In this article, we are going to compare Canon Vixia HF G20 vs Panasonic HC-V770. These camcorders offer excellent Full HD recording capabilities. However, there are several differences that you need to consider when choosing between these two models, such as the storage, connectivity, and low-light performance. Read the discussion below to learn further about these camcorders!
The following discussion will cover everything about:
– The design and dimensions of each camcorder
– The features and connectivity options on each camcorder
– The lens and zoom capabilities on each model
– The performance of Canon Vixia HF G20 vs Panasonic HC-V770
– Which camcorder that will give the best value for the money
It is important that a camcorder for field recording and film projects to be ergonomic and portable. You will need to carry it around and hold it in your hands, so you definitely don’t want something that is too bulky and heavy. Both Canon Vixia HF G20 and Panasonic HC-V770 do come with compact and ergonomic designs. See also: Panasonic HC-V770 vs Canon Vixia HF R800
Canon Vixia HF G20 is slightly bigger and heavier, but the differences in their dimensions are quite marginal. The Canon camcorder measures 3.0 inches wide, 6.3 inches long, and 3.1 inches thick. The weight is approximately 1.4 lbs with the battery, lens hood, and grip belt installed.
Of these two camcorders, Canon Vixia HF G20 is indeed the one with a more professional look. Despite the plastic construction, the camcorder still feels solid and balanced. The body is textured to enhance the handling.
Panasonic HC-V770 is the more compact and lightweight model. It measures 2.56 inches wide, 5.47 inches long, and 2.87 inches thick. The weight without a battery is 0.778 lbs, whereas the weight with the battery and grip belt is only slightly above one pound.
The appearance of Panasonic HC-V770 is more of a compact digital camcorder designed for portability and practicality. It also has a lightweight yet solid plastic construction. The body is mostly smooth, but the grip belt will ensure that the camcorder will not slip out of your hand.
Display & Control
Several notable differences is found in the display panels and controls of Canon Vixia HF G20 vs Panasonic HC-V770. You can get a larger display screen and a nice electronic viewfinder from the Canon camcorder, whereas the Panasonic model features a useful manual dial for quick adjustments.
Canon Vixia HF G20 has a 3.5-inch widescreen color LCD with touchscreen support. The resolution is 922,000 dots. This touchscreen looks really good. The images are sharp and accurate. It is also responsive and intuitive to use.
On the rear, you can find a 0.24-inch electronic viewfinder which provides 100 percent field of view. It has a resolution of 260,000 dots, which is fairly good. The viewfinder is very useful for framing, as it allows you to see exactly what the lens is seeing. The images are actually sharp and detailed enough despite the apparently low resolution; this is because the panel size is rather small so that the pixel density is increased.
There is no manual dial, but this is a only minor issue. You can still access various settings and make adjustments through the touchscreen. Navigating through the user interface is easy and quick.
Panasonic HC-V770, on the other hand, is equipped with a 3.0-inch color LCD. It also has touchscreen support, but the resolution is only 460,800 dots. It still provides good images, but the sharpness isn’t as good as what the Canon camcorder offers. Unfortunately, Panasonic HC-V770 doesn’t have a viewfinder, so you can only rely on the display panel.
One nice thing about Panasonic HC-V770 is the manual dial located on the front of the unit, just under the lens. This dial will allow you to access various common settings quickly without running through menu screens. Some settings that you can access via the dial are sharpness, shutter speed, sharpness, white balance, brightness, saturation, and iris. That said, you still need to resort to the touchscreen for switching modes and accessing other features.
One important thing to consider when choosing between Canon Vixia HF G20 vs Panasonic HC-V770 is whether you really need wireless and mobile connectivity or not. If you can live without those features, Canon Vixia HF G20 remains as a very good option. Otherwise, you need to go with the Panasonic model.
Canon Vixia HF G20 doesn’t have any sort of wireless connectivity. You won’t be able to use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control for the camcorder. However, the available connection ports on the camera are quite diverse.
First of all, there is a 3.5mm stereo mic input, which is vital for recording high quality audio with an external unit. Then, you can find an HDMI terminal along with an AV mini terminal (that also doubles as a headphone output) for monitoring. A common set-up is using the HDMI terminal for an external display and the AV mini terminal for a pair of headphones.
Canon Vixia HF G20 also has a mini advanced accessory shoe for attaching a boom mic or flash, a Mini USB terminal, and two memory card slots. It supports SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. The camcorder also has 32GB internal storage.
Panasonic HC-V770 has built-in Wi-Fi with NFC. This will allow you to connect the camcorder with mobile devices very quickly. You can utilize the wireless connection for transferring files, real-time broadcasting, shooting a sub-scene, or using your smartphone as a remote control.
There are also the usual connection ports: a mini stereo mic input, a USB terminal, an HDMI terminal, and a headphone output. However, this Panasonic model only has one memory card slot, though it does support SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. It doesn’t have internal storage.
Lens & Zoom
The lens of Canon Vixia HF G20 has a focal length of 4.25-42.5mm, which is 35mm-equivalent with 30.4-304mm. The F value is from 1.8 to 2.8. This is a decent zoom lens which can provide up to 10x optical zoom, which is quite handy for shooting from a not-so-far distance.
The Canon camcorder can also provide up to 40x optimized digital zoom, which will allow you to shoot from longer distances without significantly reducing the image quality. The basic digital zoom goes up to 200x, but you probably won’t use it much, as the basic digital zoom blurs the images especially at the higher levels.
Panasonic HC-V770 comes with a zoom lens that has a focal length of 4.08-81.6mm (35mm-equivalent: 29.5-612mm) and an F value of 1.8-3.6. It offers greater optical zoom capabilities, up to 20x. Meanwhile, the optimized digital zoom goes up to 50x, and the basic digital zoom goes up to 1500x.
The higher optical and optimized digital zoom levels can be very handy if you often need to shoot videos from afar. Combined with the excellent performance and image quality, Panasonic HC-V770 is quite a powerful and versatile camcorder.
So, how is the performance of Canon Vixia HF G20 vs Panasonic HC-V770? At first, they may seem to be similar because they both are Full HD camcorders. However, after some tests, the performance and image quality of Canon Vixia HF G20 are actually lower than Panasonic HC-V770, especially when shooting with zoom and when in low-light.
Canon Vixia HF G20 has a smaller image sensor. It is a 1/3-inch CMOS sensor with an RGB primary color filter. It has a total pixel count of 2.37MP. Although it does capture Full HD (1920 x 1080) images, they are not as sharp and detailed as desired. Also, this camcorder can only record with the 60i frame rate. It doesn’t support the 60p frame rate, which is supposedly better.
Since the sensor is smaller, there is less surface to capture light. Unsurprisingly, the camcorder struggles in low-light situations. The images lack brightness. Canon Vixia HF G20 does come with the Dynamic Super Range Optical Image Stabilization, which is highly effective for minimizing vibrations and blurs.
Panasonic HC-V770, on the other hand, boasts a 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS image sensor with a total pixel count of 12.76MP. It provides much sharper and more detailed Full HD images. It also supports 50p and 50i frame rates. Most of the time, you want to use the 50p frame rate for smoother movements and sharper, blur-free images.
Both the larger sensor size and the backside illumination are useful for enhancing the camcorder’s low-light performance. It consistently captures bright images with excellent color quality. Even when shooting in low light, the images are visible with very minimal noise. Panasonic HC-V770 is equipped with an advanced 5-axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization to suppress blurring and deliver crisp, clear images in any shooting condition.
Canon Vixia HF G20 vs Panasonic HC-V770
Between these two models, Panasonic HC-V770 is generally more recommended. It provides better recording quality and performance. Images are sharper, and movements look smooth. The low-light performance is much better. In addition, Panasonic HC-V770 offers higher zoom levels, along with Wi-Fi and NFC. The ability to use your smartphone as a remote control or a sub-scene can be useful in some projects.