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947 of 957 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2009
This review is for people who have common sense about this technology and have done even a TAD bit of research before buying. I have been in the video/film/animation industry for 15 years and have used tons of equipment for everything from multimillion dollar productions, to rogue gorilla documentaries. This camera is for people who want to flip open something small and compact, shoot some video for memories and thas that. Pretty much ALL camcorders under 800 dollars are going to shoot interlaced video, and this one does as well. it has complete manual overide for focus and exposure. I read a review where a lady was complaining about filming a recital and the camera was going in and out of focus. No problem, set it to manual and problem fixed. There is no more .MOD file problems.. all files are read as .mpeg files now (you can download the newest software from the website) **EDIT** its come to my attention that some people are still getting the .MOD files extension. I am running windows XP service pack 3 on a PC and the program it installed is pixela imagemixer 3 version 4 and it automatically shows up as .mpeg 4 files.. so i dont know whats up and why that works for me, as i did nothing special or extra for that to happen..

now onto quality.

It is acceptable. Low light gives you grainy pictures and some ghosting. You will get this on pretty much ALL camcorders in this class. do NOT expect that if you spend another 100 dollars you will get a difference. If you want to see a noticable difference you will need to step up to the 800-1200 dollar range. Im sorry but thats just the facts. Another thing to be on the lookout for is called a frame buffer. Which EVERY camcorder over 100 dollars Should have.. you know, that telltale sign in video where when the camera moves back and forth the picture starts "waving like a flag in the wind".. we're good with that. The zoom on this camera is CRAZY good.. in general, optical zoom is good, digital zoom is bad.. this cameras optical zoom rivals most everything out there.. things i dont like. When you play your recorded videos on the camcorder, it will just play the next file without stopping, in one long stream.. this is cool, but i dont like not having the option to view one at a time. you HAVE to plug it in to the wall power when you transfer files to the computer. i dont like the record button on the end of the barrel.. the way i ALWAYS end up holding this camera is like how you hold a glass of water if you were pouring it out.. with my thumb on the top of the barrell.. i NEVER hold it "properly" (like a glass of water that im drinking).. its so tiny that holding it like that is almost cumbersome and unecessary.. In short i LOVE this thing for the convenience.. on standby it will boot up in 2 seconds.. AWESOME.. no tape, the small size, good battery life, relatively big LCD screen,external mic input and headphone all good.. needing a plug for computer connection, bad low light performance, bad management of video playback not so good.. all in all i REALLY like it...

if you want the convenience of a TINY camcorder available at a moments notice, recording to a card instead of tape, a regular def video (most everything i shoot is for web or regular DVD which is regular def anyway) and a price thats not bad. this is for you

Now, if you want a video camera for capturing high def home videos for permanent memories to keep forever and possibly burn to blu-ray, seriously, buy a high def, 3ccd progressive scan camcorder. Expect to pay around 1000+ dollars, but thats what you get. i dont understand the complaints that this is whats expected from this camcorder. You cant drive a civic around complaining it cant go from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds..
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100 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2009
I bought this camera a couple of weeks ago and it is small. Smaller than I expected, but that is not a bad thing, it is easy to carry around in a vest pocket or coat pocket. I didn't download or use any of the software provided with the camera, I have Sony Vegas on my computer. One thing that I do recommend is downloading the free SDCOPY software you can find on the net. Check the widescreen box and it will convert your .MOD files to mpg files lightning quick. Now you should be able to work with them in just about any editing software. Use a card reader for the SD card instead of connecting the camera to the computer, makes life easier. I use a cheap one that came with my SD cards.

Zoom is good, and a steady hand or tripod is highly recommended for longer shots. Quick to start up, the auto lens cover is great, battery life also great.

I really see no problems with this great little camera, other than low light filming could be better, but not many of these cameras are great in low light.
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173 of 183 people found the following review helpful
I have several Canon digital cameras, so when I decided to purchase a camcorder I immediately went to Canon. I waited a month for this new version. I wanted a small camcorder--and this is definitely small.

I am a bit disappointed in the quality of the videos. For movies taken in full light I can hardly tell the difference between these movies and the ones I take with my Canon PowerShot A570 IS digital camera! Although, the sound is definitely better with the camcorder. For movies in dim light (I filmed my son's Jazz concert), there was a huge difference so I decided to keep the camera.

I would agree with the previous reviewer in that the control buttons on the LCD screen are practically useless in dark settings. I couldn't see them during the concert I filmed.

I also have a bit of trouble holding the camera because it is so small. I removed the "grip belt" strap it came with because I could not get it to fit securely and still allow me to adjust the buttons at the same time. It felt like the camera was going to slide off my hand. I now use the extra wrist strap that comes with the camera and while it doesn't look as "cool", I'm not worried about dropping the camera.

My biggest hassel has been that the camera saves the movie files as MOD files which are a pain to work with! They will not import into most video editing programs (including Adobe Premiere Elements!), and the widescreen videos will not play correctly in Windows Media Player unless you convert the file.

The camera comes with a software program to transfer, edit, and view the movies--but it is awkward to use and even with the conversion I still could not get the movies to import into Camtasia Studio 6, which is the program I use the most. So, after two days of internet searching this is what I found that works for me.

1. I use a card reader to transfer the movie files onto my computer. This is much easier for me than using the program that comes with the camera.

2. I downloaded a free copy of SDCopy, and I use it to convert the MOD files to mpeg files. If I check the "widescreen" box on the converting window the converted movies will play widescreen in Windows Media Player.

3. The converted movies will import into Adobe Premiere, but they will not import into Camtasia Studio 6 (which is my goal). I can use Adobe Premiere to convert the files to avi files, but the process takes too long for me so I found a better and easier way.

4. I purchased a MOD converter. The one I decided on was Daniusoft Mod Converter for $29. It works well. With a MOD converter, I can convert the MOD files to a bunch of other types that will import into other programs as well as play on other devices such as an ipod. I use it to convert the files I converted with SDCopy into .avi files that will import into Camtasia.

Bottom line: Do your research and decide if this is for you. The FS100 received so many good reviews that I can't help but wonder if the video quality of that camera is better than this one. Perhaps someone will post information that answers that question.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2009
I ordered this so I can record our vacation to the beach on my husband's leave from Iraq. I'm not terribly familiar with various camcorders but after much research I decided on the Canon FS200 and I'm quite pleased. I LOVE that it has flash memory as I can easily carry extra cards and swap them out as needed. It didn't take too long to charge and has a great battery life. The picture quality is great, mic picks up sounds well and the zoom is fantastic. I love how small and lightweight it is. The price is good too. I'm very happy with this camcorder.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
I bought this camcorder on May 15, 2009 to replace my Canon ZR200 camcorder that stopped playing tapes about 5 months ago. I loved my ZR200 and the plethora of tapes that I filmed using it. I still believe that tapes are the best form of archive known today!

This review will focus on the features outlined at the product's web-site. I congratulate Canon's marketing staff at providing this outline.

1. Ultra-Sleek, Compact and Lightweight Design
The product is very sleek, compact and lightweight! The UPS scale at my office weighed the camcorder, battery and SDHC card at a mere 9.8 oz.
I love the Red color and waited an extra month until this color was available. Due to it's light weight, I recommend that you always use this w/ a tripod or monopod to provide the best video quality.

2. Canon Exclusive: Genuine 41x Advanced Zoom
This zoom feature is only available in the wide screen mode. It provides a wide-screen effect, giving you an extra 20% viewing area w/out an additional lens. In std (4:3) mode, you the best optical setting is 37x, which is almost as good.

3. Canon Exclusive: DIGIC DV II Image Processor
This processor has been around for several years now and delivers a superb shot and video using the optical zoom settings. Using the digital (2000x) zoom settings it does not seem to help as much. However, I was able to capture some good video at approx. 500-1000x zoom using the digital setting. Thank you canon!

4. Superb Shooting Control - Video Snapshot, Quick Start, Quick Charge, Dual Shot and More
The shooting control is superberb. However, you have to turn the dial to change between video and photo mode. I believe my last canon allowed simultaneous filming and picture taking.

5. Stunning Digital Photography
The photo's I took were as best as I could have hoped for at 1024x780 resolutions. As you would expect from Kodak, the colors were fabulous and the light recognition was very good. I still haven't figured out how to get the 5 pics / second (burst mode) working.

6. 2.7" Widescreen LCD
This helps a lot in video play back. I have 20/20 vision and can clearly see the clips I just took. I also LOVE the replay mode, which moves from clip to clip until you press the pause button or reach the end.

7. Pick the Color to Suit Your Style
Sunrise red is HOT. I'm glad I waited a few extra weeks for it.

8. Additional Features...

The lithium Iron battery lasts 3-5 hrs, depending on camera use. I still bought 2 extra batteries for $35 total and don't have any plans to start using them soon. 3-5 hours is amazing in comparison to the HD camcorders, which give you an hour of footage at best.

The USB high speed terminal is nice, but it took me a few hours to figure out that you need to put the camcorder in PC transfer mode. The default mode is DVD burner mode, which I find to be an oversight by the focus group. They should know that 90% of US customers want to import the clips into their PC, not Canon's DVD burner. This oversight dropped my review from a perfect 5 stars to 4 stars.

I discovered that the headphone terminal outputs a mono signal, causing the right earphone to emit an irritating buzzing sound. Thank goodness I was not wearing a head set.

I have not tested the audio input jack. However, I anticipate better results than their output jack.

I only tested the Pixel's software video capture feature, which failed to capture my wide screen video correctly. Thanks to the SDCopy shareware utility, I was able to capture my Wide Screen footage correctly. I hope they provide this feature in their sofware soon!

After doing some testing I discovered that you can film almost 5 hrs. in low quality (3 mps/sec) mode, lmost 3 hrs in st. quality (6 mps/sec), and approx 2 hrs. of footage at high qualify (9 mps/sec) at the setting on an 8GB SDHC card.

I did not purchase the extended warrantee because there aren't many moving parts.

I congratulate canon's product design staff for providing a product that I will enjoy using for years to come.
When you capture the video into your PC, you need to have it plugged into the power jack. Otherwise, it will not work. Hence, I suggest that you purchase a USB/HD Card reader with this device.

With the cost of a 16 GB class 6 SDHC card at $40, I don't know how canon expects to sell their FS22 (32 GB internal memory) or FS21 (16 GB intenal memory) at the price they are asking.

This is truly a fabulous product!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2009
10-year-old TIME For Kids Reporter, Brennan LaBrie, and I purchased Canon FS200 camcorders on sale a couple of days before Thanksgiving. As a budding journalist that is planning to cover the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Games, Brennan's basic requirements in his second flash based camcorder were:

- external mic for interviews
- headphone jack to monitor audio levels (handheld mic to close, not close enough, background noise to loud, etc.)
- optical zoom to capture action that far away
- battery monitor in real time
- fast battery charge (20 minutes charging a depleted FS200 battery yields 60 minutes of recording time)

This video tour around the FS200 was recorded with my FS200 and edited with Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker (the free program imports .MOD files). It was recorded at the Port Townsend Library (no special lighting was required). We were very happy with the picture and audio (internal mic) quality in this video. Part two of this tour will be published on YouTube soon. Search: Canon FS200

For price/performance, the FS200 is the "best of breed" on the market today. It is the perfect portable pocket camcorder for a KidReporter that has to get their reports online ASAP.

Brennan LaBrie's Winter Olympic coverage using the FS200 can be accessed through a Google Search on his name.

NOTE: The background music is one of the tunes that is on the FS200 CD.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2009
Considering the price, this camera is outstanding. If you're part of the cult of HD, you'll be unhappy because this isn't an HD camera. Just like, if you were part of the cult of speed, you'd be happier with a Mustang GT than a Honda Accord. But if you want great performance on a relatively low budget, this camera delivers.

Battery life: Excellent
Optics: Excellent
Low Lighting: Good
Regular Lighting: Excellent
Autofocus: Excellent
Zoom: Incredible
Video Image Quality: Excellent (but not HD)
Still Picture quality: Fair
Onboard Mic: Excellent
External Mic: Hey, you can use an external mic! For 300ish dollars!
Convenience: Excellent
Looks: Impressive. Ladies and gentlemen agree.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2009
When it comes to using camera and video equipment, I am an Amateur, with a capital "A." I enjoy filming aspects of life as I find it through my viewfinder. Here is my lowdown on the Canon FS200.

My husband and I are planning a trip to Maryland's Eastern Shore. We wanted to upgrade the video equipment we already owned: a Fujifilm FinePix S5200 digital camera and an Aiptek iCam. The Fujifilm FinePix S5200 is wonderful with both stills and video; however, it uses the less common Xd card and is more than a solid weight in one's hands. The Aiptek iCam is a little gem; it's lightweight, uses the more common SD card, and it can be flipped out at a moment's notice. However, one pays for that convenience; its still shots are lousy, and the light has to be just right for the video quality to be adequate. We wanted to find something that combined the qualities of the Fujifilm FinePix with the portability of the Aiptek. We thought the Canon FS200 might fit the bill.

In addition to reading the in depth product description published by the vendor, we also read the reviews by purchasers of the Canon FS200. At the time of purchase, there was a special offer of a Polaroid PoGo Instant Digital Mobile Printer (Black) free with the purchase of the Canon FS200. At the same time,we also purchased a Transcend 16 GB SDHC Class 6 Flash Memory Card TS16GSDHC6E [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]. And, of course, always the clincher, Amazon's Free Shipping.

The video in this review was taken on my maiden run with the Canon FS200; the stills were taken with a FinePix S5200 digital camera. However, the final still shot with the credits was taken by my husband using the Canon FS200. I have arthritis in my hands and I find the PHOTO button on the Canon FS200 difficult to press while keeping the camera steady. I had no problem with pressing the Start/Stop button for filming.

Pros: lightweight, comes on quickly, good quality filming, large viewing screen, easy to use zoom lever, automatic shutter cover.

Cons: Video is shot in .MOD format. What's with that? Being an amateur, I use the Muvee program to work with stills and video; this program could also be called "Home Movies for Dummies," but it's easy to use. My PC runs on Microsoft Windows Vista. My Muvee program works with the .MOD format with great effort. It takes almost forever to barely spit a product out: think of a watermelon moving through a king snake. Other reviewers of the Canon FS200 mention a converter which can be downloaded from the Internet which I guess I need to do. Also, I've not been able to use the Pixela software that came with the camera, but this could be due to operator error!

Be forewarned that just because the wonderfully large viewfinder on the Canon FS200 is shut doesn't mean the camera automatically shuts off as with the Aiptek iCam. The Canon FS200 still runs. Hence, an eight minute long shot of my sofa upholstery. To the Canon FS200's credit, the sofa's fibers appeared in great detail, with no blurring.

Four stars. Great camera but why the MOD format?
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2009
This camcorder has significant improvement over the previous version (FS10/11/100) which I also own. I am very happy after two weeks of use. I had also tried the Samsung camcorder. FS200 is much more superior in all areas: easy of use, comfort, auto lens cover, software, basic & advance shooting modes, zoom control(better, smoother by a very large margin).

If want to take standard definition videos and burn them easily to DVD at will, this the one to buy. I don't believe there is a better camcorder with better value on the market today that serves the needs of average user like me.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2009
My husband and I recently purchased this camcorder because we are expecting our first baby, and we wanted to be able to capture the first moments on video. We did not have a lot to spend. After a lot of research, we settled on the Canon FS200 (we purchased it in a kit with extra accessories). We knew that this was not an HD camera, and we didn't expect HD picture quality. For the class of camcorder, and the price we paid, we are VERY pleased with the value and quality that we received.

The camcorder is easy to use and set up. We are beginners, therefore we have not delved into the advanced features available. We just wanted to be able to shoot video with ease. We did not purchase this for the ability to take pictures, as we have a very good camera for that. However, the pictures are easy to take and the quality seems good.

The auto focus works well, the battery life is excellent, and I was surprised at how much video can fit on an 8gb card. The battery has about 2 and a half hours (and the remaining battery life is displayed on the screen in minutes remaining, not just an icon) and the card holds just over 2 hours of video (also displayed as remaining minutes available on the screen).

The only thing I would change is to add a viewfinder - the only way to see what you are recording is via the LCD screen. However, we knew we were not getting a viewfinder when we made the purchase.

My biggest complaint is the software. It took a while to figure out the software and how to transfer files to the computer. I read other reviews that complained about the .MOD file format, and the necessity of converting it. I installed my software on XP (I have the service pack 3) and my files downloaded automatically in .mpeg format, so I did not have to convert. However, I use a laptop, so it is easier to me to use the card slot than to hook the whole camcorder up via USB cord. To use the card slot, I took another reviewers advice and downloaded the SDcopy program to convert my files (when I used the card slot they came up as .MOD file format). I liked this transfer even better, because I could select the widescreen format before transfering my files, and the videos looked much better. When compared, the regular screen seemed a little squished or compacted, but the widescreen was much more natural.

Overall we would highly recommend this camcorder. You can't beat the options for the price.
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