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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 10:25 AM   #1
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Canon Vixia HF200

I just got a Canon Vixia HF200 and wanted to post something about it since I haven't seen anything. (This is the same camera as the HF20, minus built-in memory. It is a tiny AVCHD camera the size of a Red Bull can and it replaces the model HF100, similar to the HF10 and HF11.)

A couple of big changes: it now has a three-second pre-record, which is great, but even on a big tripod, you can see the camera move at the point you pressed the record button. They also fixed the still photo recording so you can shoot a still while running video and there won't be a glitch on the video. You can shoot video or photos whenever you want without having to change any settings. It has a setting to shoot little 4-second clips, which I guess is the new attention span of the ADHD generation. And of course, it has a higher bit rate, which I guess is the big selling point of this camera, but is really pointless for a pocket run-n-gun family handycam - you're not going to be making movies with any camera like this!

They also made a lot of subtle changes to the camera over the HF100, almost all for the good. They've tweaked the placement of the record button, the way the joystick feels, the menus, and the screen push buttons, all of which improve the ergonomics. They changed the control dial so it doesn't move so easily, and put the playback button on the lcd so you don't have to change the dial.

They've added a hole for the tripod plate locator pin so you can use regular video plates now.

On the minus side, they moved the headphone jack inside the lcd, so you can't close the screen with your phones plugged in.

They moved the microphone up front under the lens, so you hear your subject and not your own breathing. Still really sensitive to wind noise, though - you'll need an external mic.

I don't have any comments on image quality - I've only shot in xp+ setting and haven't changed off factory default image settings. It looks the same as the HF100 - oversharpened and punchy, which is great for the web. It does have menu settings to reduce sharpening and has a bunch of different "looks" you can choose.

Oh, here's a piece I shot right after taking it out of the box:
Video | MiamiHerald.com
Most of it was shot with a Raynox .5x wide on, which vignettes badly. Highly compressed, so don't try to judge the image from it.

Last edited by Chuck Fadely; May 2nd, 2009 at 12:06 PM.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 12:36 PM   #2
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Thanks for the update Chuck. Any chance you could post another video clip without the Raynox installed so as to allow for seeing how the image quality compares?


Larry
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Old January 8th, 2010, 07:18 AM   #3
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Considering purchase of HF200 CONFUSED

Chuck, (or other HF200 owners)

I am seriously considering this camera, but am confused by the "dual flash" recording i read on the Canon website...

Does the camera record to an internal flash in addition to a SDHDC card?
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Old January 8th, 2010, 09:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ruhland View Post
Chuck, (or other HF200 owners)

I am seriously considering this camera, but am confused by the "dual flash" recording i read on the Canon website...

Does the camera record to an internal flash in addition to a SDHDC card?
David, are you confusing the HF200 with the brand new HF-S200?
Look at the date of the previous post...

The new HF-S200 has dual SDHC slots and can either copy from one card to another for immediate in-the-field backup of your video, or rollover record from one card to the other for extended record times.

So often people use contractions to the point it's confusing precisely what camera/product model they are talking about.
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Old January 9th, 2010, 06:55 AM   #5
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I was talking about the HF200. You have answerd my question... Now i just have to figure out if I can survive with out having the ZEBA STRIPE feature on this camera. Any suggestions for exposure tips with this camera?
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Old January 18th, 2010, 01:01 PM   #6
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HF200 in MXP mode

I have the HF-200 and have been using it specifically in MXP mode at 30p. The video quality is amazing. I can run the clips in Windows Media player at full screen and even at this size they look really great.
I've been using it mainly for capturing my sons basketball games - I wanted something small but also wanted HD. The images are very good and the color is great. There are a lot of effects you can add and it also has a Cine mode for film-like video - haven't tried that one yet.

Any cons I have about it are that the battery will run down quickly so I keep the LCD shut when not recording. Also, with a 16GB Class 4 card I only get 1 hr and 25mins of video at MXP mode (24 MBps). Now that I'm at MXP I don't want to go down to 17 MBps so I'll have to get a 32GB card when the prices come down.

All in all I am very pleased with it. For the price it was a good deal.

Thanks
Jim B
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Old January 20th, 2010, 09:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ruhland View Post
I was talking about the HF200.
As someone else said, the outgoing HF200 has only one memory card slot and no built-in memory. The next step up in the outgoing HF2#(#) line, the HF20, has 32GB of built-in memory plus a single memory card slot. However, since it is an older model, it lacks rollover recording capability (you must manually switch between the built-in memory and the removable memory card).
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