Review: 5 Reasons Why the Canon VIXIA HF R600 (now HF R800) is the Best Priced Camcorder for Vlogging

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Camera Overview



Image Quality


Weight (No lens)

8.466oz / 240g

Flip Screen

External Mic Port


Our Rating

This camera is now discontinued. The new version is the VIXIA HF R800. It is almost the same camera, but it only includes a few new software tweaks to improve navigability and a brighter LCD screen. Read the new review here.

The Canon VIXIA HF R600 has three editions, and each one of them is good for vlogging. Here I will tell you about the good and the bad about choosing the Canon VIXIA HF R600, R60 or R62.

The first thing you need to know is that these three versions have the exactly same basic features; each of them just add WiFi and some optional features:

You can get around 2 hours of continuous recording with the R600 and R60. With the R62, you can record for around 3 straight hours.

The R600 is the cheapest and it’s followed by the R60. The R62 is the most expensive version.

Why is the Canon VIXIA HF R600 Good for Vlogging?

Why the Canon VIXIA HF R600 is good for youtube vlogging

You can record 1080p60/30/24 video – Something common between camcorders is lacking the possibility of recording at a rate lower than 60fps. However, the Canon VIXIA HF R600 will let you play with different rates to achieve a cinematic feeling in some of your videos. This adds some usage versatility to this camcorder.

It can record directly MP4 video, making it easier for vlogging – It will save you a lot of time if you record in MP4, as you will be able to upload your videos directly to YouTube. The AVCHD format is hard to edit, and you need a powerful computer. Being able to record in MP4 format saves you all the trouble of having to convert the video before editing.

When recording in MP4, there are cameras that can go at a faster rate than 35Mbps. However, this is a really good rate for the price. The image quality recorded by this camera is high.

It has a fully articulated screen – You can see yourself while you vlog. While this might not be essential, it does help you making sure you’re being focused by the camera during recordings.

Touchscreen makes setting the camera faster – You can navigate the menus faster with a touchscreen. It will also allow you to set a focus point while you record. This can come in handy when video blogging if you need to change the focusing point.

An external microphone lets you have the best audio – Audio is more important than video when vlogging. This is something you should always remember. Nobody keeps watching when they can’t hear you. This is why I don’t recommend getting a camera without external mic port for vlogging.

F1.8 aperture makes it good in lower light – This camera performs well in low light for its price. The f1.8 maximum aperture helps the camera capture more light when it’s completely zoomed out. Since its widest focal length is 32.8mm, you can still capture a decent amount of light when recording at a normal focal length (50mm), which you will be using a lot for vlogging.

However, remember that camcorders are not good in low light. When you record in indoor, you will need the most lighting you can get.

In general, the value you get for the price is really good – You are getting great image quality, mic port, touchscreen and flip screen for the lowest price you can think of. You won’t find another camera with this combination of features under $200. It’s the best cheap camera you can get for vlogging.

What’s Bad About the Canon VIXIA HF R600?

When it comes to downsides, there are just few things we can say apart from having lower image quality than more expensive cameras:

It does not have a real manual mode – Unlike the Canon VIXIA G20G30 and G40, this is a consumer-level camcorder. This is the reason why it lacks good manual settings. It doesn’t display the aperture, shutter speed and gain in every mode either.

You won’t care about this at all if you don’t know cameras too well. Manual mode becomes useful when you learn more about them. With manual mode you are able to set the best settings for the situation you’re in, so the camera will perform the best possible. This is true as long as you know about aperture, shutter, and ISO.

Its huge zoom is not useful when vlogging – A big part of the price you will pay is thanks to its large 32x zoom. This is a little bit extra money that you will pay for something that will not add much usefulness to your purpose for vlogging. Nevertheless, the camera is still at a really nice price range for its quality.

Will A.

Will is the founder of VloggerPro. He's a YouTube Certified partner and has been reviewing equipment and teaching others how to grow and generate real income on YouTube for the last 5 years.

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otto petersen - July 18, 2016 Reply

I got a VIXIA HF R600 as a present from my son. When filming during the day in normal sunlight, I could not see the object in the LCD screen, just my mirror image. I wrote Canon about it and they told me it was the polarization effect of my glasses. However I do not wear any glasses. Now I found out that this model was continued after only a couple of months on the market. A salesguy at BestBuy told me, that this model was a fluke and replaced by the R700. I do not know what to believe, I just know that I have a Canon camera that is useless. I am supposed to send the camera in because it is still under warranty. Now I have to tell my son that he gave me a piece of junk because I need the original bill of sale. This is all very embarrassing, and not a good sign at all that Canon stands behind its products.

    Will A. - July 18, 2016 Reply

    Hi Otto,

    Are you sure that didn’t happen due to the light from the sun not allowing you to see the image on the LCD? If this has happened to you only while recording outside during daylight that might be it. You can try increasing your camera’s brightness to the maximum. When the sun is “too bright” it becomes really hard to see on those LCDs.

    Hope I could help you more, but since I’m not from Canon I cannot do much. The HF R600 was a good camera, not a fluke at all; I guess that salesguy just told you his opinion.

    Good Luck!

    Anonymous Coward - November 29, 2016 Reply

    The R600/R60/R62 series were available for well over a year. I own an R60 which is just an R600 with wi-fi, NFC, and 8GB internal flash memory. The only issue I can remember for the entire time I’ve had it was that videos stopped recording any audio, but that was easily fixed by doing a factory reset in the menu and then setting the camera up again.

    It is an entry-level consumer camcorder, but overall it is a high-quality device. Not being able to see the screen in direct sunlight is a problem, but it’s not Canon’s fault in any way. The screen is a glossy touchscreen. Glossy screens have stronger reflections but also look clearer.

    If the sun is blasting you in the face, then OF COURSE it’s going to be impossible to see a little glossy screen. This isn’t caused by Canon’s engineering, it’s a failure of your own common sense and your story is frankly quite hysterical. Perhaps next time you’ll try blocking the sun with your hand and moving closer to the screen instead of engaging in histrionics on the Internet because an LCD can’t overpower the sun.

    Chris - December 30, 2016 Reply

    I’ve had an R600 or over a year and it outperforms my other camera, which was almost triple the price. It was definitely not a “fluke.” In fact, it was one of their most popular and best selling camcorders to date. I doubt you’ll see another model after the R700, because camcorders are losing popularity and most people are buying DSLR cameras.

    There could have been something wrong with your LCD display, but from the way you told the story it seemed like you just couldn’t see it because of the sun. You might try switching the LCD screen brightness to it’s “high” setting. I believe when you first turn on the camera it’s automatically set to the “medium” setting. That should help you see it a little better.

    It’s definitely not a piece of junk. I think it’s easily one of the best digital camcorders I’ve ever owned. It’s also one of the very few in that price range that you can use an external mic with. Most camcorders in the $150-$250 range don’t come with an external mic jack.

Gordon Hull - March 3, 2016 Reply

This is actually a question about the external mic port on Vixia camcorders. I have tried visiting the Canon website and they don’t seem to have a pre-sales “support” pathway. I know the port is listed as a “3.5 mm mini stereo jack” — but my question revolves around the fact that the main XLR stereo pair output of a Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro mixer is switchable from line-level to mic-level with the push of a button. Making an XLR-to-miniplug adapter cable would be extremely easy for me to make. So the question is … would such a mic-level signal [coming out of the Mackie 1202 mixer] be recognized by the Vixia HF R62 port? Take note — this would strictly be a mic-level signal as if it were coming out of a dynamic [no phantom power] mic. The volume level would, of course, be controlled by the ‘main output’ pot on the mixer itself.

    Will A. - March 4, 2016 Reply

    According to the manual, for your external microphone to work, you will need a microphone that has its own phantom power (battery).

    If a external microphone does not have its own power source, your camcorder will not be able to recognize it. This also applies for other VIXIA cameras (HF R700, G20, G30, G40, etc.)

    Hope this was helpful!

      Gordon Hull - March 4, 2016 Reply

      Will — Thanks, of course, for the update, but … some microphones don’t need a power source to work — i.e., dynamics like the Shure SM57, 58, etc. So with that being the case, could one simply connect a wired SM58 dynamic to the Vixia port & have a nice handheld mic to use as the result?

        Will A. - March 4, 2016 Reply

        Regardless of the camcorder, the microphone connected to VIXIA camcorders must be a self powered microphone.

          Gordon Hull - March 14, 2016 Reply

          Problem solved with the procurement of one of Beachtek’s XLR-Mini adaptor boxes. There’s a whole cottage industry out there … several makers [and importers] of units that accept an XLR cabled mic, convert and send the appropriate signal to the camcorder’s external mic jack. Some units are available with 48V Phantom, some are not.

          Will A. - March 14, 2016 Reply

          That’s really useful to know for everybody out there looking for a microphone for their cameras. Thanks, Gordon!

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