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Falls frustratingly short for a Canon product
on 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!