CNET editors choose the best GoPro models, action cameras, and camcorders of 2014.
This year's models deliver minor tweaks over last year's.
The low-end HF R series announced at CES survives the annual purge for the slowly dying category.
The Vixia HF G20 announced at CES incorporates a new sensor and lower price.
A fine follow-up to last year's M3xx series, the Canon Vixia M4xx series should please most home-movie-oriented videographers despite its relatively high price. If you don't need the EVF, the M400 is your best buy, but if you'll be shooting a lot in sunlight, it's worth it to step up to the M41.
While it's got a great shooter feature set and good video quality, the Canon Vixia HF G10 still feels a bit expensive for what it offers.
If you're looking to shoot great HD video on the cheap, keep looking; the Canon Vixia HF R series delivers decent video at best, even for its modest price. But for a low-priced model with mic and headphone jacks, the HF R100 is a pretty good deal.
At its best, the Canon Vixia HF M3x series--composed of the M300, M30, M31, and M32--delivers a very good blend of video quality, features, and performance for the money, but some people may find the touch-screen interface extremely frustrating to use and the battery life painfully short. Plus, you really need to bump up to the highest bit rate quality. Of the series, the HF M300 is the best deal.
Though they're an excellent trio of camcorders, the Vixia HF S21, HF S20, and HF S200 are significantly more expensive than their respective competitors, especially since the S20 and S200 lack electronic viewfinders. If you can forgo some of the subtleties of the manual controls, you can probably get what you need with a cheaper camcorder.
An excellent flash-based prosumer HD camcorder, the Canon Vixia HF S11 has the advantage of an excellent image stabilizer but it disappointingly lacks an eye-level viewfinder.
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An excellent flash-based prosumer HD camcorder, you may nevertheless pass on the Canon Vixia HF S100 because it lacks an eye-level viewfinder. It's probably a better buy than the identical--but more expensive, because it has 32GB built-in memory--Vixia HF S10.