Canon HF R21 Full HD 1080p AVCHD Camcorder Reviews 2011




Canon HF R21 Review

A worthy replacement for the much loved R100 camcorder, the VIXIA HF R200 camcorder SERIES is packed with features such as Dual SD Card Slots with eye-fi flash memory, Full HD 1080p AVCHD 1920 x 1080 resolution at 24Mbps, CMOS sensor with tele macro and face detection, Pre-Record and Relay Recording and a touch panel LCD screen with a Level Marker feature.

But Canon have gone 2 steps further, and over-delivered by offering a choice of 3 flash memory storage solutions, the VIXIA HF R200 has no internal memory but Dual SD Card Slots instead. The VIXIA HF R20 has an 8GB internal flash drive + the Dual SD Card Slots, and finally the Canon HF R21 with a 32GB internal flash drive + the Dual SD Card Slots. Make your choice, just buy the model which suits you best.

Just a quick explanation of AVCHD, Advanced Video Coding High Definition. AVCHD is a high quality H.264/MPEG-4 compression system used in many professional AVCHD camcorder models but now showing up in our Prosumer camcorder reviews and even in the high end Consumer camcorders.

But there’s more to this Ultra-sleek, compact and lightweight Canon HF R21 camcorder, 28x Advanced Zoom, Smart Auto, Tele Macro, Face Detection, Advanced Video Snapshot, 24p Cinema Mode, Focus assist, A microphone terminal with manual audio level control and a headphone terminal provide exceptional audio adaptability, Built-in Electronic Lens Cover, Intelligent Battery, and more, and all this in a consumer camcorder for under $500. Unbelievable!

Update Jan 2012. This Canon HF R21 camcorder cost nearly $500 when first introduced a year ago. In early December the price started off at $338 rising to $436.58 by Christmas. Now priced at $382.99 which is a great saving for a camcorder with such high specs. I know these figures to be fact from my Amazon sales account, as the Canon HF R21 has proved to be the best selling camcorder I have ever reviewed.  

Canon HF R21 Camcorder with Dual SD Card Slots + 32GB internal memory

The Canon HF R21 AVCHD camcorder allows you to record crisp high definition video to 32GB of internal memory or two SDXC-compatible flash memory SD card slots. With Relay Recording, the camcorder automatically switches video recording from one SD memory card to the other SD card when the memory becomes full. No need then to worry about running out of recording time during a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime shot.

With SDXC memory card compatibility, you’ll have SD card storage capacity from more than 32GB up to 2TB and ultra-fast data transfer speeds.

You’ll also have the flexibility of copying video from one removable SD card in your Canon HF R21 camcorder to another. You can easily insert one SD card into your computer or HDTV’s card reader and view your recorded footage immediately. MXP and FXP modes record in 1920 x 1080 and require a Class 4 or higher SDHC or SDXC Card.

The advantages of flash memory go beyond the added recording time. You’ll also appreciate the quick response time, because there are no moving parts. Press the record button and your Canon HF R21 AVCHD camcorder starts recording video faster than you’ve ever seen before. In addition, when you review, you’ll have quick access to your footage.

Another plus is the Canon HF R21 camcorder low power consumption rate, allowing your battery to last Full HD longer. It’s just what you need so you don’t miss that pivotal play on the field or the moment when they say “I do.”

Ultra-sleek, Compact, and Lightweight Canon  HF R21
Ultra-sleek, compact, and lightweight, the Canon HF R21 camcorder is, at approximately 9.5 ounces and 2.4” x 2.4” x 4.8”, a companion you’ll always keep handy while traveling or at home. While we certainly hope you keep your Canon HF R21 securely in your hand while shooting, if it happens to slip, or you accidentally knock it against something, you’ll be happy to know that flash memory makes your camcorder more shock-resistant than other recording storage systems. It minimizes the chance of data loss if you accidentally jolt or drop your camcorder.

Canon HF R21 Camcorder with AVCHD Full HD CMOS Image Sensor

Canon’s expertise in imaging technology is clearly seen in its superb EOS Digital SLR cameras. The VIXIA family of camcorders is also a part of this achievement with Canon’s own Full HD CMOS Image Sensor. It brings stunning high definition video quality with exceptional low light performance, capturing video at Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution and with remarkable detail.

Together with the Canon Exclusive 3.2-megapixel Full HD CMOS AVCHD Image Sensor and Canon’s own DIGIC DV III Image Processor, this lens helps you capture high definition video and photos with astonishing detail, vivid color and enhanced reproduction of the full tonal range, including the most difficult purple and blue shades.

With 24Mbps recording, video is captured at the highest bit rate in AVCHD. You get exceptionally lifelike tone and exacting detail.

Canon HF R21 with Advanced Zoom
A Genuine Canon HD Video Lens with 28x Advanced Zoom delivers truly impressive image quality. Its aspherical lens minimizes spherical aberration, meaning sharper focus on your subject. With Advanced Zoom, you can seamlessly zoom both wide and long, retaining optical quality throughout the zoom range. The zoom is quiet, and optimized for flash memory camcorders.

Canon HF R21 Dynamic IS system

With the Canon HF R21 camcorder, you can be sure that even on the move your video will be smooth, steady and professional looking. The Dynamic IS system provides continuous adjustment throughout the entire zoom range to correct a broader range of motion. In comparison to conventional electronic image stabilization systems, extra compensation is applied at wide-angle focal lengths to eliminate unwanted vibration common when shooting while walking.

Canon HF R21 Smart Auto
Smart Auto makes shooting great video easier than ever before. Using the power of Canon’s DIGIC DV III Image Processor, the Canon HF R21 AVCHD camcorder with face detection intelligently detects and analyzes faces, brightness, color, distance, and movement, then automatically selects the best settings for the scene. Whether you are capturing a sunset, a day at the beach, or a fast-paced soccer game, Smart Auto face detection delivers exceptionally accurate results.

Canon HF R21 Face Detection
The same high quality Face Detection technology used in Canon digital cameras is available in Canon Full HD camcorders. Up to 35 faces can be tracked automatically, ensuring razor-sharp focus and natural, accurate exposure. Of the faces tracked, 9 detection frames can be displayed at one time.

In fact, the Face Detection system is so intelligent that it will recognize faces turned downwards or sideways. In addition, a specific face may be selected as the main subject for continuous tracking.

VIXIA HF R21 Advanced Video Snapshot
Advanced Video Snapshot allows you to capture the highlights of a once in a lifetime trip or a family milestone with the same ease as taking photos. Simply record a series of short video clips or select your favorite clips while in Playback Mode and blend in your favorite background music to create an exciting movie that will hold everyone’s attention.

This version of Advanced Video Snapshot allows selectable recording time of 2, 4, or 8 seconds. Additionally, audio from an external source, such as an MP3 player, can be played along with the snapshot movie, and playback can be controlled from that source.

VIXIA HF R21 Camcorder Eye-Fi flash memory SD card
The VIXIA HF R21 camcorder is also compatible with the Eye-Fi flash memory SD card. It’s possible to wirelessly transfer video and photos to your computer, or upload them directly to online sharing sites (e.g., Facebook, YouTube, Shutterfly, Flickr) in a few simple steps.

Canon HF R21 Grid Level Marker
The VIXIA HF R21 camcorder comes with a Level Marker feature to keep your Canon HF R21 camcorder level for more professional-looking photos. The Canon HF R21 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 ensuring that you see the grid, no matter what the background color of your shot is.

The versatile Canon HF R21 even lets you capture a still image from an already recorded movie. While playing the movie in your Canon HF R21 camcorder, simply press the photo button to capture an AVCHD 1920 x 1080 resolution still image onto an SD card or to internal flash memory.

Additionally, the Canon HF R21 allows you to capture 30 photos from one second of video. Now, better photos, filled with action and expressions, are easy to grab, print, post and share.

Canon VIXIA HF R21 24p Cinema Mode

24p Cinema Mode enables all aspiring moviemakers to achieve a professional “film-look.” You can change the Canon HF R21 camcorder frame capture rate to 24p (recorded at 60i), which provides the appearance of the same frame rate as movie film. In addition, you can use the Canon HF R21 CINE mode, 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.

Canon HF R21 30p Progressive Mode
You would normally have to look to professional video camcorders in order to find a sophisticated tool like 30p Progressive Mode at your command. In addition to the standard interlaced video frame rate of 60i, you may choose to set the Canon HF R21 to capture video in 30p (30 progressive frames, recorded to 60i), which is particularly useful for footage to be used on the Internet. It’s also excellent for action and sports shots. In addition, this setting gives enhanced quality to photos captured after recording.

Canon HF R21 Terminals
To maximize the usefulness and versatility of the Canon HF R21, you’ll find a range of terminals to extend the capabilities of your camcorder. Easy, one-cable connectivity to your HDTV is achieved through the VIXIA HF R21 HDMI Terminal which also supports CEC and x.v.Color*. A Mini HDMI Cable is included with the camcorder. This camcorder also features 1080p output, converting 1080i video to 1080p through the HDMI terminal.

A Microphone terminal with manual audio level control and a Headphone terminal provide exceptional audio adaptability. For the ultimate in flexibility, the Canon HF R21 is compatible with the optional Canon wireless microphone WM-V1**. Using a receiver which plugs into the microphone terminal, its audio can be captured from up to 164ft. (50m) away. Use it to record audio from a distant subject, or as a transceiver to cue shooting from a third party.
* x.v.Color is a trademark of the Sony Corporation. ** This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.

Canon HF R21 Focus Assist

To enhance focusing capability, the VIXIA HF R21 also features Focus Assist. This helps in capturing your subject in razor-sharp focus. It works by providing a 2x magnification of your subject, which is automatically cancelled when you start recording. This is a feature normally found in professional broadcast-quality cameras.

Filter threads on the lens of the Canon VIXIA HF R21 give it compatibility with the Canon TL-H34 II tele-converter and WD-H34 II wide-converter. With these converters, you can expand the shooting range of the lens for greater creative options.

Canon Vixia HF R21 Built-in Electronic Lens Cover

The built-in Electronic Lens Cover means you never have to go looking for your lens cover again. Turn your Canon HF R21 camcorder on and the lens cover automatically opens. Turn it off, and the cover closes. It couldn’t be simpler.

Canon Vixia HF R21 Intelligent Battery

The Intelligent Lithium-Ion Battery accurately indicates remaining battery time down to the minute.

Canon Vixia HF R21
Quick Start
Never miss a quickly unfolding shot again, as it’s possible to shoot the moment the LCD is opened. No worries about using up power with Quick Start – by keeping the LCD screen closed between shots, Quick Start allows you to save battery power so you get longer battery life.

Vixia HF R21 Pre-Record

The Pre-Record feature places your Canon VIXIA HF R21 in a stand-by “pre-roll” mode. With this feature the camcorder continuously records three seconds of video to memory before you even press the record button. When you start recording, the additional video is recorded too. It will be easier than ever to capture the moment when the bat hits the ball at the start of that home run.

Pixela Video Browser Software is bundled with the Canon VIXIA HF R21. You can easily perform a variety of functions, including AVCHD Editing in which you can trim, reorder, and combine scenes, as well as add music, titles, and transitions. This software also allows you to play your AVCHD video on your computer and will let you share copies of your video with friends and family through flash memory to hard drive copying.

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Hi-Resolution handheld Camcorder, September 14, 2011

By Mike Birman (Brooklyn, New York USA)

Recording is nearly automatic and for the simplest situations pressing a single button allows the camera to do all of the work. Using the included HDMI cable allows me to view the camcorder’s 1080p images on my hi-def monitor and they are richly detailed with beautifully saturated colors. They approach Blu-Ray quality with….. Read the full review and latest discount price of the Canon Vixia HF R21 here.

Vixia HF R21 Technical Details
2 SDXC-compatible memory card slots
Genuine Canon HD video lens with 28x advanced zoom
Canon 3.28-megapixel full HD CMOS image sensor
Canon DIGIC DV III image processor
Dynamic IS stabilizes a wide range of movements for smooth, steady video

This Canon VIXIA HF R21 Full HD 1080p AVCHD Camcorder is an amazing camcorder packed full with every feature you will ever need, and more. There is even a massive promotion discount right now, so take a closer look at the Canon VIXIA HF R21 now.

Canon VIXIA HF R21

Canon VIXIA HF R21

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End of Canon Vixia HF R21 Review

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Product Specifications

Model : R21
EAN Code :

1920 x 1080 HD Recording # 32GB Internal Flash Memory Drive

2 x SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card Slots

1/4.85" 3.28MP CMOS Sensor

3.0" Touch Panel LCD # Genuine Canon HD Video Lens

28x Advanced Zoom # Dynamic Image Stabilization

Built-In Digital Camera # Headphone and Microphone Jacks