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on April 25, 2010
This camera is small enough to easily fit into your jacket pocket. The automatic lens cover means not having to worry about the lens, nor any extra pieces to carry around and keep track of. The long battery time, large capacity of a SD card and small size adds up to a very convenient camera to keep with you translating into a greater likelihood of actually having the camera with you more often to catch those interesting moments of our lives. This is a very easy camera to use while shooting video.

There is a little more labor involved to edit video and transfer footage. Although it can be done without too much difficulty. And I am reluctant to be critical of that aspect since the technology has advanced so much in the last decade. I remember a time when videotaping our personal lives was much more limited by the technology.

The picture and sound quality are good. The price is right. I recommend this camera for the convenience and price. Unless of course the best picture and sound available is what you want, then more expensive cameras are available worthy of a five star review. For most purposes, this camera can't be beat for its convenience and therefore the greater chance of actually having it on hand when needed.
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VINE VOICEon June 2, 2010
Canon seems to have taken a step down from the comparatively-excellent FS200 with a range of features that fall short in so many areas. As others have mentioned, the software included is practically useless, but more importantly the video quality just isn't there. There are major compression artifacts that appear whenever there's significant movement or any zooming used, it handles low night very poorly, resulting in grainy video, and the single-shot feature produces low quality shots comparable with those you would see on a cell phone.

Inexplicably, Canon has removed the audio in jack that came on the FS200, meaning there's no way to use an external microphone to capture any sound. Consequently, there's camera noise in every video, which is surprisingly loud considering it has so few moving parts. Combined with the fact that it comes with no memory (contrary to indications in the manufacturer's own product description), the FS300 feels more like a budget version of the 200 rather than an upgrade. As for documentation, I agree with other reviewers - I wouldn't normally notice a poor quality manual in electronics but I needed it to find the power-in jack, which is superbly camouflaged on the unit.

Overall, it's small and easy to carry around but falls short of the quality I've come to expect from Canon products. I can't use this for pro-sumer video capture as I had planned to, and apart from the decent zoom function there's not much to separate from a Flip at half the price. Let's hope the FS400 fixes the plethora of faults, though I'll be waiting to the see the reviews before parting with my cash so hastily!
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on May 16, 2010
As stated by others the software included with the camcorder is terrible. It has no editing ability. I ended purchasing a third party software for $50, so in the end, with the memory card this is more like a $400 camcorder. Video is as good as it should be for an SD camera, sound is okay. Overall a good camera.

Pros: Small, light, quickly charges, long battery life, decent enough video

Cons: Poor video in low light, okay sound, software
33 comments| 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is a fairly inexpensive, basic, camcorder. Probably the best selling point versus its competitors is the excellent wide ranging zoom lens on this camera. The LCD screen is also good sized and seemed bright and clear. You'll definitely want a 16GB or (better still) 32GB SDHC card to get full use from the camcorder. I found the image quality to be only so-so, though certainly in line with other inexpensive camcorders (and far better than a Sony "bloggie" that I had the misfortune of trying a few months ago). It's a small camera (would fit in a pocket), easy to handle (controls right by the fingers), and those controls are clear and straightforward. You'll want to get your hands on the actual camera before buying though, some folks complain that their hands are too big around the unit. Check that out yourself.
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on September 6, 2010
To say this camera works seamlessly with a Mac is a joke. It's very spotty at best - and I've spent literally hours (today for example) trying to get iMovie '09 to recognize the camera - even though the camera icon shows up as a drive on the desktop. Yes, I've downloaded video in the past, but it's always a crapshoot. So buyer beware.

I had NO idea Canon would even release a camera that didn't work seamlessly with the Mac Platform. Disappointed to say the least. Help!
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on August 1, 2010
I got this camcorder to replace an outdated compact VHS comcorder I've had for about 7 years. I needed this to record home movies, talent shows, vacations, etc. I was worried about image stabilizing and low light situations. I look at customer web reviews and always look into Consumer Reports reviews any time I buy something I know nothing about. I love it. Technology sure has come a long way. I think the picture is great and the low light situations are better than with a VHS camcorder, so I'm happy. The image stabilizing is a must for me because I am horrible at shaking when I'm recording (really... people would joke about motion sickness while watching old videos I made with the camcorder not on a tripod), and it really helps on this camcorder. I'm very happy with the purchase. One thing you should know... I asked a salesman about taking a photo with it, and he said, "If you want a photo, use a camera." So I never have used it to take a picture.
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on May 12, 2011
This camcorder is very good. The automatic lens cover is (surprisingly) something you don't find on most of the models in this price range. It's a nice touch. The video quality is has 3 different levels: XP, SP, and LP. XP gives the best video quality while LP allows for the most video to be recorded on the memory card. The default is SP and frankly I couldn't see that much difference between XP and SP. A class 10 16 gig card will run you about $27 now and it will hold about 5 1/2 hours of video at the SP quality level. The battery seems to last longer than I expected, almost 2 hours the first time I used it. There is an important note about the BP-808 battery used by this and all similar Canon models. It is "decoded", which means it has software inside of it that communicates with the camcorder to tell you how much power is left. Not all 3rd party batteries have this. I just purchased one that did for $12.95. That sure beats the $65 that Canon wants for a backup battery. If you get a knock-off battery that is not decoded it will still power the camera, but you won't know how much power is left. The video quality is at least comparable to other camcorders below the $500 range. It does a great job in an outdoor setting and indoor assuming you have at least a fair amount of light. The video is not good in low light situations, but I have not found one that is below about the $750 range. There is a video light on the camera that helps some for pictures or videos of close up objects. But isn't useful for more than that. The still pictures are nothing to write home about, but at least they can be taken above the 640 x 480 size that many camcorders give. And there is also quality setting of "normal", "fine", or "super fine". Setting the images to 1024 x 768 at the super fine level at least makes for passable pictures. And they will probably be fine for most occasions. Just don't expect the still images to compete with your digital camera (in most cases). One more thing: there are many setting on this camcorder to be played with. The shutter speed can be controlled, which can also greatly aid in your picture or video taking assuming you read carefully how the different values can be used and what is appropriate to a scene. The image stabilizer seems to work very well, which is good because it's really needed on all of these small camcorders. There are two levels of stabilization: standard and dynamic. Dynamic will stabilize the image more, but will cause a lot of motion to be unnatural. I wouldn't use it while video taping a parade for instance. There are many other features of this camcorder that merit attention, and I would recommend going onto Cannon's site and downloading the manual to get understand all of them. That is what I did. They can tell you much more than I can in this short review. But, overall, this is a great little camcorder. I found the video quality to be superior to a Sony model of the same range. Just keep in mind that the video is not HD, which is both good and bad. You need to evaluate your needs in that area.
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on October 7, 2010
EDIT: I am unable to edit videos filmed with this on Windows Live Movie Maker, because the audio is nonexistent and sometimes becomes a very loud, choppy noise. Until Windows fixes their movie maker to work with MPEG-2 files, I'll have to stick to my point and shoot camera, which also shoots HD videos but doesn't autofocus in video.

The reason I purchased this camcorder in particular is because I tested the zoom, autofocus, and clarity of video in stores that carried this. This is basically interchangeable with Sony FX40 (I think) to me, but this was cheaper on Amazon at the time, and I like Canon. The picture quality isn't very good, which is understandable since it's a camcorder, but it also takes a while to take the picture. For the ~$234 it cost me, I like this camcorder for videos but if you're looking for a multi-tasking camcorder, I'd look elsewhere.
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on August 4, 2010
First let me comment on the Amazon services. We first started out ordering a Kodak zi8, a really neat shirt pocket camcorder. Our first attempt to load it into our computer was a bust. Amazon said "send it back, we'll send a new one".....same results trying to load using the Kodak ARCSOFT MEDIAIMPRESSIONS software. Very poor support advice from Kodak, and non-existent from ARCSOFT. So, not to give up we did a little research and came up with the FS-300 Canon. It has been fun, and no problem with the software....thanks Canon, we're not the most savvy computer users, (age 74 dinosaurs). Would now like to make a few comments about our FS-300 that I hope will be useful to others. First, the instruction book and computer info is very abbreviated, needs to be more info for varying situations. Second, I find the camera easy to start and stop, but getting to the features is a little complicated, so its not as simple as some people might indicate, especially for a novice. Third, let me suggest a monopod for really steady recording, the camera is so small that this great little walking stick isn't bothered at all by the FS-300 perching atop it. Again, let me compliment Amazon for there Amazing customer service.....great AMERICAN company. Very respectfully, Ralph Porter, CPO, USN,Ret.
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on November 25, 2010
It is not obvious how to get video from the camcorder to a Mac: if you read the manual and try to install the software, you will reach the conclusion that it only works in a Windows environment.

An email from Canon helped clarify things: just plug the camcorder into your Mac and you will be able to drag and drop the files. The .MOD files will be the ones you want.

They need to write their manual more clearly, and make it crystal clear how to get the camcorder to interact with a Mac. Would have saved me 60 minutes, which cost me about as much as the camcorder itself.
44 comments| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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