Review: Canon Legria HF G25 (Vixia HF G20)

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35 Responses

  1. Pam Gregg says:

    Really disappointed with my new Legria. The software does not work properly on both my computers and it is impossible to download video clips. I have spent hours trying to change them to avi. I will be using my old Hitachi for the family wedding. It is so much easier to use and takes great video and stills. Don’ waste your money on it!

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for the message. I think your comment is a little harsh though. It’s a terrific camcorder with great pictures and your problem seems to be with the software. Don’t give up! I have not used any of the Canon-supplied software myself; I use Sony Vegas to edit and it brings in the files with no problems and converts them to any format. Most of the major editing software packages are available in “consumer” forms if price is an issue eg Premiere Elements, Vegas Movie Studio. There are also lots of free file format converters around which could help you out. Best of luck.

    • Seun says:

      Stunning camera, it worked fantastic from day 1. Unfortunately there is no training from Canon on this video camera which is very disappointing. I have only used it on AUTO since the day I bought it and it has never disappointed me with results, but only works good in proper daylight. I am looking at your videos to give me a guideline on how to use the other features, as I know nothing about photography but I will find out. I am using Corel Video Studio ProX5 and (Pinnacle Studio 15 (boring )) and also Adobe Photoshop Elements which is ok, but I want to get Sony Vegas. I have never used the Canon software either. I stick the camera cable in my computer and download all my movies through explorer.

  3. paul king says:

    I got this camera on the strength of your review clips, coming from a stills photography background I have a good understanding of manual controls and find this camera to be easy to use and record very good results.
    All of your findings in my opinion have been intuitive and bang on the money – thank you.

    I have no experience with audio although I have adjusted the levels as you posted and picked up a Lav mic and a half decent shotgun. I for one would be very interested to see an Audio workshop for techniques and applications recording audio on location as I will be documenting a round the world trip by motorcycle.

    I record onto SD card and use a card reader to transfer to the laptop, the comments of Pam are unfounded and as you say harsh.

    • admin says:

      Hi Paul; very pleased to hear you found the review helpful. I’ll bear in mind your suggestion of an audio workshop, sounds like a good idea.

      Your trip sounds amazing! Good luck.

  4. Rob Foulkes says:

    Great series of reviews, thank you very much. Not taken the plunge yet, but does it record using h.264, and is it a 4.2.0 colour space? Is there any way to record a “flat” image (eg like the 550D picture styles)? Looking forward to your next installments – very well done.


  5. admin says:

    Yes, the recording format is AVCHD, the codec for which is H.264 and it is in 4:2:0.

    The amount of image adjustment that can be done is pretty minor really; you can adjust colour depth, brightness, contrast and sharpness but only by a fraction.

    I think the idea is that most people buying a consumer camcorder are unlikely to do much in the way of colour grading so they’re designed with a certain degree of saturation etc from the outset.

  6. Mark Wynn says:

    Really first class review of the Canon G25. It’s the first time I have seen one of your reviews. You certainly covered just about everything that a prospective buyer could want to know. I was pleased to note your views on the comparison to the Pan HC-X920 which is of course somewhat cheaper. (Interestingly my main camera is the Sony Z5). Thanks a lot.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your kind compliment, it’s much appreciated. I use a Z5 almost every day; great camera albeit getting a little old now.

  7. Jay Singh says:

    Hi, Ive just purchased this camcorder, However I’m finding it nigh on impossible to use an external XLR mic with it, Im using an XLR to 3.5mm cable plugged into a shure sm57 mic, is it best to get an XLR adaptor and if so which type, or will it simply be easier to upgrade to the XA 10 with XLR inputs built in .
    Thanks, Jay

    • admin says:

      Hello Jay,

      It is certainly possible to use an XLR mic without an adapter (though it is also not preferable). Can you be more specific about what the problem is – you say it’s “nigh on impossible” but what actually happens? Do you get any sound at all?


  8. Kurt says:

    Hi. Does this model or any other Legria HF G series shoot in 4:3 mode? Does not matter if it is SD or HD. And can it be plugged to a multi-camera mixer for live broadcast?


  9. Kurt says:

    Thanks admin for the info.

    I need a switchable (4×3 and 16×9) hd prosumer camcorder. Any suggestions?

    Thanks & regards

  10. Ymanoel says:

    I just bought this Camcorder in Dallas, it is a wonderful buy, but now I have a problem with setting it up to record video to SD Card. It remains on the default internal memory no matter what I do. It does not have the option to set video to SD Card, (Only Photos) Is it because of the type of SD card I put? (Micro SDHC 32gb Sandisk Ultra, with a Sandisk SD adapter.) If it is that: what is the best type of SD card to use with the camcorder?

    • admin says:

      Hi. It occurs to me that you might have the camcorder in playback mode rather than record mode (there’s a switch on the inside panel that toggles this)? If so, there’s a note in the manual that says “Only Rec Media for Photos is available from the date index screen or gallery” so perhaps that’s what you’re looking at. Make sure the camcorder is in Filming mode not playback.

      Also, ensure that it’s set to Manual (not Auto) else you won’t get the Function menu to select the card options.

  11. OK i am going to make a low budget film. will this do the job in filming ok, thanks

    • admin says:

      This camera will make videos so by that definition it will “do the job in filming” yes. Without more information about how you wish to use the camera and what kind of films you want to make, I can’t give you any more specific answer!

      • Joaquin says:

        Hi , I bought this camera last year with the purpose of making short films, but then I changed my mind for not getting a DSLR, because of the look, do you guys think this camera was designed for making films, or just home videos?
        Should I stick with my camera? Or get a DSLR?

        • admin says:

          Really, ANY camera “can” be used to make a film, from a mobile phone to an Arri Alexa. It’s all about the storytelling, direction and artistic flair that make a film a good one, not what camera it was shot on. Having said that there are certain effects you can do with a DSLR (shallow depth of field, good low-light shots) that you can’t do with a camcorder, and there are things you can do with a camcorder (better stabilisation for handheld shots, deep depth of field for when you want lots of things in focus) than you can’t with a DSLR. I wouldn’t worry too much about whether you have the right camera – just start shooting and concentrate your efforts on the shots, the story and the edit. Good luck,

          • Joaquin says:

            Hi. Thanks a lot for the advice. You’re right I’m worrying too much, I should concentrate more on my story. and my movie in general, I think I’ll stick to my camera and do the best I can with it. Thank you.

  12. Peter Brackenbury says:

    Hi, like your earlier correspondent I am also having trouble trying to record video on to an SD card (Sandisk Extreme 32gb). I have initialised the card as per the instructions ok but I cannot access the menu in order to select the card for videoing on. When. I open the record screen and press the FUNC button I get 6 boxes – AUDIO, ZOOM, Story Creator, IS, Decoration and Video Snapshot. From reading the manual. I should be able to access the menu after pressing FUNC but this doesn’t happen. Any suggestions please ?
    Thanks for the video tutorials, they persuaded me to buy the HF G25 – very helpful!

    • admin says:

      Hi Peter, and apologies for the delayed reply. Hmm, I wonder, do you have the camcorder in Auto mode? You cannot access the setup menus (for card configuration) in Auto (in the UK manual this is on Page 29). You must set it to Manual, configure the card, then set it back to Auto (if indeed you wish to shoot in Auto mode). Hope this helps.

  13. Alexandra says:

    Thanks for the thorough analysis of the Legria, it was a big influencer when I was deciding what to buy earlier this year.
    I’m having a problem though with moving the video clips I’ve taken across to SD cards I put in the camera – the clips are on the onboard memory and there are options for moving them to either SD card in the edit menu, but those options are greyed out. I’m not sure why? The manual does not seem to cover it correctly.
    Sometimes I’d rather just transport footage across via SD rather than carry extra wires with me – and today in fact I need to send the footage and don’t have any wires on me, so this is a bit frustrating. I realise I could have set it to record to SD in the beginning but didn’t, and given there seems to be a menu option for just moving it that shouldn’t be such an issue. Any ideas?

    • admin says:

      Hi Alexandra. I’ve got a handful of suggestions to try:

      1) Did you initialise the SD card within the camcorder? If not, it may not see the card correctly which is why it may not give you the copying option.
      2) The SD card must be in Slot B, not Slot A for the copy to work.
      3) Is the SD card write-protected? (the little tab on the end of the card slid across to prevent writing?)
      4) Are you in Playback mode on the camcorder?

      Let me know if this helps!
      Good luck.

      • Alexandra says:

        Thanks so much for the swift reply, sorry has taken me a while to get back to you. Noted re Slot B (though I did try both), and points 3 and 4 are things I checked, so your first thought may well be the problem. A little frustrating but makes sense – have ordered a new SD card to be a dedicated Legria one (easier than finding new space for the contents of my others!) and will let you know how I get on!

  14. Julius Fourie says:

    If I buy this camcorder in South Africa, will It be compatible on US Televisions?

    • admin says:

      In short, no. South Africa uses the PAL standard and US television is NTSC so the output of a South African camcorder for playback on a telly would not be understood by a US TV.

      However, many television sets these days are built to decode multiple TV standards (eg here in the UK you can get PAL TVs which nonetheless will replay an NTSC DVD for example).

      So it could be that, depending on the exact TV set you plugged the camcorder into, it *might* work. But it would not be guaranteed.

  15. Kathy McLean says:

    Can anyone tell me how to transfer the video from the internal memory to the memory card?

    • admin says:

      Have you read the query and reply to Alexandra (further up the comments, dated August 12) – those suggestions may be of help.

  16. Julius Fourie says:

    Thank you, very helpful.

  17. Hi, I love this camcorder for day time shoots and any well lit hall or other venue. However when I need to use in low light, let’s say disco, family party etc.. I was picking up some really grainy imagery on manual mode and was wondering if someone could post a list of settings I should use.

    I tried cinema standard mode and seems to be a lot better with blacks, no major blue flecks but certainly not as clear and defined an image.

    I use led camera mounted lights when I have too, which obviously works well but don’t want to blind people all night.

    Any thoughts or suggestions will be well received.

    Lists of settings would be great to flick between day and night shoots.

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