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213 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peace at Last!
Having been the very happy owners of a bulky JVC mini tape recorder for the past eight years, it was a very sad day when we realised that it had done it's last bit of filming and left us for the great camcorder home in the sky! I'd planned on upgrading to a dvd disc type machine, but they are apparently obselete now according to all the tekkies out there. So, my plan...
Published on 19 April 2010 by Lovejoy

versus
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A number of problems
I have had the camera for three months now and it has worked well. I have created over 3 hours of excellent edited video on DVD.
However there are a number of problems.
The first is that the battery, supplied with the camera, failed within three months and is not covered with the Canon warranty as it is classed as a consumable. Canon tell me that if I had bought...
Published on 14 Feb 2011 by Mr. W. Slessor


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213 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peace at Last!, 19 April 2010
Having been the very happy owners of a bulky JVC mini tape recorder for the past eight years, it was a very sad day when we realised that it had done it's last bit of filming and left us for the great camcorder home in the sky! I'd planned on upgrading to a dvd disc type machine, but they are apparently obselete now according to all the tekkies out there. So, my plan scuppered, the challenge commenced. About October 2009 I started looking for a replacement. Let's just say the market has moved on. I've spent months trawling through reviews watching on Amazon for the reviews to click up, visiting the various local electrical stores (do your research on line - it's far more accurate than in store!!!!). Well I missed the winter recital, the very last family nativity, and the spring recital and I was adamant that not another event would go by unfilmed. I hesitated so long as I was desperate not to make a mistake, the market is huge, and there are far too many to choose from. In the end I took the plunge. I settled on the FS306 and didnt wait for it's successor which came out the following day! I don't need HD, i've not got the computer or tv technology to support it, and the quality of the FS306 is brilliant without it. I knew I didn't want a built in memory as our holidays are always inclimate and activity based and may affect the laser quality. It came out on top for lots of reasons, but mainly because of where I want to film, generally too many rows back with dim light or on skis. It has so far lived up to my expectations, i've filmed an indoor party and it's clear, with lovely sound, the picture is steady and bright and the quality is great. The controls were easy to use, it was dead simple to set up and even the kids can use it. It fits in the palm of my hand, it's neat, compact and would fit in a coat pocket - perfect for mountain terrain! I charged it on the 31st March, and yep, it's still got plenty of charge left in it. It probably does loads of quirky things too, but for me, point and shoot will do nicely thank you. I just want memories for my family. Overall verdict - go for it!
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A number of problems, 14 Feb 2011
By 
Mr. W. Slessor (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have had the camera for three months now and it has worked well. I have created over 3 hours of excellent edited video on DVD.
However there are a number of problems.
The first is that the battery, supplied with the camera, failed within three months and is not covered with the Canon warranty as it is classed as a consumable. Canon tell me that if I had bought an additional battery - as a back up maybe - that would be covered for six months.
I had to appeal to Amazon and they refunded me the cost of a replacement battery. One brownie point to Amazon and a definite no-no to Canon.
The second problem. If you wish to edit your videos with software other than that supplied with the camera, you may have difficulty with the files you import from the camera. You need to be able to adjust some settings, (eg 'widescreen' as against '4:3' format) with your software. If you film in 'widescreen' format imported files will appear as '4:3' format in your software. Canon's advice when I contacted them about this second problem was basically 'we recommend you use the software supplied'.
The files created in the camera are numbered and that is fine. However more than one folder is often created and the files in the additional folders are numbered identically to those in the first folder. Your software may well refuse to import files with the same name and needs to be able to cope with this confusion. Fortunatly I have very good software and I am able to make the necessary corrections.
On a personal note I find the 'Zoom' control is not in a very comfortable position.
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158 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A few tips for an excellent camcorder!, 19 July 2010
This is an excellent camcorder. Most amateurs will never need anything better than this. Simple to use, reliable, long battery life, fabulous picture and Made in Japan!

Here are some things that I would like to point out:

- - ZOOM: The zoom range is more than enough with a 37x optical zoom. You may find that similar priced models from other manufactures may have a 60x or even a 70x optical zoom. But this is not a good criterion to solely base your decision. I consider that the Canon lens is superior because it uses a larger sensor (1/6") that results in better images.
The focal length of the FS306's lens is 2.6-96.2 mm. If you use a smaller sensor (1/8" for example) you should bring the same lens closer to the sensor by around 0.8mm in order to retain the same view at the widest setting. Thus, the new range would become 1.8-95.4mm which corresponds to a 53x zoom (95.4/1.8).
So, don't let the optical zoom size fool you. There are more important things to look out when buying a camcorder.
In the HD camcorders, for example, where the sensors are much larger than the SD camcorders, you will rarely find an optical zoom above 12x.

- - SD SIMPLICITY: I love the Standard Definition video because it costs less to buy a camcorder, there is no need to use expensive high-end memory cards with big capacities, you can use an average computer to process the video, no need to buy expensive editing software, you can save considerable time while processing the video and finally the format is almost identical to that of the DVD-Video so it becomes really easy to share your experiences by burning them with minimal effort on a DVD.
Nonetheless, many owners today are a bit confused with the .MOD files produced by this model as well as numerous other models in the market. Having this in mind, I'll share my experience thinking that it could possibly help some other people.

- - PLAYBACK ON A COMPUTER: In order to view correctly the .mod files you can do some tricks or you could just use the free program "K-Lite Codec Pack Standard" and everything will be simplified. As far as there is an association between the .mod files and this program (right click on a .mod file and choose "open with", "other programs", "media player classic") the files will open and playback in their original format (16:9 anamorphic which looks like a squeezed 4:3 image). In order to view the files on 16:9 just change once (and the program will remember) the aspect ratio (View>Video Frame> Override Aspect Ratio>16:9 and make sure that "keep aspect ratio" is checked).
Then just double click on the video and you are in full screen mode. (Just remember to change the 16:9 back to default for videos other than .mod). And that's all you need to do to watch the .mod videos on your computer.
Just pay some attention with the numbering of the .mod files. Their numbering is not in the decimal but rather in the hexadecimal system i.e. your first 35 videos will be numbered as following:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1A 1B 1C 1D 1E 1F 20 21 22 23 etc. etc. (Don't try to rename them... too complicated. Just write the correct order on a paper so that you know which file to open next). Btw, Cyberlink's Power Director not only imports .mod files but also puts them automatically in the correct order).

- - ASPECT RATIO: Please note that if you use this camcorder to shoot on 16:9 format, the resulting image would be an anamorphic 16:9 which looks like a 4:3 image squeezed horizontally, exactly like the widescreen movies we see on the DVD's. That's how it should be and that's how it is, as the videos on DVD's are always recorded in 4:3 format. During playback though, the anamorphic videos expand automatically and the image appears correctly filling the 16:9 TV screen. Thus, you should always consider your videos as 4:3 (if not set automatically, then set this option manually) when processing them on your computer in order to burn them on a DVD-Video, otherwise you will not preserve the whole image that was originally recorded and you will end up with a letterbox version of your film which is considerably inferior to the original anamorphic video.

- - DVD AUTHORING: I have the Power Director 7 by Cyberlink, which was pre-installed on my Compaq CQ61. This pre-installed version can import .mod files but does not support the Dolby Digital (AC3) sound that the files contain. Instead of upgrading to the full version of the program I preferred to make a small compromise with the sound. Thus, I have installed the excellent free program "MPEG Streamclip" (available both for Mac and Windows) which converts -really fast- the .mod files to Mpeg2 files with MP2 sound so that the resulting videos can be imported to the power director as well as to many other programs. (Just use "Convert to MPEG with MP2 audio" and also note also that there is no need to install the mpeg2 playback component). Personally, I also use this program to convert my Quick Time (.mov) videos from my digital camera into .avi's in order to burn them on DVD's and I use the "Batch List" to save considerable time. Chances are that most people will have a pre-installed program on their computer to produce DVD-Videos from .MPEG2 files with MP2 sound. (In my computer there was also pre-installed the Power2Go by Cyberlink which can also produce DVD-Videos from the above files).

Finally, let me mention that I haven't tried the included software and I cannot comment on that. I prefer to use the memory card in order to transfer the files rather than to connect the camcorder to my computer. As I have found a simple way to transfer my recordings on DVD's I prefer not to install it and then having to learn another software package.
After all, I was looking for simplicity when I chose this model. If you wish, you may complicate things by going deep inside the menus but for people like me who love simplicity, combined with good quality, this was the perfect choice. Use it in the auto mode and you don't have to worry about a thing. Press Rec and it starts recording. Press again and it pauses giving you now the chance to take some photos. Photos are not in 640x480 like similar models, but in 1024x768 meaning that they can be printed on a 4"x6" or 10x15cm paper. The big advantage is that you can take photos -using the powerful zoom (35mm equivalent range: 40-1676mm) and the really powerful macro- that you wouldn't have been able to take with a digital camera. Of course, you cannot compare the photos taken with any camcorder with the images taken by an average digital camera but apart from that I think that the photos are pretty good. As for the video quality, I have to say that I am very pleased with it. I found color accuracy, saturation, sharpness and noise levels to be very good under normal light but I would rather consider them as average in low-light conditions - something obvious that applies to almost all the camcorders. Taking into consideration that the camcorder has a really good low-light sensitivity I have to say that I was really pleased with the overall results.

My opinion? An excellent model for all the people who would like -simply and efficiently- to preserve memories!
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75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Camcorder, 3 May 2010
By 
K. Richardson "Ken" (Leeds, Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I previously had a Samsung Mini DV tape camcorder & decided to upgrade . I looked at many different types & lots of customer reviews & decided on the Canon F306 because it was a recent model & the reviews appeared to be okay. Well the first thing I like is the size & weight which is great to carry around.
The battery life is really good so no need to worry about a spare battery . I bought a 16gb SDHC card so there is plenty of average filming time on it.
I have shot a few videos both in & outdoor & so far I am really pleased . The quality is far superior to my old Samsung , the zoom is good & the sound is good.
The downside is the average software that comes with it but it does the job . If you use this software please NOTE THAT YOU MUST USE NEGATIVE DISC'S. I spent ages trying to work out why it would not write to my blank disc until the penny dropped. I bought some negative blanks & they work a treat.
The photo option is useful too , I expected the quality to be poor but was pleasantly surprised . It is more than passable if you are out without your camera & want a picture within 15 feet , if you zoom the quality is blurred.
All in all , I am very happy & will now look at some new editing software.
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to take videos whilst out on holiday or a trip & does not want to spend a fortune.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Poor Low Light Performance, 9 Mar 2011
I purchased the Legria FS306 to replace a Sony standard definition mini DV camcorder. The Canon was generally fine except in low light conditions. i.e. indoor at night with normal room lighting. Compared to the five year old, bottom of the range Sony, the low light performance was very disappointing. The picture was very grainy, highly pixelated, and had very poor colour reproduction.

I was simply looking for something cheap and cheerful to replace my old Sony which had an inoperative LCD screen. I hoped the Canon would equal if not slightly exceed it in performance. Unfortunately, I could not keep the Canon as I simply could not use it in low light, which makes up a large proportion of my family recording. It was the worst low light performance of any camcorder I have seen in twenty four years of experience. That includes a Sony video 8 camcorder, and a full size VHS camcorder by Panasonic.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased, 12 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was nagged by the Mrs to buy a new camcorder and opted for this as the reviews were good and I did not require a more expensive HD camcorder. I also bought a 16gb SDHC card to go with it. I must say that the video quality is very good for the money and the sound is very clear. Another bonus is that it is stamped 'Made in Japan', which is a rarity these days! I also took advantage of the 30 cash-back offer from Canon, which sweetens the deal!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 30 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon LEGRIA FS306 Camcorder - Blue (37x Optical Zoom, 2.7 Inch Widescreen LCD) (Electronics)
I got this SD camcorder in a fabulous metallic blue colour. Not only that but I got it on a special deal from Amazon virtually by return of post.

Despite being a man with rather big hands I was able to adjust the strap to give a perfect fit. The camcorder fits snugly into my hand and it can be carried easily in my jacket pocket. Being Canon, it gives the feel of a class product and it is very simple to use and operate. I use it all the time.

Frankly, I cannot fault the product. It gives very good image stabilisation. The only drawback - if it is a drawback - is that the battery can take quite a time to charge up. Then again, I can get nearly 3 hours of filming on a single charge.

A 5 star buy in my view.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value camcorder, 17 Jan 2011
This camcorder was bought for my 12 y o grandchild and within minutes of getting it, she was able to operate it without even referring to the instructions. The battery lasts a long time and the quality of the movies, reviewed on PC, seems very good. So far its only been used for filming indoors (on a tripod), and seeing as the quality is good, then I expect outdoor filming will be even better. I can't comment on the supplied software as we haven't used it yet and neither have we burned videos to DVD to view on TV - I copied the files directly from the media card to a folder on my PC and played them in Windows Media Player. My granddaughter and I look forward to learning how to use the supplied software when we have the time. I doubt we'll have a problem with it as this camcorder seems an all-round joy to use. Delivery to Ireland was unbelievably quick too altho it was only 10 days before Christmas. The same camera would have cost 100 more in Ireland!
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very light and compact, 7 July 2010
By 
Mr. Paul Leaver (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Not used it too much just yet but it seems to do exactly what I wanted, I used to have a camcorder using tapes and getting video onto a pc was a pain. This is easy just read the memory card and copy & paste. Good quality picture even in low light.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value, easy to use., 17 Dec 2010
By 
Mr. B. Morris "Yorkie Bri" (Scunthorpe, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon LEGRIA FS306 Camcorder - Blue (37x Optical Zoom, 2.7 Inch Widescreen LCD) (Electronics)
Light, compact and easy to use. Have taken lots of videos of the grandchildren. Great value. Bought a 16GB SD memory card which stores lots of videos.
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