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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a wonderful camera!!
As a novice to the camcorder world I was very concerned and confused about the wide range of features and prices available in the market so, unusually for me, I took a little time and did my research.
Boy am I glad I did, and I am especialy pleased with the result. The Canon is perfect and does everything I want. It's easy to use and the results have been extremely...
Published on November 7, 2001 by Robin Lauezzari

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Consumer digital video still has a way to go.
Despite advances in the consumer home-video field, it seems one area where we are still in the Commodore64 age.
The specs are higher than they were for older analog models, but the actual resulting picture quality is only slightly better when conditions are perfect. Imperfect conditions can result in picture quality that is worse than that of analog camcorders...
Published on January 7, 2002 by James Troska


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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a wonderful camera!!, November 7, 2001
This review is from: Canon ZR30MC Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Electronics)
As a novice to the camcorder world I was very concerned and confused about the wide range of features and prices available in the market so, unusually for me, I took a little time and did my research.
Boy am I glad I did, and I am especialy pleased with the result. The Canon is perfect and does everything I want. It's easy to use and the results have been extremely good, especially considering that I am really new to all this.
It seems from the reviews I have read that most camcorders with built still photography features lack the quality of purpose built digital cameras, and while this is also true of my Canon, its not really an issue as I have several still cameras in 35mm and digital formats that I like to use.
The quality of the video on the Canon is really very good. I do not have the needs of a serious hobbyist or professional but I still want something that gives good quality and I am very pleased.
I am also very happy with the overall ergonimics of the camera and its ease of use. One of my first outings was a car trip out of NY city and I shot a lot of city shots from the car. The results were very satisfying.
I have only used a few of the special features and have not done any editing yet but on first glance I found the instructions a little confusing but I put that down to my lackof experience.
I really have no negative comments, my only small niggle is the hinge on the little door that covers the DC power seems very flimsy and I sense it may snap one of these days but apart from that the camera is really sturdy
In terms of value, after much research I feel I got a very good product at a fair price. I compared it to Sony and JVC products and felt that I bought a lot of quality and flexibility and saved over 200 dollars over the Sony without losing any features that I needed.
So this has been a very gratifying experience and I look forward to using the camera for a very long time. I strongly recommend it.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Small Camera - Perfect Design, July 24, 2001
By 
Vic (New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon ZR30MC Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Electronics)
I recently purchased a ZR30MC and am thrilled with the output and the design of the Camcorder. I read many reviews on the net on the ZR10 and have heard many complaints about filming in low light conditions. The quality in low light is just fine - maybe they fixed the problem with the ZR30mc. I do have a friend who has a Sony TRV20 that handles low light significantly better but it is almost double the price. On outside video I cant imagine the quality being any better.
As for design - Canon has a real Gem with this one. It is small and ergonomically designed. The quality of the Still photos leave something to be desired - But I have a regular Digital Camera for that purpose.
All in all Canon has made an excellent small Digital Camcorder with a nearly perfect design !!! Would definatley recommend the whole ZR20,25,30 series.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ups and Downs, October 3, 2001
By 
SC artist (HIlton Head, SC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon ZR30MC Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Electronics)
My original goal in purchasing this camcorder was to record a festival in Russia where I would need a reliable battery between charges, good low light shooting,and plenty of space on tapes so I wouldn't run out.
In my first week of shooting, I tried various scenarios. I interviewed a friend in low light conditions. I was very impressed by the quality of the sound - both hers and mine as I was interviewing. The picture quality was good - better than I had been led to believe by reading other customer reviews.
I agree with others that the digital zoom is useless. I tried to film deer in a pasture that I could clearly see, but since it was out of range of the analog zoom, all I got was jitters and smeared video. Evidently the image stabilizer does not work above 10 power or with the digital zoom. Wish I had known this before I purchased the camera.
My other complaint was that I never got accurate readings on battery life. So I could never tell when to re-charge. The battery symbol was always empty, even though the camera was clearly full and worked. I assumed that this is a defect in the camera, called Canon Tech support who confirmed this, and am now getting a replacement.Question for other users...Do you remove the battery every time you stop shooting? It does say to do this in the manual. Just asking.
My final goal is to edit digital video and make a movie, saving it on a CD. This is because, as some of you may know, our video ( NTSC) is incompatable with European video standards (PAL). By editing the video and saving it to a CD it should be playable in Russia and elsewhere.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Digital zooms are a waste of advertisment, August 18, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Canon ZR30MC Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Electronics)
This small compact DV camcorder is worth every dollar, but not worth every penny. It has great handling, a slick look, with an awesome menu system. It has various digital effects, including chroma key, which I thought was very cool. It's very light, it only weights about a pound, unless you use a bigger battery, or light. Which I found to be very useful as well. This camcorder has many accessories to buy, like 2 different lights, a shot gun mic which can be mounted on the accesory shoe, which the ZR10-25 don't have. You can also buy 3 different sized extra batteries with extra power. Also this camcorder has extended recording which can make a 60 minute tape last over 2 and a half hours. All that is cool, but what I did dislike about this camcorder is it's digital zoom past 40, it just plain s u x. I know the optical zoom is what really matters. But at least let me be able to see something with the digital zoom besides blur.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Camcorder, September 13, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Canon ZR30MC Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Electronics)
The images from the Canon ZR30MC camcorder are terrific. I cannot imagine another video camera any better. This camera's design and quality is excellent, well thought out, and it is incredibly easy to use.
I love the versatility of this camcorder, you can switch from taking video to stills with just a click of a button.
I have used an analog Canon Hi8 camcorder in the past, and the ZR30MC picture quality and sound blows it away.
I am completely happy with this purchase, and would recommend the ZR30MC to anyone. For the money, this is the best video camera on the market.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore my previous rant. This is a cool camcorder, February 13, 2002
By 
James Troska (Fort Lee, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon ZR30MC Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Electronics)
I must apologize for my previous review of the Canon ZR30. The review was rather negative, but the problem was in my ignorance--not the camera.
I had complained that the recorded picture was too pixelated--That anything with hard edges was represented by over-sized wobbly digital blocks. This temporary problem, I since learned, resides in my iMovie editing software.
iMovie cannot reveal the true quality of the digital footage. It simplifies the images to save processing power for editing. After reading "iMovie: The Missing Manual", I learned that the only way to see the true glory of a digital camcoder's video is to hook it up to a real television using an S-Link connection. By the way, videos edited in iMovie WILL still look great, but only after you dump the project back to the camcoder and then play the resulting DV through a real television. Merely exporting to Quick Time doesn't do it justice.
Well, I finally tried the obvious and connected the ZR30 to my real television (duh?). It was a very pleasant surprise! Gone where the jagged pixels. The picture was very smooth--and I have a large screen to boot.
Probably the main difference between the look of my footage and pro footage is in the lighting. Don't forget, real TV shows are shot under perfectly manufactured lighting conditions. My stuff shot in my house looks like... well... my dark house.
I still find that the ZR30 requires more tweaking than my older Sony TRV did. The Sony was really idiot proof: Hit the red button to record. While the ZR30 does offer automatic modes, I don't feel that they work as well. On the other hand, you can manually adjust many of the parameters and get better results that way.
The image stabling is of the optical variety. It's great because it doesn't interfere with the picture quality. It doesn't respond to bumps quite as quickly as electronic types, though, so some jerking still gets through. Just leave it on and try to be careful.
I'm feeling really happy with my ZR30 now. Sorry if I mislead anybody with the previous review
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta get this one!, November 26, 2001
By 
Mike Shultz (Canby, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon ZR30MC Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Electronics)
Great size, excellent video quality and very easy to use. It's nice to not have to haul around a big video camera. This one fits in a coat pocket, a purse, or a back pack and doesn't get in the way. Don't let the small size fool you though! It has a lot of nice features, but keeps it simple...
I'm a satisfied customer!
--Mike from Portland, Oregon
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it doesn't have a flash,otherwise excellent camera/camcorder, December 12, 2001
This review is from: Canon ZR30MC Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Electronics)
I'm amazed how much stuff and features they were able to cram into this little camcorder and still have it ergonomical, compact and light. Unfortunately they left out one very important feature to any good still camera... the flash! Stills taken indoors by lamp light are grainy and dark. I'm going to try the optional light to see if that makes a difference. If it had a built-in flash, it would have rated 5 stars with me.
General camcorder tips from someone who has been using video cameras for almost 20 years:
o always use a halogen light indoors: camcorder lights are white light; indoor lighting tends to be yellow. The dimmer the lighting, the more the iris opens up on the camera, allowing in even more yellow light. I ruined a friend's wedding video this way, since it looked like the bride wore yellow.
o and always buy at least one extra battery and an external charger: this way when (not if) the battery dies, you can keep shooting while the other battery is recharging.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ZR10 To ZR30MC: Canon Is Batting 1000!!, December 15, 2001
By 
TReno (Nevada, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon ZR30MC Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Electronics)
Read the specs, compare ALL the features, talk to those who own it, and you too will buy it! Simply the easiest to use and best quality digital video camera you can buy! And the price---what more is there to say?
Some cameras you buy and get home to find no microphone plug! Some no Firewire connection or RCA video jacks to archive all those old tapes you have. You won't have that problem with this Canon gem.
This is the second of the ZR series I have owned. I have also owned Sony among others, always going back to Canon.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small Unit, but excellent performance, October 27, 2001
By 
Jorge Figueroa Santana (Hatillo, PR Puerto Rico) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon ZR30MC Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Electronics)
I got my camcorder two week ago. After reading some reviews I decided that the best review should be my own review on the field. The video quality is excellent, terrific, and the still picture feature is above a normal rate. It is small but fit pretty well on my hand. Very easy to use, good documentation and it design is beatiful. Do not loose time thinking ! You will love its performance !!!!
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