Canon Vixia HF S21

Canon Vixia HF S21 Camcorder

Though I absolutely admired Canon's 2009 prosumer Vixia HF S1x series, I couldn't absolutely endorse the HF S10/S11 because it lacked an cyberbanking viewfinder, a affection that higher-end users appreciate. Camcorders with EVFs are easier to authority durably while recording video, and EVFs tend to be easier to see with than an LCD in ablaze sunlight. I'm absolutely blessed to apprehend that Canon autonomous to put an EVF on its highest-end model, the Vixia HF S21, for 2010. Unfortunately, the camcorder costs $200 added than than aggressive EVF-equipped models, authoritative it--and its lower-priced, EVF-free siblings--generally added big-ticket than their absolute competitors. (This analysis is based on testing of the HF S21.)

Canon's 2010 HF S alternation of AVCHD camcorders consists of three models that, as usual, alter by anamnesis agreement and the above viewfinder. Their key specs abide the aforementioned as their predecessors', with the aforementioned eyes and sensor, but they now absorb Canon's latest optical angel stabilization technologies, including the new Powered IS adequacy for bigger stabilization at the telephoto end.

As the better and heaviest models in their class, the HF S2 models are about adequate to authority and use and will still fit into a ample anorak pocket. Anniversary archetypal has a set of baby rubberized bumpers on the top in advanced of the zoom about-face that accord you a little added grip--a actual nice architecture touch. As with its predecessors, they use an odd congenital lens awning that uses a closing-eye blazon rather than aperture-blade architecture that we usually see. The aberration wouldn't be notable except that aback the awning is closed, the two artificial pieces bang adjoin anniversary other; aback the camcorder is off, it's not a problem, but it is a accent irritation.

Canon packs a lot of being in the LCD recess, including buttons for switching amid cutting and playback, video snapshot (4-second clips acclimated to actualize a "highlights reel" effect) and a brace of SD agenda slots. Though it's nice to accept a brace of slots, I doubtable this is partly Canon's way of compensating for the camcorders' abridgement of SDXC support; you'd charge two 32GB SDHC cards to get 64GB, the minimum admeasurement SDXC card. However, it does accredit abutment for Eye-Fi wireless uploading and it lets you downconvert HD video to accepted def video on the camcorder as able-bodied as archetype to an Eye-Fi SD agenda in the additional slot. Canon uses the bound bezel amplitude for one dual-function button. While arena aback video, it handles the wireless uploading; while cutting video, it lets you toggle amid the Powered IS and the accepted angel stabilization state.

The component, composite/headphone, and active alien jacks are beneath a slide-down awning in the alcove as well. I anticipate the headphone jack area is awkward for shooters who usd the headphones and EVF while recording, not to acknowledgment the cesspool on the already underpowered array of application the EVF and the LCD at the aforementioned time.

The top of the camcorder looks a lot busier than it absolutely is; it consists of the archetypal power, photo, and zoom switches, additional a agglomeration of lights and labels. Farther advanced are the accent shoe and a pop-up flash-video ablaze combo. The stereo mics blow on either ancillary of the ample lens barrel, with a mic ascribe aloof beneath the advanced band connector. On the anchor ancillary of the camcorder is a baby auto/manual about-face and a flip-up awning beneath which the Mini-HDMI and USB connectors reside. As with the earlier models, the band tends to get in the way aback abutting devices. The array alcove is acutely advised to authority a beyond battery. I advance you account $75 to $100 for the higher-capacity BP-819 array because the supplied 890mAh archetypal usually lasts beneath than an hour.