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January 10, 2011

Canon HF S200 Camcorder Review

The Canon HF S200 is an excellent camcorder for HD home shooting. It is full of Canon's top-notch proprietary components, and it provides very good picture quality. If you are looking for a great camcorder for making guitar videos like me, this is a very good choice. It would of course work great for live gigs too.

It features a 10x optical zoom lens, 8.6 megapixel CMOS still-image sensor, 3.5-inch hi-res LCD touchscreen, native AVCHD recording, and a host of other advanced features including Canon's Smart Auto, Relay Recording, Powered IS, HD-to-SD downconversion, and Advanced Video Snapshot.

The Canon HF S200 stores the data to SD/SDHC memory cards.

Specifications

Pros:
Easy to Use, Good Image Stabilization, Great Picture Quality, Great Zoom, Large Clear LCD, Zoom range/performance
Cons:
Could be better in low light
Best Uses:
Documentaries, HD Shooting, Home Movies, Travel, Weddings/Events

 

Canon Vixia HF S200Flash Memory Camcorder, 2 x SD/SDHC Memory Card Slot, Eye-Fi Memory Card Compatible, 1/2.6" 8.59MP CMOS Sensor, Genuine Canon 10x HD Video Lens, 3.5" Touch Panel LCD, Dynamic SuperRange Image Stabilization, 8MP Digital Stills, DIGIC DV III Image Processor, Native 24p, 24p Cinema, 30p Frame Modes, Microphone and Headphone Terminals HF S200 Consumer Video Camcorders VIXIA HF S200 Flash Memory Camcorder

Video Sample

Flash Memory Recording

The VIXIA HF S200 records high definition video to 2 SD memory card slots. With Relay Recording, the camcorder automatically switches video recording from one SD card to the other, when the first card becomes full. There's no need to worry about running out of recording time during a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime shot

The advantages of flash memory go beyond the added recording time. You'll also appreciate the quick response time, because there are no moving parts. In addition, when you review, you'll have quick access to your footage. Another plus is the VIXIA HF S200's low power consumption rate, allowing your battery to last longer. And if your HF S200 happens to slip, or you accidentally knock it against something, you'll be happy to know that flash memory makes your camcorder more shock-resistant than other recording storage systems. It also minimizes the chance of data loss if there is damage to your recording media or to the moving parts found in other camcorders

Stunning HD Image Quality

A Genuine Canon 10x HD Video Lens delivers excellent image quality, while the Canon Exclusive 1/2.6" 8.59MP HD CMOS Image Sensor captures video at 1920 x 1080 resolution and photos with astonishing detail, while the Canon Exclusive DIGIC DV III Image Processor provides impressive color and imaging performance, with enhanced reproduction of difficult to capture purple and blue tones. Exceptionally life-like tone and detail are captured thanks to 24Mbps Recording, which offers the highest bit rate in AVCHD. The VIXIA HF S200 not only captures images in HD, but records and outputs at 1920 x 1080 as well, so you get Full HD from lens to screen

3.5" High Res Touch Panel LCD Screen

The VIXIA HF S200 features a 3.5" High Resolution Touch Panel LCD Screen which provides a large, expansive area for fast and easy menu navigation right at your fingertips. Boasting a resolution of 922,000 dots, the screen delivers exceptional detail and brilliant color for more accurate and enjoyable viewing. You'll also have Touch & Track, which allows you to get precise focus and exposure on any subject - whether it's people, vehicles, etc. by selecting your choice right on the touch panel LCD.

Built-In Digital Camera

The VIXIA HF S200, in addition to being a camcorder, is also an 8MP digital camera. The VIXIA HF S200's Dual Shot makes it easier than ever to capture both video and photos. Shoot up to 3 frames per second in the Continuous Mode, or a blazing 5 frames per second in the High Speed Continuous Mode. The versatile VIXIA HF S200 even lets you capture a still image from an already recorded movie. While playing the movie in your camcorder, simply press the photo button to capture a 1920 x 1080 photo onto an SD card. Additionally, the VIXIA HF S200 allows you to capture 30 photos from one second of video. And in addition to all that your VIXIA HF S200's built-in flash lets you capture superb photos indoors and in low light conditions, and also features red-eye reduction

Auto Intelligent Auto Focus

Auto Intelligent Auto Focus, AiAF, ensures sharp images and gives creative flexibility. Even when your subject isn't in the center of the frame, the VIXIA HF S200's 9-Point AiAF will automatically select from 9 metering frames on the screen to help bring images into sharp focus

Selectable Metering Patterns

For optimal still image exposure, the VIXIA HF S200 offers selectable metering patterns: Evaluative, Center-Weighted Average, and Spot

AE Bracketing Feature

The AE Bracketing feature of the VIXIA HF S200 automatically takes three versions of the shot, with 'dark,' 'normal' and 'light' settings in 1/2 exposure steps so you may choose the one that best suits you

Histogram Display

For the advanced digital photographer, the VIXIA HF S200 comes with a Histogram Display - a feature found in Canon's line of digital SLR cameras. The display allows you to see the brightness information of your still images, so you can adjust your exposures as you shoot

Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization with Powered IS

The VIXIA HF S200 features Canon's proprietary Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization which provides continuous adjustment throughout the entire zoom range to correct a broad range of motion. Extra compensation is applied at wide-angle focal lengths to eliminate unwanted shaking which is common when walking. Together with Powered IS you'll find an even higher level of compensation for subtle hand movement at the telephoto end of the zoom range. Powered IS can be engaged by pressing or holding the Powered IS button on the touch panel LCD

Instant Auto Focus

The VIXIA HF S200 camcorder features Canon's Instant AF focusing system which offers an improvement in auto focus speed and accuracy (compared to traditional auto focus systems). The Instant AF feature uses an external sensor, in combination with Canon's auto focus system, to help significantly decrease the time it takes to find focus, even in low light conditions. This system achieves focus instantaneously, reducing focus "hunting." This is especially beneficial in high brightness or night shooting situations. In addition, with Instant AF it's possible to capture fast, accurate focusing, even when following a moving subject

To further enhance focusing capability, the VIXIA HF S200 also features Focus Assist. This helps in capturing your subject in razor-sharp focus. It works by providing a 2x magnification of your subject, which is automatically cancelled when you start recording

Smart Auto

Smart Auto makes shooting great video easy. Using the power of Canon's DIGIC DV III Image Processor, the VIXIA HF S200 intelligently detects and analyzes faces, brightness, color, distance, and movement, then automatically selects the best settings for the scene

Touch & Track

Touch and Track delivers precise tracking of the focus and exposure on any subject: people, pets, vehicles, and more. Simply select your point of interest on the Touch Panel LCD and you will have your subject in sharp focus regardless of where in the frame it moves during the shot. Touch & Track is the default setting, ready when you turn your camcorder on. You can also choose to adjust focus or exposure independently by turning off Touch & Track, and turning on Touch Focus or Touch Exposure

Canon Face Detection

The same Face Detection technology used in Canon digital cameras is available in the VIXIA HF S200 high definition camcorder. Up to 35 faces can be tracked automatically, ensuring razor-sharp focus and natural, accurate exposure. Of the faces tracked, 9 detection frames can be displayed at one time. The system is in fact so smart that it will recognize faces turned downwards or sideways

In addition, a specific face may be selected as the main subject for continuous tracking. This feature can be used to search for clips featuring that specific subject's face. In search and playback, use of the Face Index will display frames with the chosen face as a thumbnail in each shot in which it appears. The selected face can be linked as a timeline to further identify footage containing that subject

Advanced Video Snapshot

Advanced Video Snapshot allows you to capture the highlights of your adventures with the same ease as taking photos. Simply record a series of short video clips - or select your favorite clips while in Playback Mode - and blend in your favorite background music to create an exciting movie that will grab everyone's attention. This version of Advanced Video Snapshot allows selectable recording time (2, 4, or 8 seconds). Additionally, audio from an external source such as an MP3 player can be played along with the Snapshot movie, and playback can be controlled from that source

Easy Web Sharing

HD-to-SD Downconversion allows you to convert recorded high definition video to standard definition files while safely preserving the original HD video. These standard definition files make it even more convenient to edit, share video online, or create a DVD. The downconverted video can be transferred to your computer via traditional methods - i.e. USB connection, card slot - or wirelessly to sharing sites with an Eye-Fi SD memory card

Eye-Fi SD Memory Card Compatible

The VIXIA HF S200 is compatible with the Eye-Fi SD Memory Card. It's possible to wirelessly transfer your down-converted video and photos to your computer, or upload them directly to online sharing sites in a few simple steps. Insert an Eye-Fi SD Memory Card into the SD card slot on the camcorder, configure your computer to select the target site (e.g., Facebook, YouTube, Shutterfly, Flickr) and you're ready to share your standard definition files with family and friends.

Native 24p Mode, 24p Cinema Mode and 30p Frame Mode

Native 24p Mode allows 24 frames per second - exactly the same capture rate as film - to be captured and recorded. This is a big advantage for serious filmmaking work enabling you to achieve a cinematic experience.

24p Cinema Mode enables all aspiring moviemakers to achieve a professional "film-look." You can change the camcorder's frame capture rate to 24p (recorded at 60i), which provides the appearance of the same frame rate as movie film. In addition, you can use the VIXIA HF S200's CINE setting, which changes the color and tonal characteristics, evoking the look and feel of a movie shown in a theater. For added flexibility, these settings can be used together or independently.

In addition to the standard interlaced video frame rate of 60i, you may choose to set the VIXIA HF S200 to capture video in 30p Progressive Mode, (30 progressive frames, recorded at 60i) which is particularly useful for footage to be used on the Internet. Excellent for action and sports shots, this setting gives enhanced quality to still images captured after recording

Terminals

To maximize the usefulness and versatility of the VIXIA HF S200, you'll find a range of terminals to extend the capabilities of your camcorder. A built-in LANC Terminal provides an easy connection to both Canon and third party wired remote controllers. The Mini Advanced Accessory Shoe allows you to attach optional Canon accessories such as the VL-5 Video Light, DM-100 Directional Stereo Microphone, or SM-V1 5.1-Channel Surround Microphone. Easy, one-cable connectivity to your HDTV is yours through the VIXIA HF S200's HDMI Terminal which also supports CEC and x.v.Color. The built-in Microphone terminal with manual audio level control and Headphone terminal provide exceptional audio flexibility.

Audio

For the ultimate home theater experience, 5.1-Channel Surround Sound allows you to capture audio quality that matches the stunning realism of your high definition video. Since sound is captured from all directions through five different pickup sensors, your home movies will look and sound more lifelike than ever before.

The Automatic Attenuator feature prevents high volume distortion and optimizes audio quality in situations when sound levels quickly change, such as when loud music plays in the background. It automatically keeps the audio clean and even

Video Editing Software

The Pixela ImageMixer 3SE video editing software allows for payback of recorded video on your computer and editing in which you can trim, reorder, and combine scenes, as well as add music, titles, and transitions. With the Pixela ImageMixer 3SE Software, you can burn a standard definition DVD to relive the memories on your TV. And to perfectly complement the Video Snapshot feature found on Canon flash memory camcorders, a music CD containing royalty-free soundtracks is also provided

Creative Control and Workflow Features

You can buy the Canon HF S200 camcorder from Amazon:

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on January 10, 2011

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