WB.

Self-Timer: This feature allows the camcorder to start recording after a 10-second countdown.

Pre-Recording: When Pre-Recording is activated, the camcorder starts recording video continuously into a temporary 3-second memory. When you press the Start/Stop button, the scene recorded will have started 3 seconds before you started shooting. This is especially useful when it is difficult to predict when to start recording.

Built-in Speaker: The camcorder has a built-in speaker so you can review the soundtrack as well as the picture when you're using the LCD screen to playback a recording. The built-in speaker is monaural.

Playback Functions: The camera uses the following special playback modes: Fast Playback (5x, 15x or 60x) in either direction, and Slow Playback (1/8x, 1/4x) in either direction. During these playback modes there is no sound.

Battery Information

Li-ion Battery Pack: The Canon HF R500 comes supplied with a rechargeable BP-718 Lithium-ion Battery Pack (3.6V, 1790 mAh, 6.5 Wh). If you desire a spare battery, you can purchase another BP-718, or the larger capacity BP-727 battery. The camcorder also comes supplied with an AC power adapter and charger (CA-110). The battery recording and playback times are as follows:

Usage Time Battery Battery Life by Recording Format
AVCHD MP-4
Recording
(maximum)
BP-718 95-110 min 95-125 min
BP-727 150-170 min 150-190 min
Recording
(typical)
BP-718 55-60 min 60-70 min
BP-727 85-95 min 85-105 min
Playback BP-718 160-175 min 160-185 min
BP-727 240-270 min 240-285 min

Charging Times: The BP-718 battery charges in 335 minutes when charging through the camcorder with the supplied AC adapter. The charging time is 220 minutes when using an optional CG-700 battery charger. The optional BP-727 battery charges in 465 min in the camcorder, and in 315 min in the CG-700 charger.

Auto Power Off: After 3 minutes without any operation when powered by the battery, the camcorder automatically powers off. Approximately 30 seconds before the camcorder automatically turns itself off, a warning message appears in the display.

Quick Start: When you close the LCD panel with the camcorder on, the camcorder enters the standby mode. In standby mode, the camcorder consumes only about 1/3 the power used when recording, saving energy when you are using the battery pack. When you open the LCD panel, the camcorder is ready to start recording in approximately 1 second, allowing you to immediately record your subject.

Inputs And Outputs

HDMI Output: The HF R500 features a mini-HDMI (Type C) terminal that offers a high-quality digital connection that combines audio and video in a single convenient cable. The HDMI port is compatible with HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), allowing you in many cases to control the camcorder with the remote control of the connected TV.

Note: An HTC-100 HDMI cable is included with the camcorder.

AV Output: The camcorder features an AV output to playback audio and video on your television using the optional STV-250N composite video/stereo audio RCA cable. You can select between a 4:3 aspect ratio or a 16:9 aspect ratio for the video out based on your television's aspect ratio. The AV Output also doubles as a headphone output. The built-in speaker will be muted when headphones or the AV cable are plugged in.

USB 2.0 Connection: The camcorder features a Mini-B USB 2.0 High Speed terminal for fast transfer of photos and videos.

Microphone Input: In addition to the camcorder's built-in microphone, the HF R500 features a 3.5mm microphone input for connecting an external microphone, such as the optional WM-V1 Wireless Microphone.

Software

Downloadable Software: The Canon HF R500 camcorder comes with no software. The following software is available for download from the Canon and Pixela websites (URLs provided in the Operating Manual):

  • Image Browser EX: Used for saving MP4 movies and photos to your computer and organize them. (compatible with Windows and Mac OS)
  • Transfer Utility LE: This software is needed to save AVCHD movies. It is not included with the camcorder, but can be downloaded from the Pixela website. (compatible with Windows OS only)

Picture Transfer Protocol: The camcorder is equipped with the standard Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP), which allows you to transfer JPEG photos by simply connecting the camcorder to a computer via the supplied USB cable. No software is needed.

Our Product Research Team

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Canon VIXIA HF R500 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Excellent camcorder

Written By Joanne, Wallingford, CT on Monday, June 30, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I need a camcorder that is simple to operate for a non technical friend to take video clips of my horse back riding. This Canon camcorder is perfect with one button start/stop recording. It is small, light and takes good video on the auto function. I edit and send the clips for feedback from my instructor. The user manual has very good content and I like the careful indications for the different camera models. I love the lens cover warning that shows on the screen. This is an excellent product for someone not highly skilled in photography who wants to pick up a camera, shoot video and have fun with the results.

Easy to Use!

Written By MelissaY, Charlottesville, VA on Monday, April 21, 2014

This is the perfect camera to take impromptu videos. Easy to start and understand--even for a beginner like me!

Get everything you’ll need to enjoy your new Canon VIXIA HF R500

Add memory cards and get extra storage for your movies.
Keep your camcorder safe from dings and scratches with a protective case.
Don't miss that great shot because your battery died. Keep freshly charged spares on hand.
Connect your new camcorder to the HDMI input on your high definition TV for the best picture.
Place your camera on a compatible tripod to get a steady fixed shot.

Get better sound with your video recordings using an external microphone.
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