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Canon VIXIA HF G30

High-definition camcorder with 20X zoom lens and Wi-Fi®

3 Reviews | 4 questions - 8 answers

Item # 280HFG30

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Our take on the Canon VIXIA HF G30

The Canon HF G30 sits in the flagship position of Canon's user-friendly VIXIA line, but it has so many advanced features that it truly blurs the lines between "consumer" and "professional." Starting with its very capable 20X f/1.8 zoom lens, an advanced sensor that's larger than that of its predecessor, and an energized and updated DIGIC DV 4 video processor, the HF G30 has the capability to bring home sharp, colorful and dramatic shots in situations that would be extremely challenging for cameras of lesser ability.

A professional in disguise

The Canon HF G30 sits in the flagship position of Canon's user-friendly VIXIA line, but it has so many advanced features that it truly blurs the lines between "consumer" and "professional." Starting with its very capable 20X f/1.8 zoom lens, an advanced sensor that's larger than that of its predecessor, and an energized and updated DIGIC DV 4 video processor, the HF G30 has the capability to bring home sharp, colorful and dramatic shots in situations that would be extremely challenging for cameras of lesser ability.

The format you need, when you need it

The HF G30 can capture video in two formats, high-quality AVCHD and web-friendly MP4, and it can even do so simultaneously to the camcorder's dual memory card slots. The maximum data rates for both formats (28 megabits per second for AVCHD; 35 Mbps for MP4) allow the HF G30 to record at a full 1080/60p resolution, in addition to several other resolutions — a cinematic 24p-native frame rate among them. When those capture modes are played back at different speeds, you can achieve slow-motion playback as slow as 40% of normal speed, and fast-motion as fast as 250% of normal, with no degradation of picture quality.

Wi-Fi® features

Built-in Wi-Fi makes this already capable camera more convenient. Share files easily between devices. Control your HF G30 from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. And easily upload your videos for sharing with family, friends, or social networks — a process made much easier by the fact that the camcorder performs internal downconversion of your high-quality videos to make them small enough to post easily online.

The Canon VIXIA HF G30 features a lush 3.5" OLED touchscreen display

The Canon VIXIA HF G30 features a lush 3-1/2" organic LED (OLED) touchscreen display.

See even more of what your camcorder is seeing

The Canon VIXIA HF G30 sports an upgraded monitoring system. Its generous 3-1/2" organic LED (OLED) touchscreen display brings 1.23-million dots worth of high-contrast resolution to bear to reveal even the tiniest details in your image. Plus, the tiltable electronic viewfinder allows you a 1.56-million dot view of the world, for even finer control of your camera when handheld and zoomed-in. And to make those zoomed-in moments even more stable, Canon has added what it calls SuperRange optical image stabilization, which corrects for erratic motion almost instantly, ensuring that even long-lens shots of faraway subjects will be smooth and easy to follow.

More pro touches

The HF G30 has even more pro tricks up its figurative sleeve. A zebra-stripe monitoring mode allows you to adjust exposure on the fly. A manual focus ring gives you fine control of zoom as well as focus. The camcorder features a 3.5mm minijack microphone input and headphone output, and the smart accessory shoe can accommodate things like external surround-sound mics or small lights. In addition, an available GPS module can be connected for geo-tagging your footage, while can make it much easier to organize for future editing.

    Storage and Formats:
    • records high-definition video and photos onto dual SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
      • records 1080/60p 28 megabit-per-second AVCHD format and 35 Mbps MP4 format simultaneously
      • dual memory card slots switch from one card to the next when full (but not when executing simultaneous recording)
      • built-in downconversion creates web-sharable MP4 files
      • play back your 60p captures at 24 frames per second for 40% normal-speed slo-mo, or play back 24p at 60 fps for 250% fast motion
    • large Canon HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor delivers exceptional low-light performance and wide dynamic range
    • pre-record feature is always caching 3 seconds of video before you press record, so you'll never miss the critical action
    • Wi-Fi®-enabled functions allow app-based control of camera, easy file sharing, and quick video upload to social media sites
    • 2.91-megapixel, 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS PRO image sensor
    • advanced DIGIC DV 4 image processor
    • 20X f/1.8 optical zoom lens with 8-blade circular aperture
    • ultra-clear 3-1/2" organic LED (OLED) touch-panel 1,230k-dot widescreen display, plus 1,560k-dot tilting electronic viewfinder
    • linear 16-bit PCM audio recording is enabled in high-quality capture modes
    • captures audio in 2-channel Dolby® Digital with the on-board microphone; optional Canon SM-V1 external microphone allows 5.1-channel surround capture
    • microphone and headphone jacks
    • SuperRange optical image stabilization corrects a broad range of erratic motion throughout the entire zoom range
    • native 24p progressive mode allows for a more cinematic look
    • manual focus ring lets you more precisely focus on subjects (can be reassigned to zoom control)
    • custom control key and dial gives you quick access to the manual function of your choice, including shutter speed, aperture, exposure, and more
    • zebra patterns allow quick, accurate exposure adjustment
    • internal color bar and test tone generators allow for proper setup of monitors and mixers downstream from your camera's signal
    • internal level marker aids you in keeping camera accurately framed
    • optional GP-E2 GPS receiver module (not included) adds geo-tagging capability
    • includes Pixela Data Import Utility software
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • high-speed USB interface (cable included)
    • mini HDMI and composite video outputs for connection to any TV (cables included)
    • lens hood with lens barrier included
    • mini advanced accessory shoe lets you add an optional mic, video light, and more
    • comes with an AC adapter/charger and rechargeable lithium ion battery (BP-820)
    • 4-5/16"W x 3-3/8"H x 7-3/16"D (excluding lens hood)
    • weight: approx. 2 lbs. with battery, memory card, and lens hood
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • HD camcorder (black)
    • Lens Cap (installed)
    • Lens Hood
    • BP-820 Lithium-Ion battery (7.4V/1780mAh)
    • CA-570 Power adapter with attached 5.5' DC output cord (DC output: 8.4V/1.5A)
    • 5' AC cord
    • Ferrite core
    • WL-D89 Wireless Remote Control
    • CR2025 Lithium battery
    • 59" HDMI cable (with mini-HDMI connector on one end and a full-size HDMI connector on the other end)
    • 59" A/V cable with 3.5mm mini-jack plug on one end and RCA composite and stereo audio plugs on the other end
    • 2' USB cable with Mini USB Ver.2.0 connector on one end and Type-A USB connector on other end
    • VIXIA software and Instruction Manual on CD-ROM
    • Data Import Utility Ver.2.0 CD-ROM
    • Quick Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Wi-Fi Basic Setup Guide (En/Fr/Sp/+4 others)
    • Register Now card
    • Limited Warranty card

    Canon VIXIA HF G30 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (3 Reviews)

    Canon G30

    Valen from Pennsylvania on 8/30/2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased this camcorder for a friend's daughter's wedding. I knew my current camera, a Canon 500, would not be good in the low lighting one sees at receptions. This camera was significantly better in that situation and I was even able to get good personal comments in low lighting. I used the audio incorporated into the camera instead of a separate mike that I use on the 500 and was impressed by the sound quality.



    Great Video Camera and Even Better Service

    Dennis from Virginia on 4/22/2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was surprised with the quality of video especially in low light. I totally recommend this camera especially at this price point. I wish it came with a camera bag for the price but its still a good value. Good buy. Also on a side note, customer service was great and was able to get the camera to me overnight.

    Pros: - Good quality video - Great low light video - Easy to use - Fast recording time from the time you turn it on to press record

    Cons: - No bag included - No internal memory - No light included on unit

    Worth every penny!

    Nancy K. from Chicago, Il on 11/22/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have previously owned a Canon video camera with no viewfinder as well as other video cameras with viewfinders. As a non- professional, I say that the Canon Vixa HF G30 is by far the best I have ever used! It will probably be he last one I buy for a very long time. The quality of video and photos are amazing! The viewfinder is a must for me and adds to the versatility of this camera. In short - purchasing this camera is worth every penny!

    Pros: - has a viewfinder - shoots in HD - options galore! - light- weight, portable - holds 2 SD cards simultaneously

    Cons: If you want to call it a negative, it is a the price. But I think it is worth every penny!


    Hands-on research

    Product Research

    Battery Information
    Inputs And Outputs


    Image Sensor: The Canon VIXIA HF G30 HD camcorder features a 1/2.84", native 1920 x 1080 HD CMOS Pro image sensor. HD CMOS Pro uses fewer pixels (3,090,000) which are 61% larger and more sensitive than those found in most consumer camcorders. The result is outstanding video resolution, superb low-light performance, and wide dynamic range. The effective pixel count is 2,910,000 for video and photos.

    3.5" Widescreen OLED Touch Panel Display: The HF G30 features a 3.5" TFT color widescreen OLED touch screen (1,230,000 dots) to make it easy to compose and review your shots. Compared to LCD displays, OLED offers wider viewing angles, better color reproduction and contrast, and more touch responsiveness with less required pressure. You can rotate the display panel 270° allowing the subject to monitor the screen. The OLED screen also features adjustable brightness and color balance controls.

    Viewfinder: In addition to the 3.5" OLED display panel, the camcorder also features a separate 0.24" TFT color viewfinder with 1,560,000 dots. You can switch from the OLED screen and the viewfinder by pulling the viewfinder out. The viewfinder can be tilted up to 45 degrees from its normal resting position to enable more shooting freedom. You can adjust the viewfinder to your eyesight using the dioptric adjustment. The viewfinder includes a large, comfortable eye cup, similar to those used on Canon's professional camcorders, for blocking out extra light to improve visibility.

    Built-in Wi-Fi: The HF G30 is equipped with built-in dual-band (5 GHz/2.4 GHz) Wi-Fi technology for wirelessly sharing your HD movies with your friends and family or sending to a PC. You can upload videos virtually anywhere on compatible networks, wireless hotspots, and to your iOS device with the free Canon Movie Uploader app. In addition, you can wirelessly control key camcorder functions, exposure functions, and focus settings through the Wi-Fi Remote application, available for iOS and Android devices.

    Optional GPS: With the optional GP-E2 GPS Receiver, you can acquire GPS location data and attach it to your movies and photos. The GPS receiver can also set the camcorder's time automatically.

    Recording Formats: The camcorder records movies in AVCHD (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) video compression format with Dolby Digital 2-channel audio, using the built-in microphone. You can record in 5.1-channel surround when using the optional SM-V1 Surround Microphone. Movies can also be recorded in MPEG-4 (MP4) for internet-ready, easy-to-share videos. Still photos are recorded in JPEG compression.

    Recording Modes: The camcorder offers the following video recording modes:

    Movie Format Recording Mode Resolution Audio Format
    AVCHD 28 Mbps LPCM (59.94P) 1920 x 1080 Linear PCM
    28 Mbps (59.94P) Dolby Digital
    24 Mbps LPCM Linear PCM
    24 Mbps Dolby Digital
    17 Mbps
    5 Mbps 1440 x 1080
    MP4 35 Mbps (59.94P) 1920 x 1080 AAC
    24 Mbps
    17 Mbps
    4 Mbps 1280 x 720
    3 Mbps 640 x 360

    Still Image Recording: The HF G30 HD camcorder is also a high performance digital camera capable of capturing stunning photos. Photos are recorded at 1920 x 1080. You can also capture photos from recorded movies at 1920 x 1080 (AVCHD and MP4), 1280 x 720 (MP4 @ 4 Mbps) or 640 x 360 (MP4 @ 3 Mbps). The number of photos that can be saved on a 1 GB memory card are 660 (1920 x 1080), 1490 (1280 x 720), and 5800 (640 x 360).

    Dual Memory Card Slots: The HF G30 is equipped with two slots for inserting SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards. When the memory card in slot A becomes full while recording movies, the recording will continue uninterrupted on the card in slot B (Relay Recording). You can also record the same scene simultaneously to both cards (Dual Recording), either in the same movie format or different formats.

    DIGIC DV IV: Canon's latest and most advanced HD image processor, DIGIC DV IV, helps enable impressive low-light shooting for brighter, noise-free images even in dark scenes.

    Mini Advanced Shoe: The top-mounted Mini Advanced Shoe allows you to attach a range of optional accessories, such as video lights (VL-5 or VFL-2) and external microphone (DM-100).

    Genuine Canon Video Lens: The HF G30 comes with a Genuine Canon HD video lens with a 20x Optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 26.8 - 576 mm) and a selectable 4x or 20x digital zoom for an 80x or 400x total digital zoom. A lens hood is included to reduce the amount of stray light to enter the lens.

    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.

    Digital Tele-Converter: You can digitally increase the focal length of the camcorder by a factor of approximately 2x and record the enlarged image at full HD resolution.

    Optional Converter Lenses: The HF G30's lens has a 58mm filter thread, allowing you to attach optional converter lenses to increase or decrease the focal length. The optional TL-H58 Tele-Converter increases the focal length by a factor of 1.5 with a minimum focusing distance of 4.3'. The WD-H58W Wide-Converter decreases the focal length by a factor of 0.75, giving you a wide perspective for indoor shots or panoramic views. In addition to converter lenses, you can also attach 58mm protective or natural density filters to the lens.

    8-Blade Circular Aperture: The lens has a newly developed 8-blade circular aperture. A circular aperture reduces the "starburst" effect found in camcorders with non-circular apertures, creating a more aesthetic background in the out-of-focus areas.

    Dynamic Image Stabilizer: The HF G30 has a Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer system to compensate for camera shake. The Image Stabilization system provides continuous adjustment throughout the entire zoom range, plus extra compensation at wide-angle focal lengths. The system controls rotational camera shake, including horizontal, vertical, and roll axis, for smooth, distortion-free video. The Powered IS function compensates for hand movement at the telephoto end of the zoom range. You can select the degree of compensation:

    • Dynamic: Highest degree of compensation; most effective at wide angle zoom. (movie mode only)
    • Standard: Compensates for a lower degree of camera shake
    • Off: No compensation applied. Recommended when camera is on a tripod.

    Operating Modes: Using the Mode Switch on the top of the camcorder, you can select one of the following Operating Modes:

    • Auto: The camcorder takes care of all of the settings while you concentrate on recording.
    • Manual: The manual setting gives you full access to menus, settings, and advanced functions.
    • Cinema: The Cinema mode gives your recordings a cinematic look. The Cinema-Look filters help you create unique movies.

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

    Instant Auto Focus (AF): The HF G30 offers Instant Auto Focus, which uses an external sensor, in combination with Canon's auto focus system, to help significantly decrease the time it takes to focus, even in low light situations. The Focus Assistance feature provides a 2x magnification of your subject in the display screen before you start recording. When recording begins, the Focus Assist is canceled. Other Autofocus modes include Medium AF and Normal AF.

    Manual Focus Ring: The HF G30 has a manual focus ring that helps you achieve the focus you're looking for. The focus ring response can be set to fast, normal, or slow, plus the focus direction can be set in either direction.

    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.

    Smart Auto: The Smart Auto setting automatically selects the best settings for the scene you want to shoot, including focus, exposure, color, image stabilization, and image quality. You get spectacular recordings every time without worrying about the settings.

    Auto Exposure Modes: The HF G30's automatic exposure (AE) recording programs help you obtain the optimal exposure by adjusting the shutter speed and/or the aperture value. The auto exposure modes include:

    • Programmed AE: The camcorder automatically adjusts both the aperture and shutter speed to obtain the optimal exposure for the subject.
    • Shutter Priority: You choose the shutter speed to freeze or blur the shot while the camcorder selects the appropriate aperture for the scene. You can select 9 shutter speeds between 1/8 and 1/2000 (or 10 speeds between 1/6 and 1/2000 with a 23.98P frame rate).
    • Aperture Priority: You choose the aperture to affect the depth of field and the camcorder selects the appropriate shutter speed for the scene. You can select aperture settings of F1.8 to F8.0 (wide angle) or F2.8 to F8.0 (telephoto).

    Manual Recording: In the Manual mode, you can enjoy full access to the menus and manually adjust the exposure, focus, white balance, and many more of the camcorder's settings to your preference.

    Special Scene Recording Modes: The camcorder features the following Scene Recording Modes to match special conditions: Portrait, Sports, Night Scene, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Low Light, Spotlight, and Fireworks.

    White Balance: The camcorder's 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, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Tungsten, Color Temperature, and Custom WB.

    Cinema-Look Filters: The HF G30 allows you to record with the following cinema-look filters: Cinema Standard, Vivid, Dream, Cool, Nostalgic, Sepia, Old Movies, Memory, and Dramatic B&W.

    Wireless Remote Control: The HF G30 comes with the WL-D89 Wireless Controller. With this remote, you can control the following functions of the camcorder: Start/Stop, Play/Pause, Menu Navigation, Display, Photo button (for taking still images), and zoom in/out.

    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 Microphone: You can change the directionality of the built-in microphone to control how sound is recorded. The options include: Monaural, Normal (stereo), Wide, and Zoom.

    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 display screen to play back 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, Slow Playback (1/8x or 1/4x) in either direction, and Frame-by-Frame Playback. During these playback modes there is no sound.

    Battery Information

    Lithium-Ion Battery Pack: The Canon HF G30 is powered by the supplied BP-820 rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery Pack. The optional BP-828 battery pack is a high capacity alternative. The battery recording and playback times are as follows:

    Battery Pack Function OLED and Viewfinder
    1780 mAh
    Maximum Rec 150-190 minutes
    Typical Rec 90-110 minutes
    Playback 260-300 minutes (OLED)
    2670 mAh
    Maximum Rec 225-295 minutes
    Typical Rec 140-170 minutes
    Playback 395-455 minutes (OLED)

    Charging Times: The BP-820 battery charges in 275 minutes when charging through the camcorder with the supplied CA-570 AC adapter. The optional BP-828 charges is 405 minutes. The optional CG-800 battery charger will charge the BP-820 in 190 minutes and the BP-828 in 260 minutes.

    Auto Power Off: After 5 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.

    Inputs And Outputs

    HDMI Output: The HF G30 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. The HDMI can be set to output 1080p signals. A 59" HDMI cable is included.

    AV Output: The camcorder features an AV output to playback audio and video on your television using the supplied 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 (selectable in the menu). The built-in speaker will be muted when headphones or the AV cable are plugged in.

    USB 2.0 Connection: The camcorder features a USB 2.0 High Speed terminal for fast transfer of photos and videos. The USB terminal is also used to connect the optional GP-E2 GPS Receiver.

    Microphone Input: In addition to the camcorder's built-in microphone, the HF G30 features a 3.5mm microphone input for connecting an external microphone, such as the WM-V1 Wireless Microphone. With the optional SM-V1 Surround Microphone, you can record in 5.1-channel surround audio.

    Remote Control Input: The camcorder features a 2.5mm sub-minijack terminal for connecting an optional wired remote controller.


    Included Software: The Canon HF G30 camcorder includes two CD-ROM application discs: Data Import Utility for saving AVCHD movies, and VIXIA ImageBrowser EX for saving MP4 movies and photos. The camcorder's Instruction Manual is also provided on the VIXIA disc. The software is compatible with the following Operating Systems:

    • Windows: Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Windows Vista (SP2), Windows XP (SP3)
    • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8

    Our Product Research Team

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    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    Crutchfield asked  
    Why did you buy this?

    After several conversations with Adam and Jenny, tech advisers, I decided to go with the G30, rather than the less expensive G20. I'm hoping I made a great choice. [ Albert  Jan 02, 2016 ]

    4 questions already asked

    I don't believe there are any microphone audio inputs on this camera. Your only option for recording sound with this camera is to use the built-in stereophonic microphones. I think most people that buy it intend to record their audio with a separate audio recording device like a digital audio recorder. [ HENRY C  Feb 28, 2016 ]
    I purchased a Canon DM-100 for my G30 and it works fantastic. Fits into the accessory shoe and no wires were needed. Sound quality is far superior to the built in mic on the G30. Not sure about the Bhue Mic you're referring to. Good luck. [ Albert  Feb 28, 2016 ]
    Any mics that are hooked up to the camera must be connected through the cameras 1/8 in stereo audio connection. This camera does not include XLR connectors. Hope this helps. [ SEAWRIGHT  Feb 28, 2016 ]
    This cable does the trick, plus a female mini stereo to 1/4" adapter. We had 2 wireless mics line output mixed to this attenuator cable and it works great wih our 30. Search part # LN2MIC [ PAUL  Feb 28, 2016 ]
    Yes it works well with IMovie [ Gesualdo  Dec 09, 2015 ]
    I wish i had an answer, but don't. I hope it turns out there is some kind of setting you can change to get rid of it. [ Robert  Aug 28, 2014 ]
    Sorry, that's something I haven't seen or experienced, you might try restoring to factory defaults...Hopefully it's not something wrong with the viewfinder... [ KENNETH MARTIN  Aug 27, 2014 ]