Top critical review
Disappointing quality from imaging experts Canon
28 May 2016
This camcorder is a disappointment from imaging experts Canon. Aimed at bloggers I was expecting good quality in low light, but its rather poor, and the auto white balance does not even correct tungsten lighting. 4k video is the latest high quality standard available on many cameras and phones but does not feature on this camcorder. The view screen is poor quality, the resolution is far less than my mobile phone and its hard to see in bright light outdoors. There is no zoom function- only a fixed very wide angle view, a rather un flattering close up for faces. The camcorder does have a plethora of interesting features but these are over shadowed by a lack of the key basic functions.
In the box/set up
In the box is the camcorder, mains cable to power the device and charge the battery, battery and wrist strap. (But no SD card). There are basic set up instructions in English, French, German, Italian. The comprehensive full instructions have to be downloaded from the company web site.
The battery is only charged when the camcorder is off, a nuisance when a separate battery charge external to the camcorder is not supplied.
The device takes SD, SDHC and SDXC cards class 4 or greater. That's some quite old cards which aren’t read by some new devices. The camera tells you what type the card is on the screen which is novel. The video standard is AVHC or MP4. You can change the quality settings 24mbps, 17 or 4mps.
You can record by pressing a button on the touch screen or pressing a button on the side of the device.
The device has 2 fields of view, the wide one is at the fish eye end of the range, you can get a really unflattering facial distortion using this. There is a smaller angle of view which I think is a digital not optical view, but there is no zoom function its one setting or the other.
The functions are controlled from a touch screen menu on the device. There.s a lot of functions and settings almost too many I couldn't recall how find them all, needed the instructions to hand. In movie modes you can do interval recording, slow motion, fast motion, record in mirror image. The latter is quite handy for dancers where you want to learn a dance viewed as part of the ensemble and not from the audience view.
You can set face detection and autoback light, flicker reduction 50 or 60Hz. However videoing out side as the field of view is so wide you get a lot of sky and land and the former affects the exposure. I had to over expose a large amount to get the ground where the subject was correctly exposed.
The device has a lot of sound settings- this is not an area I can comment on as I video for the visuals not so much the sound. There are two mics either size of the lens, and the possibility to add an external mic.
You cant capture a still image whilst in video mode which you can with many cameras. But you can capture the still during play back on the camera. Theres a self timer and a variety of shooting modes. However you can’t control the shutter speed, so outside in the morning in reasonable light the camcorder take a pic with too low a shutter speed so its hard to hand hold the device and get camera shake. Even changing to a sports mode did not help. The still are only good in bright light.
Still images-you can take a still image with the camcorder. I’ve never had a good still image from a camcorder, this is no exception, my phone takes better stills.