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  • Canon VIXIA HG20 AVCHD 60 GB HDD Camcorder with 12x Optical Zoom
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Canon VIXIA HG20 AVCHD 60 GB HDD Camcorder with 12x Optical Zoom

by Canon
| 15 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • 24Mbps offers the highest bit rate in AVCHD for High Definition video - enabling improved color reproduction and tonality
  • Record up to 22 hours of High Definition video to a 60 GB Hard Disk Drive
  • Includes a genuine Canon 12x High Definition video lens
  • Comes with a 3.3 megapixel full HD CMOS sensor (1920 x 1080) and a DIGIC DV II image processor
  • Features Canon's SuperRange optical image stabilizer
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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Canon
  • Model: 3085B001AA
  • Media Type: HDD;SD
  • Optical zoom: 12 x
  • Display Size: 2.7 inches
See more technical details

Read about our customers' top-rated camcorders on our review page: Camcorders

Product Details

  • Item Weight: 2 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B001DTTCQA
  • Item model number: 3085B001AA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,560 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: August 7, 2008

Product Description

Product Description

The Canon HG20 AVCHD Hard Disk Drive camcorder sets a new standard for High Definition, delivering optimal image quality, long shooting times along with the extraordinary ease and versatility when viewing video on television or a computer. Capture amazing HD video with even greater detail and color reproduction with its innovative 24Mbps capability, and the addition of a video-capable SDHC card slot plus the extended 60GB internal Hard Disk Drive allows you to now record up to 22 hours of video onto the internal Hard Disk Drive so there's no need to worry about running out of space. And, like all Canon VIXIA camcorders, the HG20 features: a Canon HD video lens, FULL HD CMOS Sensor, and Canon's exclusive DIGIC DV II image processor. Create the look and feel of Hollywood movies with the 24p Cinema Mode and even use Canon's select Photo Grabbing function to capture still images from previously recorded video. If online video posting and sharing interests you, the HG20's 30p mode provides the perfect frame rate for the web and delivers clarity for fast-action subjects. The HG20 offers the unparalleled combination of Canon's exclusive SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer to stabilize a wide range of movements, Instant AF for accurate focusing that's critical when shooting in HD, and a built-in video light to easily shoot in dark settings. The HG20 features the latest HD technology, excellence in Canon optics and engineering in a compact, sleek design that delivers the high level of performance you've come to expect from Canon.

From the Manufacturer

From the Manufacturer

Canon HG20 Highlights
Canon HD Video Lens
The Canon HG20 AVCHD Hard Disk Drive camcorder sets a new standard for High Definition, delivering optimal image quality, long shooting times along with the extraordinary ease and versatility when viewing video on television or a computer. Capture amazing HD video with even greater detail and color reproduction with its innovative 24Mbps capability, and the addition of a video-capable SDHC card slot plus the extended 60GB internal Hard Disk Drive allows you to now record up to 22 hours of video onto the internal Hard Disk Drive so there’s no need to worry about running out of space. And, like all Canon VIXIA camcorders, the HG20 features: a Canon HD video lens, FULL HD CMOS Sensor, and Canon’s exclusive DIGIC DV II image processor. Create the look and feel of Hollywood movies with the 24p Cinema Mode and even use Canon’s select Photo Grabbing function to capture still images from previously recorded video. If online video posting and sharing interests you, the HG20’s 30p mode provides the perfect frame rate for the web and delivers clarity for fast-action subjects.

The HG20 offers the unparalleled combination of Canon’s exclusive SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer to stabilize a wide range of movements and Instant AF for accurate focusing that’s critical when shooting in HD. The HG20 features the latest HD technology, excellence in Canon optics and engineering in a compact, sleek design that delivers the high level of performance you’ve come to expect from Canon.

Canon HG20 Highlights

Canon HG20 Highlights
Record Up to 22 Hours of High Definition Video to a 60GB Hard Disk Drive
For the first time from Canon comes a large-capacity hard disk drive camcorder. HG20 enables extended high definition videos to be recorded. There is no longer any fear of missing those precious scenes when replacing recording media. Enjoy the great convenience of no longer needing to purchase and carry recording media. And with the ability to record up to 22 hours of video without having to empty your camcorders’ hard drive; you can keep the action going for much longer than ever before.

Genuine Canon 12x High Definition Video Lens
The HG20 comes equipped with a 12x HD Video lens. An aspherical lens is used to help achieve low aberration and high resolution. The lens also features super spectra coating technology which lowers flare and ghosting. A gradation ND system is used for better exposure in bright shooting situations. This lens design creates true HD image quality.

Canon HG20 Highlights
RGB Primary Color Filter
Whether you're shooting video or photos, you will appreciate the HG20 stunning, high-definition image production. For rich, accurate color, the HG20 uses an RGB Primary Color Filter. It separates light into red, green, and blue color components, resulting in vibrant images with natural-looking tones similar to what you’d obtain from 3CCD camcorders.

Canon HG20 Highlights
Canon 3.3 Megapixel Full HD CMOS Sensor (1920 x 1080)
The HG20 features a newly developed; Canon manufactured HD CMOS Image Sensor. Similar to its use in Canon's EOS Series Digital SLR Cameras, the CMOS Sensor reproduces high resolution images as true HD movies. Canon's HD CMOS Sensor acquires image information at 1920 x 1080 pixels. Canon’s HD CMOS Sensor also features on-chip noise reduction technology. This low noise technology feature means that even in dimly-lit scenes, the signals from each pixel are as pure as possible, with minimal 'noise' or other aberrations.

DIGIC DV II Image Processor
DIGIC DV II is the latest generation of Canon's exclusive DIGIC DV signal processing technology designed specifically for HD. Thanks to DIGIC DV II image processing, the HG20 produces video with improved color reproduction -- especially in skin tones, and dark and light scenes. It also uses a hybrid noise reduction system that employs two types of noise reduction -- for images that are crystal clear. Since video and still images have different color requirements, DIGIC DV II HD digital signal processing ensures optimal image quality for both HD video and still images.

1920 x 1080 Full HD Recording
The Canon HG20 not only captures images in Full HD, but records and outputs 1920 x 1080 as well, so you get Full HD from lens to screen. Experience the ultimate in clarity and detail.
Canon HG20 Highlights
Instant AF (Auto Focus)
Instant AF is Canon’s new and advanced autofocus system required for High Definition. Using a Hybrid Control system, the Instant AF makes it easy to focus on previously difficult subjects. It dramatically decreases the time it takes to achieve proper focus and increases accuracy especially in low-light and high-brightness situations.

SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer
The HG20 features Canon’s SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Utilizing a Hybrid detection method (combining vector and gyro detection method) corrects camera shake instantly for steady shots. And unlike other optical stabilization systems, Canon's Super Range OIS covers a wide range of movements while preserving image quality. It is even effective while taking photos.

Canon HG20 Highlights
24Mbps Recording
Offers the highest bit rate in AVCHD for High Definition video that captures extraordinary lifelike tonal quality and exceptionally fine detail.

24p Cinema Mode
24p Cinema Mode is a feature demanded by professional filmmakers and previously, only available on pro-level camcorders. 24p Cinema Mode enables all aspiring movie makers achieve a professional 'film-look'. This mode is actually two different features, which can be used independently, or together, depending on the user’s preference.
1. The captured frame rate changes to 24p -- the same frame rate as movie film.
2. The HG20 changes the color and tonal characteristics to make you feel like you are watching a movie in the theatre.

Canon HG20 Highlights
30p Progressive Mode
30p Progressive mode is a progressive format that is the perfect frame rate for the web because it delivers clarity for fast-action subjects. Plus, it is ideal for displaying crisp images on your home theatre system or computer monitor. Before now 30p was exclusively featured on pro-level camcorders but Canon now offers the widest frame rate options for every videographer. (Note: Records in 60i onto memory card.)

Mini Advanced Accessory Terminal
The Advanced Accessory Shoe allows the use of additional accessories such as Canon's video light and directional microphone. Compared with Canon’s original Advanced Accessory Shoe, the new version is 50% smaller in size.

Intelligent Lithium-Ion Battery
The remaining battery time is now indicated down to the minute, so you will never have to guess the recording time available.

3.1 Megapixel Photos
Built directly inside your HG20 is a fully functional digital camera, capable of capturing stunning 3.1 Megapixel photos. You have the option of storing these pictures directly to the internal Flash Memory or the optional SDHC memory card.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface Terminal)
HDMI Terminal transports high definition video signal with audio in one cable to your HD Television. The new standard in HD connection.

Canon HG20 Highlights
2.7-Inch Multi-Angle Vivid Widescreen LCD
The HG20 is equipped with a Multi-Angle Vivid LCD. This screen offers two key advantages for easy, flexible operation.
1. A wide viewing angle - view from any direction
2. A wide color range - provide robust, accurate color

Microphone Terminal with Audio Level Control
The HG20 features a microphone terminal for attaching an external microphone. The audio level can be manually adjusted for greater flexibility. A level meter is shown in the LCD screen.

One Touch Power Button
Power your camcorder with a touch of a button just like a digital camera.

Built-in Auto Lens Cover
A built-in electronic lens cover automatically opens when the camcorder is turned 'On' and closes when turned 'Off'. There is no dangling lens cover to lose.

Quick Start
Instead of powering your camcorder off between shots, simply close the LCD to activate the Quick Start function which puts the camcorder in stand-by mode. Quick Start considerably reduces the power consumption of the battery and allows the user to return to recording mode in less than a second, so you’ll never have to miss another special moment.

Program AE Mode
The HG20 gives you a choice of settings that automatically result in the best exposure for different conditions. Scene modes include: Portrait, Sports, Night, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Spotlight, and Fireworks. Each adjusts your camcorder's settings to compensate for different lighting conditions and different subjects.

Simultaneous Photo Shooting
While shooting an HD movie, you can simultaneously capture photos to a memory card by simply pressing the photo button. It's perfect for anytime you don't want to miss a moment.


Headphone Terminal
The audio/video terminal doubles as a headphone terminal for monitoring sound while recording.

Focus Assist function
When shooting in high definition, a properly focused subject is more critical than ever. With one push of the Focus Assist Button (during manual focus setting), video zoom (that enlarges the on-screen image of your subject) is displayed. Not to worry, this is automatically cancelled when recording is started.

It's easy to keep your HG20 level for more professional looking video. Simply press the Level Shot Control button, and a horizontal marker appears in your viewfinder. Then line up any horizontal lines in your shot to the marker and you know your camcorder is level. The Grid marker is also very convenient for setting up the special balance in your shots. And since background colors vary, you can select from two line colors to make the lines easily visible.

Smooth Zoom Control
With this innovative feature, you can always be sure of smooth, steady, professional looking zoom shots. Simply select one of three pre-set zoom speeds. You can also select variable so you can control the speed manually.

3.1 Megapixel Photos
Capture stunning 3.1 Megapixel photos in 4:3 aspect ratio to an SD card (2.07 megapixel at 16:9).

Photo Grab
With this professional level feature, capture photos during playback. With one push of a button you can 'grab a 2 Megapixel (1920 x 1080) still from your HD video footage. There is no need to worry about taking a photo while you’re shooting.

9 Point Ai-AF Mode
Auto Intelligent Auto Focus ensures sharp images and gives creative flexibility. Even when your subject isn't in the center of the frame, the HG20’s Ai-AF function will automatically select from 9 focus areas on screen to help bring images into sharp focus.

Built-in Flash
Capture superb images in low light and indoor photography settings.

Histogram Display
Commonly used in Canon’s line of digital SLR cameras, the HG20 features a Histogram Display. With just one push of a button, the brightness information of a still image is revealed. This allows you to monitor image quality so you can make adjustments to improve the next shots.

Print/Share Button
For fast and easy, one-touch printing of your photos at home, simply press the camcorder’s Print & Share Button. The button can also be used for one-touch downloading of your images to a computer.

One Year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty
Canon’s one year camcorder limited warranty provides protection long after other manufacturers’ warranties expire.

Customer Reviews

All that said, I would buy this camera again in a heartbeat!
Fight2FlyPhoto
This is a great camcorder, very easy to use and has the picture quality we were looking for.
Jason Iverson
Getting videos to my PC was easy with the Pixela software that Canon included.
Ralph E. Hess

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

191 of 193 people found the following review helpful By Bill on September 26, 2008
I got this camera today, I wanted to get HG10 as it is cheaper, but I went with this one as it has higher Hard Disk capacity with small price difference.
The first test video taken was indoors and with low light, I noticed lot of dots in the frame, however, after setting the AWB to indoor and exposure to low light, the video looked much better, then I tried the sport setting with 24p and the video was impressive!! I hooked the camera to my 40" HD LCD TV, and the colors and sharpness are breathtaking!!

One tip is to use the P (Programmed AE) setting with different selections of White Balance, the LCD screen is clear enough to make a quick decision on the fly to pick the best selection, I used 3 different settings walking in day light, then on a shady area, then inside a shop.

One thing to note that the battery works only 2 hours, Canon offers better battery with 4 hours duration priced around $100.

You also need to read the pros and cons of the video codec, there are lot of information on the Canon HG10 reviews, and very useful. In general the higher the frame bit rate and resolution, the longer it will take to process and edit the video and much longer to burn it on DVD or BluRay.

I actually found out that Google's Picasa 3 application (free download) can open the videos recorded by the camera, this tool can export any clip (or portion of it) to wmv format, once the file is exported, you can use any video editor like Microsoft Movie Maker to compress the file or change it to DivX format, etc.
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127 of 129 people found the following review helpful By John R. Macdonald on November 18, 2008
Great camera. The biggest flaw is not the 60 gb drive which is bigger than you will ever need, or the menu interface which is easy, intuitive and user friendly, the biggest flaw is the lack of the view finder on this camera. Big deal you say, its got a modern screen instead of a view finder, but that modern screen in really bright sunlight kinda washes out (like all those screens do) and might lead you to adjust the settings or force you to trust your autoexposure when you are taking those priceless outdoor shots. The hg 21 has the eye piece viewfinder which is a reliable indicator of what you are shooting in those conditions, but for the extra 300 USDs it's hard to justify. The AF is super in this camera, no distiguishable periods "out of focus" as you rapidly zoom in and out. Also the head set or yellow AV jack, is a must have. Ever record tons of footage and find out the only thing you can hear is the wind buffetting your microphone? Record wearing regular ipod type headphones and you don't have to review the footage to find out if you have the shot. Don't get a camcorder without that or the mic input which this camera has. Terrific simultaneous video record and still photo to the regular full size SD card, cool, works great. Requires class 4 SD card, the speedy type. I think the HG21 with the 120 gb has tons of storage, but it's overkill and takes longer to do a full hard drive clean than the 60gb hg20, but both have a quick clean function for the hard drive. Finally don't expect much from the packaged software if you really want to edit. Corel has pro x2 which works great for avchd. Last thing is the battery. It charges when the camera is pugged in and it works great.Read more ›
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Camcordermachine on November 5, 2008
Verified Purchase
The HG20 is great. Super Picture. Sound is ok. The HDD makes some noise. SW runs on older PC with 1 GIG Ram and 2.5 GIG Pent. But its right at the edge. Could use a Video Light. Cost goes up and down on this model a good bit. Computer HDD space to edit and store will need to be high. Mini HDMI cable is a must for HD sets. Did a test with A HD tv, by recording the TV. Its interesting. Have not tired yet with a IR light source. When the Cam is off, the Lense protector shakes a little. Battery is min. Will get High cap battery for trips. Lots of Warnings on Care for this unit. But at a good price, this unit have a lot of value. The HF10 and HF100 are good buys also. the HF11 is much more. The HG21 is much more, but has some added features of a view finder. Camrea Mode take Point and Shoot Pictures will. But you have to be still. Lots of manual controls. The Menu system takes a little getting used if you are use to the old canon MiniDV. Wanted to wait a little more, but the old canon ZR45MC is past 6 years. But it analog pass thru. I may use that or a Dazzle unit to put video for family and the web instead of trying to convert the MT2S files. With the video files as big as they are, having a Laptop will not be good with the unit or any HD machine.

Again wanted to wait, but old camera was looking pale on HD TV.

Good Things:
60BG harddrive, LP and SP still good for video.
Optics are great. 12X. Attachments.
Easy Button
Connections (HDMI, USB, Analog outputs), Mic in, Head Phones,
Lots of things to add on with Canon (battery, Optics)
Card Slot option
Auto Lense Cap.

Bad things,
Joy Stick control on view finder.
Heavier than Full Flash based unit.
Read more ›
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