02.Colour & Noise Performance
03.Motion & Sharpness Performance
04.Low Light Performance
05.Compression & Media
08.Handling & Use
09.Playback & Connectivity
Canon Legria HF S21
Audio & Other Features
• The external microphone jack is completely unprotected near the front of the camcorder.
• Camcorder records Dolby Digital 2-channel audio, but a separate 5.1-channel adaptor can be purchased
• The AV-out port can double as a headphone jack.
• Video Snap feature has been improved, but it still isn't very impressive.
Audio Features (5.75)
The built-in mic on the HF S21 is located on both sides of the camcorder's lens. The mic can record Dolby Digital 2-channel audio, and you can even adjust the audio levels for this mic manually if you want to (using the control dial or the touchscreen). If you want 5.1-channel surround sound recording, you can purchase Canon's SM-V1 mic adaptor that connects to the accessory shoe on the HF S21. The Panasonic HDC-TM300's built-in mic can record Dolby Digital 5.1-channel audio without any add-ons.
|Built-in mic and external mic jack||Audio levels can be adjusted manually.|
|Canon HF S21||Panasonic HDC-TM700||JVC GZ-HM1||Canon HF S100|
|Headphone||Yes (shares with AV)||Yes
||Yes||Yes (shares with AV)|
|Built-in Mic||2-channel stereo||5.1-channel Dolby Digital||2-channel stereo||Yes|
|Accessory Shoe||Yes (Canon mini-proprietary)||Yes (cold, with slide-in attachment)||Yes (cold, with screw-in attachment)||Yes (Canon proprietary)|
|Audio Level Display||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Audio Level Control||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Wind Cut||Yes||Yes (Wind Noise Canceler)||Yes||Yes
|Other Audio Feature(s)||Microphone Attenuator||Bass Controls
Other Features (4.5)
At first, you might not be able to find the video light on the HF S21. It is embedded into the top of the camcorder on a panel that pops up when you turn on the light from the menu. The flash is also located on this pop-up panel. The light is okay, but Canon didn't appear to improve its intensity over last year's model. The light has an illumination range of about ten feet.
Pre-record, which is becoming more and more common on consumer camcorders, allows the HF S21 to continually store three seconds of footage in a memory buffer. So, when you actually end up pressing the record button, the camcorder has already captured three seconds of footage (this only works, of course, if pre-record is turned on). This can be a useful feature, but it does use up battery power rather quickly.
Canon improved the video snap feature on the HF S21, as the camcorder now allows you to capture 2, 4, or 8-second clips (previously, it was just 4-second clips). The feature still doesn't blow us away, but it can be a useful tool if you're trying to record multiple even-length clips.
What consumer camcorder could be complete without a limited set of digital effects? The HF S21 includes Black & White and Sepia colour modes, as well as fader and wipe transitions.
|Canon HF S21 Comparisons|
|Panasonic HDC-TM700||JVC GZ-HM1||Canon HF S100|
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