Canon HG20 - Discontinued? If so, what should I get? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone -

So....I had a Canon HG10 for about 3 years...until the hard drive died. I was looking at the next generation versions: the HG20 and HG21. I decided on the HG20, as the viewfinder and extra hard drive space on the HG21 weren't worth the money for me. However, it looks like both the HG20 and HG21 have been discontinued and are no longer sold by Canon. Is this correct? If so, I have to assume it has something to do with Canon not wanting to include hard drives in camcorders anymore. I can still buy it on Amazon from a third-party retailer, but I'm a bit leery.

If I don't go with the HG20, what should I get? I really liked the ease of the hard drive (never had to deal with memory cards), and I was looking forward to the different modes in the HG20 (24, 30, etc.). I want to continue to shoot High-Def video, but it is for consumer use only (shooting my dogs, my son, concerts, etc.). Not for professional use.

Can someone offer advice? Should I still buy the HG20, or is there one of these memory card ones that is pretty similar that I should consider?

Thank you!!
-VideoDaddy
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post #2 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 08:20 PM
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The older AVCHD camcorders aren't anywhere near the AVCHD camcorders of this year. How much are you looking to spend?
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post #3 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 08:28 PM
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Built-in memory is bad. Built-in HDD is evil. Get a proper card-based camcorder. Or hit eBay and get the HG10 (older model, but with focus thumbwheel) for about $250.
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post #4 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi - Thanks for your replies. As I am basically a total newb and essentially just want to point-and-shoot, can you explain why old AVCHD is worse than new AVCHD. Also, can you explain why HDD is evil and why card-based is better? I find the cards very confusing. For instance, it appears that the largest card is 64gb, and most are 32gb. That is much smaller than the 120gb hard drive on the HG21 and the 60gb on the HG20. The HG10 even had 40gb.

I had the HG10 and loved it very much. Very high quality video and just point and shoot. I want something similar to that in quality. Will spend up to $1,000.

Thanks!
-VideoDaddy
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post #5 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videodaddy View Post

I find the cards very confusing. For instance, it appears that the largest card is 64gb, and most are 32gb. That is much smaller than the 120gb hard drive on the HG21 and the 60gb on the HG20. The HG10 even had 40gb.

Umm... what is your point? It is recording media, not an archive. Media fails, HDD fail faster than other media. You use cards to record your video, then you copy it to another media (external HDDs, DVDs, BDs, DLT tapes, whatever works for you) for storage. You do not use a camcorder as jukebox.

A MiniDV cassette fits just one hour of video, while a 16GB card fits two hours of high quality AVCHD video. I don't see why you are confused.

I really like the HF100/10/11 family for various reasons. I have the HF100 myself. I was very tempted to buy a refurbished HF11 from Canon for $306 two days ago. These camcorders have everything one wants from a consumer camcorder except for a focus wheel/ring.
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post #6 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Umm... what is your point? It is recording media, not an archive. Media fails, HDD fail faster than other media. You use cards to record your video, then you copy it to another media (external HDDs, DVDs, BDs, DLT tapes, whatever works for you) for storage. You do not use a camcorder as jukebox.

A MiniDV cassette fits just one hour of video, while a 16GB card fits two hours of high quality AVCHD video. I don't see why you are confused.

I really like the HF100/10/11 family for various reasons. I have the HF100 myself. I was very tempted to buy a refurbished HF11 from Canon for $306 two days ago. These camcorders have everything one wants from a consumer camcorder except for a focus wheel/ring.

Alright, so if I'm understanding you correctly:
--You don't like HDD-based camcorders because the hard drives fail. Memory cards are less likely to fail.

--Even 32gb should hold more than enough high-def video as long as I routinely copy it off the card and onto an external HD or similar.

Are the HF100/10/11 as high quality as the HG10/HG20? I mean, the quality on the HG10 is insane...especially "cinema" mode and I want to get something with similar quality. What about the 30/31/32/300 models or the 20/21/200 models? Why are those more expensive?

Thank you!
-VD
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post #7 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 09:03 PM
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The S200, S20 and S21 has a higher bit rate and more advanced components such as the auto focusing and stabilizer. All 3 also have fully native 24p so you won't have to remove pulldown like you have to with the HG20 or the Panasonic TM700 although it does add 1080 60p.
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post #8 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post

The S200, S20 and S21 has a higher bit rate and more advanced components such as the auto focusing and stabilizer. All 3 also have fully native 24p so you won't have to remove pulldown like you have to with the HG20 or the Panasonic TM700 although it does add 1080 60p.

Sorry, what is "remove pulldown"?

Which adds 1080 60p?
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post #9 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 09:41 PM
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When your shooting in 24p with something like the HG20 or TM700, it gets put inside a 60i stream. To fix that you have to buy NeoScene which does it automatically but even though it's easy to use, I'm highly against having to do that in 2010. With the TM700, their is a 1080 60p mode which gives the best picture quality you can get but for some people they have to convert 60i for now since not everybody is ready. Still, at least the camcorder is able to down-convert to 60i automatically and still keep the 60p files. Once your ready to use them, you can go back to it. Personally I believe in having images that wont age as much.
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post #10 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 09:51 PM
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Hey videodaddy;

For $1000 you can get a GREAT video camera. Any of the recent Canons mentioned above will be easy to use and provide great 1080p video. The VIXIA HF S200 records to two SD cards. The HF20 also has some built-in flash memory.

Both SD cards and flash memory have no moving parts, so are less likely to fail. You've already experienced a failure of a hard disk. I hope you didn't have videos on it when it failed, but you can see how a hard disk failure can ruin someone's day.

2:3 pulldown is what a TV has to do to show movies that are shot in 24 frames/second. The display rate of a TV (in Amerca - NTSC) is 60 pictures per second (60Hz) or a multiple of that in newer TVs (120Hz, 480Hz, etc.). The TV takes 24 frames per second from the video source, and repeats one image twice, and the second image three times, and then the next twice, and so on to fill all the 60 images per second the TV shows. In the end ... most regular folks don't care about this. Your TV has been doing this every time you watch a movie since most movies are shot in 24p.

What you will care about is that older video cameras had a "soap-opera" look to their videos. They weren't cinematic. That's because they didn't shoot in 24p like cinema cameras do. Well ... the newer cameras do that. You'll love the clarity without the "soap-operaness".

Not that soap-operaness is bad ... "The Office" is shot in that manner diliberately to make it look like an authentic documentary.
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post #11 of 27 Old 12-01-2010, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaCrazy View Post

Hey videodaddy;

For $1000 you can get a GREAT video camera. Any of the recent Canons mentioned above will be easy to use and provide great 1080p video. The VIXIA HF S200 records to two SD cards. The HF20 also has some built-in flash memory.

Both SD cards and flash memory have no moving parts, so are less likely to fail. You've already experienced a failure of a hard disk. I hope you didn't have videos on it when it failed, but you can see how a hard disk failure can ruin someone's day.

2:3 pulldown is what a TV has to do to show movies that are shot in 24 frames/second. The display rate of a TV (in Amerca - NTSC) is 60 pictures per second (60Hz) or a multiple of that in newer TVs (120Hz, 480Hz, etc.). The TV takes 24 frames per second from the video source, and repeats one image twice, and the second image three times, and then the next twice, and so on to fill all the 60 images per second the TV shows. In the end ... most regular folks don't care about this. Your TV has been doing this every time you watch a movie since most movies are shot in 24p.

What you will care about is that older video cameras had a "soap-opera" look to their videos. They weren't cinematic. That's because they didn't shoot in 24p like cinema cameras do. Well ... the newer cameras do that. You'll love the clarity without the "soap-operaness".

Not that soap-operaness is bad ... "The Office" is shot in that manner diliberately to make it look like an authentic documentary.

Thanks very much, that is helpful! Last question - do you think internal flash memory is that far inferior to memory cards?
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post #12 of 27 Old 12-01-2010, 01:40 PM
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As far as I know, internal flash and memory cards are equally reliable. The video cameras discussed so far record to SD card alone (eg. S200) or to both SD and internal flash. I like having some internal flash as backup in case I'm outside and I lose/forget/fill my memory card(s). But recording to internal flash has its drawbacks when you are trying to get your images to download to your computer. You'll have to use a USB cable, which is a little more hassle than simply taking out your SD cards and inserting to your card reader. It's comes to a matter of preference.
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post #13 of 27 Old 12-01-2010, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaCrazy View Post

But recording to internal flash has its drawbacks when you are trying to get your images to download to your computer. You'll have to use a USB cable...

...and a power adapter. I've heard about dead internal memory. I've also heard about internal memory being slower than a regular Class 6 memory card. I really see no point in internal memory. If you want lots of storage and do not like changing cards, then just buy a 32 GB card, which is good for 3-4 hours of high-quality video. Do you really shoot that much in one take? In one day? In a week?
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post #14 of 27 Old 12-01-2010, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

...and a power adapter. I've heard about dead internal memory. I've also heard about internal memory being slower than a regular Class 6 memory card. I really see no point in internal memory. If you want lots of storage and do not like changing cards, then just buy a 32 GB card, which is good for 3-4 hours of high-quality video. Do you really shoot that much in one take? In one day? In a week?

Got it. Thanks very much for all the advice. Is there a memory card brand you recommend? Some are Class 4, others Class 6, others Class 10? I don't know what those mean.

Here's what's listed on Amazon.com for example:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...words=32+gb+sd
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post #15 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by videodaddy View Post
Got it. Thanks very much for all the advice. Is there a memory card brand you recommend? Some are Class 4, others Class 6, others Class 10? I don't know what those mean.

Here's what's listed on Amazon.com for example:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...words=32+gb+sd
Answered my own question. Figured out that Class refers to speed. Interestingly, one would assume that you should go with the fastest speed, which is currently Class 10. HOWEVER, many of the Canon cameras cannot handle Class 10, per this link:

http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4984

As for brand, this website recommends SanDisk, Matsushita, or Toshiba for Canon. I am uncertain whether it really matters.

http://store.uniquephoto.com/e/index...5&zmap=CNV2001
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Originally Posted by videodaddy View Post

Answered my own question. Figured out that Class refers to speed. Interestingly, one would assume that you should go with the fastest speed, which is currently Class 10. HOWEVER, many of the Canon cameras cannot handle Class 10, per this link:

http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4984

As for brand, this website recommends SanDisk, Matsushita, or Toshiba for Canon. I am uncertain whether it really matters.

http://store.uniquephoto.com/e/index...5&zmap=CNV2001

Decided to go with the Canon Vixia HF s20, btw. I am going to hold off on getting a card and see how well the flash memory works. The cards are by no means as safe as you all have made them seem - just go to amazon and read the 1-star reviews, especially for the Transcend cards. Tons of people have had them fail. Same with the Kingston. And one reviewer posted that the SanDisk Class 4 one wasn't fast enough for their Canon S100, which is similar to what I'm getting, so that's not an option either.

In any case, thank you all very much for your helpful advice!
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post #17 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 09:39 AM
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The cheapest HF S20 I found on the Web is $740 at ButterflyPhoto, then $790 at 42nd Street Photo. The cheapest HF S200 is $674 at ButterflyPhoto, then $740 at 42nd Street Photo. So, the difference is 50 to 64 bucks and 32 GB of memory.

For this money you can buy a 32 GB card, but you will be able to simply remove it from the camera and insert it into your computer for editing, or into your BD player for watching. With built-in memory you will have to connect the camera either to a computer or to a TV. I see your concern about card quality, but so far out of dozen or so cards that I own, I had problems with only one made by A-Data, and everyone now knows that A-Data makes crappy products. Other cards from PQI, Kingston and Patriot do not give me any troubles.

But ultimately the choice is yours, of course. I prefer convenience of the cards, while you value the quality of built-in memory.
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post #18 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 12:04 PM
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I find it unfortunate that eSata exists (shouldn't be a diff plug/connector from sata but it is) & yet it is not utilized much....camcorders should especially use this, but USB3 is now out and it will negate this even though eSATA could of been implemented years ago & not made obsolete for a long time..
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post #19 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

The cheapest HF S20 I found on the Web is $740 at ButterflyPhoto, then $790 at 42nd Street Photo. The cheapest HF S200 is $674 at ButterflyPhoto, then $740 at 42nd Street Photo. So, the difference is 50 to 64 bucks and 32 GB of memory.

For this money you can buy a 32 GB card, but you will be able to simply remove it from the camera and insert it into your computer for editing, or into your BD player for watching. With built-in memory you will have to connect the camera either to a computer or to a TV. I see your concern about card quality, but so far out of dozen or so cards that I own, I had problems with only one made by A-Data, and everyone now knows that A-Data makes crappy products. Other cards from PQI, Kingston and Patriot do not give me any troubles.

But ultimately the choice is yours, of course. I prefer convenience of the cards, while you value the quality of built-in memory.


How did you find the ButterflyPhoto and 42nd Street Photo ones? I used Google Shopping and came up with the Unique Photo one as the cheapest.

Do you know much about Transcend memory cards? They're the only ones that sell a 32 GB Class 6 card that I could find on Amazon. Apparently Class 4 is too slow for these Canon camcorders, and both Sandisk and Kingston only make Class 4 for 32 GB.

Thanks!
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I use a cheap "Microcenter" brand sdhc I purchased in a bind, and have no issues with HG20 @ 24Mbps; albeit it is a Class 6
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post #21 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videodaddy View Post

How did you find the ButterflyPhoto and 42nd Street Photo ones?

Dunno. Just googled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by videodaddy View Post

Do you know much about Transcend memory cards? They're the only ones that sell a 32 GB Class 6 card that I could find on Amazon. Apparently Class 4 is too slow for these Canon camcorders, and both Sandisk and Kingston only make Class 4 for 32 GB.

I have one of these, works for me. It is considered an OK brand. SanDisk usually is regarded higher, but stuff happens to any brand. Don't buy A-Data, all I can say.
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post #22 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I use a cheap "Microcenter" brand sdhc I purchased in a bind, and have no issues with HG20 @ 24Mbps; albeit it is a Class 6

I thought the HG20 had its own hard disk drive?
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post #23 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

...and a power adapter. I've heard about dead internal memory. I've also heard about internal memory being slower than a regular Class 6 memory card. I really see no point in internal memory. If you want lots of storage and do not like changing cards, then just buy a 32 GB card, which is good for 3-4 hours of high-quality video. Do you really shoot that much in one take? In one day? In a week?

Ha ha ha ... well played. Touche. Yes, that is another inconvenience of internal memory. Nevertheless, I like having the backup. But I agree ... always record to SD cards if you can. I prefer to record to 8 or 16GB cards. That way, if I lose the card before download, I haven't lost that much data. I try to always remember to carry several cards in the camera case.

Videodaddy - As for the bad amazon reviews on SD card failures, I suggest you read reviews for hard disk failures for comparison. It is littered with people whose hard disks died and took all the memory with it. The fact remains, flash memory cards are much less likely to fail than hard disks.

But you should always back-up data to at least one other source. I may be crazy, but I love my family photos too much to risk losing them - everything is dual-stored in a RAID-1 array, as well as backed-up on an external hard drive. Wedding and such are even further backed up on a DVD.
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post #24 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 03:45 PM
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I may be crazy, but I love my family photos too much to risk losing them - everything is dual-stored in a RAID-1 array, as well as backed-up on an external hard drive. Wedding and such are even further backed up on a DVD.

All located in one house? Not crazy enough ;-)
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post #25 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Umm... what is your point? It is recording media, not an archive. Media fails, HDD fail faster than other media. You use cards to record your video, then you copy it to another media (external HDDs, DVDs, BDs, DLT tapes, whatever works for you) for storage. You do not use a camcorder as jukebox.

A MiniDV cassette fits just one hour of video, while a 16GB card fits two hours of high quality AVCHD video. I don't see why you are confused.

I really like the HF100/10/11 family for various reasons. I have the HF100 myself. I was very tempted to buy a refurbished HF11 from Canon for $306 two days ago. These camcorders have everything one wants from a consumer camcorder except for a focus wheel/ring.


The HF11 is basically the solid state memory version of the HG20/21, the 21 having the additional focus ring, and the same 24 mbit/s datarate the HG20/HF10 lacks. The Panasonic TM700 sells for well below 1000 USD, and generally is considered the best image in consumercamcorders.
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post #26 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

The cheapest HF S20 I found on the Web is $740 at ButterflyPhoto, then $790 at 42nd Street Photo. The cheapest HF S200 is $674 at ButterflyPhoto, then $740 at 42nd Street Photo. So, the difference is 50 to 64 bucks and 32 GB of memory.

For this money you can buy a 32 GB card, but you will be able to simply remove it from the camera and insert it into your computer for editing, or into your BD player for watching. With built-in memory you will have to connect the camera either to a computer or to a TV. I see your concern about card quality, but so far out of dozen or so cards that I own, I had problems with only one made by A-Data, and everyone now knows that A-Data makes crappy products. Other cards from PQI, Kingston and Patriot do not give me any troubles.

But ultimately the choice is yours, of course. I prefer convenience of the cards, while you value the quality of built-in memory.

Well then use the card slot and a card, or let the camera copy from internal memory to a 32 gig card, or use a little cable, wich works great, btw. Never bought a card for the HF11, we all have been using the internal memory. Did get a second official battery from the start though, as they only last around 45 minutes.
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post #27 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 04:20 PM
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The HF11 is basically the solid state memory version of the HG20/21, the 21 having the additional focus ring, and the same 24 mbit/s datarate the HG20/HF10 lacks. The Panasonic TM700 sells for well below 1000 USD, and generally is considered the best image in consumercamcorders.

Sadly, the HG21 has no focus ring. I have the HF100 myself. I was tempted to buy the HF11 for $306 from Canon earlier this week, but figured that 17 Mbit/s is fine with me.
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