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Canon HG21

120GB high-definition hard drive/SDHC™ memory card camcorder

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Item #: 280HG21
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Canon HG21

by Kristen Schaub
Canon

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.

Imagine capturing the crystal-clear waves of the Caribbean or the vibrant colors of a sunset over the western plains in gorgeous high-definition video. With Canon's HG21 you can record every minute of your vacation, and then some, for your friends and family to see. It features a 120GB built-in hard drive that stores up to 46 hours of your home movies. Plus, you can add optional SDHC™ memory cards for even greater recording capacity.

Stunning high-def video
The HG21 offers 24 Mbps (megabit-per-second) recording at its top picture quality setting — the best possible video quality you can get with the AVCHD™ format used in today's high-definition camcorders. The three-megapixel image sensor captures your subjects in striking detail and clarity. And an advanced color filter processes reds, greens, and blues separately for richer, more accurate colors.

Flexible recording options
This camcorder's 12X optical zoom lets you get up close to your subjects for candid shots, while multiple zoom speeds give you greater camera control. Optical image stabilization corrects the shake of an unsteady hand without degrading picture quality. Instant Auto Focus snaps subjects into focus faster than most other cams. And the built-in video light brightens your shots when you're filming indoors or at night.

Easily capture photos and share your footage
Simultaneous photo shooting lets you capture two-megapixel still photos while you're recording video, so you never have to miss a shot. Or use the Photo Grab button to save photos later from your recorded videos while reviewing them on the LCD viewscreen. And when you're ready to showcase your home movies, the mini HDMI output allows you to send high-definition video and digital audio from the camcorder to a compatible TV.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

    Storage and Formats:
    • holds at least 11 hours of HD video at maximum resolution
    • holds up to 46 hours of standard quality video
    • records high-definition AVCHD™ video to built-in hard disk drive or optional SDHC™ memory cards
    • maximum video resolution: 1920 x 1080
    Features:
    • 3.3-megapixel CMOS image sensor (2.07 effective in widescreen mode)
    • High Definition video lens with 12X optical zoom (digital zoom to 200X)
    • 24 Mbps AVCHD recording uses the least possible data compression for superb video quality
    • selectable 24p Cinema Mode and 30p Progressive Mode
    • RGB primary color filter for accurate color reproduction
    • advanced DIGIC DV II image processor with hybrid noise reduction system
    • 2-11/16" widescreen LCD
    • 16:9 widescreen video mode
    • digital photo mode
    • Simultaneous Photo Recording captures 2-megapixel stills while recording video
    • Photo Grab lets you capture photos during playback
    • Dolby® Digital 2-channel audio
    • Optical Image Stabilizer
    • Instant Auto Focus and manual focus
    • video light and Night mode brighten dark shots
    • built-in photo flash
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • mini Accessory Shoe for attaching an optional accessory
    • microphone input
    • outputs: mini HDMI (cable not included), HD-capable component, and composite A/V
    • high-speed USB interface
    • 3-1/8"W x 2-15/16"H x 5-7/16"D
    • weight: 16.06 oz. without battery
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Supplied Accessories:
    • AC adapter/charger
    • rechargeable lithium ion battery (BP-807)
    • audio/video, component video, and USB cables
    • wireless remote
    • Pixela ImageMixer™ 3SE Disc for transferring and viewing videos on your PC

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    General
    LCD Screen Size (inches)
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    2.7
    Viewfinder
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    None
    Total Pixel Count
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    3,310,000
    Effective Pixel Count for Video
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    2,070,000
    High-Definition
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    Yes
    Aspect Ratio
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    16:9
    Manual Focusing
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    Yes
    Filter Diameter
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    37mm
    Optical Zoom
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    12 x
    Digital Zoom
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    200 x
    Night Imaging
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    Night mode
    Image Stabilization
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    Optical IS
    Built-in Video Light
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    Yes
    Built-in Memory
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    ---
    Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery
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    80
    Digital Still Camera Features
    Effective Pixel Count for Stills
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    ---
    Built-in Photo Flash
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    Yes
    Still Image Aspect Ratios
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    4:3, 16:9
    Inputs and Outputs
    USB Port
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    USB 2.0 High Speed
    HDMI Output
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    ---
    Mic Input
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    1
    Dimensions
    Weight With Battery (ounces)
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    17.7625
    Width (inches)
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    3-1/8
    Height (inches)
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    3
    Depth (inches)
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    5-1/2
    Warranty
    Parts Warranty
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    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
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    1 Year
    Image Sensor Warranty
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    ---
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • High Definition digital camcorder
    • Hand strap (attached)
    • BP-807 Li-Ion battery (7.4V/890mAh)
    • CA-570 S Power adapter (100V-240V-50/60Hz) with attached 5' cord with proprietary end for camcorder
    • 57" AC power cord
    • WL-D88 Wireless remote control
    • CR2025 battery
    • 57" Composite video/stereo RCA audio cable (with mini-jack on one end)
    • 56" Component video cable with proprietary connector
    • 46" USB cable (mini USB ver 2.0 on one end and USB-A on the other)
    • Digital Video Solution Disk ver.31.0
    • ImageMixer 3 SE ver.3.1 CD-ROM
    • Instruction Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • Warranty card
    • Installation guide for Digital Video software
    • ImageMixer 3 SE Important Usage and Warnings booklet (Eng/Spa/Fre)
    • ImageMixer 3 SE Installation Guide (Eng/Spa/Fre)
    • Corrections sheet
    • Note about installing software before connecting camcorder to PC

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    General Features
    Camcorder Features
    Digital Still Camera Features
    Battery Information
    Inputs and Outputs
    Software Requirements

    General Features

    2.7" Widescreen LCD Screen: The HG21 features a 2.7" TFT, color widescreen LCD screen (211,000 pixels) to make it easy to compose and review your shots. The bright screen lets you see exactly what your camcorder is recording, and what your widescreen TV will display later. You can rotate the LCD screen 90-degrees downward and 180-degrees toward the lens allowing the subject to monitor the LCD screen. The LCD screen also features a backlight that you can set to either normal or bright. The LCD Screen's frame contains zoom, playback and focus assist controls for added convenience.

    Viewfinder: The camcorder also features a 0.27" TFT color viewfinder (123,000 pixels) to use to save battery life or when it is just to bright outside to use the LCD screen.

    AVCHD 1080i Format: This camcorder captures high definition video footage in the AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) 1080i format recorded to its built-in 120GB hard disk drive. MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 is used to compress the video data while Dolby Digital 2-channel is used to for the audio data. The result is image resolution of approximately 4.5 times that of standard definition image quality. Using the included software you can edit and record your video to DVD in either high definition AVCHD or standard definition DVD-Video. DVDs containing AVCHD footage should not be used in standard DVD based players or recorders, as the DVD player/recorder may fail to eject the media and may erase its contents without warning. DVD media containing AVCHD footage may be played on a compatible Blu-ray Disc player/recorder or other compatible devices.

    24Mbps Recording: The 24Mbps recording capability of the VIXIA HG21 gives you the highest quality AVCHD video possible. You will see enhanced detail, finer gradations of tones and improved reproduction of moving subjects.

    120GB Hard Disk Drive: The VIXIA HG21 captures 1920 x 1080 high definition resolution video or 3.1 Megapixel photos directly to a large capacity internal 120GB Hard Disk Drive. Hard Disk Drive recording is an especially convenient format if you plan to transfer your video to a computer for viewing, editing or sharing.

    Drop Sensor: The camcorder senses when it is dropped and acts to protect the hard drive.

    SD Card Slot: The VIXIA HG21 is equipped to allow you to capture both video and still images directly to an inserted SD or SDHC memory card (sold separately). Video stored on the camcorder's internal memory can be copied onto an optional inserted memory card which can then be inserted into your computer or HDTV's card reader slot for immediate viewing. It is also possible to transfer video and still images recorded to the optional SD or SDHC card to the internal hard disk drive

    True HD CMOS Sensor (1920 x 1080) Image Sensor: The 1/3.2"-inch CMOS sensor (3,310,000 gross-pixels) reproduces high-resolution images at 1920 x 1080 resolution with full HD information in video images. The HF11's CMOS's high color resolution and advanced color reproduction gives brilliant results. It is also unique in featuring Canon's proprietary noise reduction technologies for crisp, sharp images. Low noise technology also means that even in dimly lit scenes, the signal from each pixel is as pure as possible, with minimal noise or other aberrations. As an added benefit, the CMOS sensor provides outstanding image capture in low light conditions. The camcorders effect gross pixel count is determined by what mode the HG21 is used in.

    • 16:9 Movies: approximately 2,070,000
    • 16:9 Still Images: approximately 2,070,000
    • 4:3 Still Images: approximately 2,760,000

    RGB Primary Color Filter With Bayer Pattern: The HG21 uses an RGB Primary Color Filter with Bayer Pattern that separates light into red, green and blue color components. This results in vibrant images with deep, rich, accurate color and natural-looking tones. In addition, the Bayer pattern delivers sharp, high definition image without creating false colors.

    Digic DV II: Designed specifically for HD, DIGIC DV II ensures optimal image quality. It also ensures optimal image quality for still images, even though video and still images have different color requirements. The DIGIC DV II image processing produces video with improved color 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 high definition images that are crystal clear. Plus, DIGIC DV ll features improved continuous shooting of digital photographs with the HG21. You can shoot five still images per second, and enjoy faster processing of your images to your memory card (1.4x normal card; 2.5x Hi Speed card). It also helps lower power consumption for longer battery life.

    High Definition Video Lens: The HG21 comes with a High Definition video lens with 10x Optical zoom. The HG21 allows you to select one of 3 pre-set zoom speeds for smooth, steady, professional looking zooms or you can choose the variable speed option that depends on how you operate the zoom. Press gently for a slow zoom or press harder for faster zooms. The HD lens's super spectra coating technology results in images with minimal flare and ghosting. Plus, the HD lens' aspheric design reduces aberration and increases resolution, ensuring crisp, sharp video and enhancing the HD image quality. The new gradation neutral density (ND) system gives you better exposures in bright shooting situations. The camcorder's built-in electronic lens cover means you never have to go looking for your lens cover again. Turn your camcorder on and the lens cover automatically opens; turn it off, and the cover closes.

    Super-Range Optical Image Stabilization: The HG21's stabilization design corrects camcorder shake instantly. Canon's Super-Range OIS corrects for a wide range of camcorder motion: the fast vibration you'd experience while recording from a moving car; the medium-speed motion of hand-held recording; and the slower motion of body sway. In addition, optical stabilization keeps your shot steady without a loss in image quality. You can also use it for taking sharper, clearer digital photographs with your HG21.

    Focus Modes: The Canon HG21 features the following Focus Modes to choose from.

    • Instant AF (Auto Focus): The Instant AF feature uses an external sensor, in combination with the HG21's autofocus system, to help significantly decrease the time it takes to find focus, even in low light conditions. This system achieves focus instantaneously, reducing focus "hunting." The benefits of Instant AF are especially seen in high brightness, and night shooting situations. With Instant AF, it's possible to capture fast, accurate focusing, even when following a moving subject.
    • Manual Focus: The HG21 features a manual focus in situations where the Autofocus may not work well, such as recording reflective surfaces, subjects with low contrast or without vertical lines, fast moving subjects, through wet windows or night scenes.
    • Infinity Focus: Use this function when you wish to focus on faraway subjects such as mountains or fireworks.

    Focus Assist: The focus assist function magnifies the image that appears at the center of the screen to help you focus manually.

    Exposure Modes: The Canon HG21 allows you to select from the following exposure modes:

    • Manual:allows you to adjust the exposure manually to correct underexposed or overexposed subjects
    • Auto Mode: the camcorder adjusts the focus, exposure, and other settings automatically, allowing you to just point and shoot.
    • Program AE: the camcorder automatically adjust the aperture and shutter speed to obtain the optimal exposure for the subject
    • Shutter-Priority AE: the camcorder automatically sets the appropriate aperture value while you set the shutter speed
    • Aperture Priority AE: the camcorder automatically sets the appropriate shutter speed while you set the aperture value
    • Special Scene Recording Modes: The HG21 features the following Preset Scene Recording Modes to match special conditions.
      • Portrait: camcorder uses a large aperture, achieving a focus on the subject while blurring other distracting details
      • Sports: use this mode to record sports scenes or fast moving events
      • Night: use this mode to record in low-light conditions
      • Snow: use this mode to record in bright ski resorts, it prevents the subject from being underexposed
      • Beach: use this mode to record on a sunny beach, it prevent the subject from being underexposed
      • Sunset: use this mode to record sunsets in vibrant colors
      • Spotlight: use this mode to record spotlight scenes
      • Fireworks: use this mode to record fireworks

    Auto Backlight Correction: With this feature turned on, you can have the camcorder automatically correct for the backlight with the press of a single button when shooting subject with a strong light source behind them.

    Auto Slow Shutter: In this mode, the camcorder automatically uses slow shutter speeds to obtain brighter recordings in places with insufficient lighting.

    White Balance: The camcorder's auto white balance system compensates for a wide range of lighting conditions. The white balance can be set automatically, manually, or by using one of the six preset modes: Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, or Fluorescent H.

    Image Effects: The HG21 allows you to record with the following saturation and contrast color effects:

    • Vivid: emphasizes the contrast and color saturation to record in crisp colors
    • Neutral: tones down the contrast and color saturation to record in neutral hues
    • Low Sharpening: records subjects with softened outlines
    • Soft Skin Detail: softens the details in the skin tone area for a more complimentary appearance
    • Custom: allows you to adjust the brightness, contrast, color depth, and sharpness of the image

    Digital Effects: You can select from the following effects:

    • Black and White: makes the image black and white
    • Sepia: makes a monochrome image with a brownish tint
    • Art: adds a paint-like effect, called solarization, to the image

    Level Markers: The Level Marker feature allows you to easily keep your camera level for more professional looking video. Simply press the Level Shot Control button, and a horizontal marker appears in your viewfinder. Line up any horizontal lines in your shot, such as the horizon, to the marker and you can be sure your camcorder is level.

    Wireless Remote Control: The wireless remote control lets you operate your HG21 from a distance, so you won't be left out of the picture. It is also very useful for playback of your video and helpful when you have the camcorder stationed on a tri-pod.

    Grid Markers: The HF11's Grid Marker feature lets you compose your shot accurately, according to the grid in your viewfinder. You can even choose from two different colors for the grid. This ensures that you see the grid, no matter what the background color of your shot.

    Bright Ultra Video Light: The HF11 uses an ultra bright video light to allow you to shoot subjects in color in low light up to 4.9 feet away.

    Multi-Language Menu Display: The camcorder features 17 different menu language displays to choose from. You can select from languages such as English, French, Spanish, or German.

    Camcorder Features

    AVCD 1080i Recording: The HG21 records in 1080i high definition to the built-in 120GB hard disk drive or an optional SD/SDHC card. Video is recorded in AVCHD format; MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video and 2-channel Dolby Digital audio. Video will be recorded in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

    Recording Modes: The camcorder offers five video recording modes. Changing the recording mode will change the recording time available on the memory card. Select the MXP or FXP  mode for best movie quality, XP+ for better movie quality, SP mode for standard quality, and LP mode for longer recording times. You can capture the following video recording times using these modes.

     Memory Card/Recording Mode MXP|
    (1,920 x 1080)
    FXP
    (1,920 x 1080)
    XP+
    (1440 x 1080)
    SP
    (1440 x 1080)
    LP
    (1440 x 1080)
    120 GB HDD 11 hr. 5 min. 15 hr. 45 min. 21 hr. 40 min. 36 hr. 45 hr. 55 min.
    32 GB 2 hr. 55 min 4 hr. 10 min 5 hr. 45 min. 9 hr. 35 min. 12 hr. 15 min.
    16 GB 1 hr. 25 min. 2 hr. 5 min. 2 hr. 50 min. 4 hr. 45 min. 6 hr. 5 min.
    8 GB 40 min. 1 hr. 1 hr. 25 min 2 hr 20 min. 3 hr.

    Copy: You can copy a full-length video or a playlist from the camcorder's internal HDD to the corresponding location on an inserted memory card.

    Frame Rate: You can select the frame rate to be used when recording video. You can choose from 24 fps or 30fps.

    • 30fps: 30 frames per second, progressive, avoids jagged edges in the picture even when recording fast-moving objects
    • 24fps: 24 frames per second, progressive, gives your recordings a cinematic look

    24p Cinema Mode: 24p Cinema Mode enables you to achieve a professional "film-look" with your recorded video. You can change the camcorder's frame rate to 24p, which provides the same frame rate as movie film. In addition, you can use the HF11's CINE setting, which changes the color and tonal characteristics, evoking the look and feel of a movie shown in a theater. For added flexibility, these settings can be used together or independently.

    Wind Screen: The camcorder automatically reduces the background sound of wind when recording outdoors when Wind Screen is turned On.

    Built-In Speaker: When the included A/V cable isn't used, the camcorder plays the video's sound with it's built-in speaker or headphone jack. You can also use headphones to check the audio level while recording.

    Playback Modes: The camera offers the following special playback modes - Fast Playback (forward or reverse), Slow Playback (forward or reverse), and Skip Scene (forward or reverse). During these playback modes there is no sound.

    Playlists: You can create a playlist to play back only the scenes you prefer and in the order of your choice. Moving or deleting scenes in the playlist will not affect the original recordings.

    Date Search: You can locate video on the inserted SD memory card by searching changes in the date and time.

    Faders: You can select one of the following faders:

    • Fade Trigger: When you start recording, the scene gradually fades in from a black screen. When you stop recording, it gradually fades out.
    • Wipe: When you start recording, the picture begins as a thin vertical line in the center of the screen which gradually expands sideways until it fills the whole of the screen. When you end a scene, the image is wiped from both sides of the screen.

    Digital Still Camera Features

    Still Image Recording: The HG21 camcorder is also a high performance digital camera capable of capturing up to 2.76 Megapixel photos in 4:3 aspect ratio or up to 2.07 Megapixel photos in 16:9 aspect ratio. You can record in the following still image sizes - L: 2048 x 1536 (4:3), LW: 1920 x 1080 (16:9), M: 1440 x 1080 (4:3), SW: 848 x 480 (16:9, simultaneous recording only), or S: 640 x 480 (4:3). The image quality options (compression levels) are Normal, Fine, and Super Fine.

    Dual Media Compatible: The HG21 stores digital photos on an optional SD/SDHC Memory Card (sold separately) or its internal 120GB HDD. The camcorder supports SD cards up to 2GB and SDHC memory cards up to 8GB.

    Simultaneous Photo Recording: The HG21 can record AVCHD video and capture a 2 Megapixel photo to its internal 120GB HDD or SD/SDHC memory card simultaneously. During Simultaneous Photo Recording the still image is recorded at a 16:9 aspect ratio with 848 x 480 (SW) pixels.

    Capturing Still Image From Movie: You can capture still image frames from a movie scene. The size of the captured still image will be 1920 x 1080 with a16:9 aspect ratio and it cannot be changed, but you can select the image quality.

    Copy: You can copy still images from the camcorder's built-in 120GB HDD to an inserted memory card or vice versa.

    Number of still images that can be recorded on a memory card:

    Image Size Image Quality Number of Images
    128MB SD Card 512MB
    SD Card
    1GB SD Card
    LW 1920 x 1080 Super Fine  50 315 670
    Fine  75 470 1000
    Normal 150 925 1970
    L 2048 x 1536 Super Fine  30 205 445
    Fine  50 310 660
    Normal 100 625 1325
    M 1440 x 1080 Super Fine  65 420 890
    Fine  100 625 1325
    Normal 200 1225 2595
    SW 848 x 480 Super Fine 260 1585 3360
    Fine 370 2245 4760
    Normal 740 4495 9325
    S 640 x 480 Super Fine   340 2070 4395
    Fine  490 2995 6350
    Normal 890 5390 11430

    Auto Intelligent Auto Focus: Auto Intelligent Auto Focus ensures sharp images and gives creative flexibility. Even when your subject isn't in the center of the frame, the HG21's Ai-AF will automatically select from 9 metering frames on the screen to help bring images into sharp focus. When the Focus Priority is activated, the camcorder records a still image only after the focus has been adjusted automatically. You can select from the following Auto Focus Priority modes.

    • ON/AiAF: depending on the shooting conditions, one or more AF frames out of the nine frames available are automatically selected and the focus is fixed on them
    • ON/Center: in this mode, a single focusing frame appears in the center of the screen and the focus is automatically fixed on it. This is convenient for making sure the focus is exactly where you want it.
    • Off: this option is used if you wish to record a still images as soon as you press the Photo button

    The Drive Mode: This feature allows you to choose between Single or Continuous Shooting and Exposure Bracketing. You can catch every instant of a moving object with continuous shooting or use the exposure bracketing to record the same picture in 3 levels of exposure in order to choose the picture you like best. You can choose from the following options.

    • Single: records a single still image
    • Continuous Shooting: records up to 60 image at 3 images per second (2.1 images per second with flash)
    • Hi-Speed Continuous Shooting: records up to 60 images at 5 images per second (2.1 images per second with flash)
    • Auto Exposure Bracketing: records a still image in 3 different exposures (dark, normal, light in 1/2 EV steps), allowing you to choose the shot you like best
    • Self-Timer: This feature allows the camcorder to start recording after a 10-second or 2-second (using wireless remote) countdown.

    Flash Modes: You can use the built-in flash for recording still images in dark places. You can choose from the following modes:

    • Auto: flash fires automatically according to the brightness of the subject
    • Red-eye Reduction, Auto: flash fires automatically according to the brightness of the subject and the assist lamp lights up to reduce the red-eye effect
    • Flash On: flash always fires
    • Flash Off: flash does not fire

    Light Metering Modes: The camcorder measure the light reflected from the subject in order to calculate the optimal exposure settings. You can select from the following metering modes:

    • Evaluative Metering: used for standard conditions, the area within the frame is divided into several zones and light is measured based on subject position, brightness, direct light, and backlighting
    • Center-Weighted Averaging: averages the exposure from the entire frame but places more weight on the subject at the center
    • Spot: measures the area within the spot AE point frame

    Histogram Display: The HG21 comes with a Histogram Display. The display allows you to see the brightness information of your still images, so you can adjust your exposures as you shoot.

    Review: You can select the time to display a still image after it has been recorded to Off, 2 seconds, 4 seconds, 6 seconds, 8 seconds, or 10 seconds.

    Playback Modes: You can view your still images one at a time, as a Slideshow, or in an Index Screen.

    Magnify Playback: Still images can be magnified up to 5 times when played back. You can also select the area of the screen to be magnified.

    Image Jump: You can jump ahead to an image without having to browse all images one by one. You can jump ahead 10 or 100 images.

    Protect Sill Images: You can protect sill images from accidental erasure.

    Print and Share Button: Print & Share allows you to simply connect your camcorder directly to select Canon printers or any PictBridge-compatible printer with the supplied USB cable. Then, with a simple touch of the Print & Share button, print directly from your HG21 without going through a computer. Print & Share also makes it easy to transfer your still images to your computer. Simply connect your HG21 and your computer, press the Print & Share button and your photos are downloaded to your computer.

    PictBridge Printing Capability: PictBridge is a standard that allows you to connect a PictBridge compliant camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer and make prints, regardless of brand.

    Exif Print (Exif 2.2): The Canon HG21 conforms to "Exif Print", a worldwide standard. Vital camera settings (such as: exposure mode, white balance, exposure time) and scene data are recorded to the image file when it is captured. Printers compatible with "Exif Print" are able to use this information to produce high quality photographs, exactly the way they were intended at the time of capture. This intelligent communication process also allows the printer to correct for poor lighting or mistakes, resulting in photos which can be even better than the originals.

    DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) Settings: On the memory card, you can select which image or images you want to print and how many copies you want. This is convenient for printing images all at once on a Canon Direct Print function compliant printer or printing at participating photo labs. You can set print orders for up to 998 still images.

    Battery Information

    Li-ion Battery Pack: The Canon VIXIA HG21 comes supplied with a rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery Pack (BP-807). The camcorder also comes supplied with an AC power adapter and charger (CA-570S). The battery recording and playback times (in minutes) are as follows.

    Camcorder Recording/Play Modes Battery Pack
    BP-807 (supplied) BP-827 (optional)
    HDD Memory Card HDD Memory Card
    MXP Maximum Time
    80 90 265 285
    Typical Recording Time 50 55 170 175
    Playback Time 100 125 325 380
    Maximum Time
    FXP 85 95 270 290
    Typical Recording 50 55 170 175
    Playback Time 115 125 360 380
    XP+ Maximum  Time 90 95 290 295
    Typical Recording Time 55 60 175 180
    Playback time 115 130 370 380
    SP Maximum Recording  Time 95 95 290 295
    Typical Recording Time 60 60 175 180
    Playback Time 120 130 380 385
    LP
    Maximum Recording Time 95 95 295 295
    Typical Recording Time 60 60 180 180
    Playback Time 120 130 380 385

    Note: The supplied BP-807 battery pack requires 155  minutes to fully charge using the supplied AC/Battery charger. The optional BP-827 battery back requires 395 minutes to full charge.

    Power Save: In order to save power when the camcorder is powered by a battery pack it will automatically shut off if left without an operation for 5 minutes.

    Inputs and Outputs

    AV/Headphone Output: The camcorder features an AV output to playback audio and video on your television using the supplied composite vide/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 ration. When you're using the viewfinder for playback, you can connect a pair of headphones to this output to listen to the sound. You can also use the headphones to check the audio level while recording.

    Component Out Terminal: The camera also comes supplied with a Component video cable that is used to view video from the HG21 on to your TV. You can select the output of the Component Out Terminal to display either 1080i or 480i depending on the capability of your TV.

    HDMI Out Terminal: The HG21 makes sharing your High Definition video on your HD television even easier by utilizing a mini HDMI output terminal. HDMI uses only a single cable to connect your camcorder to your TV for the highest quality playback of digital video and audio. A mini HDMI to HDMI cable is not supplied.

    USB 2.0 Connection: The camcorder features a USB 2.0 high speed terminal for fast transfer of photos.

    SD-Card Slot: The HG21 records still images and video onto SD and SDHC memory cards.

    Microphone Input: In addition to the camcorder's built-in microphone, the HG21 features a 3.5mm microphone input for connecting an external microphone (sold separately).

    Advanced Accessory Shoe Terminal: Another pro-level feature of the HG21 is the Mini-Advanced Accessory Shoe Terminal on the camcorder which allows you to attach extras such as a video light, flash or directional microphone without additional wires or batteries to raise the production value of the video you shoot.

    Software Requirements

    Included Still Imaging Software: The Canon VIXIA HG21 camcorder comes supplied with two CD-ROM application discs - Digital Video Solution Disk Ver. 31.0 (for still images) and Pixela ImageMixer 3SE Ver.3.1 (for video).

    The Pixela ImageMixer 3SE Ver. 3.1 contains the following functions (Windows Only):

    • Transfer Movies: Transfer the movies recorded from the camcorder to the you computer. On the computer you can organize and quickly search your video library, rate your favorite videos and use the albums created automatically (by recording date) or create albums of your own.
    • Playback Video: After transferring your movies from the camcorder, play them back directly from your computer.
    • Edit Movies: Trim out your movies to keep only most interesting scenes. Rearrange them as you wish and add transition effects, subtitles or background music to your preference.
    • Create Discs: Create backup discs from your video files. Create AVCHD discs to keep them in HD quality or DVD-Video discs that you can share with friends and family. You can also create Blu-ray discs. In addition, you can create original menus for your discs.
    • Write To Computer: Transfer your movies from the computer back to the camcorder, even after editing them to your liking.

    The Digital Video Solution Disk Ver. 31.0 contains the following applications (Windows/Macintosh):

    • CameraWindow (Windows & Macintosh): Allows you to:
      • Download still images recorded on camcorder
      • Print still images recorded on the camcorder without downloading them to the computer
      • Enter an owner name to the camcorder
    • Zoom Browser EX 6.1 (Windows): Allows you to:
      • View and organize downloaded still images
      • Edit downloaded still images: Red-eye collection, color & brightness, sharpness, trimming and inserting texts on images
      • Print still images and contact sheets
      • Add sound to still images
    • ImageBrowser 6.1 (Macintosh): Allows you to:
      • View and organize downloaded still images
      • Edit downloaded still images: Red-eye collection, color & brightness, sharpness, trimming and inserting texts on images
      • Print still images and contact sheets
      • Add sound to still images

    Windows System Requirements:

    • Operating System: Windows XP (Home Edition or Professional Service Pack 2 or 3) and Windows Vista (Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, Business or Enterprise, 32 bit with or without Service Pack 1)
    • CPU: Intel Pentium D 3.0 GHz or Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13 GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.33 GHz for MXP mode)
    • RAM: 1 GB (XP) or 2 GB (Vista)
    • Hard Disk Space: 300 MB (Installation), 10 GB (DVD writer)
    • Display: 1280 x 1024 resolution, 32-bit color, Intel G965 Express Chipset on-board
    • Sound: Sound card compatible with DirectSound
    • DVD Drive: Preinstalled DVD drive with writing capabilities (Blu-ray Disc drive if creating Blu-ray discs)
    • Others: Preinstalled USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed USB) port, System that can run DirectX 9.0c, Internet connection (during installation)

    Macintosh System Requirements:

    • OS: Mac OS X (10.3/10.5)
    • Computer Model: Computers that came with above OS preinstalled
    • CPU: PowerPC G3/G4/G5 or Intel Processor
    • RAM: 256 MB or more
    • Interface: Built-in USB ports
    • Free Hard Disk Space: 300 MB or more
    • Display: 1,024 x 768 pixels/32,000 colors or better
     
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    Canon HG21 Reviews

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    5 out of 5

    Excellent

    Written By rberndt, Olathe, KS on Saturday, May 02, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Excellent camera for the money. I'm using this camera as a backup to my XH-A1 because the color between the two cameras is so comparable. I may end up buying another one of these so I can start doing 3 camera shoots. I mean, why not? If you produce in Standard Definition, but shoot in HD, your final product is fantastic.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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