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Canon HG21

alaTest has collected and analyzed 257 reviews of Canon HG21. The average rating for this product is 4.3/5, compared to an average rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders for all reviews. Reviewers really like the size and price. The portability and image quality also get good feedback. Reviews are divided on the durability, and the reliability and battery get critical comments.

usability, image quality, portability, price, size

battery, reliability

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Canon HG21 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 85/100 = Very good quality.

See all Canon Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 257 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 210 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 140 of 210 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (45)

Consumer review by: ( review summary for Canon HG21


alaTest has collected and analyzed 6 user reviews of Canon HG21 from The average user rating for this product is 5.0/5, compared to an average user rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders on People are impressed by the portability. The usability also gets good feedback. There are some mixed reviews about the image quality.

usability, portability

100% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Canon HG21 High Definition HDD Camcorder (12 x Optical Zoom, Multiangle Vivid LCD & Colour EVF)Canon HG21 High Definition HDD Camcorder (12 x Optical Zoom, Multiangle Vivid LCD & Colour EVF)

Aug, 2015

Consumer review by: ( review summary for Canon HG21


alaTest has collected and analyzed 124 user reviews of Canon HG21 from The average user rating for this product is 4.4/5, compared to an average user rating of 3.9/5 for other Camcorders on Opinions about the design and price are generally positive. The image quality and portability also get good reviews. Some have doubts about the reliability.

usability, portability, image quality, price, design


92% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Canon VIXIA HG21 AVCHD 120 GB HDD Camcorder with 12x Optical ZoomCanon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras Accessory Saver Essentials BundleCanon EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR Camera With 18-55mm STM & 75-300mm Lenses & CS Pro Package: Includes High Definition Wide Angle/Macro Lens, 2 UV Filte

Aug, 2015

Expert review by: Alex Lindsay (

Canon Vixia HG21


Large sensor and high data rate result in great image quality ; 24p and 30p video support ; Good audio quality

Requires power connection when transferring video to the Mac ; Manual control difficult to use

May, 2009


Expert review by: David Elrich (

Canon Vixia HG21


As we reported in the recent JVC GZ-HD40 review, high-definition hard disc drive and flash memory-based camcorders are arriving fast and furiously. One of the newest on the scene is the Canon Vixia HG21, a model with a whopping 120GB HDD, a...

Terrific video; fast and accurate focusing

LCD display could be better; no face detection; poor battery life

Simply put: this baby is in the top ranks of 2008 consumer camcorders.

Sep, 2008

Expert review by: Ricky (

Review Of The Canon Vixia HG21 Camcorder


When you turn the power on, the inbuilt lens shutter opens up and the magic begins to unfold. To the left of the camcorder you find the 2.7 inch, 211000 pixels, widescreen swing-out LCD. There also is a pull-out viewfinder when the lighting conditions...

Mind-blowing video quality; CODEC capable of recording 24Mbps; 120GB hard drive; full HD CMOS image sensor and advanced DIGIC DV II image processor; optical image stabilization; instant auto-Focus; viewfinder is at eye- level

Its design is bulky and pretty average; heavy to lug around; manual focus is of no use

The HG21 could’ve had a better LCD, been lighter in weight so that you could be more agile, the face-detection could also be included but it isn't and it is not light on fuel either. All are valid drawbacks, but should most certainly not stand in your...

Sep, 2009

Expert review by: Alex Lindsay (

Review: Canon Vixia HG21 HD camcorder


Canon's Vixia HG21 is a feature-filled high-definition camcorder that acts and feels like a workhorse. And for such a small camera, it produces great video image quality. Alex Lindsay thinks it's one of the better HD camcorders he's seen.

Why should you care about the bit rate? The imaging sensor in this camcorder captures data at nearly 1Gbps. To get that data squeezed onto the little hard drive in the camera, the video needs to be compressed. The more compression used on a video, the...

May, 2009

Expert review by: Tom Skowronski (

Camcorder Review Canon VIXIA HG21 HD Camcorder


Canon's new VIXIA HG21 is a high-definition hard-disk-drive powerhouse, with 120GB of hard-drive space and a ton of exclusive Canon-only features. Prosumers rejoice: the HG21 is the perfect fit for family events, weddings and entry-level professional...

Extremely user-friendly Great picture quality 45 hours of shooting time

Manual controls difficult to control, due to toggle

The VIXIA HG21 is ultimately a very easy-to-use, highly-advanced and very intelligent camera. It can fit the needs of almost any type of shooter and produces great HD-quality video.

Jan, 2009

Expert review by: Stuart Miles (

Canon HG21 HD camcorder review


Canon's latest camcorder, the HG21 promises HD quality images and 120GB of storage, but should Steven Spielberg be worried? We made some movies to find out. Following on from the HG10, the HG21 comes in a traditional camcorder format complete with flip...

Full HD, capture still images at the same time, quick to focus on subjects

Needs to be connected to a power source to transfer footage to PC, mic isn't that good

The Canon HG21 is a good option if you are looking to shoot Full HD, however at almost £1000 it's not for the occasional user

Oct, 2008

Expert review by: Chris Jager (

Canon HG21


A new high-definition camcorder from Canon is always cause for celebration at the GoodGearGuide office. Call us vendor biased if you will, but the com...

120GB hard drive, excellent Full HD video quality, impressive array of modes and features

Too expensive compared to the HG20, poorly constructed viewfinder

When judged on its own merits, the HG21 is an exceptional high-def camcorder that impresses on nearly every level — it even seems attractively priced. However, when compared to the near-identical HG20, its value for money is significantly diminished....

Oct, 2008

Expert review by: Trusted Reviews (

Canon HG21


Sporting a viewfinder and a 120GB hard disk, is Canon's HG21 HD camcorder a better buy than the HG20? James puts it through its paces.

Feb, 2011

Expert review by: Alex Lindsay (

Canon Vixia HG21 review


The Canon Vixia HG21 sports a 1/3in CMOS sensor and the sensor size has a positive effect upon the image quality. In low light and especially in well-lit situations, the HG21's video is of high quality and the image is remarkably clear for a consumer...

Despite a few missteps, the Vixia HG21 is one of the better consumer HD camcorders that we've seen. The overall video image quality is very high, and the features and usability are there. If Canon could include the more advanced manual controls from...

May, 2009

Expert review by: Alex Lindsay (

Canon Vixia HG21 camcorder


The Vixia HG21 is a feature-filled high-definition camcorder that produces great video image quality.

[Alex Lindsay is the founder of Pixel Corps, a training and production guild specializing in digital media. Alex has been involved in computer graphics work for nearly 20 years.]

May, 2009

Product Specifications

Canon VIXIA HG21 Hard Disk Drive Camcorder combines the ease of recording video directly onto an internal hard disk drive with the advanced AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) format. Its 120GB hard disk drive allows you to record up to 45 hours of crisp, high definition video (LP Mode). It also is a dual system camcorder, with the capability of also recording video and still images to an SDHC card as well. The VIXIA HG21 boasts 1920 x 1080 Full HD, and has a CODEC capable of recording 24Mbps - the highest AVCHD bitrate - through Canon's own Full HD CMOS Image Sensor and advanced DIGIC DV II image processor. Other exclusives are Genuine Canon 12x HD video lens, SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization and Instant AutoFocus and a host of other advanced features including an HDMI Connector. Enhanced and simplified controls give you more choices and easier operation. Remarkable image reproduction and advanced features are yours in this compact AVCHD format hard disk drive camcorder which easily goes along with you, wherever you are, to capture those unforgettable moments in life- in true HD.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Canon BP-807

Camcorder Features

High Definition Video Support:1080p
Low Lux / Night Mode: Yes
Widescreen Video Capture: Yes

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Built-in flash

Digital Storage Media

Type:Hard disk drive

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.7in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.9cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Beach / Fireworks / Night mode / Portrait mode / Snow / Sports mode / Spotlight / Sunset


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Canon VIXIA

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/1.8-3.0
Max Focal Length:57mm
Min Focal Length:4.8mm
Optical Zoom:12
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Still Resolution:2.76Megapixel
Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:2.07Mpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:3.3Mpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/3.2"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):7.9 mm ( 1/3.2 ) / 7.9 mm ( 1/3.2" )
Optical Sensor Type:CMOS
Sensor Qty:1CMOS

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical (SuperRange)

Service & Support

Type:1 year warranty

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:AVCHD
Digital Zoom:200
Media Type:Flash card / Hard disk drive
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode
Still Image Format:JPEG


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:LCD