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Canon Legria HF200 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 588
inc VAT

Specifications

1/4in CMOS sensor, 1,440×1,080, 1,920×1,080 (50i/25p), 15.0x zoom, 340g

http://www.kikatek.com

The Legria HF200 is the cheapest model in Canon’s revamped HD camcorder range, but at just under £600 it’s still the most expensive model here.

It looks it, too, with a design that’s both classy and reassuringly solid. It only loses ground to the competition by not having a touchscreen. This means there’s no spot focus or spot metering, but in general use we found its mini-joystick to be quicker than the others’ touchscreens.

There’s every socket you could hope for, including a microphone input and headphone output. Sadly, Canon has followed Sony’s example by coming up with its own proprietary accessory shoe; as a result, most accessories won’t fit. There’s an LED video lamp built in, plus a flash for the competent photo function.

The menu includes shutter and aperture priority modes. Using them with the manual exposure lock/compensation control gives reasonably effective full manual control, in a roundabout way. Our favourite feature is a PF25 mode, which records progressive scan video for film-like motion, but tags the files as interlaced to ensure software compatibility.

Video is recorded in AVCHD format at bit rates up to 24Mbit/s. This gives 45 minutes’ recording on an 8GB card, although four lower bit rate choices down to 5Mbit/s extend this time. The top bit rate virtually eliminated compression artefacts in fast-moving scenes. More static shots exhibited incredibly sharp details, surpassing everything else on test.

Colours were impressive, too, thanks in part to responsive face detection – a new feature for Canon camcorders. The HF200 only lost its lead in low light, where it exhibited quite a lot of noise. Switching to progressive scan improved noise levels a little, but Samsung’s VP-HMX20C and Sony’s HDR-CX11E yielded better results in low light.

The HF200 comes very close to winning a Best Buy award, but the high price and disappointing low-light performance means it just loses out to the HDR-CX11E.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****

Recording

Optical zoom 15.0x
Digital zoom 300x
Sensor 1/4in CMOS
Sensor pixels 3,890,000
Widescreen mode native
LCD screen size 2.7in
Viewfinder type none
Video lamp Yes
Video recording format AVCHD
Video recording media SDHC
Sound Dolby Digital Stereo
Video resolutions 1,440×1,080, 1,920×1,080 (50i/25p)
Maximum image resolution 2,304×1,296
Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied none
Flash yes

Physical

Digital inputs/outputs USB
Analogue inputs/outputs AV out, component out, mini HDMI out
Other connections charge jack, microphone, headphones, Canon accessory shoe
Battery type 7.4V 890mAh Li-ion
Battery life 1h 34m
Battery charging position camcorder
Size 62x70x124mm
Weight 340g

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £588
Supplier http://www.kikatek.com
Details www.canon.co.uk