Canon VIXIA HF R300 Camera Review

canon vixia hf r300

Are you looking for an HD camcorder? A camera with a powerful zoom is the way to go, and the Canon VIXIA Hf R300 may fit the bill. Your camcorder becomes an integral part of your life. You capture crucial memories using it, and you want to be sure that those memories are safe and crystal clear.

Because everyone’s needs are different, a digital camcorder may not be what you’re looking for. I prefer having a camcorder myself. About ten years ago I owned a Panasonic, but my iPhone slowly took over my video recording. I ended up selling that camcorder. When I had children, I kicked myself. I have plenty of thirty-second clips of them being goofy, but with a camcorder, I could have recorded hours of experiences. I can never get that same capability for a smartphone.

Canon VIXIA HF R300 Full HD Camcorder (Refurbished)

If that sounds like you, then it’s seriously time to consider buying a camcorder. The Canon VIXIA Hf R300 is one of those camcorders that I might be tempted to try out. You could, too!

COMPARISON TABLE

All About the Canon VIXIA Hf R300

Canon VIXIA HF R300 Full HD Camcorder (Refurbished)
  • Genuine Canon HD Video Lens with 51x Advanced Zoom and SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization
  • Improved Canon 3.28 MP Full HD CMOS Image Sensor and DIGIC DV III Image Processor capture videos at 1920 x 1080...
  • 3.0-inch Flat Touch Panel LCD with a new GUI (graphical user interface) for easy touch control

Camcorders are just one item in Canon’s large product inventory. Canon also designs and produces copiers, printers, scanners, calculators, and virtual reality headsets. The company has been around since 1937, albeit under a different name. That’s when they created Japan’s first 35-millimeter camera, called the “Kwanon.” The name stuck and the company rebranded itself “Canon.” After World War II they went mainstream with quality cameras and lens-manufacturing.

If the Kwanon was the first Canon camera, the Canon VIXIA Hf R300 certainly isn’t the last. This model was introduced in 2010 and has since become obsolete in Canon’s lineup. Canon no longer produces the R300, so anything you find is either excess stock or refurbished.

That being said, the Canon VIXIA Hf R300 is still a decent camcorder. The camera sports a 33.9-millimeter wide-angle lens and a 3.28 megapixel full HD image sensor. This allows it to shoot in 1080 pixels while keeping the lens signature small. It has an astonishing 51x zoom with patented “Super Range Optical Image Stabilization” software. You can literally film the craters on the moon, and the image will remain beautiful and steady! To top it all off, there is a wide-panel LCD touchscreen that swings out from the main body. This gives you excellent control over the camera settings.

Pricing and Warranty

Despite being an older model, the Canon VIXIA Hf R300 is still priced high. If you buy the camcorder new, it comes with Canon’s standard one year warranty on parts and labor for manufacturing defects. Be aware that tampering with either the lens or the LCD will void your warranty.

How I Did This Review

To compare the Canon VIXIA Hf R300 to other models, I researched four similar camcorders. These are the Sony Handycam, the Panasonic HC-V180, the Gongpon 1080p Camcorder, and the Ansteker 4K camera. I went to each company’s website to learn a little about them.

Canon VIXIA HF R300 Full HD Camcorder (Refurbished)

Because I trust reviews by real customers, I went to Amazon and read through a lot of customer reviews. I was able to get a good idea of how well each camcorder performs in the real world.

Canon VIXIA Hf R300 Customer Reviews

At present, the Canon VIXIA Hf R300 has great customer reviews. Customers on Amazon gave it 4.0 out of 5 stars. People loved the high powered zoom and several mentioned that there was no engine sound on the recording when they zoomed in on something. Also, it takes great night footage, something rare for camcorders even today, although there's some disagreement among customers about this.

How the Canon VIXIA Hf R300 Stacks Up to the Competition

Until now I’ve discussed the specifications of the Canon VIXIA Hf R300. If you’re like me, you tend to look at all your options before making a purchase. You will be spending a decent amount of money on a camcorder, so it’s vital that you know what you’re getting. The Canon VIXIA Hf R300 has decent reviews from real people who have bought this camera. But how well does it compare to a Sony Handycam? Do people love it more than an Ansteker or a Panasonic?

Sony - HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder (black)
  • 50Mbps XAVC S1 1920x1080 at 60P, AVCHD and MP4 codecs. 30x Optical / 60x Clear Image Zoom to get closer to the action....
  • Automatically creates highlight video in MP4 from multiple clips. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization w/ Active mode....
  • Face Detection with voice enhancement and noise reduction. Get creative w/ 7 picture effects for video and still...

First up in our comparison is the ubiquitous Sony Handycam. The Handycam line has been with us for a long time, first introduced by Sony in 1985. It has evolved from VHS cassettes to Digital Videotape to digital MP4 and even Wi-Fi streaming formats. The Handycam remains one of Sony’s best-selling products after the PS4 and smart televisions.

For this review, I’ve chosen the Sony Handycam HDRCX440, as it’s similar in price point to the Canon VIXIA Hf R300. It has a 26-millimeter ZEISS lens and up to 30x optical zoom and 60x digital enhanced zoom. Active image stabilization means you can take those distance shots without seeing every shake of the camera. It records in MP4 and can stream via Wi-Fi. The Handycam also has a neat feature that creates highlights of multiple clips, much like Google Photos or Apple Photos.

Customers wrote that the image quality is fantastic and the image stabilization works beautifully. One complaint a lot of people had was that filming in low-light was terrible.

Gongpon Camcorder 1080p 60fps 24MP 16X Digital Zoom 3.0' Touch Screen...
  • The video resolution is FHD 1080p 30fps and picture resolution is 24MP. This camcorder will bring you high quality video...
  • This digital video recorder has good sound quality output. There is an internal mic, and also hot shoe and 3.5mm jack to...
  • The functions are very simple to use. This camcorder supports WIFI, webcam and IR remote control and so son. The APP can...

Next up is the Gongpon 1080p Camcorder. So far I have been unable to find the location of Gongpon, or what they do. I suspect that they are a Chinese manufacturer of a different name who makes several “Gongpon” branded cameras for sale on Amazon. You may come across Gongpon cameras on eBay as well. I chose to compare Gongpon to show you how a cheap, mysterious Chinese camera looks.

Its description is chock-full of cool technology, such as 1080-pixel video resolution, infrared night vision recording, 37-millimeter expandable lens, eight scene modes, and so much more. It has a fold-out LCD touchscreen and supports a 32 gigabyte SD card.

But when you read the customer reviews, you realize why it’s so cheap. Almost all of the verified customers complained that the picture isn’t 1080p and that it isn’t even HD! Another commented that the image quality isn’t even good enough for YouTube, although one person did say that the night vision works very well.

4K Camcorder, Ansteker Ultra-HD 1080P 24MP 30FPS Digital WiFi Video...
  • 【Ansteker 4K Camcorders】- High quality 24MP video revolution , 30X digital zoom video camera Supports 270 degree...
  • 【Camcorder Feature】- Sony COMS Sensor 13 MP,IR Night Vision, IR cut filter, With LED light, remote controll, face...
  • 【Wide Angle Lens&External Microphone&Lens hood】Equipped with 2 in 1 HD 72mm professional 0.39x super wide angle lens...

Next, we have the Ansteker 4K Camera. The full name is very confusing. It’s the “Ansteker 4K Ultra-HD 1080P 24MP 30FPS Digital WiFi Video Camera”. I’ll refer to it as the Ansteker from here on in. Ansteker is a Chinese brand of Shenzen BaoBei Yuan Technology Company Ltd. Their first international trademark application was rejected in 2012, but it seems that their second attempt was successful. They sell mainly online, through Amazon and Alibaba Express.

The camera itself appears decent at first glance. It has 30x digital zoom with a 13-megapixel image sensor. It uses software to create a “4K effect” so, despite its name, it’s not a real 4K camera. Anti-shake software keeps the image stabilized when zoomed in. It also claims to have a “super-wide angle lens” although it appears this is again an effect provided by software and not an actual wide-angle lens. 

Many people were disappointed with the lack of 4K. The software doesn’t appear to be able to consistently convert the images to 4K and even failed at HD in many cases. People did, however, like how small and portable the camera is.

Panasonic HC-V180 HD Video Camera Camcorder with 32GB Card + Case +...
  • KIT INCLUDES 7 PRODUCTS -- All BRAND NEW Items with all Manufacturer-supplied Accessories + Full USA Warranties:
  • [1] Panasonic HC-V180 HD Video Camera Camcorder +
  • [2] Transcend 32GB SDHC Card + [3] PD-C15 Camera / Camcorder Case +

Finally, we have the Panasonic HC-V180. This is the most comparable camera to the Canon VIXIA Hf R300. Panasonic has been in the camera game for a long time. They made optical equipment for the Japanese military in World War II and have been in the consumer market since the 1950s.

The Panasonic HC-V180 has the same 50x zoom as the Canon VIXIA Hf R300. It has the same type of image stabilization, and a crystal clear 2.7-inch LCD touchscreen panel. This camera records crisp 1080-pixel HD footage. It is an MP4 recorder although it doesn’t support WiFi streaming. They come with Panasonic’s standard one year warranty.

This is the highest-rated camera in this review! Everyone loved the zoom. It creates clear and sharp images, and the image stabilization works wonderfully. Some people complained that it doesn’t record very well in low-light.

Canon VIXIA Hf R300 Strengths and Weaknesses

The Canon VIXIA Hf R300 received good ratings and is a quality camera. Despite being an older model, it still outperforms many competitors. That doesn’t mean everything about is great. It has some weaknesses to go with its strengths.

STRENGTHS

  • Excellent daylight image quality
  • Incredible 50x zoom
  • Image stabilization works every time
  • Standard warranty included for out-of-the-box models

WEAKNESSES

  • No longer in production
  • Low-light quality is lacking (or not, depending on which customer review you trust)
  • Many refurbished models masquerading as “new”
  • Overpriced for an older model

Should You Buy It?

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this review, having a decent camcorder to capture crucial moments in your life is rewarding. You don’t want the cheapest piece of junk you can find on Amazon, but you don’t want to drop a lot of money on something that won’t do the job in a few years.

Canon VIXIA HF R300 Full HD Camcorder (Refurbished)

That said, the Canon VIXIA Hf R300 gets the job done and is still a fantastic piece of technology. My only concern is that, because it is an outdated model which is no longer in production, it will soon be completely obsolete. While I would avoid the cheap Chinese models such as Gongpon and Asteker, I still wouldn’t want to spend two hundred dollars or more on something that is outdated.

All in all, I don’t recommend buying the Canon VIXIA Hf R300 at this price point. A modern Sony Handycam or even another Canon VIXIA model will cost the same and do so much more. However, if you can find a Canon VIXIA Hf R300 for a very low price, then I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it. Just make sure it’s not refurbished and comes with the Canon warranty!

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