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Showing 1-10 of 53 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 70 reviews
on January 17, 2014
Attached Video is "How to Connect Your Vixia to the WiFi Remote Control." SOME of the video included here was shot with the Vixia HF R40,(some with an iPhone)so the video quality is not a result of the camcorder!
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2 MONTH UPDATE (excerpt from my comments):
I use this Vixia R40 for my YouTube tutorials and reviews, which are always filmed at my desk with just normal indoor desk lighting. The video quality is great. I film at full 1080p HD and then edit and save it at 1280x720 for YouTube/Vimeo. I know there is another R40 review here by a person who makes cooking videos for YouTube, and who is very unhappy with the quality of the indoor footage. I was surprised to read it because my experience is just the opposite and it's really a shame that review is giving the R40 such a bad rap. If you "see all of my reviews" of that person, you might notice that the person seems pretty much disgusted with almost everything they ever purchased on Amazon.

Another reviewer on this page, or in the comments somewhere, offered suggestion of the best settings for indoor filming. If I ever find my footage grainy, I'll definitely give those suggestion a try. But so far, I've been delighted with the footage I'm getting with all the default settings. Granted I film fairly close up, with the camcorder mounted about 3 feet above my work surface. I film day or night, with no special lighting, in a room with average natural light, I would say.

Regarding audio and microphones: I have tried the Audio Technica Lavalier Microphone, but I usually just use the camcorder's excellent built-in stereo mic. I get the best sound quality when I use my SAMSON GO-MIC Samson Go Mic Compact USB Microphone - Plug n' Play, which connects to my computer by USB, I open my video editing program and start recording audio from the Go-Mic in unison with my video camera. The sound quality is amazing and rich. I love that little mic.. I wish I could hook it directly to my Vixia! If you get a buzzing in the background with the Lavalier Mic, make sure you are not running the camera on the AC. Using the Vixia battery as the power source will solve the humming issue.
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ORIGINAL REVIEW:
There are so many great things about this camcorder: The picture quality, excellent touchscreen. The ability to save video to the camera's internal memory, a memory card or to both simultaneously! Compatibility with any video editing software. The "security camera" feature. The ability to transfer video to my computer (or iPad!) wirelessly. The external mic jack. All of these features bumped my review from 3 stars up to 4 stars. I would give this camera 3 stars, soley for lack of infrared remote, or a decent wiFi equivalent. But I realize most people will not care about that as much as I do. The other features and video quality, in my opinion, merit a solid 4 stars.

I make DIY video tutorials and I've been on the hunt for a camera that:

1. Takes decent indoor video for You Tube type videos. Check!

I disagree with an earlier review that says this camera is awful for that. I use no special lighting and I think the video quality is excellent, even when saving directly in MP4 format.

2. Can save in a format that I can import directly into Camtasia Studio, without having to use a 3rd Party app to convert the file. Check!

(Yes, I have a high-end video editing program, Adobe Premiere Pro, which would solve that problem. But for cranking out a quick tutorial, I'm just comfortable with Camtasia Studio).

3. Has a touch screen that doesn't drive me crazy. Check!

The touch screen is responsive and easy to use. Before the Canon R40, I bought and returned a Sony HDR-CX330 because the touchscreen was a disaster. It made me feel like giant with humongous fingers that couldn't isolate a single option. Awful! There were many other things I hated about the CX330, but that's another review.

4. External microphone input. Check!

I wanted to be able to connect a lavalier microphone to my camera for better narration quality. The Vixia R40 has that. But the R40 has a built-in stereo mic that sounds really good!

-- External Mic Update: I was not pleased with the background buzz I was getting when using this Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone. I wanted to use an external microphone to avoid background room noise and streamline the editing process. I finally figured out that the BUZZ only happens when using the mic when the camcorder is plugged into the AC. Apparently the power source to the camera is interfering with the power source of the Mic (which runs on a button cell battery) Ah-ha! Mystery Solved!

5. Has a wireless remote, so I can zoom in on my projects while filming a tutorial. FAIL!

Oh, what a disappointment! Why has every company done away with camcorder remote controls? I knew this camera didn't come with an old fashioned remote, but I had no idea that the wireless app would be so slow. It's a pain to connect (see my video here for a step-by-step demo)and once it's connected, the zoom is just so very slow.

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How I get the camera wi-fi connected to my iPad, to use the remote: (My attached video shows this).
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To use the wifi remote I had to:

= ON THE DEVICE: Load the "Camera Access" app (by Pixela) onto my iPad (or iPhone),

= ON THE CAMERA: touch the little HOME BUTTON, then scroll all the way to the right and touch REMOTE CONTROL+STREAMING (You have to actually touch that little icon to activate it!) Now, just leave the camera on that screen ... This will send the camera into "pairing mode" (that's how I think of it. almost like you are pairing your phone with a Bluetooth headset).

= ON THE DEVICE: Go into iPad SETTINGs and go to the WI-FI screen and wait for the iPad to find the your Vixia-E### whatever it's called. Tap the VIXIA on the network list to connect. Think of what you do when you are connecting to free wifi in a hotel, or Starbucks. You are disconnecting from your home network and connecting to your camcorder instead.

= Your device will then ask for a password, which can be found on the Vixia Wifi Screen you already have open. It's the bottom code, all numbers. Type that into your Device, and click ok.

= ON THE DEVICE: Now that your camcorder and device are connected, open up that CAMERA ACCESS APP that you loaded onto your iPad. Give it a few seconds to discover your Vixia. It will appear on the first page there. When it shows up, click the VIXIA name and it will bring up the remote view screen. Now you see what your camera is seeing! Halle-freaking-lluea! Sheesh. Guess what? You have to do ALL of these last 3 steps, EVERY time you want to use your device as a remote.
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What a pain! And then, after all that, the way it works is clunky and slow. Wow. It really sucks. I would just never use this app but, as far as I can tell, there is no way to use an infra-red remote with this model. It looks like the M-series camcorders allow you to turn on a wireless remote access in settings; but there doesn't appear to be any such option on this R40. :-( Bummer. I need a remote for my YouTube videos. Why didn't Canon at least leave the option in the R40 since the app is so awful?

I was about to pack this Vixia up and send it back, when I discovered it's not a bad wireless security/monitoring camera! I will have to go into that more later... but I'm able to keep an eye on my disabled son over my iPad, almost like a baby monitor. It does have a delay, but you can tweak the buffer from within the app. You can see what the camera is seeing, whether you are recording or not. I could watch my son in the jacuzzi and even zoom in on a freckle on his back! Incredible clarity! You can even choose to record onto your iPad OR to the camera right there from within the app.

Other than the remote control issue, I like almost everything about this camcorder.
55 comments| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 1, 2013
I am a community college instructor and I have had problems with students who are absent for illness and those who just "muddle through" lectures. I wanted to be able to film my lectures for review and for those who miss class. I had been using another handheld very small internal storage video cam but I was dissatisfied with that product because the battery life was short and you had to restart the video record every 30 min. and my lectures are 2 hours + at times. Further I needed a recording format that was easy and didn't require me to reformat it to post... The Cannon HRR40 is incredible. The battery life is great (and you can leave it plugged in if you record a long time) and the 64 gig class 10 extreme scandisc supplemental memory card (GET THIS) is wonderful and fast... I have yet to have the lecture exceed the size I could record! AT SD the video is as crisp as any HD I have seen! I don't even need the wonderful HD mode! The touchscreen is a bit small but you rarely need it anyway once you are setup and I can carry it easily in my briefcase or even pocket as it is only about 6 inches by 3 by 3 in size... it is light and the quality is awesome... THIS IS A GREAT BUY!
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on July 25, 2017
A perfect item I ever bought. I expect commodity in time to the logistics very quickly, I hope I will always use it, this is a worthy purchase products here, this is a pleasant shopping.

Happy with this product and the service given. It has done exactly what I got it for. This product is very good material and excellent design, as well as the evaluation and quality on the market, I feel very good.

Works well enough.
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on March 7, 2016
Bought this to aide my drone in taping my proposal. Used it for some ground shots on the tripod. Will post a link and all the close shots were from this camera. Worked very well. [...]
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on January 23, 2014
Bought to replace a Sony Digital 8 for compatibility reasons. Although it takes great video, easy to use, it would have been 5 stars if it had a light and night vision. Paid the same for the Sony several years ago and it was equipped with the light and night vision. Unable to find one for less than $500 with those features. However, it is a great little unit and recommended for nearly any kind of shoots.
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on September 25, 2013
This camcorder serves a purpose and offers a fair feature set for the price, but as owner of a 7 year old canon HV20 camcorder i am disappointed with the R40. My first major disappointment is with the low light capability, its very bad in low light situations producing a very grainy picture. Secondly the focusing is hit and miss. I have several seconds of completely blurry scenes during which time the camera is trying to focus. Outdoors in bright sunlight however the picture is perfect but as with most camcorders still pictures are still a joke. The zoom is good although i find it tends to blur the picture while extending to the maximum zoom. I also find the zoom control difficult to use as i have large hands so i often find it impossible to gently zoom in and end up with jerky zooming.
The camera comes with hundreds of pages of instructions, some of which are duplicate instructions. The Wi-Fi instructions are not complete. The instructions tell you how to connect your camera to your router. But there are no instructions on how to access your camera via a PC or Mac etc. Don't expect your camera to show up in windows as if it was connected directly via USB and showing up something clickable in windows explorer etc, the included software is totally useless in supporting a wireless connection. I'm very surprised canon did not update their software to support the Wi-Fi feature on the camera. To access the camera in Windows 8 i had to set up the camera as a windows media server. Good luck with that. Even after i got my connection setup i still find it easier and faster just to pop the SD card into my PC and quickly copy the files directly.
The touch screen menus are very responsive. I am still getting used to having to manually open and close the lens cover and find it amazing that the camera will actually start to record even if you have the cover closed. Also transferring scenes from the internal memory to the Sony 64GB SDXC Class 10 UHS-1 R40 Memory Card (SF64UY/TQMN) seems to take a long time.
I decided to keep this camera as i use it mostly outdoors now my kids are older and this camcorder came in at around half the cost of my HV20, which is starting to have issues recording to tape after 7 years and 40 hours of recording. I'm hoping this camera will last longer as its not using tape.
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on February 3, 2014
I'm writing a detailed review, now that I've used this continually since December 2013.

Intended Use- After reading MANY reviews, I purchased this camera to film church services and youth group activities.

I most often film inside our auditorium which is has a high ceiling and is well lit with fluorescent lighting. I shoot from above the congregation and back from the pulpit by about 50 feet as the crow flies, give or take. I've have filmed with both the lights on and off in the audio/video booth.

Pro's-
-Great zoom. I have this on a tri-pod, of course, and I use about half of the optical zoom it is capable of.

-Audio In- One of the features I bought this for! I have a line in coming from the sound board, and the quality of audio is superb! My editing software shows no "hiss" or white noise in the audio. Just clear sound.

-Back up on board memory- As I shoot in full HD, the built in memory would not hold much, and I knew that. It serves as an "overflow" for the memory card, and it does this seamlessly. I have tested this, intentionally letting it run past the 32 gig cards I use, and there was no noticeable transition.

- Coloring is very good. We have burgandy carpet and white walls- potentially a bad contrast combination, but the camera handles it well. I use manual settings and have found the feature set to be a good one for controlling all aspects, including white balance, contrast, & others. You can actually touch the screen to sample the white balance and choose that to make your adjustment... that's pretty awesome!

- Optical Image Stabilization- REALLY good on this camera. It is truly remarkable, and I use it even while on the tripod as it minimizes vibrations as I pan and tilt quite a bit.

- Built-in mic- As I mentioned earlier, I use the audio line in, but from time to time I use the microphones built into it, and I have to say, I was impressed. Not a lot of noise in breezy outdoor shooting (nothing that my editing software can't pull out), and it records sound clearly. It's as if the mic honed in on where the speaker was and adjusted as necessary.

- LCD Display- The overlays are super. Shows me all the information I need. Shows the volume in dB it is receiving both from the mic and from the line in, menu access of course, battery time remaining, memory remaining both amount and time, mode you are shooting in, etc.

- Built in lense cover- Slides closed with a switch on the left side by the hand strap

- Ability to throttle the zoom speed if required- 3 zoom speed settings if you'd like, or leave it to correspond with the pressure you give the zoom button. I can smoothly zoom in and out while even panning, but more on that in the "Con's" section, as there is a drawback with control.

- Memory card location- Good placement, although you do have to open the lcd screen to access it. Would have been better if it was on the back or elsewhere.

- Outdoors picture is amazing!

Con's- As obvious, there is no optical viewfinder. This is not necessarily a con, and I knew this before I bought it. They chose to use other good features instead. No real problem with this, so I won't dock a star for it, but some folks may not like this.

- "Noise" in the dark areas. I also knew about this before I purchased the camera. There is some graininess in the black or dark areas, especially when zoomed in. I do not use the digital zoom, and about only half of the optical at any given time.

- Zoom lever/control- This part of the review is a bit subjective, but here goes... the zoom button is a two-way slide lever (slide left to zoom in, slide it to the right to zoom out) is a little "clunky" and overly sensitive (yes, I am aware you can throttle the zoom speed). I often find myself sort of wedging my fingertip of my index finger into the space between the lever and the indent to help myself control the zoom and get a nice smooth, tiny creep of zoom in/out when needed. This is a bit annoying and sometimes I accidentally go to fast and the zoom becomes jerky. The throttling function only makes it a set speed of 3 choices and removes the ability to correlate the speed of zoom with the amount of pressure exerted on the switch. I hope that makes sense. I docked a star for this lack of finesse. I am VERY picky about how smooth my zoom is.

- You can download an application for your iphone/ipad or android device, but the app is also very clunky and lacks finesse. The way you connect to the camera is by making the camera itself a hotspot and connecting your device to it as if it were a wireless hub or router. I immediately disliked that particular way of connecting, but would have been ok with it, had it worked well, but alas, it was lacking badly. You have the ability to zoom in and out with the app, but you do not have LIVE control. It is a delayed reaction, making control very difficult. It also seriously cuts into the quality of the filming. I immediately stopped using this feature. The camera lost it's 2nd star because of this flaw.

Final Thoughts- I like the camera for its price point. I didn't have the funds to purchase a more expensive, professional camera for the church, so when I am able, I will buy one of Canon's higher end cameras, and relinquish this one to youth group activities outdoors, as that is really where this camera shines. It lacks zoom finesse and good wireless control or even the ability to connect a corded remote. I would recommend this camera for casual filming, but for church services or any kind of commercial use, I'd invest in a bigger camera.
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on January 24, 2014
The canon vixia hf r40 hd is the best camcorder i've had so far! It came with plenty of features built in the camcorder like picture filters and video filters. The video quality was above par (compared to my sony handycam) and overall i was very impressed when i downloaded videos into my computer. If you're looking for a reliable flexible camcorder spend the extra dough and buy the canon vixia.
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on October 5, 2014
Very Nice Little Camera for the Price. I was Pretty Well Impressed. Obviously You Can't Compare It To Some Of These High Dollar Professional Level Camera's, But It Had Great Picture Quality, Easy Operation, Satisfactory Battery Life, and Fair Priced Batteries in Case You Need A Few Extra's For a Long Day Of Shooting
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on October 13, 2013
Small but mighty. I have a production company, and I'm telling you that this little guy out performs cameras that cost more than 20x the amount. The detail is amazing, color reproduction stunning, and to top it off, the Image Stabilization in it is so smooth, with a good cameraman, there's no need for anything else but a smooth arm and smooth steps. Canon got this one right. This has been put through the tests from everything from close ups of bees in flowers to shooting out of helicopters and the fact is, peopl are buying my footage over camera rigs that cost close to 1 Million. (don't believe me, look at gimbal mounts and camera sytems for helicopter mounts. Real helicopters) the only downside is people aren't amazed if you show up with something you pull out of your pocket, but I've compared it with a huge array of products and this one takes the cake hands down. Especially when you look at it's cost and beats out products where the body alone costs 5 grand. (not naming names) Fantastic. I call it the "Noisy Cricket" (men in black reference) is it's small, but mighty.
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