AVCHD Camcorders

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AVCHD camcorders record directly to files on SDHC memory cards. For the longest time the only way to get acceptable video resolution and quality was with tape. AVCHD is a codec developed by Soyn and Panasonic and compress in AVC/H.264, maximum bitrate for High-Profile@Level-4.1 is 24Mbit/s.


  • AVCHD and SDHC
  • Good low light performance
  • Manual controls
  • Bitrate 24Mbit/s (for greenscreen dropout)
  • Under 1100 USD price point

While AVCHD is still 4:2:0 chroma subsampling, the resolution will make up for it when keying out the background on a greenscreen scene.


In order of approx. product introduction date.



The evolution is as following:

  • HF10 → HF11 → HF S10
  • HF100 → HF S100
  • HG20 → HG21
  • SD100
  • HDC-SH100 → HDC-SH300

The most of the 2009 Canon models (HF20, HF200) has a smaller cmos sensor and the low light performance takes a hit. The 2008 models are still perferred when image quality is important.

JVC and Sony also has a few models, but none of them are of any interest.


  1. Canon HF11 - Great low light and overall image quality, 32 GB onboard, SDHC, 24Mbit/s
  2. Canon HF10 - Same good low light and image quality, 16 GB onboard, SDHC, 24Mbit/s
  3. Canon HF100 - Same great image, SDHC, 17 Mbit/s
  4. Canon HG21 - 120 GB harddrive, 24Mbit/s
  5. Canon HG20 - 60 GB harddrive, 24Mbit/s
  6. Canon HF S100 - Too pricey but impressive image quality
  7. Canon HF S10 - Also too pricey


  • SDHC 16 GB memory cards
  • Fast card reader
  • Extended battery
  • Wide angle lense
  • UV filter
  • External microphone