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A refurbished Canon HD camcorder for $450

But it comes with a one-year warranty, so who cares if it's refurbished?

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

As the old saying goes, good prices come to those who wait. Back in March, I talked up the Canon HV20, a high-definition camcorder that seemed like a bargain at $699. Well, now you can scoop one up for just $449.77 shipped from Vann's. The only catch: They're refurbished units.

If you're still shooting in standard-definition, do yourself a favor and upgrade to an HD camcorder such as this one. The difference is just jaw-dropping. The HV20 stumbles a bit in low-light environments, at least according to CNET's review, but that's true of most consumer camcorders.

I like that it relies on standard MiniDV tapes, which I find preferable to memory cards or hard drives: They're cheap, easy to store, and compatible with most video-editing programs. I also like the HDMI output for easy connections to HDTVs.

You can learn more about the HV20 at Canon's Web site. Oh, and about that "catch"? Even though this is a refurbished unit, it comes with a one-year parts and labor warranty--the same as new models. I'd have zero qualms about nabbing this camcorder. Truly, I'm qualm-free.

Update: Rats! Looks like they're sold out already. The closest I could come elsewhere was $499 shipped at Willoughby's. Meanwhile, some outfit called The Camera Professionals has the HV20--new--for $329.99. Buyer beware: seems to good too be true.

Update #2: If you struck out at Vann's and don't want to risk The Camera Professionals (a shady outfit by most accounts), eCost has the Canon HV20 (refurbished) for $439 plus shipping.