Canon VIXIA HFS100 HD is as close as you can get to professional camcorder in terms of video quality
Jul 10, 2009
Canon VIXIA HFS100 is currently the top-of-the-line Canon consumer camcorder. It takes very good quality full HD video (one of the best among consumer level camcorders). The optical image stabilization is very useful and face detection is accurate. Autofocus is very fast and the menu system is intuitive. Low light capability is decent (but improved a lot by using the video light for video recording or internal flash for taking photos). The pre-recording mode is very useful for shooting sport, action, fireworks, child and other scenarios where it is often hard to predict when those Kodak moments will exactly be until it has happened/passed. It also has filter thread so you can install lens filter to enhance the video/image and to protect the lens. The LCD is very sharp and clear from wide viewing angle. It has a dual shooting mode where video recording and photo taking can be done without switching settings.
Image quality is very sharp with 8.59-megapixel CMOS image sensor that is also found in Canon DSLR. Taking photos in continuous mode is also very good (about 4 frames per second, comparable to DSLR cameras), however, the shutter response is nowhere near the DSLR cameras (it's slower than DSLR). For point and shoot customers, they won't notice the shutter lag (as it is the same if not better than most point and shoot camera) and they will probably be able to replace their point and shoot camera with this camcorder as it produces image quality better and sharper than most point and shoot cameras.
1. Video quality (1920 X 1080 Full HD) comparable with many professional camcorder 2. Image quality for photos are sharp and vivid (8 megapixel). 3. Zoom covers super wide angle to semi-zoom (6.4mm to 64mm) before the 1.7x magnification 4. Dual shot mode (capture video and photo without having to change setting) 5. Very effective optical image stabilization (a combination of optical and image sensor stabilization) 6. Lens filter thread (58mm) 7. Autofocus is very fast and includes a very accurate face detection to keep people's face in sharp focus 8. Up to 12 hour recording in LP mode with 32GB SD card 9. Innovative Pre-record mode is available (and never miss critical shots anymore) 10. Video snapshot mode (shot short movie clips and blend with music tracks) 11. Almost instant on and record (stand-by to recording in less than 1 sec and from off in less than 2 sec) 12. Continuous mode for taking photos is very fast (though the shutter lag isn't nearly as good as DSLR cameras) 13. Record HD videos and take 6MP photo to memory card simultaneously 14. Small but bright video light and photo flash. 15. Built-in automatic lens cover 16. Wireless remote control included 17. Bright and clear 2.7 inch lcd screan (and the image is sharp) 18. Very easy to navigate the menu (even though there are so many options and settings available) 19. 24p cinema mode and 30p progressive mode included 20. Pre-programmed video and photo mode (sunset, night, beach, spotlight, fireworks, etc) 21. Aperture priority, Shutter priority, and Program mode available (in addition to Auto setting) 22. Accepts up to 32GB SD card
1. Only 10x optical zoom (not sure why Canon doesn't make this top-of-the-line camcorder 20x or 30x optical zoom) 2. No internal memory 3. Included batteries only last about 75-90 minutes of recording time 4. Shutter response still not as fast as DSLR 5. Low light performance is average (improved if using the video light or internal flash) 6. A bit bulky compare to many other flash memory camcorder 7. Not the lightest camcorder but still lighter than DSLR cameras 8. 24Mbps recording mode has many restriction (require fast speed flash memory, and not all DVD player can playback) 9. No touch screen LCD 10. Non-standard accessory shoe terminal (better than none though. can use VL-5 video light or DM-100 microphone) 11. Must plug in ac adapter to transfer data from Camera to computer (or use an external memory reader) 12. No optical viewfinder 13. HDMI cable not included 14. Doesn't come with external battery charger (use the camcorder to charge the battery instead) 15. top-of-the-line price (though still cheaper than the HFS10 that has 32GB built-in flash memory)
In conclusion, Canon VIXIA HFS100 is targeted for those who are looking for a consumer camcorder with the best video quality that can also take photo with the best image quality and the largest megapixel to date for a canon camcorder (8MP). Basically, Canon Vixia HFS100 is currently the Top-of-the-line Canon consumer level camcorder.
Also check out the following Canon camcorders that has comparable main feature (Full HD video and DIGIC DV III image processor) before deciding to buy Canon VIXIA HFS100 (and whether any of these camcorders will fit your needs better than the HFS100). With the exception of HFS10, the remaining are less expensive than HFS100:
Canon's top-of-the-line, new VIXIA HF S100 Flash Memory camcorder gives you everything you expect from Canon. It has a powerful, new 8.59-megapixel Full HD CMOS Image sensor plus Canon's latest DIGIC DV III Image Processor. Add a Genuine Canon 10x HD Video Lens and the highest bit rate in AVCHD, and you've got a camcorder that delivers spectacularly realistic HD video and photos. You can record to removable SDHC memory cards for quick and easy sharing, also enjoy fast, silent start-up and operation. The Canon VIXIA HF S100 camcorder lets you shoot like a pro with assist functions including new zebra patterns, color peaking, a Custom Key and Dial, and shooting modes, including 24p Cinema Mode for video that looks like a big-screen movie. The VIXIA HF S100 incorporates some of Canon's most exciting new functions, including Genuine Canon Face Detection for perfect focus and exposure, even with faces looking down or sideways, Pre-Record that captures video 3 seconds before you press the record button, and the new Video Snapshot Mode for saving your memories as a series of 4-second video clips set to music. Shoot extraordinary video and photos with the VIXIA HF S100. Deluxe Value Accessory KitTelephoto & Wide Angle lens Set - 3 pc Filter Kit: UV/ Polarizing filter/Fluorescent Correction & Case - 5pc Deluxe Lens Care Cleaning Kit - Ultra High Capacity Li-ion Rechargeable Battery Pack - AC/DC Battery Charger - 8 Gigabyte SD Secure Digital Memory Card - Secure Digital USB Card Reader...