Hands-On Review: Canon 32GB VIXIA HF G20 Camcorder


The Canon Vixia HF G20 is the company's new top-of-the-line consumer camcorder, and in this review, Mia McCormick, of Kelby Media, praises it for its color accuracy, crisp 1080p video capture, and low-light sensitivity. Indeed, the Vixia HF G20 offers improved low-light performance compared to that of its predecessor, the HF G10.

For better shadow and highlight details, the Canon Vixia HF G20 also offers much better dynamic range than some of the more affordable Vixia models, thanks to its 1/3" CMOS Pro Image sensor. The camcorder features a built-in 10x zoom lens that starts fairly wide, at a 35mm equivalent of 30.4mm. For help with image stability, especially while you're shooting at longer focal lengths, the camera features Canon's  Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer.

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Is this camcorder compatible with a macbook pro 10,8.3 and adobe premiere elements. I'm a newbie and want to find a great camcorder that I can make movies in premier elements but I need it easy.

Hi Nancy -

This camcorder and Adobe Elements Premier 12 will work splendidly together.  Enjoy!

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com


I was wondering if this camera takes HD photos as well as videos. I take videos and prodoct shots, so I need a camera that can do both while maintaining a lot of the product detail for close up shots. Is this a good camera for what I'm looking for?


The HFG20 will take: 2.07 Megapixel, 1920x1080 still images. They will be similar quality to the video quality. If the photos are to be used in the video or on the web this will work fine. For photos that need to be printed a dedicated photo camera would suit you much better.

What output format is available for the Canon HF G20?  Yes, I see that it is AVCHD-h264.  But I thought those were different.

 If I bought a HF G20 could I expect the output format to work with iMovie 9.09 (often refered to as iMovie 11)? 

The .MOV  output from my Rebel works OK.  The .MTS (AVCHD) output from my Canon M500 movie camera must be transcoded before iMovie 9.0.9 will accept it as an input.  – A time consuming, picture degrading, procedure.

Hi John -

iMovie 11 is compatible with e Canon HF G20.  A better choice is Adobe Elements Premier 12.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com


I am looking for a camera with high frame/second (minumum 100fps). How about this camera?

The HFG20 offers recording in the following frame rates: 60i, 30p and 24p.

I was wondering if the Canon 32GB VIXIA HF G20 full HD Camcorder had a wide angle lens or if a wide angle lens could be purchased seperately?  I need to use this Camcorder to record Board meetings and the board table is about 22 feet long with members also sitting at both ends of the table.

Hi Layne -

The built-in lens offers moderate wide angle but you will need an accessory lens for the shot you want to capture:

The Century Precision Optics DS-55WA-58 0.55x Reversible Wide Angle Adapter Lens - 58mm (Screw Mount)  is the first dual purpose lens accessory. When attached to the lens front in one direction, the .55x performs like Century's other high quality wide-angle adapters, offering a significantly wider angle of view, with minimal distortion. Used with the Sony VX-1000, the .55x provides a horizontal viewing angle of 73 degrees (93 degrees measured diagonally).

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

I have this camera and am trying to see if it will shoot FPS in 23.9a any ideas?

Hi Ziggy -

This camera will shoot in one of two 24fps modes. Use the 24p cinema mode.  But you cannot finely adjust the frame rate to 23.9 fps.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

We are looking to purchase 3 of the G10's or G25's for our school auditorium video production system, which uses a Newtek Tricaster Studio.  I want to use the component output to feed the Tricaster.  Do you know if the component output would be clean of the stuff shown on the LCD monitor (like Battery, Time, ....) ?

Sorry, on that previous post I meant 3 of the G20's or G30's.