These camcorders, descended from the same breed as the original best-in-show HV20, are the latest update to the Vixia line of Canon 1080p hi-def camcorders. A few months ago the HF10 (the flash-based update to the HV20) wowed reviewers and now this refresh offers what actually turns out to be a relatively minor update according to the same guys who looked at the previous ones. The video bitrate has been raised to the AVCHD ceiling of 24Mbps — but as anybody who compresses video knows, you get diminishing returns past a certain data rate point, and I’m sure the original 16Mbps on the HF10 was past that point already.
More interesting is the increased size of the internal flash memory: 32GB is double the original size, though you won’t have double the recording time, obviously, due to the bitrate increase. Still, it’s a nice thing to have. The HG20 and HG21 are the same stuff but with big, heavy, spinning HDDs inside, 60GB and 120GB respectively. You can find out more here, but I think the main thing I’m taking away from this is that HF10s are going to take a price hit and I might just get one. They cost $1000, give or take $100.