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Canon VIXIA HF G40

HD camcorder with 20X zoom lens and Wi-Fi®

3 Reviews

Overview

Our take on the Canon VIXIA HF G40

I've learned over time that there are some things a basic camcorder can't do. Shooting professional-quality HD video requires smart features, and the Canon VIXIA HF G40 — the flagship of Canon's user-friendly VIXIA line — has so many advanced features that it truly blurs the line between "consumer" and "professional."

Take creative control

I've learned over time that there are some things a basic camcorder can't do. Shooting professional-quality HD video requires smart features, and the Canon VIXIA HF G40 — the flagship of Canon's user-friendly VIXIA line — has so many advanced features that it truly blurs the line between "consumer" and "professional."

Think 20X optical zoom, with manual focus control, so you can get closer to the action and make sure the image is crisp and clear. There's also a large CMOS image sensor that captures rich colors and fine details. You can choose manual control of white balance settings or use preset scene modes for Sports, Snow, Night and more. This camcorder gives you options, so you can get creative with confidence.

Added stability

Keeping an image stable while you're shooting can be challenging. The VIXIA HF G40 features Intelligent IS that chooses the best type of image stabilization for your environment, as well as manual control for those times when you want to get very specific and "hands-on" with your shots. When you're zooming in or out, you can keep the motion smooth by choosing from one of 16 constant zoom speeds.

The adjustable OLED touchscreen on the Canon VIXIA HF G40 helps you frame and review each shot.

The adjustable OLED touchscreen on the Canon VIXIA HF G40 helps you frame and review each shot.

A touchpanel screen and separate viewfinder

There are a couple of ways to make sure your shot looks good before, during, and after recording. When you peer into the viewfinder's eyepiece, you're looking at a 1.56-million-dot image of your scene. If you want to see it even larger, just flip open the 3-1/2" OLED touchscreen. You'll get a dazzling full-color HD look at what your camera sees, so you can make timely adjustments and get it just right.

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. The camcorder can internally downconvert your high-quality videos to make them small enough to post easily online, and you can use the dual memory card slots to record high-quality AVCHD video files on one card, and simultaneously capture MP4 video on the other card for easy playback on mobile devices or uploading to social media on the web. It's the best of both worlds, with minimal effort.

    Specifications:
    • 2.91-megapixel, 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS PRO image sensor
    • 20X optical zoom
    • 35mm equivalent: 26.8-576mm
    • captures MP4 or AVCHD files at 1080/60p (up to 60 fps)
    • maximum transfer speed: 35 Mbps
    • fast, powerful DIGIC DV 4 image processor
    • shutter speeds up to 1/2000 sec.
    Features:
    • ultra-clear 3-1/2" widescreen touch-panel OLED display
      • approximate resolution: 1.23 million dots
      • swiveling, fold-out design
    • tilting electronic viewfinder
      • approximate resolution: 1.56 million dots
      • tilts up to 45 degrees
    • built-in dual-band Wi-Fi® lets you share HD video easily
    • variable zoom speed
    • 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
    • Intelligent IS applies the best type of image stabilization for your environment
    • nine scene modes with exposure settings for Snow, Night, Fireworks and more
    • custom white balance settings
    • dual card slots for extended continuous shooting with SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards
    • filter diameter: 58mm
    • low-luminance noise rating of +3 dB helps capture clear images in low light
    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)
    • 4-9/16"W x 3-3/16"H x 7-1/8"D (excluding lens hood)
    • weight: 32 oz.
    • 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 (C7 polarized plug)
    • Ferrite core
    • WL-D89 Wireless Remote Control
    • CR2025 Lithium battery
    • 59" HTC-100/S HDMI cable (with mini-HDMI connector on one end and a full-size HDMI connector on the other end)
    • 59" STV-250N Stereo A/V cable with 3.5mm mini-jack plug on one end and RCA composite and stereo RCA audio plugs on the other end
    • 2' IFC-300PCU/S USB cable with Mini USB Ver.2.0 connector on one end and Type-A USB connector on other end
    • Quick Guide
    • Wi-Fi Basic Setup Guide
    • Register Now card
    • Limited Warranty card

    What I love the most is video quality in low light. I have use it while my friend drove and I video tape at the Bluar Ridge Park Way. I Recorded a group playing at the blue ridge music center with great quality of video and sound. The battery life is good.

    Rafael, Fayetteville, NC

    Reviews

    Canon VIXIA HF G40 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (3 Reviews)
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    Details

    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    General
    LCD Screen Size (inches) 3.5
    Viewfinder 0.24" Electronic
    Total Pixel Count 3.09 MP
    Effective Pixel Count for Video 2.91 MP
    4K Video ---
    High-Definition Yes
    Aspect Ratio 16:9, 4:3
    Manual Focusing Yes
    Filter Diameter 58mm
    Optical Zoom 20 x
    Digital Zoom 20 x
    Night Imaging Low Light 0.1Lx
    Image Stabilization Optical + Digital
    Built-in Video Light No
    Built-in Memory None
    Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery 2h 50m
    Digital Still Camera Features
    Effective Pixel Count for Stills 2.91 MP
    Built-in Photo Flash No
    Still Image Aspect Ratios 16:9, 4:3
    Inputs and Outputs
    USB Port Mini-B 2.0 USB
    HDMI Output Mini
    Mic Input 3.5mm
    Dimensions
    Weight With Battery (ounces) 32
    Width (inches) 4-9/16
    Height (inches) 3-3/16
    Depth (inches) 7-1/8
    Warranty
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    Image Sensor Warranty 1 Year

    Product Research

    Features
    Battery Information
    Inputs And Outputs
    Software

    Features

    HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor: The Canon VIXIA HF G40 HD camcorder features a 1/2.84" 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 G40 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 an incredible 10,000:1 contrast ratio with 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 excess light to improve visibility.

    Built-in Wi-Fi: The HF G40 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.

    Recording Formats: The camcorder records movies in AVCHD (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) video compression format with Linear PCM or 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) with AAC audio 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 G40 flash memory 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 G40 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.

    Converting Movies to MP4: Movies that are recorded in AVCHD format and saved to a memory card can be converted to MP4 movies. You can also convert MP4 movies into smaller MP4 movies, ideal for uploading to the Web. When you convert a movie on one memory card, it will be saved to the other memory card. A cinema-look filter can be added to a converted movie, if desired.

    Genuine Canon Video Lens: The HF G40 comes with a Genuine Canon HD video lens with a 20x Optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 26.8 - 576 mm) with a minimum focus distance of 23.6". The lens is equipped with a manual focus ring for more control and accurate focusing. A 20x digital zoom can be applied to the 20x optical zoom for a 400x total digital zoom. A lens hood with a flap-type barrier is included to reduce the amount of stray light entering 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.

    DIGIC DV 4: Canon's powerful DIGIC DV 4 image processor, along with the Canon HD Video lens and HD CMOS Pro image sensor, enable you to capture impressive video, especially in low-light situations. This Full HD System delivers excellent image quality for most any application.

    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). In addition, the HF G40 has a cold shoe for attaching other accessories.

    Zoom Speed: The zoom speed can be set to variable or your choice of 16 constant speeds, plus three zoom speed levels. In the variable position, the zoom speed depends on how far you push the zoom rocker on the camera or the zoom buttons on the included wireless controller. The fixed zoom speeds give you a smoother zoom transition. The available zoom speeds, measured from full wide-angle to full telephoto, are as follows:

    Zoom Rocker Speed Setting Selected Constant Speed Zoom Speed Level Setting
    Slow Normal Fast
    Variable --- 0:04 to 4:45 0:02.5 to 3:00 0:01.9* to 1:00
    Constant 1 (slowest) 4:45 3:00 1:00
    16 (fastest) 0:04 0:02.5 0:01.9*
    *Note: When zoom speed is too fast (1.9 seconds end-to-end), the camcorder may have trouble maintaining automatic focus while zooming.

    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 G40'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 WA-H58 Wide Attachment 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.

    Optical Image Stabilizer: The HF G40 has an Intelligent SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer system to compensate for camera shake. This gives you sharp images, even hand-held video at long focal lengths. 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, correcting camera shake caused when shooting while walking; most effective at wide angle zoom.
    • 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 G40 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 G40 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 G40'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 G40 allows you to record with the following cinema-look filters: Cinema Standard, Vivid, Dream, Cool, Nostalgic, Sepia, Old Movies, and Memory.

    Wireless Remote Control: The HF G40 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 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 normal speed) in either direction, Slow Playback (1/8x or 1/4x normal speed) 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 G40 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
    BP-820
    1780 mAh
    Maximum Rec 150-170 minutes
    Typical Rec 90-100 minutes
    Playback 260-280 minutes (OLED)
    BP-828
    2670 mAh
    Maximum Rec 225-260 minutes
    Typical Rec 140-155 minutes
    Playback 395-415 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 G40 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 (HTC-100/S) is included.

    AV Output: The camcorder features an AV output to playback audio and video on your television using the supplied composite video/stereo audio RCA cable (STV-250N). 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 built-in speaker will be muted when the AV cable is plugged in.

    USB 2.0 Connection: The camcorder features a USB 2.0 High Speed terminal for fast transfer of photos and videos. A 2' USB cable (IFC-300PCU/S) is included.

    Microphone Input: In addition to the camcorder's built-in microphone, the HF G40 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.

    Headphone Output: A dedicated 3.5mm headphone output is provided, allowing you to monitor the audio as you record movies on the camcorder. You can also monitor the audio during playback as well. The built-in speaker will mute when headphones are plugged into the camcorder.

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

    Software

    Downloadable Software: The Canon HF G40 camcorder does not include application software in the box. Instead, you can download Data Import Utility to save your AVCHD and MP4 movies to a computer, and CameraWindow to save your still photos to a computer. An Internet connection is required to download the software. The software is compatible with the following Operating Systems:

    • Windows: Windows 10 (desktop mode only), Windows 8/8.1 (64-bit/32-bit), Windows 7 SP1 (64-bit/32-bit)
    • Macintosh: Mac OS X v10.10, OS X v10.9, OS X v10.8 (Data Import Utility only)

    Our Product Research Team

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    Crutchfield asked  
    Why did you buy this?

    20x optical zoom with updated CMOS sensor was deciding factor for me. [ Dennis  Apr 29, 2016 ]
    I NEED A CAMERA BETTER THAN MY HFG20 [ william  Feb 24, 2016 ]
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