Summary: I worked as a professional cinematographer for years. Shot feature films. Still love film. So digital is still relatively new to me. My stuntman friend bought this camera to block out fight sequences and let me borrow it to shoot some tests. It is truly an amazing camera. For the price...this is perfect for posting videos online. Youtube vids...completely perfect for it. The dynamic range, as advertised, is amazing.
Summary: I have done a lot of research on a good camcorder to buy for filming movies in HD now. By far the canon HF S20 is a winner. It's only $800 and has a built in 32gb hard drive. The film quality on this camcorder is quite amazing, instant auto focus works great and is an awesome feature. This camcorder doesn't have many extra features, canon really focused on getting the basics which is good quality film and a sturdy cam.
Great Camera, just be prepared for a few bumps at first.
Bob Lee, Amazon
5 March 2011
Summary: As a test, I shot about 10 minutes worth of video with this camera. Upon returning home, I connected the camera to my Mac PowerBook. Nothing happened. The computer did not recognize the camera, and it did not attempt to install anything. Next, I installed all of the included software on my Windows 7 laptop (which is brand new), and then connected to the camera to the laptop. Again, nothing. Zip. Nada. I then installed all of the latest updates for the Canon software.
Summary: I was recently watching some daytime footage of my CANON Vixia HF-S20 on my Samsung HD flat-screen and I had to look twice to make sure it was from the camera and not a movie from my blue ray disc player. I was impressed. It was so impressive it inspired me to actually get into film production and make short movies. For the past week I have been pricing film gear like small camera jib cranes, tripod dolly's and waterproof cases.
Solid Camera with all the features a Dad could want...
Brendan Cosgrove, Amazon
25 October 2010
Summary: I borrowed this camera from a friend, since our old MiniDV cam went out, and I couldn't be more pleased with a video camera. The simultaneous stills is a REALLY nice feature that my wife has fallen in love with. I was a little disappointed that none of my SD cards had the speed needed to record the full quality video, but it all worked out. I made the SD the destination for the stills and the onboard memory for the video.
Summary: The picture quality is excellent for both videos and stills. But after playing around with this camcorder for several weeks I am still unable to use the raw MTS files. I have to downconvert them to AVI using Koyote's free HD converter software. The included software is useless. The high quality record is wasted on a lower-quality converted file. I'm sure that there is a way to edit the MTS files. But the software should be included and it should be easy.
Summary: I owned a Canon HF S100 prior to this camera and only bought this upgrade due to being able to sell my HFS100 for a good price. First, the positives: Powered IS: This little button is incredible. It makes getting still images at high zoom possible. It has to be tested to be believed. I was blown away. I hadn't seen this feature marketed very highly in other reviews I had read, but it really is good. The Screen: Wow!