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alaTest has collected and analyzed 78 reviews from magazines and websites. Reviewers are impressed by the portability and design. The battery and image quality are also mentioned favorably, but reviews are divided on the price. There are some critical views about the viewfinder.

usability, image quality, battery, design, portability


We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the VIXIA HF S20 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 84/100 = Very good quality.

See all Canon Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 67 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

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Showing 1 - 53 of 53 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (14)

Consumer review by: ( review summary for Canon LEGRIA HF S20


alaTest has collected and analyzed 45 user reviews of Canon LEGRIA HF S20 from The average user rating for this product is 4.2/5, compared to an average user rating of 3.9/5 for other Camcorders on Comments about the size and durability are on the whole positive. The image quality and portability also get good reviews. There are some negative reviews about the reliability. The price and battery get mixed comments.

usability, portability, image quality, durability, size


89% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the product: Canon VIXIA HF S20 Dual Flash Memory Camcorder - 2010 MODEL

Nov, 2015


Expert review by: David Elrich (

Canon Vixia HF S20


We typically don't test pre-production models, but when Canon offered one of the few samples in the U.S. of its soon-to-be-released top-of-the-line camcorders, we couldn't resist. After all, this is the updated version of our 2009 Editor's Choice pick,...

Superior video and stills ; Excellent 3.5” touch screen ; 32GB built-in memory ; Dual SD cards for additional storage ; Good optical image stabilization system

Expensive ; Eats batteries; definitely grab a spare ; Digital noise without enough light (still/video) ; Not SDXC card compatible

You can't go wrong with the Vixia HF S20 as it comes from Canon's high-quality Vixia line of camcorders; the only question is which Vixia model suits your needs the best.

Feb, 2010


Expert review by: Nikc Miller (

Canon Vixia HF S20


Being a video motion graphics artist first and a video editor second, it's fair to say that my role in the film world as a "shooter" is somewhat limited. However, there are times when I need to pick up a camera to get a project moving, or sometimes...

The Canon Vixia HF S20 holds versatility at a premium. It's simple and comfortable enough for a Soccer Dad to shoot his kid's games without even thinking of buying a tripod, yet it's sophisticated enough to compose high-quality film shots that rival...

Apr, 2010

Expert review by: (

Canon VIXIA HF S20


Overall, the Canon VIXIA HF S20 doesn't offer anything we haven't seen in other HDV camcorders. We did like the LUX rating but there were a few features that we felt were missing from this product that would have made it better. The limited memory of...

The camcorder has one of the lowest LUX ratings we've seen at 0.3, so you can film using only bright moonlight

The Canon VIXIA HF S20 only has 32GB of memory, which means you only get a few hours of HD recording time

This is a product with strong HD recording capabilities, but it doesn't have the high-end features to complement HD video capture.

Consumer review by: Tony (

Dont Settle for Less


get two class 10 chips and the heavy duty battery and you are golden for all events

Quality movies, easy download to PC from Camera , direct or by migrating from one of the chips. The Movies and Photos with that "big megapixel" lens are simply great underall conditions. That Touch Screen is fantastic

Once you get used to using the lcd screen as the Viewfinder it's all easy

Mar, 2011

Consumer review by: N/A (

Great camcorder


Great camcorder. Very easy to use/learn. Worked great at Christmas time

Low battery life, but I knew that before purchasing. That seems to be typically with an HD camcorder of this quality

Feb, 2011

Consumer review by: BetterOff (

Great Camera


I bought this camera to capture all the moments of our new baby while it was on sale. I've always been happy with my Canon camera's and this one is definitely worth the extra cost above others. After purchasing the BP-819 battery, the camera is almost...

Image quality is amazing on MXP. Screen is huge and the touchscreen works well compared to a lot of touch screens I've used on cheaper cameras. Facial recognition is also a plus and it's extremely easy to use for even a novice. The camera allows...

The battery that comes with the camera is far too small. Had to buy the BP-819 with wall charger. Software isn't the greatest, but will definitely allow you to do get your videos to your PC without hassle. Advanced users will definitely want something...

Dec, 2010

Consumer review by: Lord de Castro (

WAY more than what I expected.


This is the best camcorder I've seen. I felt like I was filming Planet Earth and Operah should've been commentating.The screen is ridiculously clear. It's pretty easy to use. It switches from camera to camcorder very easily. Just hold the picture...

Easy to Use","Good Image Stabilization","Good in Low Light","Great Picture Quality","Great Sound","Great Zoom","Large Clear LCD","Zoom range/performance

Jun, 2010

Consumer review by: Steven T. (

Amazing Picture Quality!


Ive only had this camera for a few weeks, however, I am very impressed with the picture quality. I went from a tape based camera to this digital version. What a difference in picture quality as seen on an HD TV. The auto focus works well with high...

Product Specifications

Canon's VIXIA HF S20 dual flash memory camcorder, with an internal flash drive and two SD memory card slots, offers Canon's most sophisticated feature set to date - blurring the line between consumer and professional. Canon's superlative proprietary imaging technologies help deliver video and 8.0-megapixel photos with incredible detail and lifelike color. Touch & Track allows you to achieve sharp focus and precise exposure for any subject, simply by touching the generous 3.5" high resolution (922,000 dot) touch panel LCD. Native 24p mode perfectly matches the frame rate of film. And 5.1-channel surround sound ensures your audio complements the stunning realism of your video.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Canon BP-808

Camcorder Features

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

Camera Flash

Type:Built-in flash

Digital Camera

Supported Flash Memory:SD Memory Card / SDHC Memory Card

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:3.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):8.9cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

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

Flash Memory

Form Factor:Integrated
Storage Capacity:32GB


Model:HF S20
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Canon VIXIA

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/1.8-3.0
Max Focal Length:64mm
Min Focal Length:6.4mm
Optical Zoom:10
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Still Resolution:8.02Megapixel
Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:6.01Mpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:8.59Mpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/2.6 / 1/2.6"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):9.8 mm ( 1/2.6 ) / 9.8 mm ( 1/2.6" )
Optical Sensor Type:CMOS
Sensor Qty:1CMOS

Optical System

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

Service & Support

Type:1 year warranty

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Analog Video Format:NTSC
Digital Scene Transition:Sepia fader / Black & white fader / Wipe fader
Digital Video Format:AVCHD
Digital Zoom:200
Face Detection: Yes
Media Type:Flash card
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode
Special Effects:Skin Detail / Custom Effect / Vivid / Low Sharpening / Neutral / Soft
Still Image Format:JPEG


Viewfinder Type: None