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on June 4, 2013
I record a LOT of live performances, where its typically very dark, with fog and flashing lights/lasers. I think this is the most extreme that anyone could ever hope to record on a budget of under 20k. The G10/G20 are the ONLY non-pro camcorders that are usable for this. I have 4 camcorders total, so I will compare/contrast them in the context of how I use them.

1) Canon g20. G20 is essentially a g10 that has been fixed. Audio is MUCH better, Digital zoom has been removed (it was useless on the g10), Telemacro has been added. Powered IS has been moved to the touch screen and replaced with a 'Pre-Record' button (but this is changeable in manual mode), the low light seems a tiny bit better, side by side the g20 looks a tiny bit brighter than the g10, but where it REALLY makes a difference is the noise in the video. Shadows are cleaner/crisper.

2) Canon G10. This was the prime camcorder before I got the G20, I would try to hand record the entire concert on just this. With the other 2 camcorders as 'emergency backups' to clip to if I absolutely could not save a section of video (like someone walking in front of me, or a band member jumping off stage without me catching it). The Audio was beyond piss poor though, despite my best efforts it would always sound tinney, and lack on vocals.

3) Canon M30. I used this as the backup, Usually very dark and nearly unwatchable. Colors usually off. However, prior to the g20, this was the best source for audio, when connected to a shotgun mic. Audio is FAR better than the G10, but close to the G20.

4) JVC Everio 440US. Not even sure why I would bring this or set it up. Unless the lights were very bright, it just picked up noisy black, and the audio was tolerable, but far from good. It really was useless unless it was less than 2' from a person. During daylight its actually a GREAT camcorder, but has basically no low light ability.

I LOVE the new hood design, its nice having a cap built into the hood. Eye piece looks nicer.

Overall the g20 truly is a g10, specs are identical. I suspect there was a firmware update and very minor hardware changes to make the new model. I was actually trying to buy a second G10 when this hit the market. I was pleasantly surprised at the minor changes, but if you are buying this as an upgrade from a G10.... Maybe hold off till you can grab the g25 (pro model) or g30 (which supports 60p), otherwise you will likely be disappointed. It IS better than the g10, but not by enough to justify spending a grand to upgrade.

Some Misc info for people to consider buying with this:
58 mm uv filter (evena cheapo will be fine... just protects your lens from scratches/dirt/etc)
3000 mah wasabi extended battery pack, (works perfectly in this, shows time remaining, etc)
2x32 gig SDHC cards. Comes with 32gig built in, but its nice to know you have 3 separate places to record to. Plus the usb interface is slow for dumping video to a computer.
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on March 19, 2015
I selected this camera for a replacement for our church. All I can say is that this camera is outstanding. Night and day in quality from old Sony CX330. Great lowlight quality during communion and other events. I just ordered another one to replace the other consumer HD camcorder. All of these cameras are setup at 1080i 59.94fps connecter through an Orei XD700 HDMI to SDI converter and then connected to our BlackMagicDesign ATEM Television Studio.
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on September 1, 2013
I shoot video for fun. I also do some for our church, as a pastor. I love DSLR video, as you get the depth of field, and some creativity with shutter, aperture, and the like. This is really the first camera that has gotten me away from DSLR video work, and on to a small-bodied video camera that excels. The low-light is wonderful, with minimal noise in most situations. The depth-of-field (which is, in layman terms, the ability to have a sharp subject and soft background) is excellent. The ability to record internally, AND to two different SD Cards is amazing. Simply record on the card, and take to the computer for quick drop and edit.

The price is excellent, the camera is incredible. I have shot with many camcorders, from $500-$15,000. This is one of the best for the money. Period.
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on March 7, 2013
Right out of the box, it seemed very solid and high quality which one should expect for the price. The new lens hood not only works better, but also looks a lot cooler. The touch tracking focus works great and is extremely useful. In low light this camera really is just amazing. It's much better for that than any dslr I've used. The image stabilizer is very helpful. I have compared it to my dslr footage and it is MUCH more stable meaning you probably don't need a shoulder rig. I just wish that the focus ring was not so hard to turn because some times i mess up the video when trying to turn it really far. The only advantage for me when shooting with a dslr is that you get manual zoom. But it's still fine with this camera. Also, the battery that it comes with is very small, so I would recommend buying some extras. The off brand batteries will work great and it's super cheap. But other than those two things, this camera is just perfect. If you aren't super picky about audio than this is fine. But if your in a production business and need really good sound quality, you should look at the xa10.

I was a little hesitant to buy this because I thought it was going to have a deeper depth of field according to what I have read about camcorders in general. Someone also told me that camcorders don't have a shallow depth of field. When I first took it for the test, i was quite surprised. The performance was really pretty good, so don't be too worried about that if you like a shallow depth of field. Using manual focus is great and I can get a lot out of focus.

I don't think that it's weather proofed, but i have never had a problem and am never afraid to take it out in some snow which I do quite often. Like I said at the top, it is quite solid meaning it's pretty heavy compared to the other camcorders i was looking at below $1500. So if you want to go skiing with it and put it in your pocket, it will weigh down your jacket. So bringing a backpack if your going skiing or for a hike is a good idea.

I love using dslr's and were used to them. But now I can never come back to dslr's. Using this camera is just so easy and simple. You can start shooting so quick. The start up time is pretty good, especially compared to dslr's I've used. I know that some nikon's have auto focus for video, but there is no comparison. The auto focus on this camcorder is lightning, and i never worry about it in low light. Also, most dslr's that do auto focus during video is loud enough to ruin audio. And obviously, This is completely silent. And this makes the camera just that more simple and easy.

I am very happy with the camera so far. I have tried to upload some test video but it said that it wouldn't except the format. So if you already have a g10, than it probably isn't worth upgrading. But highly recommended and you will most likely be satisfied.
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on March 11, 2013
I thought I would never get a camcorder with all the high tech HD video modes of capture out there these days. I found using video on my Canon 5d mark II superb in quality but lacked real layman control. I missed being able to focus instantaneous in a shot and the form factor of a DSLR as a video camera definitely is not there for run and gun situations I am finding my self into chasing a 2 year old around. Sure you can spend money on an elaborate setup that can turn the DSLR into something like a camcorder but I like the compactness the likes of the G20 offered.

So enter the Canon Vixia HF G20. I was interested in a sub $1200 HD camcorder and I am always a first to want a new thing so in return, and you, get an early review having 2 weeks with it so far. From what I know the camcorder is exactly the same as the G10 predecessor except for the new HD Pro sensor that allows more light capture. So I preordered and at the same time ordered this great book (I know its for the G10 and XA10, but all the G20 has is the better sensor) - Professional Results with Canon Vixia Camcorders: A Field Guide to Canon G10 and XA10 Now with the camcorder, I am happy I have read the book and use little of the huge manual that came with the G20.

So far it has shocked me how well the camcorder takes video and although the controls do take a little time to master, the touch screen works well. Maybe they did improve on it from the complaints I read on the G10.

I did drop one star for two reasons. The battery that comes with it is terrible so you best splurge on the max capacity one Canon BP-827 Lithium Ion Battery Pack for Vixia HG, HF S & HF M Camcorders (Retail Packaging). Also I wish they included a shoulder strap to carry the camcorder around easily.

So I will promise to update in 6 months, but so far so good!
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on September 5, 2013
Camera is great. I have nothing but praise for this product. Capabilities will be largely untapped unless you are an advanced video shooter. Battery life is lacking, but extra batteries solve that problem. Love the dual card slots. Hot shoe is non standard, so be sure to buy an adapter. Built in lens cover is appreciated. Camera is very light and difficult to pan steady without practice. Set it up with stabilizers or practice your movement before shooting something that cannot be re-staged. My only real issue is that Mac processing software does not recognize AVCHD without using a conversion program. I have been using Brosoft MTS and it is relatively fast, no issues. Not sure whether to blame Canon or Apple for this issue, so I detract no stars for that one. My only other desire would be for a slightly wider field of view.
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on July 9, 2013
I needed a great cam with a good lens in low light. I shoot indoors a lot and I hate carrying the large light set up every freakn where I go. Im glad I invested the money into this camera. Sometimes, even with the light setup, boom lights and umbrellas, Id still get noise in my video. With the canon g20, I don't even need the umbrella lights! I shot a scene outside at night time with only an attached hot shoe light and the video was incredibly high quality. I had no noise at all! Clean crisp video even in the dark! Just make sure you set it to manual and play with the settings a bit. The auto mode sucks big time because it adds way to much AG ( Gain ) and the video looks washed out. Auto mode is only good if your re shooting in good light, like outside or in well lit areas. Turn off the slow shutter as well. It will blur your video in low light.
Other wise the camera is well built. I like the option of the SD or internal hard drive to save video.
This camera only shoots in 24p and 60i. It has 2 more optional settings of 30p and pf24, which are basically the same as 24p and 60i. 24p can be a bit blurry if you have a lot of high motion and low light, so Id advise using the 60i and just converting the video to 30p in Vegas or whatever video software you use. For those who didn't know, 60i is basically 30p, doubled. You cant convert it to 60i, you must go down to 30p. But 24p cannot be up scaled, only down scaled. But if your re not doing a lot of high motion in well lit areas, 24p is really great and will give you a really great film Hollywood look. Video quality is very good if you know what you are doing. Auto mode is best for daylight or well lit areas. Don't use it in low light!
Also, the hot shoe on this camera is mini. So your standard mics and lights wont fit unless you buy an adapter. I found out later when I tried to attach my old light from my old camera.
I was debating the canon m50 over this camera, and glad I bought this. The m50 is good, but there is a reason its $500 and this one is $1000, trust me.
I never used the g10, but if you don't have the g10, get the g20. I was also debating getting the g30, but $1700 was something I did not want to spend on a camera right now. The g30 basically just has 1080p at 60fps and a few more added features. If that's something you just gotta have, then go for the g30. I don't need that for what Im doing. 30p is just fine and the quality is just as good. Ive heard the g20 is just a g10 fixed. So if your re on a budget, Im sure you can find some refurbished g10s online a few hundred cheaper than the g20.
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on October 12, 2014
There really are not enough good things to say about this recorder. Ultimately, for me, it comes down to one really important capability, and that is the optical viewfinder that can be used instead of or in addition to the swing out LCD screen. You will quickly find that the two memory card slots are useful, and maybe essential to your work and the quality of the cinematic settings is so praiseworthy that I hardly know where to begin. Using this bugger on 24p yields a very convincing cinematic experience so you can say goodbye to the "video feel" that you get with so many units out there today. Do buy at least one larger battery for this. The one that Canon supplies is so short-lived as to be a bit of an insult to the buyer. Finally, the quality and variable settings for the built in microphone are surprisingly good. Don't buy this believing that you're going to have to purchase a shotgun microphone. You may well find that it's fine as is.
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on July 23, 2014
The perfect camera for everything! This is the second VIXIA G series I purchased. The first was the HF G10 and it is also perfect.
The G20 is nearly exact except the cmos has been improved by 20% and I can really tell a difference. I edit in Adobe Premiere and I actually needed to upgrade since the system had a difficult time playing back the extreme HD. I have recommended this camera to a lot of people because IT WORKS. I video tape professionally and this camera does it all in full 1920 x 1080 HD. Thanks Canon!
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on May 1, 2014
Bought this for my wife for a holiday gift based on the reviews about its quality. Wish I had this one years ago. The video quality is fantastic. I'm a bit picky on audio and video quality, so much so I gave up on getting video. But after seeing what this camera can do, I'm back to watching the video. The quality this camera can deliver is excellent, far better than anything I've own or seen that other people own. It reminds me what I have seen from professional cameras, but without the bulk.
If you care about video quality, this is probably the least expensive way you can go and still be happy with the quality.
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