Video Camera Vixia HF R30 Notes


This inexpensive video camera ($249) has a number of options for recording. For one party I used the AVCHD setting at 17 Mbps setting and I got two hours of continuous video on a 16 GB card. I had the camera plugged in as the batteries I had would certainly not last that long. Unfortunately the MP4 format only records 30 minutes at a time. That’s the main reason I went with AVCHD.

The camera does come with 8Gb internal memory which is nice if your SD card is full. Class 4 or above cards are recommended.

This camera is now discontinued which might be why the price is so low. The newer model, a HF R40, seems to be very similar and cost an extra $150.

Audio – you can setup audio as either Auto or Manual. Always choose Manual and adjust the levels yourself. Adding a wireless microphone makes the audio even better.

Battery – The battery which comes with this camera is notoriously poor, so make sure you buy extra batteries. I’m trying out inexpensive batteries from Amazon. You can buy two batteries and a charger for $25 – what a bargain! Unfortunately they don’t communicate with the camera, so you won’t know how much charge is left. .  I’d recommend swapping out batteries after a specific amount of time if you are doing important video.  The first company I tried disappointed me, so I’m trying another brand. They don’t give you a separate charger, so buying an extra battery and charger is the thing to do.The battery which comes with the camera only lasted 38 minutes. A long-life Canon battery (BP-727) with charger costs $175!

Format – If you look at the chart below you will see quite a few options for recording. In most cases I would shoot 720p, but if you want the highest quality you can shoot 1920×1080. The MP4 30 minute limit is something to consider. When I imported these files into Adobe Premiere, I had no problem and the files were easy to edit. Even thought I had seven files they all looked seamless in the editing. Windows Movie Maker also handles these AVCHD file (.MTS) without any problem.

File Size – My initial size for a two hour video was 14 Gb file. After I processed it via Adobe Premiere it got down to 5.5 Gb. I then processed it again via Handbrake to a 720 x 411 size and it came down to 708 Mb – almost small enough to fit on a CD.

Headphones – this even has a headphone jack – another nice feature.

HF R32 – This is the upgraded model with 32 Gb of memory. This also costs an extra $100. I actually prefer taking the card out of the camera and inserting it into my computer to transfer files . It’s very easy to do.

Lighting – Watch your back lighting. Any lights behind a person will darken up the picture considerably.

Microphone – it does have a microphone jack which is usually a premium option.

Photo – the camera can take a picture easily by clicking the “Photo” button on the screen.

SD Card – I used a 16 Gb card and it worked great.

Size – very tiny. It will fit in a coat pocket.

Touch Screen – most controls are accessed via a touch screen. That’s a nice feature to have.

Video Snap – one interesting setting is that you can take short 4 second videos (you can adjust the length). This might be nice to try for vacations.

File Location

MP4 files can be found on the DCIM folder of your SD card.
1 hour MP4 – 30FPS – 9mbps quality = 3.7 GB
Mp4 has a limit of 30 minutes at a time?
This quality actually looks very nice, but is 1280 x 720 quality.

AVCHD files can be found under
Private – AVCHD – BDMV – Stream.  Files are in a MTS format.
1 hour AVCHD – 30 FPS – FXP-17mbps quality = 7.2 GB
AVCHD has no time limit, but seems to break up the MTS files into 2 GB size which are approximately 16 minutes long.



Recording Mode
1920 x 1080 Recording
1440 x 1080 Recording
Memory Capacity MXP Approx. 24 Mbps*
FXP Approx. 17 Mbps*
XP+ Approx. 12 Mbps*
SP Approx. 7 Mbps* LP Approx. 5 Mbps
4 GB
20 minutes
30 minutes
40 minutes
1 hour 10 minutes 1 hour 30 minutes
6 GB
30 minutes
45 minutes
1 hour 5 minutes
1 hour 45 minutes 2 hour 15 minutes
8 GB
40 minutes
1 hour
1 hour 25 minutes
2 hours 20 minutes 3 hours
12 GB
1 hour 5 minutes
1 hour 30 minutes
2 hours 10 minutes
3 hours 35 minutes 4 hours 35 minutes
16 GB
1 hour 25 minutes
2 hours 5 minutes
2 hours 50 minutes
4 hours 45 minutes 6 hours 5 minutes
32 GB
2 hours 55 minutes
4 hours 10 minutes
5 hours 45 minutes
9 hours 35 minutes 12 hours 15 minutes
64 GB
5 hours 55 minutes
8 hours 20 minutes
11 hours 30 minutes
19 hours 10 minutes 24 hours 30 minutes
* When recording has continued for 12 hours, it will automatically stop and then start automatically.


1280 X 720 Recording
**The maximum video recording time with the MP4 format is 30 minutes, and the maximum file size is 4GB, and when either of these conditions is met, recording will stop automatically.
9 Mbps**
4 Mbps**
4 GB
55 minutes
2 hours 5 minutes
6 GB
1 hours 25 minutes
3 hours 10 minutes
8 GB
1 hours 55 minutes
4 hours 10 minutes
12 GB
2 hours 50 minutes
6 hours 20 minutes
16 GB
3 hours 50 minutes
8 hours 25 minutes
32 GB
7 hours 40 minutes
16 hours 55 minutes
64 GB
15 hours 25 minutes
33 hours 55 minutes

About Tom Terrific

Interested in MANY things.
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