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Canon Vixia HF S21 Review - Transfer/Edit Canon AVCHD MTS Files

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As one of the new camcorders introduced in 2010, Canon Vixia HF S21 provides 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen with a viewfinder. The dual Flash memory Camcorder includes a 64GB internal flash drive and two SD memory card slots for greater capacity. HF S21 has the same lens and sensor as the HF S series (HF S100, HF S10, HF S11) in 2009, but with the latest optical image stabilization technology and the new Powered IS capability for higher level of compensation for subtle hand movement at the telephoto end.


The Full HD Canon Vixia HF S21 includes 5 video recording profiles: LP with 5Mbps, SP with 7Mbps, XP+ with 12Mbps, FXP with17Mbps (1920x1080 recording) and MXP with 24Mbps (1920x1080 recording). HF S21 records AVCHD videos in .mts format and the audio with Dolby Digital 2ch stereo (AC-3). If you equipped Vixia HF S21 with optional Canon SM-V1 5.1-Channel Surround Microphone, the audio would be Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound.


Caon HF-S21 AVCHD Review


-The massive storage means the S21 can hold up to 24 hours of HD footage on the camcorder itself, and with Relay Recording you can continue recording to SDHC card; when one card is full the cam automatically continues recording to the second card.
- Superior video and stills.
- Many manual controls


- Touchscreen can be unresponsive, difficult to navigate menu on touchscreen
- Costly investment with high price
- Small wide angle


To transfer Canon Vixia HF S21 MTS to computer hard drive:
It is advertised that you can use Eye-Fi SD Memory Card to wirelessly transfer downconverted videos and photos to computer. However, it may degrade the video quality as well. The recommended way is to use the traditional method with USB connection when the camcorder is powered with its power adapter. The bundled Pixela ImageMixer 3SE also helps transfer videos to computer hard drive.


If you are using MacBook Pro or iMac, you should keep in mind that some of the AVHCD video from Canon Vixia HF S21 can be transferred via iMovie, as Vixia HF S21 supports recording videos with frame rate at 60i, native 24p (records at 24p), 24p progressive (records at 60i), and 30p progressive (records at 60i). iMovie does not work with the native 24p MTS videos.


Edit MTS from Canon Vixia HF S21:
The bundled Pixela ImageMixer 3SE videos editing software may help transferring videos. But there are also comments saying the software is clumsy. If you want to edit videos captured at native 24p, you may first convert HD MTS to iMovie compatible H.264 MOV in HD with Aunsoft MTS/M2TS Converter for Mac as the Canon HF S21 MTS converter on Mac Snow Leopard. You can use the Log and Transfer to import HF S21 to FCP. If there are still problems, just try the Mac Canon HF S21 converter.


1. Canon Legria HF S21 is the PAL model for Europe and Asia, while the Vixia HF S21 is NTSC model for America.


2. If you are using Windows OS like Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, you can try Canon HF S21 AVCHD converter for easier editing on Adobe Premiere, Avid Media Composer with 5.1 channel audio and high definition.


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