Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

VIXIA HF20 image flickering problem.


I'm having a problem with my Canon HF20 Vixia in that, occasionally when I record I get a strange flickering on the image.  This is a little difficult to explain but I did capture it on video which can be seen here:



It's especially noticible around the Pirate/Skull & Crossbones flag on the painting.  


I've tested this in AutoFocus and Manual Focus and I've played around with the ligting and the flicker still occurs.  I've also played around with the WHite Balnce and that doesn't seem to have any effect.  It's not an SD card issue and it happens in my pass through monitor even if I'm not recording or there's no SD Card in the slot.


And, it doesn't always happen.  It only happens in the setup pictured in the video (the cardboard backdrop and the grey table). If I swap out the painting with something else, it'll still flicker.


One thing I was thinking, knowing nothing, is that I also use this camera to film a puppet on a grey background.  The puppet is pure white so I'm wondering if filming stuff with him I'm somehow damaged the iris/lens of the camera with the light reflecting off of him?  The flickering never occurs when I'm filming with the puppet.


Anyway, would love it if anyone has any ideas that might help.  If you need more info, please let me know.






We are sorry to hear that this VIXIA H20 seems to have a flickering issue.  We recommend setting us a service request on the Canon web site, here

Did this answer your question? Please click the Accept as Solution button so that others may find the answer as well.

When I follow the link to the service requst page and type in Vixia HF20 and select it, then click submit, I get a blank page with nothing on it.  Tried on the current versions of Safari and Firefox.  Is there another way to submit this service request that works?

Screen Shot 2020-02-05 at 4.51.37 PM.png

Hi there,


There is a new way to submit a service request. Now you will want to log in to your Canon account using the icon at the top right corner of the website and register your camcorder. once registered there is an option to click on your camera and select "request service" which should take you to the new online repair form.



I don't know if I saw the issue from your video, but flickering is almost caused by inadequete (poor) or the type of lighting.


Ok, watched again at high res and now I see it.  Pretty faint.  Not sure this is an actual issue, but Canon will be able to confirm correct behavior quickly.

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

LIke Rick I was having some trouble seeing exactly what is going on because there are some video artifacts likely from the conversion that goes on with uploading and displaying to Youtube.  Putting the clip into Dropbox, which at least didn't used to monkey with the actual file, so that the file can be downloaded and viewed directly with a video app in the PC makes it easier to see exactly what is occurring.


If you didn't use an "old fashioned" incandescent light source, try this test again to rule out flicker from the lighting creating video issues.  LED (and compact florescent) lamps flicker at the line frequency while incandescent lamps have sufficient thermal inertia that the light output remains constant instead of following the 60 hz sinewave of the AC line.  Also try turning off image stabilization if you have it enabled to see whether this is creating the behavior.



EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Yes, there's flicker on the YouTube video, but it's encoded at 360p (i.e. 640 x 360 resolution) which is very low quality. 


What resolution (Recording Mode) and Frame Rate was the original AVCHD.mts clip recorded in ? The HF20 records full HD (1920 x 1080) at the highest quality (bitrate) settings (MXP, FXP) and ananorphic HD (1440 x 1080) at the lower quality settings (XP, SP,LP). So you must have downscaled to 640 x 360 before uploading and if the Frame Rate was 50i or 60i it presumably got deinterlaced as well, all of which can introduce aliasing (spatial and temporal) of high contrast detail (like the Skull & Cross Bones) and the flickering you see, not to mention other compression artifacts.


As wq9nsc indicated we'd really need to examine the original mts clip.









Thanks for all the replies.


To be clear, the uploaded clip is to show an example of the flickering.  The flickering is not a result of an downscaling or other transfer/export/uploading of the AVCHD.mts clip.  I have the cemara hooked, via HDMI to a monitor.  Before even pressing record and with no media in the camera, the flicker is visible on the monitor.  I just hit record to capture the flickering.  Whatever the issue is, it's in camera.


I am using LED lighting so that could be the issue but I've used those lights for well over a year and this is a recent occurence, sometimes the flickering is worse than othertimes. Atmidedly, the flicering in the above clip is minor, but just today I went to record and it was much worse.


I will submit a claim with Canon.  Perhaps it's just time for an upgrade, which could be the case. This cameara has been a workhorse since summer 2008.





You might have been clear about that from the outset. Regardless, the video capture you uploaded to YouTube to demonstrate the flickering was downscaled. If there was a 'problem' with the camcorder it would manifest in HD recordings on the camcorder - so why would you not upload an original clip ? 


Can't see what claim you'd have with Canon. The camcorder is 11 years old. Even if they discovered a problem they are not going to repair it. Or are you are just hoping that they will offer you a discount on a current model ? I think you are wasting your time. Why not just sell it on EBay and get what you can for it ?



Have a great day.