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Canon ZR50MC MiniDV Digital Camcorder with 2.5" LCD, Digital Still Mode & MMC Card Slot

by Canon
3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
| 4 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • MiniDV camcorder
  • 22x optical, 440x digital, zoom with image stabilization
  • 2.5 inch color LCD and color EVF
  • Digital photo mode records onto included 8 MB MMC card
  • Analog pass-through ports for direct connection to computer
6 used from $136.99

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Technical Details

Product Description

Improving on an original can be a daunting task. Canon has succeeded quite well, thank you. The ZR50MC is the successor to the ZR30MC. Canon increased the optical zoom to 22x--the digital now sits at 440x--and added an analog pass-through port. Although the ZR line featured analog-in for dubbing your movies to MiniDV, the new pass-through port allows you to go straight to the computer, eliminating a possibly cumbersome step.

The ZR50MC also has a lot of the same features that made the original a lot of fun. A 2.5-inch LCD is swivel-mounted, permitting the shooter to use the camera at odd angles. Various digital effects and autoexposure modes help ensure your footage turns out well. The digital still mode makes a return, letting you capture 640 x 480 stills onto an included 8 MB MMC.

Finally, there are a couple of new features that Canon threw in to make the ZR50MC just a little bit more appealing: an accessory shoe that fits a light or zoom mic (both sold separately), an extended recording function that increases recording time by 2x to 3x, and a low-light color-shooting mode.

Product Details

Product Manual [5.89mb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 3 x 7 inches ; 5.4 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds
  • ASIN: B00005YX4Q
  • Item model number: GRDVL920
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,605 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes
  • Date first available at September 4, 1973

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I work with camcorders since 1988 - S-VHSC, Hi8, etc. No question, no matter what kind of digital camcorder you compare with an analog one, it is superior. However, I found this camcorder particularly interesting and bought it since I left the `semi-professional' field (and being now an electrical engineer in software development). Here are my findings:
1) Awesome workmanship: The high-grade plastic case pieces precisely fit and give the camcorder a valuable finish, the buttons have a well defined 'ignition' point and the connectors for FireWire, USB, Analog Video etc. are 'cemented' into the case.
2) Excellent cost / feature ratio: Although following the hype of marrying video with stills, this camcorder emphasizes on video (please, do buy a digital camera if you need digital stills). The outstanding optical unit with a real 22x zoom and one of the most effective image stabilizer in the market, combined with a friendly user-interface including illuminated buttons and a clean menu, this camcorder is a bargain.
The picture quality is excellent. One note here: please remember that the miniDV standard builds on 5.7 Mhz video bandwidth. In other words, no matter what the (multi) colored CCD ship is capable of a resolution, it comes down to a maximum of 370,000 effective pixels needed for NTSC video. The 460,000 pixels of this camcorder seem more than enough.
3) Accessories: Just in case you really care about the somewhat whining recorder server motors, please do buy the optional microphone - it's an awesome addition if you do semi-professional sound-recordings. Also, Canon offers wide and tele-converters specialized for the ZR series. Not a novelty in camcording in general, but a serious affordable consumer expansion if needed.
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Comment 200 of 201 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I purchased the ZR50 6 weeks ago. The ZR50 is my fourth Canon Camcorder (the most recent one a Hi8 with optical image stabilization). My goal with the ZR50 was to be able to get into digital editing, especially since I recently upgraded computers to a 1.8GHz P4 with 512M RAM and firewire ports. Here are the results so far-
1) Motor noise pickup- Yes, it is there. It is a somewhat higher-pitched whine that you can hear if your ear is close to the camera while recording. I bought the DM-50 mike and have now used the mike extensively, including taping my daughter's cello recital as well as a MS&HS spring concert which included vocals and a full Vivaldi concerto by a 15 member string ensemble. The DM-50 mike completely takes care of the motor whine. In addition, with the camera set at 16-bit recording, the recorded sound is CD quality. The DM-50 has three settings: boom, 1, and 2 (latter 2 are stereo). The best setting is the "1" setting.
2) General Impression- The video is great. It is the sharpest of all the cameras I've owned so far. The camera is surprisingly small (half the size of the Hi8mm), but fits well in the hand. The outside buttons are very handy. The LCD viewer is easy to read and has true colors. The manual is comprehensive. The remote is multifunctional. The digital image stabilization works very well (as well as the optical stabilization of my older camcorder). The 22x optical zoom is excellent (I turned off the digital zoom). I was able to take good close-ups of the students at the spring concert (using a tripod). The auto focus is very fast and stable, better than previous camcorders. The camera is clearly not perfect, but for the price, it has a lot of highly desirable features.
3) Low Light Performance- This is not a strong point.
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Comment 105 of 106 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I read about the motor hum being recorded on Amazon and other review sites. I didn't want that... so I could afford one of the Sony camera like the new Micro-MV.
Thing is, try as I might, I couldn't make myself like the Sony cameras. I study usability and some industrial design and I still wonder what the Sony engineers were thinking when they designed their digital camcorder line. They're hard to hold, the buttons are in unnatural places, and the camera doesn't mold into your hand. The salesperson actually told me to hold it "with two hands" and it'd be fine. Have you ever tried to push a stroller around Disney World and keep track of a running four year old while filming him with a video camera? Two hands for the camera?!? Give me a break!
I tested every single Sony digital camcorder, and I still kept coming back to this Canon. Yes, it has the motor hum - but the controls are within reach and I'm not being forced to try and focus with my pinky using a button that's smaller than a pea (like the Sony Micro-MV). The picture is great.
I took my new camera to Disney for a fit in my small fanny pack, and with the digital photo options, I didn't need to take a regular camera. So much easier and made the trip much more enjoyable. It's not as great with still photos as a dedicated digital camera, but it's been great for sending photos directly to relatives via the Internet and making photo CDs.
I love this camera!!!!! I'd give it five stars, but I'm taking one off for the motor hum. They should fix that. I still recommend everyone go to a local store and actually hold the Sony cameras and try to focus and fit them comfortably in their hand, and then try the same thing with the Canon. That experience will speak for itself.
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