I’ve spent the last week field testing a Canon Vixia HF21. Great for simple point and shoot production. As with all consumer grade cameras, the manual focus, aperture and other advanced settings are too far buried to be of much use (in most situations), but the auto settings do a nice job. It has an 1/8 inch input for an added field mic (def recommend one – the internal mic is extremely sensitive to handling). Also a plus: a true optical zoom with extremely crisp HD (it can also record in “standard” which is 1440 x 1080 with selectable data rate). The camera records to an internal 65GB memory card or a removable (and upgradable) SD Card.
Log and Transfer BP:
The Vixia HF21 records in the AVCHD codec. Using the Log and Transfer section of Final Cut Pro, I import using ProRes 422. A couple of people have asked about AVCHD looking different in Final Cut (that is, the dimensions or quality changing) and I can say confidentially that nothing changes in either quality or technical attributes. It looks just fantastic.
There is no doubt you could produce some professional grade work with the camera. I’m pretty psyched about it.
Here’s a little somethin’, somethin’ I whipped up with the HF21 and FCP.
Note: the camera is shaky. I blame the inhaler …. and the incredible wind!