Canon VIXIA HF R21


A powerful full HD camcorder

If you’ve gotten tired of your old camcorder or want to buy one for the very first time, markets everywhere offer a plethora of models, thus putting customers in a difficult position. Canon is such a choice and a very popular brand which is loved by many admirers of the art of photography. We’re used to the company designing and launching great quality products every year. They have recently released a brand new one, called Canon VIXIA HF R21. We decided to test it and here is what we think.

3.0 inch LCD display

The latest VIXIA HF R21 camcorder coming from Canon looks, in terms of design, similar to the R11 series; the only exception is the gadget’s screen. The device measures 2.4″ x 2.4″ x 4.8″ and weighs 269g, which translates into the possibility to easily and comfortably carry it around when on holiday, in the town and so on. During our test for this review we dropped the product several times; we are happy to report that it didn’t break into a million pieces and we didn’t lose any important data, thanks to its flash memory. A 3.0″ LCD display sits on the back of the Canon HF R21 and is, as mentioned above, larger than the one found on the R11 series. It offers 1920 x 1080 resolution and 230.000 dots; the latter spec did a good job when we played back already recorded videos.Canon-VIXIA-HF-R21

DIGIC DV III Image Processor

We were happy to see that there were fewer keys on the screen and the product relied heavily on a touchscreen interface. The front of HF R21 comes with the following: Genuine Canon HD Video Lens with 28x Advanced Zoom. This lens offered great overall image quality with a lot more sharpness than other such gadgets thanks to its aspherical form. We could, therefore, quickly zoom long and wide and there was no noise whatsoever. Image quality was further improved when we used the camcorder’s full HD CMOS Image Sensor and the DIGIC DV III Image Processor; these two enabled us to snap 1920 x 1080 photos and shoot videos that had plenty of superb colors, details and reproduction of tonal range.

32GB internal memory

The Smart Auto feature of VIXIA HF R21 camcorder automatically optimized images so that we only intervened in a minimal way.
We all know that there are many camcorders which can’t get rid of shaky pictures and video content; fortunately, the Canon device we are reviewing today has a Dynamic IS system which reduces the said shakes.
When talking about memory, the gadget provides 32GB internal flash memory. This spec was able to store 3 hours at 24Mbps at the highest bit rate in AVCHD and 4 hours of 1920 x 1020 videos at 17Mbps. If you notice you run out of space for more content, you can use the two card slots.

HDMI port included

The Tele Macro feature enables the camcorder to zoom its lens and shoot content or snap a picture to 0.39 meters. As usual with Canon, their latest model features the Face Detection option which performs well. We very much liked the fact that we were able to capture a still image from a previously recorded video.
In the connectivity area, the Canon VIXIA HF R21 ships with a HDMI terminal, 1080p output, mini HDMI cable and one mic terminal (with good audio quality).
The device uses Intelligent Lithium-ion battery. Why Intelligent: because it very precisely showed the remaining battery time. There’s also a very interesting thing: a built-in electronic lens cover.

Review conclusion

As a conclusion, the new Canon VIXIA HF R21 is a good-looking camcorder with nice performance and an appealing price.

Technical specifications

ResolutionApprox 3.28 megapixels
Video recording systemMPEG4-AVC / H.264
TV systemNTSC
Video:Full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080)
Image SensorCMOS sensor 1 / 4, 85 in. with RGB primary color filter
Dynamic image stabilization:Approx 1.46 megapixels (1616 x 909)
Internal flash memory of 32 GBFXP (17 Mbit / s) 4:10 minutes – can record Full HD 1920 x 1080
LP (5 Mbits / s) 12 hours 15 minutes
MXP (24 Mbit / s) 2 hours 55 minutes – can record Full HD 1920 x 1080
XP + (12 Mbit / s) 5 hours 45 minutes
SP (7 Mbits / s) 9 hours 35 minutes
Optical Zoom:41.2 in824 mm (Standard image stabilization off)
49 to 980 mm (Dynamic IS enabled)
Minimum of development10 mm (W) / 1 m (Entire zoom range) / 40 cm (T)
Minimum sensitivity0.4 lux (low light mode)
System developmentThrough a Lens
Manual exposureYes
LCDLCD touch screen of 3.0 inches (about 230 000 pixel)
Speed60i, 24p progressive mode (recorded at 60i), 30p progressive mode (recorded at 60i)
External size(W x H x D) 60 x 62 x 121 mm (2.4 x 2.4 x 4.8 in.)
Total weightAbout 310 g (10.9 oz) (with battery pack BP-110 and memory card)