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Canon VIXIA HF R20 Full HD Camcorder with 8GB Internal Flash Memory (Black)

by CAFW9
92 customer reviews
| 17 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • 8GB internal flash drive and 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
1 new from $495.00 6 used from $149.49

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Color: Black
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Technical Details

Product Description

Color: Black

Product Description

The Canon VIXIA HF R20 Flash Memory Camcorder is a perfect choice for those seeking ease of use, high performance function and good value. The VIXIA HF R20 has an 8GB internal flash drive, together with two SDXC-compatible memory card slots, Canon's Relay Recording, a 3.0" Touch Panel LCD and Smart Auto.

From the Manufacturer

The VIXIA HF R20 allows you to record up to 3 hours of crisp high definition video to an 8GB internal flash drive or to two SDXC-compatible memory card slots. With Relay Recording, the camcorder automatically switches video recording from the internal drive to the next available SD memory 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 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 your VIXIA HF R20’s internal drive to the removable SD memory cards. That makes it easy to insert the card into your computer or HDTV’s card reader and view your recorded footage immediately.

Memory capacity MXP
(app. 24Mbps)
(app. 17Mbps)
(app. 12Mbps)
(app. 7Mbps)
(app. 5Mbps)
2GB 10 min. 15 min. 20 min. 35 min. 45 min.
4GB 20 min. 30 min. 40 min. 1 hour
10 min.
1 hour
30 min.
8GB* 40 min. 1 hour 1 hour
25 min.
2 hours
20 min.
3 hours
16GB 1 hour
25 min.
2 hours
5 min.
2 hours
50 min.
4 hours
45 min.
6 hours
5 min.
32GB 2 hours
55 min.
4 hours
10 min.
5 hours
45 min.
9 hours
35 min.
12 hours
15 min.
64GB 5 hours
55 min.
8 hours
20 min.
11 hours
30 min.
19 hours
10 min.
24 hours
30 min.
* Size of internal memory in VIXIA HF R20.

The maximum memory capacity and recording time can be substantially increased by the combination of the internal memory and the size of the SD or SDXC memory card chosen. For example, the VIXIA HF R20’s 8GB of internal memory, combined with two removable 64GB memory cards, would give 136GB in total memory capacity, and over 45 hours of recording time at LP setting.

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 VIXIA HF R20 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 VIXIA HF R20's low power consumption rate, allowing your battery to last 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, the VIXIA HF R20 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 VIXIA HF R20 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 also minimizes the chance of data loss if you accidentally jolt or drop your camcorder.

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 1920 x 1080 resolution and with remarkable detail.

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 camcorders.

Together with the Canon Exclusive 3.2-megapixel Full HD CMOS 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.

With the Canon VIXIA HF R20, 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.

See exceptional detail with a sharp 230,000 dot screen delivering brilliant color together with touch panel control for faster and easier menu navigation. Touch Focus lets you tap the subject on the touch panel to shift the focus for recording. It’s that simple. You have Touch & Track, which allows you to get precise focus and exposure on any subject, people, vehicles, fast moving athletes and more, by selecting your choice right on the Touch Panel LCD. Touch Exposure adjusts the exposure on the area of your image where you touch and sets the brightness needed. You may also drag on the panel to adjust the level.

While shooting, Touch Decoration can be activated via the Touch Panel LCD allowing you to superimpose and record a variety of fun and exciting images along with your video. Animations such as shooting stars, thought bubbles, and others, freehand drawing, stamps, and various decorative frames can be added to give your video an amusing and creative flair.

Smart Auto makes shooting great video easier than ever before. Using the power of Canon’s DIGIC DV III Image Processor, the VIXIA HF R20 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 delivers exceptionally accurate results.

And with new Tele Macro, the VIXIA HF R20 automatically zooms the lens to the telephoto end and sets the minimum object distance to approximately 1.3 feet (from 3.3 feet) giving you the opportunity to shoot spectacular close-ups with the dramatic look of shallow depth of field. Tele Macro is one of 38 scenes available in Smart Auto Mode.

The same high quality Face Detection technology used in Canon digital cameras is available in Canon high definition 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 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. This feature is convenient in searching for clips which feature that specific subject's face. In search and playback, use of the Face Index will display those frames with the chosen face as a thumbnail in each shot in which it appears. Your selected face can also be linked as a timeline to further identify footage containing your subject.

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.

HD-to-SD Downconversion allows you to convert recorded high definition video to standard definition files while safely preserving the original HD video. These standard definition files make it even more convenient to edit or share video online. The video can be transferred to your computer via traditional methods – i.e. USB connection, card slot – or wirelessly to sharing sites with an Eye-Fi SD memory card.

The VIXIA HF R20 is also compatible with the Eye-Fi SD memory 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. Insert an Eye-Fi SD memory card into the SD card slot on the camcorder, configure your computer to select the target site and you’re ready to share your files with family, friends, and the world!

Canon camcorders are not guaranteed to support Eye-Fi card functions, including wireless transfer. In case of an issue with the Eye-Fi card, please consult with the card manufacturer. The use of Eye-Fi cards may not be approved in all regions, or from one region to another; please contact the card manufacturer for status of approval in the country/region of use.

Canon makes no representations or warranties with respect to any third party accessory or product mentioned herein.

Since Canon is acknowledged as a world leading maker of digital cameras, it’s not surprising that the VIXIA HF R20, in addition to being a brilliant camcorder, is also a very capable digital camera. Once again, Canon delivers features and technology that advance convenience and capability.

The VIXIA HF R20 comes with a Level Marker feature to keep your camera level for more professional-looking photos. The VIXIA HF R20's 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 VIXIA HF R20 even lets you capture a still image from an already recorded movie. While playing the movie in your camcorder, simply press the photo button to capture a 1920 x 1080 still image onto an SD card or to internal memory.

Additionally, the VIXIA HF R20 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.

24p Cinema Mode enables all aspiring moviemakers to achieve a professional "film-look." You can change the camcorder's 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 VIXIA HF R20's 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.

You would normally have to look to professional video cameras 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 VIXIA HF R20 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.

To maximize the usefulness and versatility of the VIXIA HF R20, 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 R20’s 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 VIXIA HF R20 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 164 ft. (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.

Express Your Color Preference
The VIXIA HF R20’s sleek, compact form can be had in your choice of three stunning colors, black, red or silver. Express your creative vision even before you begin to shoot and make this camcorder a fashion statement wherever you take it.

Focus Assist
To enhance focusing capability, the VIXIA HF R20 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
Filter threads on the lens of the VIXIA HF R20 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.

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 camcorder on and the lens cover automatically opens. Turn it off, and the cover closes. It couldn’t be simpler.

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

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.

The Pre-Record feature places your VIXIA HF R20 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 VIXIA HF R20. 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 movies on your computer and will let you share copies of your movie with friends and family through flash memory to hard drive copying. Transfer and store your movie onto your computer's hard drive with the software and easily convert your high definition video to standard definition video as well. This software will also assist you in converting video to the optimum resolution for transmission over the Internet.

The bundled application is compatible with Windows XP (Service Pack 2 and 3), Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

Product Details

Color: Black
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 6.2 x 5.2 inches ; 2 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B004HW7E7E
  • Item model number: R20-Black
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,303 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at January 1, 2011

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

332 of 337 people found the following review helpful By L. Kirk on June 5, 2011
Color: Black Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Canon Vixia HF R20 is a basic HD (hi definition) flash memory camcorder that is capable of producing very high quality 1080p video in MPEG4-AVC/H.264 format, thanks to its 1/4.85-inch CMOS sensor and DIGIC DVIII processor. The unit is rated at 3.28 Megapixels (2.07 effective).

Canon positions this product as offering the ideal combination of price and performance for the budget-conscious consumer who wants Full HD 1920x1080 video.

The camcorder comes with 8GB of built-in flash memory, and accepts 2 additional SDXC memory cards, each of which can be up to 2 TB. Yes, that is terabytes. Suffice it to say, you can record a LOT of video on this unit if you make use of the expansion slots. The camcorder switches automatically from one storage device to another without interruption. Nice feature. With just the built-in memory, at highest quality, you can record 40 minutes of video. As inexpensive as flash memory is, there's no reason not to fill both slots with at least 16 GB SD cards in each ... 32 if you're feeling extravagant.

As a budget HD camcorder, the Vixia HF R20 seems a likely upgrade for pocket camcorder users. I shot indoor and outdoor video with this camcorder, and with a pocket camcorder that shoots 1080p video also. I viewed the Canon Vixia video first, and observed the quality, then watched the pocket camcorder video and made comparisons. I'll share comparisons at the end.

First, here are some Pros and Cons I observed while using the Vixia camcorder.


Excellent 20x optical zoom lens produced very sharp video in adequate lighting. This means outdoor daytime, and bright indoor lighting.. There is a 28x "advanced" setting and 400x digital zoom.
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216 of 220 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Barnes on December 13, 2011
Color: Black
Length: 4:19 Mins
I've use the Vixia HF R20 to record this review. The built-in mic and external mics show the real life results. Mac owners should note the great info around here about dealing with the AVCHD files. Get a monopod/tripod and decent mic, and you'll be ready to play Spielberg!
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84 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Gary Davis on July 11, 2011
Color: Black
For all the appeal of this small and proficient camera, the battery life is quite short, and the bottom-mounted battery doesn't allow for a larger battery to be used. And extra batteries are quite expensive! ($70 with no free shipping).

Yes, the internal memory + two SD slots will allow for hours and hours of continuous recording...from an AC power source! But the battery? The "mini instructions" that come with the camera suggest a typical recording time of 45 minutes. 45 minutes? I've NEVER had a camcorder with such short life on a new battery!

I've been testing, and the actual maximum continuous recording time, with no zooming or focusing, is about 75 minutes to an external SD card. Recording to the internal memory increases the recording time slightly, as does setting the viewscreen to 'extra dim' mode.

Conclusion: the extended recording time of the multi-memory system is completely wasted, as the battery will be the limiting factor for almost every user.

Other issues: I like the touch-screen, but it helps to have fingernails.
The flashing red "access" light on the back of the camera is really annoying.
Low-light performance is not as good as previous Canon camcorders.
The lens mount has threads for an accessory, and there's a mic jack and headphone jack option (unlike an otherwise attractive Panasonic competitor).
The camera defaults to recording on the internal memory, even after you put in a memory card, which is confusing.

The full instruction manual is included only on a CD disc; very annoying.

Haven't yet looked into the file format, but if, as suggested, it's non-standard, that would be quite a drawback.

Sad to say, I'll be returning this camera AND the Panasonic. Maybe by next year chip cameras in this price range will be worthwhile. This year (7/2011), not so much.

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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By J VINE VOICE on May 26, 2011
Color: Black Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Canon Vixia HF R20 offers many of the features found in a larger, more expensive camcorder, but is small and light enough not to be a burden. While the higher-end Vixia models provide some serious upgrades for the enthusiast for a significant price, the casual point-and-shoot crowd will find plenty to love about the Vixia HF R20 and only one thing to hate. The R20 shoots clear, vivid video with only minor weakness in low light, image stabilization and motion. The .mts file format will be alien to most users and may require time-consuming file conversion on additional (not the included) software to retain full HD quality for viewing on common devices.

Weighing only 9.5 oz. and measuring 2.4" x 2.4" x 4.8", the Canon Vixia is just small enough to it in a large pocket and light enough to pack in a backpack without weighing you down. The overall construction feels a little cheap simply due to the light weight and this will also make it harder to shoot steady video. The lens is noticeably smaller than those found on the more expensive Vixia models, but still vastly superior to the majority of cheap point and shoot video cameras that have been flooding the market.

The touchscreen measures 3", which should be big enough for most, but I'd have liked at least 3.5" and capacitive instead of pressure-sensitive response. Aesthetically the R20 is quite attractive and comfortable to grip. The buttons, ports and slots are all laid out efficiently and ergonomomically. Hdmi, composite and audio ports and two slots for SD/SDHX/SDXC cards round out the package.

==Video Quality==
The Canon Vixia HF R20 provides an Auto shoot mode as well as scene modes for more specific environments.
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