Canon Vixia HF R21
1080p HD video; AVCHD format; 20x optical/28x Advanced zoom; 3.28 megapixel stills; 1/4.85-inch CMOS sensor; 3-inch touchscreen LCD monitor; Optical image stabilization; 32GB internal memory; SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
Canon's mid-range HF R21 looks like a solid bet for affordable HD video. We gave a great rating to last year's HF R1x series, and this latest incarnation steps up the performance in a few key areas. The HF R21 is capable of true 1920x1080 resolution this year, and can also extend the zoom range out to 28x at decreased resolution (though Canon claims there's no visible quality loss). The effective resolution is also reduced when the dynamic image stabilization feature is turned on, but as we saw on last year's model, the upscaled picture still looks very good for a $400 camcorder. Also check out the HF R20 and HF R200, which record to, respectively, 8GB flash memory and cards-only.