Deal Alert: Canon VIXIA HF21 Dual Flash Memory Camcorder

B&H Photo / Video has a great deal on the Canon VIXIA HF21 dual flash memory camcorder.   Regularly listed for $899.00, the VIXIA HF21 is on sale through August 31, 2010 for $599.00 with free  shipping.

Recently, I had the pleasure of extended hands on time with the Canon VIXIA HF M30 and the Canon VIXIA HF S21, which I loved.   The VIXIA HF21 shares many of the same features of the two VIXIAs I reviewed; full 1080p HD CMOS sensor, dual flash memory, great still capture ability, NTSC recording format, mini HDMI output and a mini hotshoe.  The main difference is that the VIXIA HF21 has real buttons rather than touch-screen buttons that the HF M30 and HF S21 have.  This is not a bad thing though.  It just mean there is less chance of getting finger prints on the screen. (Photo gallery available at bottom of post)

Specs

Optics

  • Sensor – 3.89 Megapixel 1/4″ CMOS
  • Lens – 4.1-61.5mm f/1.8-3.2
  • Filter Size – 37mm

Zoom

  • Optical: 15x
  • Digital: 300x

Recording

  • System – NTSC
  • Recording Media – Internal Flash Memory Up To 64GB Video/Image SD/SDHC Up To 32GB Video/Image
  • Video Format – High Definition, MPEG AVC/H.264, 1920 x 1080, 1440 x 1080 (30/60/24 fps)
  • Still Image Resolution – JPEG: 3.3 Megapixel
  • Audio Format
  • 2-ChannelStereo

Display

  • Display Type – LCD
  • Screen Size – 2.7″
  • Touchscreen – No
  • Add-on Lens

Features

  • Image Stabilization
  • Optical 1 – close
  • Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization
  • Lux – 0.3 (Low Light Mode)
  • Built-in Mic – Yes
  • Built-in Speaker – Yes
  • Built-in Light/Flash
  • Light – Yes
  • Flash – Yes
  • Accessory Shoe – Mini Hot
  • Tripod Mount  – 1/4″

Input/Output Connectors

Inputs

  • 1x 1/8″ (3.5mm) Stereo Mini Microphone Input

Outputs

  • 1x USB 2.0
  • 1x Mini HDMI
  • 1x Component Video (out)
  • 1x Composite Video (out)
  • 1x 1/8″ (3.5mm) Stereo Mini
  • Headphone Jack

General

  • System Requirements – Not Specified By Manufacturer
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
  • Power Adapter – 100-240VAC, 50/60HZ
  • Dimensions (WxHxD) – 2.76 x 2.44 x 4.88″ / 70 x 62 x 124mm
  • Weight – 14.1 oz / 400g

Accessories

Canon BP-809B Battery – The Canon HF-M30 comes with one of these rechargeable lithium-ion batteries; however, if you’re going to be away from power for an extended period, you can pick up spares.  The Pearstone BP-819 is a higher capacity batter that should supply close to double the run time.

Bescor LED-35DA Dimmable On-Camera Light – The LED-35DA works as a continuous video light source, or as a flash for still images shot with the HF-M30.

Canon SM-V1 5.1 Channel Surround Mic – The microphone features a shoe mount and accurately captures audio in all directions for accurate surround audio.

Canon ZR-1000 Zoom Remote – The ZR-1000 is a must if you need absolute zero motion from your VIXIA HF21 while filming.

Canon LCD Hood – If you plan on spending significant time shooting in the harsh sunlight, an LCD hood can be a life saver in allowing you to get a better look at your scene.

UV Filter – A UV filter is a good idea for maximizing clarity and providing your expensive camera lens protection.

Extra Memory – While the Canon HF21 comes equipped with 64GB internal memory, you may want the ability to expand that even further.   Basic Kingston SD cards should work just fine.  No need to go all out on fast memory cards with the HF21.  You’ll just need to make sure you pick up SD cards that are Class 4 or higher in order to capture Full HD video. The HF21 is compatible with all SD and SDHC cards – but not SDXC cards.

Memory card reader – If you don’t own a memory card reader, they make transferring images to your computer a world faster. I highly recommend picking one up with the HF-S21. They’re cheap and big time saver. Lexar makes a good card reader for about $15.

Camera Bag – When making an investment into a high end camcorder make sure it is protected when in storage by keeping is zipped up in a quality storage bag.

Camera Case – If your going to be out and about for an extended period a compact case with shoulder strap is essential for carrying ease and protection.

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