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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2012
I bought this after reading about the limited battery life and adding the cost of an additional battery. If I didn't know about the battery life before I purchased it, I would have been ticked-off.

The video quality is excellent and I found this camera very easy to setup and use. The Wi-Fi download only works on Windows (I have a MacBookPro), but I didn't see a reason that I would need to wirelessly download. The wireless does allow me to transfer video files to my iPhone (which I think is Super Cool) with or without a wireless network (look on Canon website for a video tutorial). One of the main reasons I use my iPhone video is to share videos while I am away from my computer. With this WiFi camera I can take high quality videos, transfer to my iPhone and send to friends or post to YouTube before I get home. How cool is that?

The other feature that I really like is that I can download video directly to my external hard drive, without the need for a computer. BTW, it doesn't have dual card slots.

Overall, I found this camera easy to setup and use. I like the image stabilization and the face detection. Also, while I am shooting video I can press the "photo" button and take some iPhone quality photographs. This has come in super handy for getting video and photos of my kids' sporting events.

This video camera works for PC and Mac (iMovie).
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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2012
This is one of the most frustrating, disappointing pieces of electronics I've ever owned.

My husband bought this for me as a gift and we immediately took it with us on a weekend outing. The camera makes decent videos--not extraordinarily great but certainly good quality. Unfortunately the battery that comes with it is so unbelievably bad that it's almost useless. On both days of our trip the fully charged battery was dead in less than 30 minutes, after only about 15 minutes or so of actual filming. Initially I thought we had gotten a defective battery but after a quick internet search and reading many reviews from others who'd had the same experience, I realized this is as good as these batteries get. Canon's response to the problem is they will happily sell you an 'extended life' battery for another $100. Nowhere in the packaging or instructions do they disclose the battery takes about 3 hours to fully charge and lasts just over 20 minutes. They should be honest and market this camera with the disclosure 'battery not included'.

I agree with prior posters that they used the rock-bottom cheapest battery they could find, knowing that anyone who bought this camera would have to spend another $100 for a decent battery. That's a sleazy way to treat your customers.

Why Canon would risk its good name to rip off their customers with such a poorly made product is a mystery to me. I returned this camera for another brand and will definitely think long and hard before buying another Canon product.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2012
The camera comes with a ridiculous amount of software. For example, I can draw pictures on the screen with the included stylus. It's nifty, but has no real use. The battery only lasts about 30 minutes and the microphone is horrible! It creates a loud white noise that compromises the sound quality.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2013
Canon has engaged in what I feel to be "questionable" tactics at best with the sale of this camcorder.
Unlike, Sony, the battery life is NOT listed on the box...and with good reason, the battery is horrible!
I bought this camera three weeks ago knowing that in the past I had been content with a few Canon products and that some of the reviews I read were decent. Needless to say, I did not read any reviews about the horrible battery before I went shopping!

I contacted Canon about this battery, which if you read the manual says it should last about 25 minutes! Wow!
I tried mine four times, fully charged...average recording time of around fifteen minutes and 30 seconds.
When I contacted Canon I mentioned my battery would never make it much past fifteen minutes, they said that was typical and not a defect and sent me a list of other fairly expensive batteries that would gladly SELL that would have way more battery life. No thanks! As someone mentioned, seeing as how the replacement battery(depending on choice could be $75 - $100. This is a bit misleading by Canon. I must say I will never buy another product from them. Sell it without a battery if you must! Put in big letters on the box...no battery included. They are basically (in my opinion) trapping customers and giving them a horrible choice to make, spend another $100 or live with 15 - 20 minutes of battery life. A final option being that you are lucky enough to figure it out before 30 days are up(and exchange or return it).

Take a look at some competitors like Sony, expected battery life is written clearly on the box!
Canon is going to lose customers with this camcorder for sure.
Ask yourself, for another $100, what camcorder could I buy? At $400 this Canon will get blown out of the water on features and quality! I exchanged mine for a Sony that was on sale for the same price as this camera. I am way happier with this camera. Oh yes, even running at the highest quality setting it's battery life is around 2 hours and 20 minutes! Better functionality, better quality and no shady tactics.

I didn't even spend much time looking at the three or four models the store had that were in the $400 range,which is de facto, what this camera is unless you want to be near an outlet for ALL your recordings. The $400 models had even more features than the $300 models of course.

Also, there is a slide bar on the taking pictures(snapshots) menu. It doesn't move(the dot that looks like it will slide), at least mine didn't. So, I guess they were either telling me I have only one resolution setting or the slide bar doesn't work. Good luck finding out in the manual. The still pictures are low quality, which I know is not the camcorder's main function, but when my cell phone takes better pics, it makes you wonder.

The positives, decent video quality and decent sound in the settings I recorded in. NOTHING can overcome the questionable tactics of Canon when it comes to this camera though.

Save yourself time, and probably money, in the long run and get a Sony or JVC.

Finally, I have only returned two or three items in my life(long past my college years) and this was one of them. The response by Canon got me off the couch in a hurry.

BUYER BEWARE!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2013
This inexpensive video camera ($249 when I bought it) has a number of options for recording. For one party I used the AVCHD setting at 17 Mbps setting and I got two hours of continuous video on a 16 GB card. I had the camera plugged in as the batteries I had would certainly not last that long. Unfortunately the MP4 format only records 30 minutes at a time.

The camera does come with 8Gb internal memory which is nice if your SD card is full. Class 4 or above cards are recommended.It only has one SD slot. Amazon says "Dual" which implies two SD slots - wrong!

This camera is now discontinued which might be why the price is so low. The newer model, a HF R40, seems to be very similar and cost and extra $150.
When I imported these files into Adobe Premiere, I had no problem and the files were easy to edit. Even thought I had seven files they all looked seamless in the editing.

Audio - you can setup audio as either Auto or Manual. Always choose Manual and adjust the levels yourself. Adding a wireless microphone makes the audio even better.

Battery - The battery which comes with this camera is notoriously poor, so make sure you buy extra batteries. I'm trying out inexpensive batteries from Amazon. You can buy two batteries and a charger for $25 - what a bargain! Unfortunately they don't communicate with the camera, so you won't know how much charge is left. I'd recommend swapping out batteries after a specific amount of time. They don't give you a separate charger, so buying an extra battery and charger is the thing to do.

Headphones - this even has a headphone jack - another nice feature.

HF R32 - another Option. This is the upgraded model with 32 Gb of memory. This also costs an extra $100. I actually prefer taking the card out of the camera and inserting it into my computer to transfer files . It's very easy to do.

Lighting - Watch your back lighting. Any lights behind a person will darken up the picture considerably.

Microphone - it does have a microphone jack which is usually a premium option.

Photo - the camera can take a picture easily by clicking the "Photo" button on the screen.

Size - very tiny. It will fit in a coat pocket.

Touch Screen - most controls are accessed via a touch screen.

Video Snap - one interesting setting is that you can take short 4 second videos (you can adjust the length). This might be nice to try for vacations.

For the price, this is a great camera. Just make sure you buy the extra batteries.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2012
Received the Canon R30 camcorder as a Christmas gift and I was pleasantly surprised with how easy to use the ultra small, compact, and lightweight device. The previous reviews are off-target with it's capabilities. It is so simple to use for all members of the family; only a few buttons are built into the camcorder making it virtually a snap to learn it's basic operating procedures. Pros: small, amazing optical zoom, good sound quality, touch-screen picture taking while continuous recording, large memory, few buttons. Cons: short battery life. Software CDs are provided with purchase making WiFi usage easy to learn. I would recommend the R30 to any family with basic video and picture taking needs.
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32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2012
The camera itself is great. However, as of this writing, the description is inaccurate. It says "dual sdxc card slots" when there is only one. In addition, it says "Built-in Wi-Fi for wireless video transfer to a PC or online sharing sites likes YouTube and Facebook" implying you can use the Wi-Fi to upload to Facebook or YouTube. That is not possible, you must use the PC software to do the upload. You can wirelessly transfer to the computer, but you cannot make direct connections to the online sites. If you have a Mac, you are out of luck.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2012
I am a professional photographer and wanted a good video camera to tape my model photo sessions both inside and on locations. Well I am happy with this one. Last week I used it to video tape the funeral on my Uncle who died at the age of 97.

For the past week I have allowed the mother of a young model to video tape the photo sessions and they look great. I think I might even allowed a friend to come with a model to a photo session if they agree to video tape the sessions.

The quality of the recordings are great. If you need a video camera for family or any events this is a great buy. The zoom will blow your mind.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2013
I've had this camera for about 3 months now. First off, yes the battery life is horrible, but after doing about 5 minutes of research before buying it, I knew what I was getting myself into. Even with the added expense of a battery, it's a good camera for the price. I love using it and the quality is pretty good (very good for out-door videos). If the only problem with the camera was its included battery, I would probably give it 4 stars.

It lost 2 stars because of the bundled software, and this is something you should seriously consider before buying this camera. I write software for a living, so skip to the end if you want to see how I got past this. The only "Cannon Supported" way to import videos to your computer is to use the bundled (and NOT technically supported by Cannon) "Pixela" software. It is buggy, has very limited export formats available, and has a user interface straight from the 90s. These things aside, it's the simple things that Pixela completely fails at that kill me. The main (read: only) reason I am forced to use this software is to get videos from my camera onto my computer. Pixela can't read SD cards from your computer, so you have to plug your camera into your computer with a USB cord. You'll also need to plug your camera into AC power because you don't want the battery to die while you're importing. Maybe I'm spoiled, but having to dig out 2 cords AND tie up my camera just to get something off of a removable media card seems pointless. Oh yeah, and Pixela also won't let you select which videos to import. It's either "all" or "all that haven't been imported yet".

Can you drag your files from the SD card directly into your video store folder and thus bypass the horrendous Pixela software? Yes, but it's a bit tricky. High def videos are broken up into segments, so you'd need to stitch them together using a video editor. Also, exif data like "time recorded" is hard to find in .mts files (the format of high def videos taken by the camera), so it could be hard to organize your videos by date if you do things manually. Finally, Cannon states that the videos cannot be "properly" imported using this technique. You MUST use the Pixela software (according to Cannon).

"But Dan, maybe you're asking Pixela to do too much! Maybe you're just an entitled American who wants everything to work exactly as YOU think it should. Maybe your demands are impossible!" Perhaps you're right...well except for the whole "your demands are impossible" thing. I did a bit-wise comparison of .mts files imported using Pixela and .mts files imported using the Windows 7 "drag and drop" method. The files were identical. So...the only thing Pixela gives me is the video recording date, and the ability to stitch segmented videos together. The video files themselves are not modified. I researched how to dig through exif data and wrote a program that extracts date-recorded info from the .mts video files. This was not an easy tip from the internet that I implemented, it was hard. It included parsing through gigantic binary files. It took about 5 hours. It was worth it. I now have a nice little program that does everything I needed Pixela to do. I can select video files to import, I can do it directly from an SD card (no camera required), and I can get "date recorded" information while I'm at it and concatenate segmented videos.

Buy this camera if you can write better software than Pixela. Odds are, you can.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2013
I was disappointed with the extremely short battery life. When I tried to make DVDs of a few videos, the software would not work properly. You have to "drag and drop" the video into an area to make the DVD. The drag and drop function would not work. I called the software maker. After going through my computer to remove any programs that might interfere (there weren't any), the tech rep said the issue was the AMD processor in my HP computer. He suggested I use a computer with an Intel processor. He said they have had problems with AMD processors. Luckily, I had installed the software on my Dell laptop which has an Intel I-5 processor. Using the Dell, I made DVDs with ease. Although the camcorder has a lot going for it, the short battery life and the hidden problem with AMD processors are significant. Also, it could be made more simple to operate. I feel I would have been more satisfied with another brand.
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